Success is a process, not an event. Here are 5 steps to help us achieve success:
- Make a commitment to yourself. It has to become a part of you. You can:
- Write your goal down.
- Make a poster or screensaver of the goal.
- Set a daily reminder on your phone of your goal.
- A support system of like-minded, POSITIVE people (see Iron Sharpens Iron).
- Focus on behaviors that support your goal, not the actual goal itself. Behaviors that support the goal will lead to fulfilling the goal.
- Be flexible. The timing and tools you have may not be ideal, but they are usually enough to get you moving in the right direction.
- Be resilient. Distractions and disappointments will come. Take time to reflect upon them, but do not dwell on them. Get back on track!
Not too long ago, I had a conversation with a student about his future plans. The young man shared how he desires to be a professional athlete yet, isn’t on any of our teams (junior varsity, varsity) for that particular sport. In his favor, he is an underclassman. Of course, I asked about other interests; he answered that he is only interested in being an athlete. He felt that having an alternative equated to doubt and that is why some youth don’t achieve such lofty goals as becoming a professional athlete or musician.
I told him I agree you must have faith in yourself in achieving your dreams; however, this must be balanced out with knowledge of what it will take to achieve that dream. Understanding the challenges can help in making good decisions in the process of achieving goals. I explained to him how every professional athlete, even benchwarmers and journeymen, was probably a star on their team in high school or college. Developing a goal or interest outside of his goal of being a professional athlete won’t detract from it; it can actually enhance it. The same holds true for adult life; expanding our knowledge is beneficial and increases our value to ourselves and others.
Change is such a weird concept. It is probably one of the most difficult things to do, yet it can be easy once we make up our minds to do it. Most of us have probably heard someone say, “Boy, I used to __________, but got tired of getting caught up, in trouble, etc.; I decided to change and never looked back.” Wow, when people truly commit themselves to change, it seems to happen so easily. Granted, the process of change is not always comfortable, but being committed can somewhat ease the transition. One of my favorite motivational speakers, Les Brown, talks of “reinventing” yourself. To some, this may suggest that he is saying to forget where you came from. That is far from the truth. He is essentially talking about change. We must do things differently, such as changing habits, improving health, embracing a philosophy/spirituality, etc. Your life is like chapters in a book. It may take several chapters to get to the climax of your story. Reinventing yourself is the beginning of a new chapter and puts you one chapter closer toward the climax of your story!