How do you define success? Is it about wealth? Is it about power? Is it about happiness? Success means something different to every person, like beauty, it exists in the eye of the beholder. It depends on every one of us to determine what success means to us and do something to bring it forth into our lives.
The late Zig Ziglar, one of the most respected experts on success and motivation argues in his book Born to Win, that: “Success cannot be defined in one sentence, but instead it is comprised of many things. One could argue that the definition depends on the individual and one size does not fit all”.
Despite this, the successful people share attributes which don’t happen by accident or luck. They originate in habits, built a day at a time. What we have to remember is: If we live our lives, the same way as most people do, we will get what most people get. If we settle, what we are going to get is a settled life. But if we give ourselves our best, every day, our best will give back to us.
Here are the traits that the highly successful people cultivate:
- Take responsibility for Your Life: You are totally responsible for your life. This is the foundation principle you must embrace if you plan for happiness and success in life and work. You have to stop blaming others for your failures, and take responsibility for your mistakes. No one can live your life for you. You are in charge. No matter how hard you try to blame others for the events of your life, each event is the result of choices you made and are making. “The moment you accept responsibility for everything in your life is the moment you gain the power to change anything in your life.” ~ Hal Elrod
- Live Your Life On Purpose: What separates motivational and successful people from others is that they believe they’re doing what they were put here to do. Not living life on purpose consists of expending just enough effort to get by with the least amount of problem. But when you live life on purpose, you are aiming to be the best you can be. Being successful means finding a cause you believe in, building your business around it and contributing something to society. “If there is no passion in your life, then have you really lived? Find your passion, whatever it may be. Become it, and let it become you and you will find great things happen FOR you, TO you and BECAUSE of you.” ~ T Alan Armstrong
- Be Willing to Pay the Price for Your Success: Often times we get comfortable in the situation that we are in. Getting comfortable doesn’t mean that we like the situation that we are in, but it means that we get into a comfort zone. Our comfort zone is a place where we are used to the routine or familiarity of a situation, yet we don’t feel capable or want to do anything to make the necessary changes to get out of that situation. There is always a price to pay for our achievements but in the long run we will reap the reward of peace, happiness and fulfilment. “There is a cost for everything that you want. Clothes, furniture, successful career, relationships. You or someone else has to pay for what you want. Even the things that you get for free. Someone put time, money, their heart and effort into whatever you received”.
- Stay Focused: We live in an age which our focus is on short-term gains and instant gratification. We want immediate results, even in areas which naturally take time. If we do not get success rapidly we move on to the next fad. In the long run most of us achieve little if anything at all. How do we avoid falling into the trap of short-termism and achieve the success we are longing for? The answer is to stay focused on our long term goals, and invest our energy and resources to achieve them, even when we see so many others going for the quick fix. Focusing requires giving up something in the present because we are investing our time in something that will pay off big-time down the road. Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” ~ Winston Churchill
- Become an Expert in Your Field: One distinctive factor that all successful people have in common is their desire to be seen as an expert in their profession. Whether they’re administrative professional, a CEO, or a NASA engineer, expertise is something to strive for. So regardless of who you are or what you do, make the decision today to work at being the best in your field. How? By surrounding yourself with people who elevate you. By spending time with people who are experts in your field, you will naturally “catch” some of their wisdom, as expertise is contagious.
- Never Give Up: “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” ~ Earl Nightingale. When you face an unexpected obstacle in life how do you respond? Do you give up, or do you keep pressing on? Successful people don’t give up. They commit themselves to reaching their final destination. They may not ever get there, but they don’t allow hurdles to prevent them from trying. This means continuing on despite failures and disappointments. When you’re fully committed to achieving your goal, giving up is not an option. You must be willing do whatever it takes to make it happen.
- Create an Effective Action Plan: Many of us set goals, but not many of us create massive action plans to see those goals through to fruition. A powerful action plan take you from wherever you are right now directly to the accomplishment of your stated goal. With a well-designed plan, you can achieve virtually any goal you set out to accomplish. A goal that isn’t written down is merely a wish or fantasy, and is likely to stay that way.
- Don’t Delay: “You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays.” ~ Harold Hill. Nobody knows how much time they have left to accomplish their dreams, and we must remember that we don’t have forever. Life is short. There is no degree for “Live your dreams.” You qualify yourself by showing up and working. You get permission by deciding. Successful achievers know this too, and they go after what they want as energetically and as passionately as possible, for as long as they have. “Don’t wait for tomorrow for something you could do today. Your future self will either thank you or shamefully defend you”.
Success can be defined in many ways. I believe we accomplish success when at the end of a day we can say…this was a good day. I look forward to doing it again tomorrow.
“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.”