Success is a Few Steps Away
I don’t think that I have ever heard someone say, “I want to be a mediocre student.” “I hope my investments perform lower than market standards this quarter.” Or “I want to go up to the plate and strike out.” No, people want to be a leader in their industry, see positive returns on their investments, have thriving relationships, and I believe all of us want to hit a homerun every time we step up to the plate. Why? We all have a desire to achieve and accomplish. In fact, I believe we like to be victorious. We enjoy that sense of achievement, that feeling we get from overcoming a challenge, no matter how big or small. Who doesn’t like crossing a finish line after training every day for 6 months, or receiving a diploma after studying hard for 4+ years?
We all want to be successful at something. I believe in order to achieve success we have to know what success looks like for us as individuals. We have to look at ourselves and define what success means to us because there are a lot of standards out there. Some believe success is making six-figures, earning a college degree, or starting a family. But what does success look like for you? How would you define success for your own life? If we are going to achieve any type of success, we have to understand that success starts with us.
Realize. How do you want to be remembered? Looking at the big picture helps us reverse engineer our daily decisions and actions so we can realize our vision.
- Who am I as a person?
- What am I good at?
- What do I enjoy doing?
- What am I passionate about?
I usually do this exercise with elementary school students, but I think asking ourselves these questions can be validating for people of all ages. I believe if nothing else, it gives us a better picture of ourselves. Furthermore, it then begs the question of “Where am I going?” Identifying who you are and where you want to go allows you to start developing goals and things you want to change. We all need something to run at, a destination to journey to. Whatever goal you may have, write it down.
- What is it going to take for me to reach my goal?
- What is my starting point? What am I measuring my results against?
- What is your plan of action? We’ve often heard that “If there is no plan you plan to fail.” Without a destination in mind and a plan of how you will get there, you end up walking around aimlessly.
If you want to get fit, you have to set specific goals, like losing 10 pounds by cutting sugar out of your diet and going to the gym five days a week. By doing research and setting specific goals, you can start seeing wins that motivate you to keep going. Start small; some things can seem so insurmountable that they become overwhelming and cause us to freeze in our tracks. Once we freeze up, our ideas and dreams just sit on paper.
React. We know what we’re capable of. We know where we want to go and what it’s going to take to get us there. Set small, focused intentional goals that will build up to the bigger goal, and celebrate your small successes along the way.
But what can you do today to get to where you want to be? One of the biggest things that I would encourage here is to have a support system. Who are the people in your corner that are cheering you on? Family, friends, teachers, mentors…it’s important to have these people in your life. I would also say that with these support systems, you want to find people, whether directly or indirectly, that have achieved success in the area that you are looking to achieve. They can serve as examples of what to model. They can be there for encouragement when things get difficult. But seek out support.
How can you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How can you run a marathon? One step at a time. Achieving goals is a process, but one in which learning, growth, and ingredients for future success are developed. Go out and do some great things!
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