Success 102: How To Start Your Own Success

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Success 101: What Success Is

Your success starts with accepting a few things about yourself

You can only change yourself and nobody else

Your feelings don’t matter to anyone but you

  • The world is more likely to judge than favor emotional expression
  • Self-identifying as a victim guarantees no internal change and leads to no outward change

Turning great ideas into reality takes more hard work than most people are willing to do

  • To change the world, look at yourself as the template you want to impress on the world

Your decisions have taken you wherever you are, even as a victim of past abuse

  • You must claim responsibility for yourself since your only power to do anything comes from your own choices
  • Being angry at someone gives your will over to them through your obsession with their behavior
  • 99% of the time an offender doesn’t remember the offense they’ve committed, even horrible injustices

Your reputation with others is never as significant as your character

  • Character is what you do when nobody is looking
  • A genuine person can bounce back repeatedly, but a deceptive one will fall from influence permanently

Change your attitude about feelings

We are all emotional creatures, and our emotions fuel our desires

  • We must know why we choose our decisions to link up our emotions with the desires we wish to have
  • Success at anything requires connecting our passions to our actions, which is why happiness is critical for success
  • The right passion behind your goals will inspire you to overcome anything to achieve your purpose

Most people don’t know how their feelings work

  • Many emotional states are driven by past experiences more than current or future ones
  • Focusing on the past creates a permanent vicious cycle of reinforcing unhealthy behaviors
    • People often ignore their behavior in the present because they are focusing on their memories
    • If past events created the present, then the same things now will produce the same future

We become what we think about

  • We take our minds for granted and don’t control our thoughts nearly enough
  • The view we have of ourselves shapes what we inevitably become
  • In a way, we “talk” inside our minds as if we were listening to someone else

You must believe you are unlucky

Avoid waiting for an opportunity to happen

  • You have to work to make your luck change
  • Assume the odds are weighted against you as you walk into every encounter

It’s easy to feel entitled if you don’t expect lousy luck

  • You don’t “deserve” anything more than you currently have right now
  • Expecting good things to happen will lead to consistent disappointment

Change how you view your life

An idea is an event and acting on it is a process

  • All ideas are intrinsically useless
  • Actions by themselves have no purpose
  • The only valuable things you can do comes from carrying out ideas through intentional actions

People on their deathbeds consistently have the same regrets

  1. I wish I hadn’t worked as hard as I had
  2. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
  3. I wish I had been happier than I let myself be
  4. I wish I had more courage to express my true self and to become what I wanted
  5. I wish I had lived a life true to my dreams instead of what others expected of me

Don’t expect overwhelming pleasure from any level of success

  • Generally, expecting an outcome gives more excitement and enjoyment than receiving it
  • Many highly successful people never learn to appreciate their victory, which is a type of personal failure

You can only succeed if you’re motivated enough to stick with it

Finding motivation comes from lining up your actions with your desires

Many people fail by forcing the opposite: trying to line up their desires with their actions

Changing desires requires personal growth across weeks, months, and years

If you aren’t willing to make a worthwhile risk, it’s often from over-thinking

  • Most timidity and hesitation originates from exaggerated fears and downplaying the benefits

Your motivation to succeed comes from how much you visualize the result

  • Visualization is imagining a result to the point of experiencing, seeing, and feeling before you even start
  • Every successful person felt their sacrifice was entirely worth it long before they were near the end

Low motivation can come from outward issues

  • No clear direction or goal
  • Not organized
  • Having a poor self-image
  • Not knowing what others expect or prefer
  • No proper balance in life

You must believe a few things to succeed

  1. You already have everything you need to succeed already
  2. You can do it
  3. Barring the forces of reality permanently stopping you, you will do it

If you lose faith that your story will end well, then you are guaranteed to fail

  • Negativity and cynicism will come, but they shouldn’t stay
  • A constant stream of negativity in your thoughts will discourage you before you even start

Remove any excuses from your thoughts

“I’m not ready”

  • Nobody is ever truly ready for anything, so take the plunge

“I don’t know what to do”

  • You will learn in time, and the most crucial aspect is your willingness to learn

“I don’t have money”

  • Enough creativity and determination can circumvent the need for money

“I don’t have equipment”

  • Others who have equipment will share with you if you can share your passion with them

“I don’t have time”

  • If it’s important to you, you can make time
  • Saying “no” to one thing is saying “yes” to something else, and vice versa

“I’m not good enough”

  • You can always become good enough

“I don’t have the right credentials/degree/training”

  • Nobody cares about qualifications as much as you think they do

“I’m not in the right location”

  • It’s worth moving for it if it matters to you

“I don’t have the right network/reputation/work history”

  • 3-4 hours of intentional networking a day can create a vast network in weeks

“It’s too crazy”

  • Crazy is entirely relative, and most celebrated success stories were once about “impossible” things

“I’m not talented/gifted enough”

  • In all disciplines, most prominent and successful people have mediocre innate talents

“If I work hard I’ll succeed”

  • Focus on the actual value you’re adding, not on how many things you’re doing

“I want to be a great family person”

  • A great parent has a great career

You need motivation because of what success requires you to sacrifice

Change encompasses every portion of success

Changes always become worse before they get better than before the change happened

  • Most people grow discouraged before they accomplish enough to start seeing the payout of their work

You will need to stay open-minded to new ideas and options that may answer your problem

