We all want to know how to be successful in life. But it’s so hard to define what counts as success. Success is so individualized- it means something different for every single person. But somehow, success can also feel incredibly elusive. It can be easy to look around and think that everyone else is more successful than you. These simple tips will show you how to be successful in your life.
To know how to achieve success in life, you will have to define what success is. Figuring out what success means for you is an incredibly individual thing. It is different for everyone. It can be easy to focus on the one part of life that we don’t see as successful, and to forget about all the parts in life that are going well.
Try this- map out all the different areas of your life. They might include: family, relationships, parenting, personal growth, career/work, skills/knowledge, finances, health, contributing to society, and social life.
There are so many areas of life that we’re confronted with on a daily basis. It’s important to take all of them into account when you’re defining what success means. Ask yourself these questions about your life.
Which areas in life:
- Are you really happy with?
- Have you been neglecting or want to focus more on?
- Would help your life to feel more balanced?
These are questions that you need to answer for yourself. Some people might focus intensely on one area and as a result become highly successful in it (a top sportsperson, for example)- but they are unlikely to be so successful in other areas of life that they aren’t putting time and effort into.
For example, someone might have a successful career but if they are unsuccessful in relationships they might feel isolated or lonely. Look honestly at your life and decide what’s important. This will determine how you view success.
CREATE A VISION BOARD FOR YOUR LIFE
Part of this process can be to create a vision board for your life. It’s your life- you get to call the shots on how you want it to be. You can decide your priorities and how you spend your time. A vision board can be a powerful way to think through some of these questions.
Make a vision board that inspires you. It might contain pictures that speak to you and motivate you, and words or phrases that inspire positive emotions. A vision board helps you to visualize your goals and can help to motivate you on a daily basis. When your vision board is working well, you might find yourself taking steps towards your vision without even really consciously deciding to.
For more information around this, check out Huffpost’s article on the reason vision boards work and how to make one.
VALUE THE PROCESS, NOT THE RESULT
Think of the most successful people you know. In the majority of cases, success was not a guarantee. It’s easy for us to forget this. Success followed only after small and seemingly insignificant choices about their everyday lives.
It might be that they chose to work on something everyday or to build a skill base. The daily choices might have been as simple as choosing to open themselves to the possibility of rejection by putting themselves out there, whether in career or personal life. In either case, it was a result of choices. Most of the time, they made these choices without knowing that success was headed their way.
To understand how to be successful, you need to understand that success is the result of your daily habits. It is an outcome of the process. To have the most chance at being successful, the more passionate and motivated you are about the process, the more likely you will be to persist until you reach success.
Another way to say it is this: success in life does not depend on innate talent, looks or skill as much as on GRIT. Grit is the ability to keep persisting, even in the face of setbacks or failure. Angela Duckworth found that this single quality leads to success more than any other.
Success is undoubtedly about the long-game. Do you want to know how to be successful? Keep chasing your goal! The ones who persist are the most likely to be successful. And the good news? Anyone is capable of having grit and showing persistence. Persistence is something that’s within your control. And if someone is going to be successful, why should it not be you?
SET GREAT GOALS
Setting goals is an important part of achieving success. Goals are putting an actual plan to your dreams. Goals keep you focused and make it much more likely that you will achieve what you have set out to do.
Luckily, science tells us a lot about how to achieve our goals. Check out these 5 science-backed strategies on how to achieve your goals.
Additionally, goals work best when they are SMART- specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. Have a look at these 7 surefire tips for setting goals you will actually achieve.
LEARN FROM OTHERS…
We live in such an incredible time- the internet has made information more accessible than it’s ever been. It’s good to have people that you admire and look up to- people whose success you aspire to. And now, in this day and age, you can easily find their story, strategy and tactics of exactly how they achieved their success.
You can even connect with them on social media and be frequently inspired by their advice and wisdom. You can probably even write to them and it’s not unlikely that they might reply!
But even if you don’t look up to one single person, you can research and learn how to do almost anything. It’s likely that there are thousands of people who have already done what you are aspiring to achieve, and who will have documented each step that they took.
While it’s fantastic to be a trailblazer, if you want to know how to be successful in life or in a certain thing, it’s smart to look to people who have already done what you want to do. Learn from them. It might even save you from making the mistakes that they made early on in their journey. Imagine that- you can imitate what they did and you can do it more efficiently!
