What does it take to reach success? Is there a secret to getting there that only some people have figured out? Many of us wonder if we have the special stuff to do what it takes to reach success. You are capable of success, however you define it. It doesn't take a special talent or certain genes. You don't need a specific personality or the right the smile.
Those things may help you get to success, but only if you are doing these 5 habits. These are what can get you to the top of your game, and crushing goals. These habits are hard work, passion, being grateful for the journey, sticking with it and practice. I will discuss each of these practices in more detail providing actionable steps to help you implement them more effectively in your life.
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1. Hard Work
Hard work is a no brainer. Duh. You are going to have to put in the time and energy to climb mountains and make moves. It isn't going to be cake walk. So put on your work gloves and your thinking cap because this shit that you are going to do, requires all of you to get there.
But how are you going to work hard without burnout? What does working hard even look like? I mean most of the time when I picture working hard it means long hours and lots of coffee. But working smart is a different beast. We want to work smart and work hard at working smart, which still might include some very long days and lots of coffee, but the goal would be a whole lot more productivity.
So work smarter and work harder. How? Here are some actionable steps to take that will actually help you work smarter, using your time to the best of your ability. You will get more productivity from doing these actions.
Protect the Time When You Do Your Best Work
Most of us have figured out that we work best in the morning, afternoon, right after we have breakfast, right after a workout, or any other special time. If you haven't figured out those golden hours of productivity, start paying attention to when you are most often able to get into the groove and smash out what you need to. Use this time to your benefit and don't start sacrificing it for anyone or anything. There will be tempting offers to fill those time slots, but you should own them, schedule them for yourself, and don't break those appointments.
It may seem odd and a bit like a childish activity at first, but hear me out. When you time yourself and your activities you are more aware of how much time you are actually spending on an activity. You then can use that time marker as a means to schedule activities and know when you are getting distracted or not fully focused on completing those tasks. Timing yourself helps use the time you have most effectively.
If you know that it takes you 2 hours to write a report, you won't schedule 4 hours in your day to spend on that. Anyone can spend more than the necessary amount of time on a task. If I end up scheduling 4 hour to write a report, I will use those 4 hours to write the report. If I know it can get done in 2, now I will be completely focused for that time. I know what I am capable of in that time and I will expect that kind of productivity from myself.
Time theming is keeping to a theme for a month, week, or day, so that the choices you have to make are limited. Mostly everything you are doing is dictated by the theme for that time period. This limits decision fatigue when there are multiple different priorities pulling you in different directions. When you choose your theme you limit what decisions have to be made and allow yourself to actually get compounded work done on specific areas.
Time theming can also help with work-life balance. If you have a significant other or spouse you can make Friday night date night. It will always be in the calendar and you know that you are getting in quality time at least once a week. You can also do this for yourself, working out, learning, and time with friends. This eliminates having to plan, schedule and reschedule these events that happen on a consistent basis. This relieves you from having to make any new decisions every week, or month, when the decision has already been made.
Are you excited and invigorated by what you are taking on? Does it ignite something in you? It sure as hell better. You need to have passion for whatever it is you are about to take on, or continue to take on. Success rarely happens quickly or easily. There are bound to be some challenges that make you question why you are doing this, and if you come up with an answer that doesn't have passion and heart behind it, you are more than likely going to walk away from it.
So you have got to, GOT TO know why you are doing this. You need to be able to articulate it at least to yourself, and know the feelings that you are chasing after. Money is rarely enough to keep us moving forward through strenuous challenges, so don't believe that you are passionate about money. It has to be more than that. Deeper.
Sometimes when you are in the mix of it all you loose hold of that passion. So, in order to hold on to it through the long haul recognize it, acknowledge it, write it down and then plan to act on it. You may think it is easy to do now, but when climbing to success you may be put in different roles that are not centered around your passion. So you have to make time for it.
If you love meeting with clients, meet with clients once a month, because there may come a time when you barely speak to client because of the demands of other responsibilities. If you are a baker and own your own bakery, and love to bake and experiment, know that the business side could easily become all consuming and baking could turn into a annoyance that you loose your passion for. Make time once a month to experiment and bake regardless of what orders are in or not.
You have to nurture and maintain the passion, so you don't end up at success wondering why you wanted this in the first place.
