Have you ever thought, it doesn't seem fair, some people have all the luck?
Well, now there's something you can do about it.
I've been busy reading and researching what makes the difference between those who get by and those who get on.
These are the 7 powerful secrets that will make you more successful — the default attitudes and behaviours of people who achieve lasting success.
Let's get to it…
1. Learn To Say No
If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.
Learning how to say no doesn't just make you a better decision-maker. It can move you faster toward your goals.
- Choose how you will use the time available — it's all the time you have.
- Decide what you will spend your energy on — don't waste it where it isn't needed.
- Give your attention to what will drive things forward.
If you learn how to stand up for what you believe in, by turning away from distractions, you will earn respect. People always buy into the person before buying into the vision.
Successful people engage others in their goals. They understand the power of a shared vision, knowing that it can help to dramatically align effort behind their plan.
But successful people are also ruthless when it comes to making choices, particularly about what they focus on.
Discover your secret power and learn to say no. You'll be more successful if you do.
2. Have A Clear Vision
If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re never going to get there.
Without an aiming point, your life will be… well, aimless.
Richard R Covey
" If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just takes us to the wrong place faster ."
Here’s one way to help clarify what you’re looking for.
For one month buy yourself a copy of newspapers and magazines which advertise jobs. For example, in the UK the Guardian newspaper has different sections covering areas such as Media, Education and so on.
Tear out ads or articles that catch your eye. It doesn’t matter how much they pay, or whether you’re qualified or not. Just cut them out and dump them in a folder. Try not to evaluate.
At the end of the month, tip them all out on the table. You’ll get a snapshot of everything you're interested in.
These are great potential directions to explore.
Following your passion is a great way to get the most out of life.
You are far more likely to be successful if you are doing something you believe in.
If you can find something that you are genuinely passionate about, you improve your chances of standing out from the crowd.
3. Positive Self-Talk
Listen to your inner voice.
If you pay attention, you’ll notice if it can often sound critical. That’s something to watch because what you repeatedly tell yourself is what you will eventually believe.
I use an app called Exist to capture data about my life. It is fascinating to look for correlations between, for example, my mood and how busy I’ve been (as measured by, for instance, by the number of emails I’ve received).
I can also tell you there’s a weird link between how many times I get a Twitter mention and the number of tasks I complete each day.
There’s something compelling about feedback based on hard numbers.
I use Exist to help overcome my self-critical tendency. I tag my day with a ranking score based on how constructive my internal voice has been. 1 is very negative, and 7 is outstandingly positive.
Train yourself to be positive about yourself, and sooner or later you’ll turn into a more positive person. Then you'll be far more likely to be on the receiving end of any good fortune that comes your way.
4. Self-Discipline Is Freedom
Nothing worth having is easy to obtain.
Success, however you define it will take time and effort on your part to achieve. The path you follow is the one that you’ll find — no one else will have done it just like you.
It can be short, or it can be long — the choice is yours.
" The best SEALs I worked with were invariably the most disciplined. They woke up early, they worked out everyday. They studied tactics and technology. They practiced their craft. Some of them even went out on the town, drank, and stayed out until the early hours of the morning. But they still woke up early and maintained discipline at every level."
One thing is for sure. If you don’t stick at it, through the tough times as well as the best times, you’ll never get there.
Although it sounds counter-intuitive, if you stick rigidly to your plan you will realise your goal more quickly.
It’s like buying a house.
If you stick to your saving plan, the money will build up month by month. Gradually a little turns into a lot and then you will be free of debt.
Develop self-discipline, and you amplify all your efforts by ensuring you consistently take action towards your goal.
5. Be Grateful Every Day
The field of Positive Psychology has reframed success. In the past, the best advice was to work hard and expect that over time all your efforts will inevitably pay off.
You’ll be happy once you’ve won the promotion you’re looking for or got the raise that your efforts justify.
Research shows however that while there’s nothing wrong with working hard, people are more successful if they develop a growth mindset. This is a way of thinking which is on the lookout for opportunities, not problems.
People with a growth mindset lead happier, more fulfilled lives.
What’s more, it is now clear that happiness drives success not the other way round. Constantly scanning the world for opportunities, primes you to seize one when it comes.
An excellent way to increase your happiness and promote an opportunity bias in your thinking is to keep a gratitude diary.
I keep mine in Day One and write down three things I'm grateful for every day.
It is a simple, but potent technique.
6. Take Action
Thinking about what you need to do to make something happen, isn't the same as taking action. Thinking about it will get you no closer to your goal.
Sometimes the one thing holding you back is your unwillingness to take the first step.
Here's an exercise you can do to get past your prevarication.
- Write down your goal.
- Make it as vivid and compelling as possible, using all the senses and lots of adjectives.
- Now spend ten minutes jotting down all the possible actions you could take to move even one small step towards that goal.
- I do this using MindNode, but a scrap of paper works just as well. Next decide if there's anything you can do now, even if it seems trivial.
- Then do it.
- I put all my actions into OmniFocus and review my progress each week. It's great to see them getting checked off, one by one.
7. Build and Use Your Network
Become an expert at networking. Contact and meet people, shake their hands, and exchange contact information.
Invest in your network, and you will find that people will take an interest in you and want to help. If people don't know who you are, or don't know how to reach you, they can't help.
Here are five steps you can take to grow your network.
- Connect with people you already know. Although this seems obvious, it's a step you should always take. Reach out and keep the contact fresh.
- Engage with new people. Whenever the opportunity arises, take a moment to get to know new people in your circle. Learn something about them and update your contact information.
- Circle back to people from your past. Over time you'll have left a lot of people behind. It's fun to discover how things have turned out, so send an email or make a call.
- Remind people you're around. Use social media like Twitter or LinkedIn to post updates. Maintaining visibility makes it far more likely that your network will work strategically for you.
- Update and review annually. Once a year, run through your contacts and make sure everything is up to date. Make sure you know who all your contacts are, and reconnect with anyone you haven't recently been in touch with.