Success 102: How To Start Your Own Success

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Success 101: What Success Is

Start by accepting a few things about yourself

  • You can’t change anything except yourself
    • Whatever you feel is irrelevant to what reality is, especially with how the world will see you
      • Many people will enforce a victim mentality, but that viewpoint guarantees no change, which guarantees nothing changing predictably
    • As much as we all wish for a perfect world, the practical application of those ideas will take hard work that most people will never do
      • If you want to become an agent of change on a grander scale, look at yourself as the template you want to impress on the world
    • Wherever you are, your decisions have taken you there, even if it wasn’t fair to you
      • By being angry at someone, you are giving your will over to them through your obsession with their behavior
        • 99% of the time, the offender doesn’t even remember the offense they committed, even if it was horrible
      • Your decisions are the ultimate power to do anything, and you have to take personal responsibility for what you feel
    • We become what we think about
      • We don’t use our minds near enough because we take it for granted, despite the fact that it is our greatest asset
      • The view we have of ourselves shapes what we inevitably become
    • Your standing and reputation with others is in no way as important as your own character and morality
      • A good person can bounce back repeatedly, but a deceptive one will fall permanently
  • Your mindset about feelings should probably change
    • We are all emotional creatures, and our emotions fuel our desires
      • To link up emotions with desires we want to have, we need to know why we do what we do
      • Therefore, to be successful we have to have our passions deeply connected to it
      • With the right passion behind your goals, you will be do literally anything to achieve the purpose that you’ve devoted yourself to
      • Ironically, many highly successful people never actually learn to appreciate their victory, which is a personal failure of its own
    • Most people don’t know how their feelings work
      • The emotional states of many people are driven by past experiences instead of present or future ones
      • Since the past is unchangeable, this creates a permanent vicious cycle of reinforcing behavior
        • Often, people will forget their behavior in the present purely because they are listening to their memories for guidance
        • If the actions of the past created the present, then the same actions now will create the exact same future
  • You must believe that you are unlucky
    • You can’t be willing to simply wait for an opportunity to happen
      • You need to go out and make your luck change
      • Walk into every encounter with the assumption that the odds are stacked against you
    • If you feel you are lucky, it can be very easy to feel entitled
      • Expecting good things to happen will lead to large amounts of disappointment
      • You don’t “deserve” anything more than you currently have right now
  • Change how you view your life
    • The idea is the event, while the execution of the idea is the process
      • Intrinsically, your ideas are useless, and your actions by themselves have no purpose
        • Thoughts and ideas have no value until they turn into actions and execution
      • Doing things to stay busy is a very ineffective approach to life
    • People on their deathbeds consistently have the same regrets
      • I wish I hadn’t worked so hard
      • I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
      • I wish I had let myself be happier and had been more reflective
      • I wish I had more courage to express my true self and be what I wanted
      • I wish I had lived a life true to my dreams instead of what others expected of me
    • You’re not going to find a true bliss when completing something, so don’t expect an overwhelming pleasure from it
      • Generally, anticipating the desired outcome is more exciting and enjoyable than actually receiving it
      • It’s going to be the same level of happiness as the rest of your life

You can only do it if you are motivated enough to stay through it the whole way

  • Motivation is essentially aligning your actions up to your desires
    • Many people fail by forcing the opposite: trying to line up their desires with their actions
    • To change desires, it requires personal growth, which only comes over weeks, months and years
    • If you’re having a hard time making a worthwhile risk, it’s often caused by over-thinking
      • Most timidity and hesitating comes from exaggerating fears and downplaying benefits
    • To measure how much motivation you have, measure how much you visualize the end result
      • Visualization is seeing and feeling the end result inside your imagination before you even start
      • Every successful person felt the sacrifice that became the finished product was completely worth it, even if they had failed in every other way
  • Negativity and cynicism will come, but they shouldn’t stay
    • If there is a constant stream of negativity in your thoughts, then work on personal happiness before trying to create results
      • e.g. to become a good guitarist, you first need to get over insecurities from being told that you were too uncoordinated to play the guitar
    • Many times, there are easily resolved problems that cause low motivation
      • No clear direction or goal
      • Not organized
      • Having a poor self-image
      • Not knowing what is expected or what is preferred by others
      • No proper balance in life
  • You must believe that you have all the materials it takes to succeed already and that you can and will do it
    • If you lose faith in the end of your story, then you are guaranteed to fail
  • Remove any excuses that you keep telling yourself
    • “I’m not ready” – this is simply a myth, since nobody is ever really ready for anything, take the plunge
    • “I don’t actually know what to do” – this will come in time, and the best thing to do for now is to expand your worldview
    • “I don’t have money” – it will be difficult, but enough creativity and determination can circumvent the need for money
    • “I don’t have equipment” – other people have equipment, and you can ask them if you can convey your passion to them
    • “I don’t have time” – you can make time if it’s actually important to you, and it’s not hard to say “no”
    • “I’m not good enough” – you can always become good enough
    • “I don’t have the right credentials/degree/training” – nobody cares as much about qualifications as you think they do
    • “I’m not in the right location” – if it matters to you, it’s worth moving for it
    • “I don’t have the right network/reputation/work history” – with 3-4 hours of intentional work a day, you will have a huge network in weeks
    • “It’s too crazy” – crazy is completely relative, and there are thousands of good stories about what everyone called crazy
    • “I’m not talented/gifted enough” – many of the most successful people in every walk of life are mediocre at best regarding their talents
    • “If I work really hard I’ll succeed” – this is not true, since you should focus on the actual value you’re adding
    • “I want to be a great family person” – this is a horrible excuse that makes horrible people, a great father has a great career