3. Grateful on the Journey
Gratitude on the road to success is a game changer for you. There will be valleys and peaks on the journey. You are going to learn and sometimes in the most abrupt and brutal of fashions. When you able to appreciate what you are able to experience you are able to continually see opportunity and potential around you. Know that gratitude is a choice, a practice, and an attitude.
What Can Gratitude do For you
There will be anxiety and stress on your journey. Gratitude can lessen the anxiety, give you more energy and increase your giving. When you are able to support those around you, you will also be supported. Gratitude can lead to greater happiness and isn't that the whole point. You want to enjoy the journey to wherever you are headed.
3 Ways to Practice Gratitude
There are many ways to practice gratitude, here are just a few. Start a gratitude journal. It doesn't have to take more that 15 minutes a day, and you can choose to do it three times a week and still feel the affects.
Write "thank you" letters. When you have to take the time to think about who and what you appreciate, and then write it out with a thank you card you are spending time on gratitude. Another one that goes along with this is to verbalize you appreciation. Writing out "thank you" cards can seem like a big endeavor when you don't even have any thank you card laying around. But, you can always communicate your appreciation in other ways, like email, text, and face to face.
The last one is to set an intention in the morning to be grateful. When you start the day telling yourself how you want it to go it is a lot easier to follow through with. No matter what comes my way today I will chose to see the opportunity, appreciate the lessons, and love myself through it all.
4. Sticking with it
It is probably already clear that getting to your success will have it challenges and that you will have to overcome those challenges. You are going to need to have resilience and persistence to stick with it. It is waking up and possibly failing, day after day, to get to where you want to be. I cannot tell you that it will be easy, quick, or painless. But I can tell you that you sticking with it will get you there. As the old saying goes, if you aren't even in the game then you have zero chance of winning.
Sticking with it can be hard so here are some ways to help you keep grinding at it, day after day. You will want to build a tribe to help you with accountability. Also, maintaining perspective on your situation and not comparing to others will help with the downs. You will need to keep evaluating what you are doing to see if changes can or need to be made. But, at the end of the day you have to stick with it and keep going to see progress.
Build a Tribe
You need a community, even if your community is that of 2 people, including yourself. Bouncing ideas off someone, talking through struggles, and having someone to keep you accountable can make a world of difference. You are not alone in your journey to success. Don't isolate yourself and think that you are the only one experiencing the ups and downs. Its not true and won't help you in the long haul.
Find yourself a friend, or mentor who knows what you are trying to do and understands, because they have walked it out. Decide that you will reach out and talk on a regular basis. Schedule it and commit to it. It might seem like an annoyance or burden when you are swamped, but those conversations could lead to light bulbs going off and a feeling of a lighter load.
Your journey is YOURS and no one else's and so your ups and downs will be different than others. There will be things that you may have to learn over and over again before you get it, while others it may take only one time. That is fine. You are not competing against them in life. You are competing against yourself, to do better, and be better.
Assess and Evaluate
If you look at your experiences and don't like what you see, decide that it is time for a change. You will have to reflect and reevaluate and possibly revamp your whole plan. Totally fine. Shit happens, and I can attest to having to do that even when you have been grinding at something for years. Stick with it and you will get there.
You have a craft that you are wanting to share with others. You will have to continue to perfect that craft and learn other skills to be successful with it. So enjoy the opportunities to learn and continue to work on your skills. To be better and to climb higher you will have to continually practice what you are doing.
Grow your skills and learn new ways of practicing them. One consistent thing through everyones success is that you will need to learn. So be purposeful with it and proactive in your practices.
Consistent dedication to your growth and learning will lead to great success. Consistency doesn't mean daily, and will look different for every person. But, set a goal of how and what you will learn. Read a book every month, listen to a weekly podcast, or take a course every quarter. However you choose to expand your growth is your choice, but stick with it and keep practicing and learning.
Push Yourself to Grow
Push your boundaries and comfort zone with your growth. You may surprise yourself in what you enjoy, and already have skills for. Getting to success will require pushing yourself. Don't let your past stop you from growing and expanding your horizons. Learning can lead you to bigger dreams.
Success is attainable for each us. All you have to do is to start with what you want and take one step at a time towards it. Yes, hard work can be scary and daunting to think about, but good thing you have passion for what you are doing. While you are enjoying your journey you will consistently learn and evaluate your next steps. You will stick with it and continue to persevere. You are a bad ass. You want this. You got this. Go get it!