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Have you ever wanted something so bad that it consumed your every thought? Perhaps you have spent endless nights fretting over your next step towards your goal? If you have, then chances are you already hold one of the most important keys to being successful. However, many people instead find themselves in this position instead:
Content. Complacent. Basically... They are just okay. This is by far the most dangerous mindset to linger in for too long when it comes to making your dreams come true.
A tough pill to swallow? Success is a lot of damn hard work.
Even tougher? It will not happen over night, and it is work that doesn't ever truly stop. There is no end result where you are suddenly going to be happy for the rest of your living life doing just as you are doing then.
Happiness and success are not very different from each other. Both are items of peoples desires down to the very core. Of course, what makes people happy and what makes them successful are going to be different according to each individual.
So what exactly needs to be done to achieve success, particularly if it is different between different people? Despite the differences between people, there are ways to quantify the steps that are made by successful people.
1. Discover what motivates you.
As mentioned earlier, complacency is the number one killer of successful action. No one is going to bust their back for something they do not truly care about. Step one can be thought about in many ways, as the motive can be directly related with certain actions or indirectly related. Find a way to discover steps towards your goal of something that truly motivates you, and know why it motivates you.
For example, it is easy to be into a certain hobby for a few weeks and then it is long forgotten before you know it. Motivation often works the same way. To destroy this obstacle, the person must continuously ask themselves, maybe even daily, why they want to do what they are doing. Additionally, what else can be done to get towards your goal? The steps that you take as you move day to day are subject to change.
The point of discovering your motivation is to see what keeps you moving. Find your niche and you are guaranteed to run with it. If you continue to grow and improve you will—eventually—reach success.
2. Accept and expect fall backs.
This is the other top predator of success. This is also far more painful than contentedness. Rather than just being "okay" and not making improvements, failure is something that stings. It is when you put your heart and soul into something and it simply does not work.
A lot of people will quit their progress completely when they reach a point of failure.
Here's the thing... All successful people have failed. Time and time again. What separates the successful is that they get up and they keep trying. So long as you don't reach a roadblock and decide to turn around or sit still, your determination will pay off.
A great example is talk-show host Oprah Winfrey. After launching 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' she has grossed as the worlds richest woman and is recognized nearly everywhere. However, she did not start that way. Like a true rag to riches story, she was fired from her first news anchor job on daytime news. Oprah was told she was far too emotional and not good for television.
Look where she is now. She did not see her failure as a hint she was making the wrong choice. She knew what motivated her, and she did not give up. Her reward was fame and riches.
Another example references Sam Ovens on Forbes. He made the cover before he was 30-years-old. Sam admits that when he first started his own business, everything was a mess and he had no idea he would reach true success. He claimed the financial side of his business in its beginning was falling apart, but he also wasn't taking care of himself. "People don't have business problems, they have personal problems that reflect in their business," as said by Sam himself.
Here is something to keep in mind; the pain of failure can be an awesome force if you choose to use it that way. Use it to prove to yourself and others around you that you cannot be defeated.
3. Measure your success (and repeat what works).
Measuring your success is just as important as knowing what motivates you and moving past obstacles. If you cannot measure your progress, how do you know if you truly made any? Measuring your success requires getting specific and determining quantifiable units.
So what does that mean, exactly? It doesn't mean it has to be a plan put on paper (although you certainly could, if it helps you). It means that you need to find a way to put numbers to your drive. Do not say "I would like to become a better business partner." Instead say,
"I would like to become a better business partner by arranging a meeting once a month to go over..."
or, "I would like to become a better business partner by starting a networking club at work."
Of course, being there are all different kinds of ways to seek success, these statements can vary based on the individual person. Another example,
"I would like to become a better musician by playing at least two public shows a month."
This measure can grow, and when you see success in your steps, REPEAT THEM!
"I would like to become a better musician so I can quit my 9-5 job."
This article itself is a way to turn an idea into viable steps to follow. Rather than simply endlessly writing on my experiences of success in myself or in others, it is broken down into digestible steps.
As soon as you find ways to quantify your success, it becomes easier to increase your progress, getting you CLOSER to your goal and FASTER.
4. Connect with others.
I believe this is the most important step of success. Of course, you do not necessarily NEED others to make progress or find success. However, with no doubt in my mind, connections will help to accelerate or multiply your success.
Where do you start and who do you start with? It doesn't truly matter, but of course you could be strategic in who you connect with. For example, step three includes finding measurable ways to keep track of your progress. You could determine people who have knowledge of the business or place you would like to be, and make sure you regularly determine new candidates and simply talk to them!
The worst that can happen is your connection doesn't have an immediate reflection on your success. Connect with someone via Facebook or LinkedIn, or ask to meet up for coffee sometime. Share your ideas with them, ask for advice. People love to talk, it is rare to reach out to someone seeking counsel to be turned away.
There is an unbelievable amount of power that comes with being brave enough to step outside your comfort zone and network with others. At the very least, it gets your name out there which never hurts. At best, you will make a good connection with the right person and they will help you to achieve your goals—in business or in life.