Regardless of how old you are, where you live, or what your career goals are, more than likely your ultimate goals in life are to be happy and successful. The key to being successful is more than just having money and making your mark. It is identifying your passions, living purposefully, and enjoying the present moment. This article will show you how to achieve both external and internal success, as well as putting yourself in the right environment.
1) Identify Your Passions
Before you can achieve success, you will have to define what success means to you. While it may take years to realize what you want to do with your life, identifying your current passions, interests, and values will help you set goals and give your life a sense of meaning. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What do you want your legacy to be?
- How would you like to be remembered by others?
- How do you want to make your community a better place?
- What are some favorite subjects of interest in your life?
2) Make a List of Your Goals and What You Might Do To Achieve Them
Be sure to address both short-term and long-term goals; try to think beyond financial/career goals.
- Consider which subjects you enjoyed studying in school, and why. This can help give you an idea of what you may be best at or more interested in.
3) Live Purposefully
In order to achieve your dreams and be the person you want to be, you will have to start paying attention to your actions. Ask yourself, “Is what I’m doing going to lead me to where I want to be in life?”
- If you find yourself constantly bored, daydreaming about the future or past or counting down the minutes until the day ends, it is probably because you feel disconnected from what you’re doing. Consider changing careers or majors to a field that you care about, but remember such a move could have unexpected consequences. Does the job you are considering pay enough to support yourself? Is it something you might get bored with eventually? Do you really want to commit to that job?
- Cherish your time. Try to spend your free time doing things that you enjoy doing, rather than wasting time. For example, rather than spending your weekends watching television, spend them partaking in your hobbies or spending time with loved ones and new friends.
- Remember that the concept of “wasted time” is relative. Not everything you do has to be productive in the conventional sense, but activities should be engaging and enjoyable.
4) Make a Commitment and Stay With It
Planning is not sufficient; trying hard to keep your word is also important.
5) Be Educated
Education gives you the knowledge, skills, and credibility to achieve your maximum potential. In terms of financial success, statistics have shown that the more education you have (i.e. the higher degree you achieve), the more money you are likely to make.
- In 2011, the median weekly earnings for high school graduates was $638 while those with bachelor’s degrees made $1053. That same year, those with masters or doctoral degrees made $1263 and $1551 respectively.
- Not all education has to be formal. Apprenticeships and long-term training programs are also positively correlated with higher incomes. Obtaining a Certificate in your field can help to increase your salary.
6) Manage Your Finances
Learning how to manage your money will help ensure your financial stability over time, regardless of your income.
- Keep track of your expenses. Review your bank statements often and notice where you spend your money. If you do your banking online, be sure to keep personal records as well. This will help you prevent over-spending and ensure that your bank statements are correct.
- Understand your income. When calculating your income, be sure to take into account the federal, state, and social security taxes that will be deducted from your gross pay. Don’t overlook miscellaneous deductions, such as health insurance premiums, savings bonds and loan payments. The resulting number is your net pay, which is what you end up taking home with you.
- Prioritize spending. Your first priority should be spending money on basic necessities like food, shelter, and clothing. Don’t spend money on luxuries like expensive clothes, cars, or vacations until you have first satisfied your basic necessities. Be honest with yourself and differentiate between your basic needs and your luxuries.
- Save money. Every month, you should deposit some of your money into a savings account. Consider asking your employer to directly deposit a portion of your income into your savings account.
7) Manage Your Time
Putting off important tasks until the last minute can cause you unnecessary stress, and increase the likelihood of errors and negligence. Manage your time so that you have enough time to complete tasks effectively.
- Use a paper or electronic planner to help keep you organized throughout the day, week, and month.
- Set reminders on your smart phone and make use of its electronic timer for better time management.
- Make a list of all the things you need to do in a given day, and check off each task as you complete it. This will help you stay organized and motivated.
1) Enjoy the Present Moment
If you are constantly dwelling on the past or daydreaming about the future, you are missing out on the present moment. Remember that the past and the future are simply illusions, and that real life takes place here and now.
- Start paying attention to negative thoughts so that you can learn to silence them and enjoy the present moment. If a negative thought arises in your head, then acknowledge it, label it a negative thought, and then let it fade away.
- Get in the habit of paying attention to small details around you. Appreciate the feeling of the sun on your skin, the sensation of your feet walking on the ground, or the artwork in the restaurant you are eating in. Noticing things like these will help you silence a rambling mind and appreciate every moment.
2) Don’t Compare Your Own Life To Other People’s Lives
Unfortunately, many people measure their own success by comparing it to the success of those around them. If you want to feel accomplished and happy, you will have to stop comparing your life to other peoples’ lives.
- Many people have the tendency to compare the low points of their own lives with the high points of other peoples’ lives. Remember that no matter how perfect somebody’s life may seem, behind closed doors everybody deals with tragedy, insecurity, and other difficulties.
3) Count Your Blessings
No matter how much you achieve in life, you will always feel unhappy if you constantly focus on what you don’t have. Instead, devote time every day to appreciating the things you do have. Think beyond material items; appreciate your loved ones, and cherish happy memories.
4) Look After Your Health
A healthy body supports a healthy mind. Eat a balanced diet and ensure that you aren’t lacking in any necessary nutrients. Establish the cause of any problems you may experience, such as a lack of energy or a lack of concentration and deal with them by discussing with a doctor, nutritionist and related health professionals. Get plenty of exercise too but make your fitness choices according to what you love to do rather than what you feel you have to do, but dislike.
The environment around us has a huge impact on all of our levels of conscious (subconscious and unconscious) . This includes the place we live in, friends we have, things we read, people we see and the list goes on. Environment is contagious. Thomas A Edison said he was able to become a successful inventor because he placed himself in the company of people who were much smarter than him. He was then able to learn from people who inspired him. We form most of our thoughts in response to the environments we are inhabiting.
- Try this experiment. Put yourself in company of people who are participating in other interests out of your comfort zone, for a period of time. Monitor your thoughts and emotions during this experiment. Most likely your thoughts will be correspondent to the environment you subjected yourself to.
The entities in which we spend most of our time lie in a Macro environment. The place you live, the place you work, the colleagues, friends with whom you spend most of the time etc. All these are part of a macro environment. Its very important that you put yourself in a macro environment which motivates you constantly to become successful. This also includes You, if you spend a lot of time with yourself (you are the environment in this case) and you have a reactive brain, then most likely you will have reactive thoughts, unless you change yourself.
These are entities where we don’t spend much time. For example; coffee shops, people you say hello to, grocery stores, new people you meet at bars etc. This usually doesn’t have a long term impact on you unless you change it into a macro environment.
Remember, success is a feeling. If you apply these steps correctly you will feel successful. If you don’t, you might need to re-evaluate some of these steps in order to get on the right track. If you don’t get it right the first time don’t be disheartened, just keep persisting and eventually you will get it right.