What do you consider success? Webster’s dictionary says it is a favorable result or desired outcome. It is also considered the attainment of wealth. SO, is money your definition of success?
Today I want to talk about the secrets of success. In today’s economy people are losing jobs every day, some they have had for decades. Some people have lost their retirement funds and are having to return to work to make ends meet. Houses are being foreclosed on. People are ending up homeless in record numbers.
Things are bad. They are not likely to get better any time soon. So how can we achieve success when everything has gone downhill around us? Today I will give you ten steps to success that will work in any situation.
- How you think is everything.
Norman Vincent Peale says, “People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking they can do things. When they believe in themselves, they have the first secret of success.”
Ford said, “If you think you can or you can’t, you are right.”
I have spoken about positive thinking many times in the past. I have spoken about a gratitude list and saying it out loud. This will change your neural pathways in your brain.
- Decide on your goals and your dreams.
I am a very goal oriented person as you know if you have known me for any length of time. I tend to be a type A personality. Sometimes I take on too much at a time, but that is me. I remember the first quote I heard about dreams. “Life without dreams is a broken winged bird who can not fly.”
Do you feel you can not reach your dreams because of things life has thrown at you? George Bernard Shaw said, “People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want. And if they can’t, make them.”
And perhaps you have a dream which your family or friends opposes you. Albert Einstein said, “Great spirits have always encountered violent oppositions from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.”
There are certain points to remember about goals. Be specific and measurable. When you make your goals, be reasonable. It is best to write them down where you can see them every day.
- Take action.
When you have your goals in front of you, decide something everyday to work on. You can set up a notebook with your goals listed and what you are doing each day. It will hold you accountable.
- Never stop learning.
I am a life-long learner. I returned to school to work on my Masters after 20 yrs. I never stop learning. I am reading all the time to learn something new. Eartha Kitt said, “I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma.” Harry Truman said, “It is what you learn after you know it all that counts.”
Do you think you are too old to go to college? Helen Soares, a 94 yr woman received her BS degree on May 15, 2010. Ochos, 98 yrs old, received her Masters. If these two women can complete their degrees in their 90s, you can return to school, or achieve some other type of training to aim toward success.
- Be persistent and work hard.
Other words, don’t quit before the miracle. Many do.
- Learn to analyze details.
This is the step where you ask for help. I know, some of you may be “do it yourself” people. I used to be the same way. But, God put us together to help one another. Talk to each other and get advice from those who are wiser and more experienced. If you make mistakes, acknowledge them and go on. Don’t beat yourself up about it.
- Focus your time and money.
Are you spread all over? Or are you concentrated on one or two things? This is my problem. I like to help too much. I have too many irons in the fire. Most of my work is in the same field of mental health, some isn’t. I need to limit my irons to my specialty. What about you?
- Don’t be afraid to innovate, be different.
This is the part where you are true to yourself. Be creative. Think outside the box. Following the crowd leads to mediocrity. Earle Nightingale said that only 5% of people actually think. Try to sit down to think at least 15 minutes a day. Do some brainstorming. Choose one problem a day to work on. You will be amazed at what you can come up with.
- Communicate with people effectively.
One way I learned to improve my ability to communicate was to join my local Toastmasters Club. Toastmasters is a world-wide organization that teaches communication and leadership skills. As a person learns to communicate, s/he finds that misunderstandings lessen. Effective communication is important in all parts of our life.
- Be honest and dependable; take responsibility for what you do.
Do not lie and cheat. Do what you say you will.
I have given you ten steps to success. They will apply for any field of work. So, again, I ask you, what is success to you?? We all have different definitions for what we consider success. There is one that needs to be included in your definition. That one is a Higher Power, whether you call Him God or not. Everyone needs one. We were created to have one. Without one in our life, all the earthly success will be as dust. I hope each of you find that special Higher Power that will bring you success in your life. He is the best secret. And remember… All the so-called “secrets of success” will not work unless you do.