As a rough guess I think it would be fair to say that only 1% of the population is successful while the other 99% can only dream of success and never achieve it.
I just can’t help but notice that most people never really get anywhere in life. Although many people have dreams and desires of success, of living a life that would make them truly happy, that is all those people will ever have. Dreams and desires.
And on the flipside, why are some people successful with everything they do? It’s like they have superhuman powers.
Is it possible to learn how to be successful? Can you take actions and adopt habits that ensure success with everything that you do, or is being successful something that’s reserved for a select few through DNA?
Some people seem to have it all; great relationships, love, friendship, money and success in every venture they go into. So what makes these people different?
This post is very much open to discussion because I’m only going to present my personal opinion and the opinions of others that have made an impact on me about this subject.
Success Secret #1 – Your Childhood
I personally believe that your childhood and early experiences play a huge role in whether you will be successful in your life or not.
The mere process of your birth could even be the deciding factor of what kind of a person you’ll become. I can’t think of any specific examples, but I remember reading about a person who succeeded despite all odds against him. He was born 1 month before he was due and was in critical condition. Doctors were afraid he wouldn’t make it, but he did. He fought and he survived. And for the rest of his life, he fought through all struggles and succeeded.
Whether this is true or not isn’t important. I can believe that something like your birth (even though you don’t remember it at all) can greatly influence the strength of your will and character for the rest of your life.
After your birth you are subject to all sorts of external influences, your parents being the biggest influence in your younger years.
Were you given everything you wanted or did you have to work for it? Were you told that you’ll never be anything or were you encouraged to always follow your dreams and believe in yourself?
You may be wondering why I brought up the topic of your childhood. While it may play a very big part in whether you are successful or not, you have zero control over your childhood, and you’re unable to change it.
The reason why I brought up the topic is simple. Even though you cannot change the past or your childhood, by understanding how you grew up and by reflecting on your early experiences, you may be able to make the necessary changes in your life so that you will be more successful.
For example, if you were always passive and got what you wanted without really having to work for it, the reason why you’re not successful now may simply be because you don’t work hard enough and you give up when you don’t get what you want.
You have no control over the past, but you have the power to change your future through the actions you take from today onwards.
Success Secret #2 – Believe In Yourself
I’ve noticed that successful people have an unwavering belief in themselves.
To others this belief may seem like foolish stubbornness but I think that belief in oneself is a crucial ingredient in the recipe of success.
You have to know with every fiber of your body that you’re going to be successful. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, how many times you have to try or how many times you fail. With 100% belief that you’re going to be successful, it’s just a matter of time and persistence before you achieve the success that you know you’re going to get.
Life has a tendency to throw some big and bad obstacles our way which can easily cause us to lose faith in pretty much everything we believe in. I say it’s okay to lose faith in many things, but never lose faith in yourself. Always keep believing in yourself and in the fact that you’ll get what you focus your mind on. When you have this mindset, as I mentioned earlier, it’s just a matter of time before you achieve the success you know you’re going to get.
That brings me to success factor number 3: persistence.
Success Secret #3 – Never Give Up
Most (if not all) successful people have faced more obstacles and failure then you can even imagine.
Did you know that the man who started Coca Cola, the now multi billion dollar company, had 17 failed business ideas to his name? He failed 17 times with different business ideas before he succeeded, but he kept believing in himself and he never gave up.
Take any professional athlete. How many countless hours, days, weeks and months of training do you think they’ve put in before they’re able to perform the way they do?
If you want to be successful, you have to have unlimited persistence.
You have to see failure as a learning experience that allows you to move closer to success rather than proof of your incompetency.
You may need to change your approach or method you’re using to obtain success, but you should never give up on your end goal of success.
Will Smith has a great attitude towards achieving success and never giving up. Here’s one of my favorite quotes by him:
“The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is that I’m not afraid to DIE on a treadmill. You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, but if we get on a treadmill together, there are two things:
1- You’re getting off first OR 2- I’m gonna DIE. It’s really that simple”
Success Secret #4 – Visualize Your Goals Daily
The older I become and the more I learn about life, the more I realize that you’re able to attract things into your life.
