It’s easy to pass on disappointments to circumstance and chance but life, especially success, is a lot more straightforward than it looks.
Too often people make excuses for poor behavior, procrastination, or shortcomings and blame it on success being a personal, individual journey.
As personal as this experience is, there are key strategies and mindsets that are universal, even necessary, to achieve greatness.
Even though success may look different for everyone, getting there is less like a haphazard, aimless journey and more like a path with trailheads for exploration.
If you’re looking to make strides in your life, there are some things that you just can’t ignore. Here are ten undeniable facts about success and how to get there:
1) You Can’t Make Everyone Happy
One of the first questions you have to ask yourself when you decide that you want to be successful in life is, “Am I capable of pissing people off?”
Because if you want to get ahead in life, that’s just something that comes with the territory.
The only way you can be loved by everyone around you is if you live passively; never rocking the boat, always agreeing to everything, and never truly standing up for yourself.
If you live your life trying to please every single side all the time, you’ll end up losing whatever integrity you had.
Caring more about the feelings of everyone around you than your own position is the biggest mistake you can make.
2) We All Have the Same 24 Hours
Think of any person who ever existed.
Someone you admire because of all their accomplishments; the status they built, the things they did, their contributions to the world.
Think about the movie stars and CEOs and athletes you may be following on social media, and think about all the things they do.
Then tell yourself: this person has exactly the same number of hours in the day that I have.
So what’s the difference?
One big difference is how they use every minute in their day.
Successful people understand that time is the most valuable asset they have.
No one has more time than anyone else, and every second that passes by is a second that’s already gone, a second you’ll never get back again.
Knowing how to manage the time throughout each day is the best way to start achieving more with each minute and hour.
So stop wasting 30 minutes here and 30 minutes there, adding up to hours of blown time per day; organize your time, and make your clockwork for you.
3) Your Goal Shouldn’t Be Money
Ask yourself — why do you want to be successful?
If the main answer is a number and dollar signs, then you’re already headed in the wrong direction.
Money is the byproduct of success, but it shouldn’t be your goal.
When you make money your goal, you’ll never truly feel accomplished.
You will just end up wanting to make more and more and more, chasing the carrot on the stick for the rest of your life.
Your goals should be meaningful — something you find passion in.
Even if your business or job has nothing to do with your passion and is just a way to earn your fortune, then you should be using that fortune to invest in what you truly want to accomplish.
4) No Journey is Ever Straight
You know the old saying: If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.
And the truth is, becoming successful isn’t easy at all.
What may look like an overnight success to outsiders could be years of practice, training, and hard work behind the scenes; you just never saw it because they were too busy putting in the hours instead of talking about it.
Then there’s the failure.
Success only comes after countless different failures, both big and small.
You have to learn how to take a punch, how to fall down and get back up.
Everyone who has accomplished their dreams only got there because every time the world knocked them down, they got back on their feet and tried again.
Don’t worry just because your journey hasn’t been easy or straightforward. Just keep going.
5) Worrying is a Waste of Time
We said earlier that time is your greatest asset. And what’s one way that most people waste loads of time?
Worrying, doubting, and living more in their head than in the real world.
So many people waste literal years of their life because something in their head is stopping them from doing what they want to do.
Maybe you want to write a novel, but you never try because you think you haven’t gone through the right writing courses.
Or maybe you want to lose weight and build muscle, but you’re worried about what other people at the gym might think about your body.
Stop caring, stop worrying.
Just do what feels right and take the steps that will help you reach your goals.
6) You’re Already Ahead of Most People If You Just Try
It can seem like a daunting task, trying to break through into a new industry or anything that puts you up against other people.
You might be thinking to yourself, “What chance do I have against thousands of other people who are trying also?”
Here’s the secret no one will tell you: as long as you try — and keep trying — you’re already ahead of a vast majority of the competition.
Sure, you’ll be up against thousands of people when you try something, and you probably won’t beat all of them.
But out of those thousands, very few will try a second time, and even fewer will try a third.
Most of them will give up.
You have to be the last one to give up.
And that has nothing to do with talent or privilege; it’s all your self-discipline and your will.
By simply wanting it more than everyone else, you give yourself the greatest advantage you can get.
7) No One Will Prioritize You Except You
It’s easy to be distracted by other people: coworkers who come in looking for favors, family members who want you to sub for them, bosses who ask you to work late and work on their projects.
You can keep choosing other people and prioritizing their needs over yours but at the end of the day it’s not going to be tit for tat.
Networking and sowing favors are two fake productivity pitfalls that many people fall into.
Building relationships can be instrumental to your success but nothing beats putting in the actual hours into your project and investing in yourself.
When it really comes down to it, the only person who will take the time to commit to your projects and move it forward is you.
8) There’s a Difference Between Self-Respect and Entitlement
Sometimes when you start acquiring more success, the voice in your head that tells you that you deserve better or that you can’t be treated this way grows louder each day.
Truth is, this voice is rarely correct.
A lot of people like to think that after grinding for years, they’ll reach the pinnacle of their careers where they will be untouchable.
This is a myth spurned by ego.
It’s not success talking, it’s a lack of self-esteem dangerously hanging onto success in order to solidify self-worth.
Truly successful people don’t ever outgrow flexibility.
They understand adaptability is what got them ahead in the first place, and that stepping down and letting others speak their opinions doesn’t make a weak character.
9) You Will Always Have More to Learn, So Let People Teach You
Too many people have it in their heads to grind hard so one day they don’t have to anymore.
In reality, work and success are less like destinations and more like a spectrum.
You don’t work for ten years and become an expert.
Industries are constantly shifting; niches are always evolving.
There’s no guarantee that the things you know now will be the most game-changing techniques in the future.
The longer you stay in a field, the more opportunities you’ll have to meet younger people who are filled with new ideas.
Don’t compete with their passion; use their fire to rekindle yours.
10) Being Successful Doesn’t Mean Being Unkind
When we think of success, we can’t help but think of movies like The Wolf of Wall Street.
Too often the word success conjures images of arrogant, heartless executives bulldozing through their environment and stepping on people’s toes to get their way.
There’s more than one way to get to the top.
This romantic perception of successful people has created the impression that successful people have to be ruthless at the expense of others, which is a false fallacy.
Success doesn’t have to be merciful or cruel.
Learning strong communication skills and cultivating good relationships are more effective (and dignified) tools than bullying.
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