The question ‘what is success’ will have a different answer depending on who you are, what your values are and how you’ve been shaped by your past experiences. However, there are 3 key principals that every successful person knows and respects, regardless of what their version of success is.
It’s important to note that there is no right or wrong answer to this question, and that whatever answer you come up with for yourself and your life is the right one – so long as it aligns with your personal values and core beliefs. So, before rushing out to apply these principals, you should first take some time to ask yourself and to consider this question – what does success look like for you? What things need to happen in your life, what things do you need to achieve, and who do you want to be in order to fulfil your definition of success?
The things is, if you don’t first answer this question, you’ll find the journey a bit like staring at a map with no idea which turn to take because you don’t know what the destination is! I can’t stress this enough – you need to decide and be clear on where you want to get to otherwise you won’t know what actions to take to get there, and you’ll end up wasting time spinning your wheels, hoping that luck will favour you and you’ll just magically arrive at where you want to be… but this is unrealistic and a recipe for sustained failure and the frustration that comes with it.
So, what are the 3 key habits for success? Let’s dive in!
Surround yourself with the right people, surround yourself with GREAT people – people who push you, people who are better than you, people who can put you outside your comfort zone and hold you accountable to your stated goals and actions.
Successful people understand the importance of making sure they are not the smartest in the room unless they are there to pay it back and to serve those on their way up, and not as far along their path as them. If you’re always the smartest person in the room, then who are you learning from? How can you hope to learn and grow when everyone around you possess lower level of knowledge and experience?
The best example I can think of is in my sparring training; wherever possible I always try to find partners who are better than me, and who stand a good chance of kicking my arse! Why? Because that’s how I learn and grow. It’s amazing how quickly you learn when you have someone who is literally trying to kick you in the face! Being around great people who have achieved more, and who know more, than you is the only way to learn and grow.
This is a big mistake that some employers make – they hire people who they think make them look good rather than hiring people who are better at the particular job they’ve been hired for than they are! Always bring in the best talent – preferably someone who can do the job way better than you!
This is where mastermind sessions and mentoring is so important – especially for business owners, but generally too. There’s nothing stopping you setting up your own mastermind group as parents, sports enthusiasts, or anything else you want to excel in!
Always be self-aware as this allows you to constantly remind yourself that you don’t know what you don’t know – seek first to understand, rather than to be understood.
This one is super important.
There are plenty of people in the world who think that because they have achieved a certain level of mastery in a skill or subject they ‘know it all’ and have nothing else to learn. This is one of the most dangerous attitudes you can have, because it completely closes your mind to learning new things.
No one knows it all – no matter what level of mastery you think you’ve achieved! So approach everything with a sense of humility and self-awareness that allows you to seek to understand before you seek to be understood. When you do this, you open your mind and life to great things because you signal to those around you that you are ready to learn and always growing. You build rapport more easily because you always seek to hear and understand opposing points of view rather than remaining entrenched in your limiting beliefs, and people respect that – earning the respect of others is paramount to building long lasting relationships, and no one likes a know it all.
The problem is that those people who reach a certain point and stop learning stop growing and stop evolving and these people will ALWAYS be overtaken by those among us who never stop learning. It doesn’t matter if you learn one new thing that you can implement to make your life better in a day, a week or a month – all those baby steps ultimately compound to produce an amazing rate of growth over time, and this approach will always out grow those who stand still and rest on their laurels.
Embrace failure – know that failure is the most necessary part of success, and that no growth occurs without it. Successful people understand that failure is positive – so long as you learn the lessons it teaches. Successful people love failure because they know it moves them one step closer to their goals having just discovered another way not to do something.
The concept of failing fast, failing early and failing forward is a powerful one. Everybody fails – it is the most necessary part of growth. In facing our own adversities and stumbling along the way we receive valuable feedback from our environment about our approach – that feedback tells us what’s working and what needs tweaking, and when we’re open to the process we can see the adjustments we need to make to our sails in order to adjust our course and get to where we want to go.
There is no success without failure. The beauty in life is in struggling well along the journey to the end, and failure plays a massive part in that journey. Embrace and expect it, and then it will be much less likely to take you by surprised when it does surface in your life. Face your challenges head on, and no matter how bad or dire the situation, stay present and ask yourself – what can I learn from this? What is this telling me about my approach that isn’t working, and what changes can I make to improve my results?
Failure is your friend and will deliver you to your dreams if you embrace it as part of the process – fight it and run from it and you will be sentencing yourself to a life of stagnation and stunted growth. In the words of the great T. Harv Eker:
“When you’re green you grow, and when you’re ripe you rot”