12.5 Things to do to Guarantee Success
#1 Cut down on social media
As useful of a tool as social media has become, there is also a heavy negative correlation when it comes to one’s happiness and success. Spending too much time on social media, is not only time consuming and addicting but also has a negative effect on how we view our current state. Social media makes it too easy to compare our lives to others – typically a false representation of who that person is anyways.
Social media keeps us away from forming deep connections with people as we spend so much of our time with our head down that this once social ice breaker has become a hindrance on our ability to socialize confidently. Successful people know how to build connections, and communicate effectively.
(Anti) social media is great for promoting a brand, business and catching up with friends. Abusing the platforms however, will leave you sad, action less and worse off than before you went on. Use wisely. And do your best to eliminate easy access; why fight temptation when you can eliminate it.
#2 Stop Microwaving results
Anybody who has ever wanted to get in shape knows that a quick fix never lasts. Fad diets that have you lose 10 lbs in 5 days, rarely ends with, “and that weight never came back.” When we try to microwave the process, be it physically, professionally, or personally, we get microwaved results. And let’s be honest, microwaved dinners don’t produce abs.
Nothing good happens overnight, so we need to stop thinking this way. ‘Better’ takes consistency. A great ROI mind you.
Anything we can accomplish in a few weeks, is not the answer. Adopt the mindset that long lasting results that stick with you, take time. It’s a process. But this process not only creates an abundance of fulfillment but allows us to live the rest of our life with the result we desire, rather than temporarily having it.
#3 Hang around with Whales
No successful person did it on their own. Regardless of how talented a person may be, to be truly successful and happy, you need to surround yourself with other like-minded individuals. When you surround yourself with minnows – those who think small, follow the pack, lack drive and discipline – you allow yourself to be infected with their qualities and eventually get eaten by the whales of the world.
Whales on the other hand, think big, act with confidence, have drive and possess a winning mindset. It’s critical to surround yourself with bigger thinkers. It’s been studied and shown that you begin adopting the mindset of the 5 closest people to you. Pick your 5 wisely. If you’re the most driven, optimistic, motivated, forward thinker in your group of 5, look to expand. If not, you’re only going backwards.
#4 Always Take Fault
This is the best piece of advice I have ever received. Humans are experts in rationalizing why not to do something. We can find excuses for just about anything. But when it comes to success and living your best life, excuses only get in the way of what you’re trying to accomplish. Excuses won’t change the fact that you’re doing poorly professionally, financially, or physically. It’s all the same at the end – not being happy with the result.
Taking fault is the best thing you can do. Accepting that life is what YOU make of it, will keep you 100% accountable. Your success is your success, just like your failure is your failure. People either have a story of why they didn’t do something, or a result. A result is admirable, and will attract more successful, fulfilled people your way. Misery loves company, so when you have a story, expect loads of negative, excuse making friends. I’ll pass.
#5 Think Big
If you don’t believe it, who will. There is simply too much negativity surrounding the challenges of life, that it is only inevitable before we let the murmurs of “you won’t be able to accomplish your goals” to seep into our thinking. You need to think bigger and better, because if you don’t, you’ll never give yourself a fair shot to achieve greatness. We are programmed to think average and be average. Big dreams sound crazy to most people and rightfully so: Big dreams are challenging, require grit, and a focused mindset, most characteristics people are afraid to embrace. Teachers, friends, and even family will tell you all the reasons why you won’t make it, yet leave out all the reasons you can make it. Screw thinking “practical”; practical leads to mediocrity and regret.
Life doesn’t have to be lived like 99% of the world. Think bigger, and be better.
#6 Have ‘organized spontaneity’
Hey, I love spontaneous events as much as the next guy: they’re fun, exciting, and usually produce long lasting fulfillment due to their contemporaneous nature. However, not having a routine, or structure in place to make sure your “needs” (reading, exercising, healthy eating, project time etc.) get done, is a recipe for disaster. When we tell ourselves, tomorrow I’m going to go to exercise, read for an hour, meditate for 30 minutes, and brainstorm for a project, but do so without any thought of when we are going to put the time aside, the day can quickly get away from us.
I always do my best to make sure I accomplish a handful of my tasks before the day begins (especially if it’s a non-work day) that way, if spontaneous fun comes up, I can roll with the tide, without neglecting “my must-do tasks of the day”.
Have a plan of attack. You will feel more relaxed, more organized, more motivated and incredibly accomplished once you start checking off all the tasks you’ve completed before the day has even begun for most people.
#7 Adopt a growth mindset
Success requires the understanding and confidence that your goal can and will be achieved with consistency and patience. The growth mindset, which has been heavily studied by Carol Dweck in her book, ‘Mindset’, discusses this specific mentality needed to succeed in life. The growth mindset believes that no mind is fixed in its capabilities: The fixed mindset however see’s people as pre-determinedly “smart”, “athletic”, “dumb” etc.; The growth mindset believes our most basic abilities can be developed through hard work and dedication.