Yes, I’m talking about what people call ‘The Law of Attraction’. I won’t start talking about all sorts of magic methods or secret hanky-panky formulas that allow you to get the life you desire by merely thinking about it. Not at all.
I’ve noticed that the thoughts you think and send out and the way in which you interact with others allows you to see opportunities that will bring you closer to your goals and desires in life.
I’ve read and heard stories from successful people who had the image of their success in their minds for years before they achieved it. They knew exactly what they wanted and how they were going to get it, it was just a matter of time and hard work before they got it.
Some people even attribute their success to meditating daily and focusing all their energy on visualizing their goals every day for 10 or 15 minutes. They would sit in a quiet place free of distractions and imagine their success (whether that be a Ferarri and big mansion or the woman of their dreams).
This is not just some theory that I’ve come up with, it’s actually been proven in a book by Napoleon Hill, called Think and Grow Rich (Free download). This book is a study of the mindsets, attitudes and methods of 500 incredibly successful people and how they got to where they are.
Visualizing your goals on a daily basis is another crucial ingredient in the recipe of success. I’d recommend putting up pictures or posters of the goals you wish to achieve. Put these pictures in a place where you’ll see them when you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed at night.
Success Secret #5 – Live Below Your Means
In order to make progress towards your success you’ll often need to make sacrifices.
I’m not talking about sacrificing a goat or some other crazy ritual, I’m talking about sacrificing your immediate desires of instant results.
I know you want results NOW. You want your trophies, your money, your house, your partner, your friends. And you’d like to have it all right now.
But you can’t have it now, because you have to earn it first.
If you try to have your results before you earn them, you’re going to put yourself in such a position that it’s almost impossible for you to be successful.
For example, let’s say you want to enjoy the lifestyle of a millionaire but you don’t yet have the means to do so. You decide to ignore the principle of delayed gratification (sacrificing immediate short term pleasure for long term pleasure) and you take out loans with as many bank accounts as possible.
You buy the car you’ve always wanted, you buy the apartment of your dreams and you buy every possible gadget you want. You’re living the lifestyle of a millionaire, but at the cost of being so in debt that it’s almost impossible to pay it off and make enough money to be a real millionaire so you can enjoy what you have.
Warren Buffet, one of the world’s wealthiest men, built a fortune from scratch by always living below his means. He always spent far less than he had or earned, and this allowed him to save money that he could invest in his ideas. This (and luck or unique intelligence) helped him become as successful as he is today.
Don’t spend what you don’t have. In fact, spend less than what you have and then you’ll be able to save enough to invest into business ideas that will eventually allow you to really have the success you desire.
Success Secret #6 – Constructive Criticism
Another thing that I’ve noticed about successful people is that they’re very critical of themselves.
They constantly analyze their own methods, progress, actions etc. to see if there’s room for improvement. Successful people are always open to the opinions of others (they listen to the opinions of others but only follow these opinions if they agree with them).
It’s important that I add the fact that although successful people are very critical of themselves and their actions, this criticism is constructive criticism.
Successful people are critical of themselves and their actions to be able to improve. This means that any criticism is backed up with facts and room for improvement. Successful people don’t tear themselves down or fill themselves with negativity.
In order to be successful you must be critical of yourself, your actions and the actions of others, but you must be constructively critical. Don’t be negative, hateful or destructive. Only be critical to be able to improve.
Success Secret #7 – Manage Your Work, Don’t Do It
You’ll hardly ever hear of successful people who do the grunt work in their business.
It’s true that most successful people started out doing all the small things and physical labor in their business, and they can do pretty much every task in their business. However, successful people know that the way to be successful is to take a management position towards their work and have other people do all the small and time-consuming things.
If you are the head of your business, then your ideas and creativity is the most valuable thing. Be critical of your entire work-chain, jump in where you have to in order to make things run smoothly, but overall, take a management position. Oversee everything and make sure that everything is as it needs to be without spending your valuable time and energy on small tasks.
For example, I could spend hours building links to my blog to get better rankings in search engines (which will result in more visitors to my site), or I could pay someone to do it for me and spend my time writing quality articles (which is what will result in people subscribing to my site and which will allow me to build a relationship with them and eventually make more profit).
Where you can, spend your time doing what you do best and outsource the rest.
These will both contribute greatly to the amount of success you’ll achieve in life.