Success is something that everyone desires in life. However, the path to success is rarely easy, and only a few people achieve it.
The idea of success is highly subjective and can vary from each person. What you may consider a success may not be the same for another.
Success may be defined by achieving financial wealth or reaching a certain material comfort for some. For others, success may be about achieving a specific career level or having a huge impact on society. Others consider success in the simplest form, like being healthy and having positive relationships and connections with people they love.
Whatever your definition of success, there are universal principles that can help you achieve your goals and aspirations. Success is not a matter of luck or innate talent but rather a result of specific actions and habits that can be learned and developed over time, which anyone can do regardless of their circumstances.
Establish clear goals
Having clear and specific goals will give you direction where you can put all your efforts, money, time, and energy into it. It's about creating a plan of action and achieving your objectives.
To establish clear goals, you have to write them down, and they have to be S.M.A.R.T – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Your goals should be aligned with your priorities and have a clear timeline. This framework helps you create practical plans that are more likely to be achieved.
According to a study by Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University, people who write down their goals are 42% more likely to achieve them. Additionally, those who share their goals with a friend are 78% more likely to succeed in their personal goals.
However, you should also try not to take too many goals all at once and risk becoming overwhelmed or spreading yourself too thin. Business magnate and brilliant investor Warren Buffet developed the 5/25 rule of decision-making and goal-setting technique to force himself to focus on the most critical goals and avoid getting distracted by less important tasks.
It is about listing 25 things you want to do in life and picking only the 5 most significant things that would make a significant difference in your life, and removing the other 20 on the list.
It may seem counterintuitive since we usually associate productivity with doing more things quickly and efficiently. However, focusing on fewer tasks can be more effective, especially since our brains tend to perform better when concentrating on one thing at a time.
Check out Ultiself's Definitive Guide to Goal Setting.
Consistency is a crucial factor in achieving success in any endeavor. It is all about putting in the necessary work day in and day out, even when you don't feel like it. The consistent effort helps you build momentum and achieve small wins, which, over time, accumulate to produce significant results.
Whether in business, sports, music, or arts, research has shown that consistent practice or training is more crucial than raw talent in determining success. This indicates that you can outwork anyone if you just put in the time– consistently.
In his book, "Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else," author and journalist Geoff Colvin argue that focus on deliberate practice, willingness to work hard and consistency despite difficult situations are what separate elite athletes and top musicians from the crowd.
To train yourself to become consistent, it is vital to create a daily routine that aligns with your goals and find ways to hold yourself accountable. For example, you could work with a coach, find an accountability partner, use an app, or join a group that shares the same goals. By doing so, you can keep yourself motivated and focused.
Remember that consistency is built upon habits and routines. You can only train yourself to become consistent by showing up and doing the same thing that would drive you forward over and over.
Cultivate growth mindset
A growth mindset is about believing that your abilities and intelligence can be developed through hard work, dedication, and willingness to adapt and learn. People with a growth mindset tend to be more resilient, persistent, and motivated to overcome challenges and setbacks because they see opportunities to improve rather than their limitations.
To cultivate a growth mindset, you need to embrace learning as a lifelong journey. This means being open to new ideas, experiences, and feedback and actively seeking opportunities to learn and develop.
Practicing self-awareness is a critical part of cultivating a growth mindset. By becoming more self-aware, you can identify your strengths and weaknesses, gain insight into your habits and behaviors, and make more informed decisions.
According to a study published by the Journal of Human Resources and Leadership, a high level of self-awareness is a defining factor for effective leadership and success in a career. This is because people with high levels of self-awareness can find direction and purpose in what they do and can make an impact on others.
The sooner you realize that failure is part of the success process, the better equipped you will be to handle challenges and learn from them. Nobody becomes a master of their craft overnight, everybody sucks at some point in their lives, and everyone will encounter failure.
Failure can be a difficult and discouraging experience; nobody becomes a master of their craft overnight, everybody sucks at some point, and everyone will encounter failure. Some of the most successful people in the world have experienced failure numerous times before achieving their goals.
Failures are not reflections of your worth or potential. Instead, think of them as stepping stones rather than stumbling blocks.
In conclusion, success is a journey, not a destination, and certain fundamental principles can help us achieve our goals and live fulfilling lives. The four keys to success - establishing clear goals, being consistent, cultivating a growth mindset, and embracing failure - are essential components that help us navigate the challenges and obstacles we may encounter along the way.
- Tanui, J. et al. (2018). The Relationship Between Self-Awareness and Effective Leadership. Journal of Human Resource and Leadership. ISSN 2519-9099
- Matthews, Gail, "The Impact of Commitment, Accountability, and Written Goals on Goal Achievement" (2007). Psychology | Faculty Presentations. 3.
- K. Anders Ericsson & M. Jerad. (2012). The Expert Performance Approach and deliberate Practice.
- Colvin, G. (2010). Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else
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