Do you ever wonder how you could become more successful? It’s really not rocket science. Becoming successful is just a series of strategies that, if applied, will ensure you get ahead of the game. Many people believe that it’s luck that determines whether a person is successful or not. However, it’s amazing how much luckier you become the more you practise, so luck has a far smaller part to play in success than you might think.
Success means different things to different people. Success could mean losing weight, developing better parenting skills, giving up smoking or becoming fitter. It could mean creating a better circle of friends or a more successful career. You need to decide what you want to achieve, what success means to you and focus on how good it will feel when you have achieved your goal.
It is true that you may not always achieve exactly what you want. I am wary of people, and you should be too, who say that you can have anything you want. Yet by using the success formula you can improve your chances of being in a better place than you are now, getting more of what you want more of the time.
The Success Formula
You can increase your success if you follow the Success Formula.
The first is ‘You’ and the strengths and qualities you possess. If you are already a well-qualified, self-aware and confident person with good communication skills you are off to a flying start. If you are not, all is not lost as you can develop these skills.
The second component is ‘challenge’. Even if you are starting with a disadvantage you can make it up. The more you work on personal self-awareness, communication skills and skill acquisition, the more you increase your chances of being able to spot and capitalise on what is happening around you. Self-awareness includes the ability to use your emotional intelligence to understand yourself, your strengths, your limitations and your personal motivations. It also means having an understanding of the effect you have on others.
Communication relates to your ability to influence others positively towards you as the more accurately you can ‘read’ people and situations the more likely you are to be able to get the most out of them. Skill acquisition means that you strive to continue to maintain the skills you have and develop new ones to help you move forward. For example, your self-awareness may tell you that you need to develop better influencing skills to aid your communication and that better communication may require you to listen more effectively, use open ended questions more often to elicit information and strengthen your rapport-building abilities. All of which can be broken down into skills that can be acquired.
The third component is ‘positive mental attitude and perseverance’. Positive mental attitude means setting achievable goals and focussing on outcomes not problems. It’s a “what do I want and how can I get it?” attitude, rather than an “I have this problem because” mind-set. The optimist invariably gains more support from others than the pessimist.
You also need to be prepared to persevere and not give up at the first hurdle. Just one step at a time gets you to where you want to be. It may be hard but, if you want to be successful, you need to be prepared to put up with some discomfort. Think how good you will feel once you have achieved a positive outcome.
In addition to the success formula the following top ten tips will help you increase your chances of becoming more successful.
1. Take a look from the outside.
De-personalise your experiences so you keep perspective and your blood pressure down. When you find yourself feeling under attack, stand back and imagine a force field around you. Remind yourself that it is in your best interests to stay calm and handle the situation rather than react and lose out.
2. Check the rules are working for you.
We all have ‘life rules’ that help us make choices. Make sure you are not operating on any that have reached their sell-by date. For example, “If I take every opportunity then I will be successful” may have been a great rule to get your career started but could spread you too thinly if you have established yourself.
3. Count your blessings.
Research shows the more you focus on what went well every day the more positive, healthier and happier you become. Positive people get more out of life and when you feel good about yourself, you react more confidently. Feeling grateful helps you become less stressed about life in general. Stress is a sure way of stopping you becoming successful.
4. Ask your way to success.
“She who don’t ask don’t get” – learn to be more assertive. Good communication skills mean easier relationships, less misunderstanding and emotional upheaval which, in turn, means more energy to use developing the life you want. Ask for what you want and you’ll be surprised at how much you will get.
5. Change how you do something.
Learn to be efficient with your behaviours. It is easier to do something than worry about it – don’t think about it, just do it. There is no excuse and the more you make excuses the less successful you will be. Fear will not kill you but giving in to it will make life less rewarding.
6. Laugh – it makes your brain work better.
Laughter releases the happy drug Dopamine into the system which makes you feel relaxed and happy. When people are happy and relaxed they make better decisions and use less energy making them too.
7. Phone a friend.
Research has shown that the more friends you have the less likely you are to be depressed and the faster you will recover from upsets. Improve your social circle, get out and meet people and not only will you develop a great personal resource but the more people you know the more chances you will have of developing a useful personal and professional network.
8. Join the 21st century – make technology your pal.
Email, mobile phones, apps, text messages, computers, and personal organisers – all of these can increase your ability to keep in touch with people. Take control of technology and it will serve you well. Use your phone to note down your ideas when they come to you.
9. Use your time well.
There are 168 hours in a week. If you sleep for 8 hours, you are left with 112 hours to do everything else. Don’t waste your time – remember that you need to split your time into time for work, rest and play. This will make you a more rounded person. Successful people know that time is at the heart of success so use the time they have to best effect. Make plans and use your time wisely.
10. What goes round comes round.
You get what you focus on, so if you think about all the negatives you’ll end up with negative outcomes. Focus on positive people and learn from them, read useful books and listen to radio programmes. Use your car journey to listen to inspirational tapes that will teach you something. Doing this turns dead time into learning time.