Success comes in many shapes and sizes. And it can come at you from many different directions. If you are not looking for it, success can pass you by -- several times. You must be on the lookout for success’ cousin, opportunity; it is the gateway to success. Often times, opportunity and success will be disguised so cleverly you will actually be tricked into thinking it is a problem. WARNING: Although it may seem like a million miles away, success is closer than you think.
In order to work towards success, first you have to understand some of the common principles of success. Align yourself with these principles, carry them in your back pocket and soak in the words, as they will help carry you to the winner’s circle.
When I was first starting out in the business world my dad said to me something he had used as a mantra his entire career. The quote is from Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right.” The most common misconception is success is only for the successful. Wrong. Anyone can be successful, even people who have failed many times. But one word separates you from success. Believe.
1. Believe. You can change the world.
No matter what you want to accomplish in life, even if it has never been done before, you can do it. You have the ability to change the world. But you first have to start with you. Create within you the changes you wish to see. Small acts of kindness like writing a handwritten thank you note can have wide sweeping implications. Kindness, generosity, love and forgiveness are extremely contagious and are a great start on the road to success. Once you see that a simple act of kindness can spread like wildfire, it is just a matter of time before you will believe that your actions will have a ripple effect on this world. You can change the world.
2. Believe. Hard work and determination trump education and talent.
Don’t expect to get a reward unless you are willing to put in the effort. There are no shortcuts and although it may appear that someone else has arrived at success quickly, it will most likely not be the case, but instead, years of hard work, including practice, drive, motivation and persistence in the dark, followed by favorable results in the spotlight. Also, keep in mind, talent and education are not essential ingredients in the recipe for success. I’d much rather have a hard working, determined employee than an employee that is highly educated but not willing to put in the effort. A measure of success is based upon your work ethic and grit. Success finds those that work hard.
3. Believe. If you are not passionate about what you are doing, STOP doing it.
Without passion, most people will quit when the work gets tough. Passion wakes you up early, keeps you up late and pushes you when you are exhausted. Passion moves you forward when you are not making any money and you have no idea when it’s going to pay off. Passion gives you hope for the future when you have nothing more than a wish and prayer. Passion will manifest itself as enthusiasm and will help push you forward when you are not seeing immediate results from your hard work. A note about passion: If you are not passionate about what you are doing in your career, you are probably just going through the motions, waiting for the weekends to arrive, retirement day to hurry up and get here and for life to get better. Success will not come to you, go get it. But more importantly, stop wishing your life away.
4. Believe. A positive attitude will carry you through every adversity.
You are 100% in control of your attitude. Given the choice, and we all have a choice, a positive attitude is the only way to go. Let’s look at a couple facts. Fact: People with a positive attitude are happier. Fact: A positive attitude will allow you to be more productive, efficient and healthy. Tons of research has proven a direct relationship between a positive attitude and better life. Anyway, who wants to hang out with a negative person? If you are negative about your life, your job and your outlook, you are greatly diminishing your ability to have positive relationships. Fix your attitude and your chances for success will be increased.
5. Believe. Dream big, set goals and get busy. Take action now.
Without a goal you have no idea where life is taking you. Stay in control. If goal setting is “not your thing,” I get it. It’s not my thing either. But what you need to understand is that it doesn’t have to be your thing. Do it anyway. Set some short term goals to start. Think about what you want to accomplish in the upcoming week, the next 30 days or in the next few months. If that still provides a challenge for you, try a different approach. Write down what you would do with your life if you could not fail. The problem many of us face is that we really think we have plenty of time. Your time is limited, act like it is running out. Have a sense of urgency, take action now, without delay.
Over the past two years, more so than any other part of my career these last 29 years, I have focused very hard on these 5 success principles. When I didn’t think my message was being heard, I have landed amazing opportunities with Huffington Post, my book deal with Motivational Press, my Nice Guys Podcast and keynoting my Nice Guy message. There are people far smarter and much more talented than I am but I will continue to put in my 80 to 100 hour weeks because I believe my Nice Guy message is right. At times I have grown tired, but my passion for writing and speaking have pushed me through. I love what I am doing. Thanks to an amazing support network, tireless cheerleaders and a positive attitude, I find victories in everything I am doing. And finally, I have set my sights on many goals including writing a book, speaking all over the country and delivering my message to anyone that will listen. Looking back, it is easy for me to see that without following the 5 success principles, all of what I have accomplished in the last 24 months would not have come to fruition. As I have believed in myself, you should believe in yourself. Believe.