You need motivation because of what success requires you to sacrifice

  • Success is made of lots of change
    • You will need to be open-minded to new ideas and options for your problem you want to fix
    • Your ability to adapt on-the-fly will need to improve
    • Change is difficult because things always get worse before they get better when changing
  • You’re going to have to become a constant learner
    • The only way to start improving yourself is to increase what you know
    • Try to avoid society’s toxic input, especially the information that doesn’t lead to anything useful
      • Read, research and learn, and focus on not caring about whether society finds it constructive or not
      • If “everyone” is doing it, then that should be a red flag, since “everyone” is in an average and boring place
    • The education is useful, but the point of it is to sharpen your mind to use that education to fix problems
    • You will need a lot of common sense
      • Common sense is the set of prejudices acquired by age 18
      • The more you learn, the more you can fix the bad prejudices with wisdom
  • You will pay for your success
    • Every opportunity has a cost attached to it, and the greater the opportunity the more you’ll have to pay
      • Generally, the amount of payment comes from how much additional control you will need to take of your own life
    • The payments can be in the form of money, time, energy, lost opportunities in other areas and social sacrifices
      • Time is the ultimate equalizer, since everyone has the exact same amount of it every day until the day they die
    • Often, if it seems you need to ask permission, you will have even more to pay in social backlash for breaking free from the rest of them
    • More often than not, your greatest payment for your success is in disciplining yourself to focus
    • Most of the time becoming successful is a lonely experience
      • Rejection is completely normal for someone trying to succeed, and the true successes find ways to ignore it
      • Don’t expect any commendation; you will become personally successful long before anyone else sees results
      • You might make many good friendships, but you will lose a lot of them because you’ve outgrown them
      • You are likely to be constantly misunderstood
      • You will network with lots of associates and won’t have very many friends
      • Get ready for singleness for the rest of your life unless you’re lucky enough to find someone who understands your lifestyle
  • It will take longer than you expect it to
    • The 3 Back-Job Rule: for every job you see, there are 3 jobs hiding behind it
    • The bigger the endeavor, the more possible things will get in the way
    • It might take constant late nights and early mornings to achieve the results you expect
    • At the same time, once you get used to driving forward, it gets easier
    • Don’t wait to start, since the earlier you start the earlier you’ll see results
  • You will face opposition from many people around you
    • Society pushes us to be unsuccessful and selfish with the justification that it advances self-interest
    • People will want you to succeed, but often only as much or less than them
    • Family and friends will typically want to feel better about themselves and their own self-invalidating scripts
    • Insecure people don’t want their self-conceit (typically disguised as false humility) to be invalidated
  • You will need to be vulnerable and emotionally available to others despite all of the hardship
    • The ultimate goal is to be fully transparent as a natural default, and then distrust when it’s called for
    • Being open has several parts to it
      • Gratitude and appreciation for those who will still accept you
      • Maintaining appropriate behavior in unfamiliar settings
      • Ability to be tactful despite your desire to fight-or-flee
      • Ability to decompress from all of the scary and uncomfortable things that you will get involved in
  • You must be confident in yourself
    • This enables you to openness to being wrong
    • Confidence is necessary to take on bold challenges
  • Your attitude is the start of the journey
    1. Have a positive attitude
    2. Add skills and knowledge to that attitude
    3. Direct those skills and knowledge toward goals
    4. This works together to create a positive behavior change
    5. Positive behavior changes will create improved results
    6. Improved results over enough time create success