When you attack life with the growth mindset, no task or skill is out of reach of obtaining. This mindset highlights the idea that regardless of my current position, with-in due time, my hard work and discipline can help me achieve anything my mind sets out to complete.
The growth mindset is incremental in fighting the urge to quit when progress is going slow. Knowing that the skill will eventually be achieved is half the battle to staying with it.
#8 Be competitive
You have competition everyday because you set such high standards for yourself that you have to go out everyday and live up to that.
– Michael Jordan
I love competition, so I may be especially biased on this subject. Competition has helped me accomplish everything significant in my life so it’s time we all jump on board my friends.
The most successful people in the world embrace competition. It pushes them to achieve more; more freedom, more love, more time with their family, and more money given to charities etc. Competition to be better, is always a good thing when harnessed properly. Competition teaches us to push ourselves, work harder, and allows us to reach greater heights than we thought possible. Weakness breeds weakness, while iron sharpens iron. Competition promotes accountability; quitting on yourself is one thing, but quitting while other people are watching is far less likely.
It’s no secret that every successful person got to where they are by competing with themselves or others in some regard, just read about any professional athlete ever. Be true to your values, but always look for ways to be better. Competition is a proven ground to accomplish this.
It’s rare to find a person who works out, and consistently leaves the gym more stressed or angry. You’ve probably heard it 100 times before, but exercising is critical for our well-being in an abundance of ways. Working out, and moving the body releases feel good endorphin’s, which helps make you feel more optimistic, and energized. And let’s say I were to tell you there is a pill that makes you feel and look younger, gives you more energy, releases positive endorphin’s and gives you immediate stimulation, would you take it? I’ll cut you off there. Hell yes you would! And guess what, working out is that pill.
Not only will you feel great but you will improve your external appearance as well, which has a direct correlation with confidence and anxiety levels. The more confident, and less anxious you are, the more productive and motivated you become. That’s what we call a Michael Scott, “Win, Win, win.”
#10. Program your mind
With today’s immediate access to online videos, and news feeds from all sorts of social media platforms, it’s become too easy to program our mind with crap. It’s the reason I don’t watch the news. All you ever hear about when you watch the news, is negativity and bull shit. You don’t watch the news, and immediately after feel like living your best life. It’s because we’ve been programmed to think about the bad, rather than the good. Sure the bad in life goes on, but it’s up to us to dwell on it or program our mind with things that drive ambition and productivity. Listen to inspirational videos, read books, write your goals out in a journal – do things that aid in becoming a better, more positive person.
If you do something or watch something that leaves you feeling worse about yourself, STOP DOING IT! Simple as that.
#11 Eat well – Live better
Feeling like crap is a sure fire way to be un-successful. You have to fuel your body properly in order to get the best out of it. When you feel like shit, good luck staying motivated or energized. Your body is your most important tool to function with purpose. If it’s working well, and feeling great, you are then able to stay energized and motivated behind your goals, and desires. When we feel lethargic and drained, sticking to your goals will inevitably result in failure. Take the time to fuel your body with the proper nutrients. Eating well is one of those things that you won’t necessarily see immediately, but it’s one of those things you feel instantly.
There’s a reason I can workout twice per day, work a full time job, work for extra money on the side 5 days per week, take up a sport like kickboxing 4 days a week, set up/conduct interviews, write, read, and work on my side project, while balancing my social life: I have the energy to do so. I don’t have to convince myself to push past the drained feeling. I legitimately have the energy to go, go, and yes go; something I certainly do not take for granted.
If you want to be productive, you have to feel great.
Being willing to self-analyze is a major asset in your arsenal. Most people are afraid to do so, as the truth can be scary or are too lazy to invest the time it takes to discover solutions to your life’s problems. But those who are willing to take the time to seek advice, and are accepting of constructive criticism rarely make the same mistake twice. Huge time saver. When we are self-critical, we look for ways to improve. Rather than hoping for better, people who self-analyze their situations, create better.
Some of my most rewarding, self-discovering moments took place when I searched past the surface level and dug deep into asking myself how I could improve my situation, and create the life I wanted. It’s an investment in your time, energy and attention, but this investment always pays back in a big way.
#12.5 Possess Grit
There are a list of things it takes to be truly successful. The previous 11 are what I have found to be my most useful qualities. However, I wouldn’t feel right if I left out having grit. Grit is that “fuck you, I’m doing it anyway mindset”. It’s the thing that pushes us to embrace the suck, dig deep, look for solutions, and grind and hustle even when things don’t look their prettiest. It’s probably the hardest yet most efficient quality to possess. Grit will take you incredibly far in life. It will push you’re current version of yourself to great depths, that will in turn provide some of your most grateful experiences in life.
Cool news is, Grit can be built. Through challenging yourself, doing things that suck, and fighting back against pain, fear and the want to quit, you’re grit levels will soar, and life will repay you greatly.