…BUT DON’T COMPARE
While I fully advocate learning as much as you can from others, it’s also important not to compare yourself to anyone else- especially when it comes to measuring success.
Be careful not to look to people you consider as more ‘successful’ than you as your benchmark. You determine your benchmark. Each person has a different journey- different highs and lows, priorities and ambitions. Whatever you see in someone else is just one snapshot taken from one angle of their life. You’ll never know the full picture of someone else’s success or the journey they took to be there.
Focus on yourself. You are the only person within your control. Determine your own priorities and goals, enjoy your life and your own journey and process. This will be the only way that you can fully appreciate success when it comes.
It’s also true for the opposite- don’t look to people who you consider as less successful to use as a benchmark to feel better by. That just isn’t how life works! You never know what’s around the corner for either yourself or them, so don’t give yourself the extra worry of comparing and the stress of competing.
When you let go of the need to compare, then you can appreciate the people who are on the same journey as you. You are more likely to achieve success when you have a network of support- imagine a network of others who understand what your goals are and who are heading in the same direction. This mutual support and encouragement can be invaluable and can boost the success of everyone involved.
I like how this quote expresses it:
Another woman doing what you’re doing is not your competition… She is Your sister. Support her.
CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESSES
Learning to recognize and celebrate your success is an important part of the journey. It will motivate you to keep going and give you the confidence and self-esteem to achieve the next step in your goal.
But success can be all too easy to miss. It’s easy to let it pass by- sometimes it doesn’t even seem so big by the time it reaches us. Often our eyes are already looking to the next thing- the next big milestone.
When this happens: Stop!
It’s important to make an intentional decision to celebrate your successes! You deserve it! Celebrate the small successes as well as the big ones. Celebrate your effort and the process of reaching this step, no matter how small.
Write it down somewhere so it’s documented. Share your success with others. Enjoy it! Celebrating your successes is an important part of enjoying the journey- a.k.a. enjoying life!
YOU WILL NEVER FEEL LIKE YOU’RE ‘THERE’
Often in life, we think that when we hit a certain level, or achieve a particular goal, that we will suddenly think, ‘that’s it, I’m there, I’ve done it! Now I’m successful!’
And you might think this for a moment but guess what? It will pass! We are so good at quickly forgetting our successes and looking to the next big thing. We reach one level of success and instantly shift the goalposts.
When I get a book published I’ll consider myself successful can quickly become: Great, I’ve got a book published! When it’s a best-seller- that’s when I’ll be successful.
Or when I get married to someone I love I’ll consider myself successful can become: When we have kids around us- that’s when I’ll be truly successful.
But the thing is this: there’s always a next level. You will always feel as if you are battling to reach the next thing. You could always do better or have more. Life could always be just a little more perfect or complete. And there is always someone else to compare yourself to.
This is the nature of the human condition. We are constantly striving- at some point we think we’ll have a sense of ‘arrival’ but this never comes. And that’s normal!
The sense of daily struggle and never arriving is the experience of life. Once you realize this, you can enjoy the journey. It sounds cliched, but it’s true. If you wait to feel that you’ve arrived before you let yourself be truly happy, I can almost guarantee that you never will.
Enjoy the process, be grateful for and celebrate your successes, and value the experiences that you are gathering as you do.
Make the choice to be happy in each part of this process. That’s the experience of living.
And that’s it!
Knowing how to be successful in life is easier than we think. It starts with prioritizing so you know what you want in life and setting goals so you can actually get there. Be confident enough to believe in yourself and make big choices, and have the grit and persistence to chase your dream.
Remember that you define your own success, and that if you aren’t careful you will come an incredible distance without ever feeling like you have arrived at ‘success’. That’s normal- life is about the journey, not the destination.
It’s natural to feel as if you’re always pushing and striving- that’s the nature of life. Make sure you learn to love the process for itself, not for the results. Stop and celebrate your successes when they do come along!
When you do this, you will find that you are living an enjoyable, fulfilling and successful life, regardless of the outcome!
- 5 Science Backed Strategies on How to Achieve Your Goals
- How to Stop Being Negative and Live a Positive Life
- 5 Powerful Secrets For How to Live in the Present
- 7 Surefire Tips for Setting Goals You Will Actually Achieve
- 3 Vital Areas For Adults to Develop a Growth Mindset and Unlock Potential
- 4 Awesome Ted Talks That Will Show You How to Get Stuff Done
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Thanks for reading!