You will need to define a long-term desire before diving into the details

  1. Think deeply and set up a carefully considered purpose
    • Without a long-term purpose, everything will stray from your desires
    • Remove any obstructions and create a clear picture of the future
      • Look at what you admire in others
      • Find common patterns among your favorite books, movies and shows
      • Look at things you love doing and why you like them
      • Observe what you complain about and discuss most often
      • Imagine what would happen if negative experiences and worries didn’t exist
      • Visualize a future day in a perfect life that you want
  2. Acquire and maintain a strong set of values and principles
    • This is extremely hard because it’s against the path of least resistance
    • Write out a clear vision statement about what you want
      • Don’t use jargon or technical terminology, since it needs to be simple enough for your subconscious to feel it
      • Paint a picture of the future that is simple and straightforward
      • Make sure to abide by all of the standards that you believe in when making it
  3. Adapt personal conduct and habits to this purpose
    • Our behavior is the outer expression of an inner code
    • Everyone can see someone’s life philosophy if they observe what that person does
  4. Make the new habits into an art and a science by learning the best ways to apply them

Find out what habits you need to change

  • Every aspect of your life will affect every other aspect of your life
    • Everything that is going on today is the result of the past, so you can change the future by affecting today
      • Ask yourself constantly if what you are doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow
    • It’s not possible to compartmentalize anything, since it all bleeds over
      • Even small things like a dollar or 5 minutes can drastically affect something if used for a greater purpose
      • Schedule your exercise and sleep or else you won’t have the emotional energy to take on new things
    • Unless you make a consistent and determined effort to consistently change yourself on every front, you cannot be a success
  • Ask questions you’ve never asked before about literally everything in your life, even the “forbidden” topics
    • Ask dumb or seemingly obvious questions
      • Why do I do (action)?
      • What makes me do (action)?
      • What do I dream about or love doing, and what have I done to keep it from happening?
      • What am I uniquely good at, and how can I more effectively use it?
      • What kinds of skills are needed out there that I know how to do, and where are they needed?
      • What opportunities can I use to expand my worldview or learn what I want to learn?
    • Look at everything you do in your day-to-day life and ask whether it needs to be there
      • Ingrained beliefs, prejudices and assumptions
      • Lines of communication with others
      • Routines and habits that are completely automatic
      • A lack of time, energy or resources to get what you want done
      • “Voids” of time, energy or resources that seem to be wasted
    • It must be out of a desire for the new thing, and not a “purging” of the old one
      • Visualize the goal, not the absence of the problem
        • Follow a passion, not specific numbers to attain
        • Vision will be a heartfelt passion that lingers, not a feeling that is here today and gone in a week
      • Ask yourself what you would like to be remembered for if you were to die one year from today
  • Finding the problem is important, but finding the solution for it is necessary to create actual results
  • Every successful person is focused more on improving habits than on actually attaining outward successes
    • Though goals are more measurable than habits, they also have many problems
      • It is easier to become discouraged from not meeting goals, while habits aren’t built to be pass/fail
      • Attaining usually leads to an imbalance while habits create balance
        • Results-driven creates so much initiative that it crowds out anything else necessary for wellness
    • Habits come from any routine, and can either destroy or elevate a person to where they will go
      • Ultimately, maintained habits adapt and shape a person’s identity
        • Habits create thoughts and viewpoints
        • Thoughts and viewpoints create emotions
        • Emotions create our mental state
      • Stopping a habit is its own habit, so it’s much better to create a more enjoyable replacement habit instead
    • These habit improvements are more about how we do things, and not about what is actually done
      • It takes about 21 days to break most habits, and is easier when done with a purpose in mind

