We all aspire to do, be, and have great things. Yet most of us simply aren’t creating the results we want. We complain that we don’t have enough money, romance, success, or joy in our lives.
We point fingers and blame outside problems that “happen” to us and make life more difficult. But what we need to understand and keep at the forefront of our minds is that greatness exists in all of us. It is simply up to us to pull it out of ourselves. Regardless of personal circumstances, economic climates, and access to resources, it helps to maintain faith in the fact that we each are more powerful than we think.
We all have the ability to create the life we want. We just need to learn how to do it. Is there an exact “formula?” No, but there are certain common features that successful people exhibit and that anyone can practice. They are what can jumpstart your success and attract what you want in life.
You’d be hard-pressed to find any high achiever who doesn’t live by the following Seven Tips:
1. Take No Less Than 100% Responsibility for Your Life
One of the greatest myths that is pervasive in our culture today is that you are entitled to a great life and that somehow, somewhere, someone is responsible for filling our lives with continual happiness, exciting career options, nurturing family time, and blissful personal relationships simply because we exist. But the real truth is that there is only one person responsible for the quality of the life you live. That person is you.
Everything about you is a result of your doing or not doing. Income. Debt. Relationships. Health. Fitness level. Attitudes and behaviors. That person who reflects back at you in the mirror is the chief conductor in your life. Say hello!
I think everyone knows this in their hearts, but the mind can play games, tricking plenty of people into thinking external factors are the source of failure, disappointment, and unhappiness. But the truth of the matter is that external factors don’t determine how you live. You are in complete control of the quality of your life.
Successful people take full responsibility for the thoughts they think, the images they visualize, and the actions they take. They don’t waste their time and energy blaming and complaining. They evaluate their experiences and decide if they need to change them or not. They face the uncomfortable and take risks in order to create the life they want to live.
2. Be Clear Why You’re Here
I believe each of us is born with a life purpose. Identifying, acknowledging, and honoring this purpose is perhaps the most important action successful people take. They take the time to understand what they’re here to do, and then they pursue that with passion and enthusiasm.
If you don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing, then just tune into the signals around you. Looking toward others for help and guidance is helpful, but don’t forget to stay tuned into yourself—your behavior, attitude, likes and dislikes, and life experiences. Identify what’s working and what isn’t. If you need to, write it all down. You might be surprised by what you discover.
3. Decide What You Want
It sounds so simple, but here’s the problem: I see plenty of people who are overly busy yet feel unsatisfied and unfulfilled. They are physically tired, spiritually drained, and far from where they’d like to be—as if they’ve been running on a treadmill going nowhere fast. Why? Because they haven’t clearly mapped out what they want and then taken the steps to get there. Rather than identifying specific goals, milestones, and dreams (and I’m talking BIG dreams and goals here), they go through the motions day in and day out, tackling unimportant tasks. They end up, you guessed it, going in circles and wasting lots of energy. In the meanwhile, they grow increasingly uninspired and out of touch with their authentic selves. This, of course, sets anyone up to living a life out of balance.
One of the main reasons why most people don’t get what they want is they haven’t decided what they want. They haven’t defined their desires in clear and compelling detail. What does success look like to you? Not everybody’s definition of success is the same, nor should it be.
Don’t let your inner devil’s advocate (or that incessant, but unimportant, to-do list) inhibit you from dreaming big. As soon as you commit to a big dream and really go after it, your subconscious creative mind will come up with big ideas to make it happen. You’ll start attracting the people, resources, and opportunities you need into your life to make your dream come true. Big dreams not only inspire you, but they also compel others to want to play big, too.
4. Believe It Is Possible
Scientists used to believe that humans responded to information flowing into the brain from the outside world. But today, they’re learning that, instead, we respond to what the brain, based on previous experience, expects to happen next. In fact, the mind is such a powerful instrument that it can deliver, literally, everything you want. But you have to believe that what you want is possible.
As you commit to believing in yourself, also make a commitment to toning down the complaint department. Look at what you are complaining about. I’m fat. I’m tired. I can’t get out of debt. I won’t ever get a better job. I can’t stand the relationship I have with my father. I’ll never find a soulmate in life. Really examine your complaints. More than likely you can do something about them. They are not about other people, other things, or other events. They are about YOU.
5. Believe in Yourself
If you are going to be successful in creating the life of your dreams, you have to believe that you are capable of making it happen. Whether you call it self-esteem, self-confidence, or self-assurance, it is a deep-seated belief that you have what it takes—the abilities, inner resources, talents, and skills—to create your desired results.
Have unwavering faith in yourself, for good and bad. Make the decision to believe that you create all your experiences. You will experience successes thanks to you, and you will experience pain, struggle, and strife thanks to you. Sounds a little strange, but accepting this level of responsibility is uniquely empowering. It means you can do, change, and be anything. Stumbling blocks become just that—little hills to hop over.
6. Become an Inverse Paranoid
This one is straightforward: Imagine how much easier it would be to succeed in life if you were constantly expecting the world to support you and bring you opportunity. Successful people do just that.
7. Unleash the Power of Goal Setting
Experts on the science of success know the brain is a goal-seeking organism. Whatever goal you give to your subconscious mind, it will work day and night to achieve. To engage your subconscious mind, a goal has to be measurable. When there aren’t any criteria for measurement, it is simply something you want, a wish, a preference, or a good idea.
Sometimes we need to make just one initial goal to get started, and that’s okay. At least it comes with a few actions to achieve. A first step simply can be making an immediate change in a single area in your life. Are you unhappy about something that is happening right now? Make requests that will make it more desirable to you, or take the steps to change it yourself. Making a change might be uncomfortable and overwhelming for you. It might mean you have to put in more time, money, and effort. It might mean that someone gets upset about it or makes you feel badly about your decision. It might be difficult to change or leave a situation, but staying put is your choice, so why continue to complain? You can either do something about it or not. It is your choice, and you have responsibility for your choices.
Bear in mind that you have to be willing to change your behavior if you want a different outcome. You have to be willing to take the risks necessary to get what you want. If you’ve already taken an initial step in the right direction, now’s the time to plan more steps to keep moving you forward faster.
Isn’t it a great relief to know that you can make your life what you want it to be? Isn’t it wonderful that your successes do not depend on someone else?
So if you need just one thing to do differently today than you did yesterday, make it this: Commit to taking 100% responsibility for every aspect of your life. Decide to make changes, one step at a time. Once you start the process, you’ll discover it is much easier to get what you want by taking control of your thoughts, your visualizations, and your actions!
As the beloved originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, Jack Canfield fostered the emergence of inspirational anthologies as a genre—and watched it grow to a billion dollar market. As the driving force behind the development and delivery of over 100 million books sold through the Chicken Soup for the Soul® franchise, Jack Canfield is uniquely qualified to talk about success. Jack is America’s #1 Success Coach and wrote the life-changing book The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be and speaks around the world on this subject. Follow Jack at www.jackcanfield.com and sign up for his free resources today!
*Photo by Melody Campbell.