There are countless habits that can start the path to success

  • Start with anything you don’t like in yourself
    • Any bad habit doesn’t have to be maintained, and one that you see in yourself is often the cause of the worst of your problems
  • Accept and integrate some realities as states of thought
    • Looking at today and the future is the only periods of time that pay off the most
      • The past is over
      • Beating yourself up for failures accomplishes nothing
      • The most important day is today, since it’s the only day that’s guaranteed
      • Nothing is permanent, including your values, and this is both scary and exciting
      • Archiving and auditing life is never as worthwhile as creating new experiences
      • Every complaint you have today won’t matter in 5 years
    • The following are completely normal, and everyone else suffers from it as well
      • Loneliness
      • Feeling unimportant, underappreciated and disappointed sometimes
      • Losing friends
      • Not everyone liking you
    • Your personal relationships won’t be perfect
      • The right significant other for you will not be perfect and will be difficult
      • You will misjudge people, learn from it and get over it
    • Your decisions and planning will never be perfect
      • Nobody takes you as seriously as you do
      • You will never know enough to take account for every possible risk
      • Making the right decision versus making the best decision often have complicated answers
      • Your contentment is more important than your outward status
      • Being broke is often necessary to becoming wealthy
      • You will never look as good as you want to, and your body will change
  • Be mature with others
    • Stop comparing yourself to everyone else
    • Listen to wisdom from older people
    • Grow stronger in your dealings with others
      • Start caring about doing the right thing more than having approval
      • Stop being passive or pretending you don’t know any better
      • Let respect build itself instead of demanding it
      • Stop being jealous over a date’s platonic friends
      • Reconcile with anyone who hates you or remove grudges
      • Find new friends
      • Avoid unnecessary arguments, such as on the Internet
    • Show sensitivity towards others
      • Learn to be thankful for others in your life
      • Show genuine weakness to someone you can trust
      • Find ways to be agreeable in a disagreement
      • Learn more about your family, especially your children
  • Better yourself
    • Become a constant learner
    • Learn to be better with money
    • Stop making excuses, start finding out reasons
    • Do something new and uncomfortable
    • Start a new hobby
    • Enroll in a new learning course
    • Improve a skill
    • Sit down and self-analyze yourself
    • Start an exercising routine
    • Become more productive
    • Read every day
    • Join Toastmasters and learn public speaking
    • Start a retirement fund
    • Learn the art of planning ahead, then going with the flow
  • Find new ways to enjoy life
    • Get healthier
    • Find things to do when bored
    • Write a letter to your future self
    • Decorate your living space or improve your environment
    • Make truthful affirmations and positive statements about yourself
    • Learn a strategy game or play a puzzle
    • Volunteer more often
    • Turn off your electronic media permanently
    • Wake up and get going on days that you don’t feel like it
    • Don’t go to places simply to find a romantic relationship
    • Learn speed reading
  • Work on your career
    • Only call off work when it’s a legitimate reason
    • Do actual research
    • Start having some excitement for your career
    • Work as if your college degree or work history doesn’t apply to the situation
    • Find a way to integrate your personal life into your career
    • Get focused and learn to not always be “busy”

The habits you form will fit a few general patterns

  1. John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success builds up habits into a foundational pyramid
    • The first tier is focused on basic habits that work in every capacity
      • Hard Work/Industriousness
        • Worthwhile results come from hard work and careful planning
          • Success travels in the company of very hard work
          • There is no trick, no easy way; there is no substitute for work
        • There is joy in working: in doing a job well and in accomplishing what you set out to do
          • Find the joy in your work by pushing yourself to your limit each and every day
      • Friendship
        • Strive to build and affiliate with teams filled with camaraderie and respect, which come from:
          • Mutual esteem
          • Mutual respect
          • Shared devotion
        • Like marriage, friendships must not be taken for granted
          • The gift of friendship is earned
        • Friendships require a joint effort
          • Make your friends like family
          • Share with them and let them share with you
          • Respect your friends in all you do
      • Loyalty
        • Be true to yourself, those you lead and the ones who depend on you
        • Keep your self-respect and maintain your respect with others
          • Neither trust nor loyalty can be built in a day
        • The more loyal the members of a group are toward the group, the more motivated the members are to achieve the group’s goals, and the higher the chance that the group will achieve its goals
      • Cooperation
        • If you want to be incrementally better, be competitive; if you want to be exponentially better, be cooperative
        • Be most concerned for what’s right rather than who’s right
          • Be msot interested in finding the best way, not in having your own way
        • Get along with all levels of your co-workers
          • Listen if you want to be heard
          • Pay attention to the needs of others, and then act
      • Enthusiasm
        • Enthusiasm for excellence is very contagious!
          • You can greatly inspire and stimulate others with your:
            • Energy
            • Enjoyment
            • Drive
            • Dedication
            • Joy
        • Your attitude brushes off those you come in contact with
          • You must truly enjoy what you are doing
    • By adding ambition targeted at noble goals and a sincerity that keeps friends, you can get to the second tier
      • Self-Control
        • Control of your organization begins with control of yourself
          • Be self-disciplined
          • Keep emotions under control
          • Use common sense
          • Practice good judgment
        • Intensity makes you stronger; emotionalism makes you weaker
          • If you let your emotions take over, you’ll be outdone
        • Self-control is most easily seen in daily choices we make
      • Alertness
        • Pay close attention to others and yourself
          • Constantly be watchful
          • Always seek to improve yourself and the team
          • Be eager to learn and improve
        • Stay open-minded as you watch, learn to deconstruct your environment
      • Initiative
        • Make a decision!
          • Cultivate the ability to make decisions and think alone
          • Failure to act is often the biggest failure of all
          • Do not be afraid of failure, but learn from it
        • Initiative is key
          • Anybody who wants to be somebody is going to work as hard as they can to fulfill that dream
        • Take action in trying something new or in finishing what you’ve started
      • Intentness/Determination
        • Set a realistic goal
          • Concentrate on its achievement by:
            • Resisting all temptations
            • Being determined and persistent
        • Patiently understand that it takes more than one attempt to attain anything
          • Stay the course, when thwarted try again; harder; smarter;
          • Persevere relentlessly
    • The third tier requires including adaptability towards any situation and honesty in both thought and action
      • Condition/Fitness
        • Ability may get you to the top, but character keeps you there
          • Mental
            • Practice focus and meditation
          • Moral
            • Learn and practice moderation
          • Physical
            • Rest, exercise and diet must be considered
        • Dissipation and excess must be eliminated
        • Be in top shape for everything that comes
      • Skill
        • What a leader learns after you’ve learned it all counts most of all
          • You must have a the ability to quickly and properly execute the fundamentals
          • Be prepared and thoroughly cover every little detail
          • Improve yourself even better than what everyone else thinks is perfect
        • Focus on how you are doing and practice, practice, practice
      • Team Spirit
        • The star of the team is the team
          • “We” supersedes “Me”
          • The team must have an eagerness to sacrifice personal interests of glory for the welfare of all
        • Cheer others on; nobody can do it all on their own
    • The fourth tier needs resourcefulness to carry out proper judgment and integrity that will speak for itself when your character is questioned
      • Poise
        • Be yourself
          • Be at ease in any situation, and never fight with yourself
          • Don’t be thrown off by events, whether good or bad
        • Learn to appreciate your gifts and talents, including the ones not tied to your goals
      • Confidence
        • The strongest steel is well-founded self-belief
          • It is earned, not given
          • This may come from being prepared and keeping everything in its proper perspective
        • To be certain of success, put forth your best effort and have confidence in what you have done
    • Finally, the fifth tier needs fight, which is the combination of effort and hustle, and reliability, where others depend on you
      • Competitive Greatness
        • Perform at your best when your best is needed
          • Your best is required each day
          • When the going gets tough, the tough get going
          • Develop a real love of a hard battle
    • This only sustains itself through faith in devoted prayer and patience, since good things take time
  2. Stephen Covey builds success into 7 compounded habits required for effectiveness
    1. Be Proactive (as opposed to Reactive)
      • Taking initiative instead of waiting for others to act first, and also for being responsible for those actions
      • It must be based on principles
        • Conditioned response can be halted, which is specifically a human characteristic, but has to be driven by another force
          • Habits take 30 days to be changed permanently
      • Proactivity focuses on direct and indirect control and completely ignores anything that can’t be controlled
    2. Start With The End In Mind
      • Identify your center, whether it is work, spouse, church, or self
        • To be effective, we need to have a center in principles, where unchanging principles guide our actions
      • To discover what your principles are, imagine what others will think of you at your funeral
        • If you can write down the principles you want them to think of you as abiding by, you can effectively create a self mission statement
          • Mission statements create clearly defined end results
      • Mentally visualize your end result as you strive for it
    3. Put First Things First
      • Learn to be productive by saying “no” to things that aren’t important
      • First work on urgent and important things, then on non-urgent and important things, ignoring anything unimportant
      • Managers are exponential instruments, while producers are only proportional instruments
    4. Think Win/Win
      • Build up emotional connectivity with others
      • Try to find the mutual benefit with others instead of harming them for your own benefit
    5. Seek First To Understand…Then To Be Understood
      • To influence a person you need to understand them, which requires listening to them
      • After you understand them, it’s easier for you to put forward your own needs to be understood
    6. Synergize (Synchronized Energy)
      • Work in tandem with others towards a common goal
      • The risks of openness in synergy is always worth its payout
    7. Sharpen The Saw
      • Continue growing and improving physically, mentally, spiritually and socially/emotionally
      • All 4 parts are vital for proper development as a person
      • Renewal is a constant process of
        1. Commit to something
        2. Learn about it
        3. Do it
        4. Repeat
Next: Success 103: Get To Changing