Learn to adapt on-the-fly to sudden changes or new perspectives

Success only comes from a consistent and determined effort to change yourself on every front

Become a constant learner

All self-improvement starts with increasing knowledge

Avoid toxic input, especially anything that doesn’t lead to anything useful

  • Read, research, and learn
  • Learn to disregard what society at large thinks and believes
  • “Everyone” doing it is a risk to your success since “everyone” is average and uninteresting

Education sharpens and expands your mind, which gives answers to problems

Learn common sense

  • Common sense is the set of prejudices acquired by age 18
  • Wisdom is often common sense
  • “Applied knowledge” most accurately defines wisdom
  • The more you learn, the more your wisdom can fix incorrect prejudices

You will pay for your success

Every opportunity has a cost, and significant opportunities require massive payment

  • The payments come as money, time, energy, lost opportunities in other areas, and social sacrifices

Generally, more opportunities require you to take more control of your life

  • More often than not, your greatest payment for your success is in disciplining yourself to focus

Usually, if you need to ask permission, you will have to pay in social backlash for unconventional behavior

Time is the ultimate equalizer

  • Everyone has precisely the same amount of time every day

Success takes longer than you’d expect

  • The 3 Back-Job Rule: three jobs are hiding behind every situation you see
  • The bigger the endeavor, the more that gets in the way
  • It may take many late nights and early mornings to achieve your desired results
  • Eventually, you’ll develop a type of routine for ambition
  • The earlier you start, the earlier you’ll see results, so don’t wait to start

Becoming successful is often lonely

The path to success contains frequent rejection, so learn to ignore it

Don’t expect commendation; you will become successful long before anyone sees results

You might make many good friendships, but you will outgrow many of them

  • Most people will misunderstand you
  • You will network with many associates and will have very few close friends
  • Prepare for singleness for the rest of your life unless you’re lucky enough to find someone who understands your lifestyle

Many people will oppose you

  • Society pushes us to unsuccessful and selfish ends but justifies it as advancing our self-interest
  • People want you to succeed, but usually only as much or less than they have
  • Family and friends typically want to feel better about their self-invalidating scripts
  • Insecure people don’t want their self-conceit invalidated (typically disguised as false humility)

Despite all the hardship and rejection, you must become vulnerable and emotionally available to others

The correct approach is full authenticity, but distrust when it’s called for

Openness has several elements

  1. Gratitude and appreciation for those who will still accept you
  2. Maintaining appropriate behavior in unfamiliar settings
  3. Ability to stay tactful despite a fight-or-flight impulse
  4. Ability to decompress from scary and uncomfortable things

Learning openness comes from effective stress management in your off-time

  • Learn to communicate and talk with friends (covered in the next section)
  • Exercise, eat and sleep correctly
  • Do something for others (covered later)
  • Though it’s popular, “chilling out” is not a useful technique for stress management

Learn to become confident in yourself

  • Confidence allows you to accept being wrong
  • Confidence is also necessary for boldly approaching challenges

Success requires unwavering belief in yourself and others

  • You need to improve your motivation if you consistently agree with the last person you talked with

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. Accomplished goals create a positive behavior change
  5. Positive changes in behavior create improved results
  6. Improved results over enough time create success

Make your long-term desire before diving into the details

1. Set up a carefully considered and well-thought-out purpose

Your actions will stray from your desires without a long-term purpose

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 what 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
  • Ask yourself what you would like to be remembered for if you were to die one year from today

2. Acquire and maintain a robust set of values and principles

Values and principles are challenging because they’re usually against the path of least resistance

Write out a clear vision statement about what you want

  • Avoid jargon or technical terminology, since it needs enough simplicity for your subconscious to feel it
  • Paint a simple and straightforward picture of the future
  • Make it in conformity to all the standards you believe in

Most of your purpose will stem from finding an answer to a problem you see

  • Finding the problem is essential, but finding a solution creates results

3. Adapt your conduct and habits to your purpose

Our behavior is the outer expression of an inner code

Everyone can see someone’s life philosophy by observing that person’s actions

Your change must come from 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
  • A vision will be a lingering heartfelt passion, not a feeling here today and gone in a week

4. Make your new habits into an art and science through learning the best ways to apply them

Create your long-term desire by finding habits you need to change

Every component of your life is tied together

The past caused everything today, so the future starts with today

  • Continually ask yourself if what you are doing today is getting you closer to what you desire tomorrow
  • Even a dollar or five minutes can drastically affect a higher purpose, especially routinely
  • Schedule your exercise and sleep to have the emotional energy to take on new things

Ask unasked questions about everything in your life, even “forbidden” topics

Ask dumb and apparent 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 required?
  • What opportunities can I use to expand my worldview or learn what I want to learn?

Look at every part of your day-to-day life and ask what you want

  • Ingrained beliefs, prejudices, and assumptions
  • Lines of communication with others
  • Fully automated routines and habits
  • A lack of time, energy or resources for your goals
  • “Voids” of seemingly wasted time, energy or resources

Every successful person is focused more on improving habits than on attaining outward successes

Goals are more measurable than habits but create issues

  • Though you might not meet your goals, starting and failing a habit is better than never starting it at all
  • A focus on results creates so much initiative that it pushes out everything else necessary for wellness

Habits come from routine and can profoundly destroy or build

Maintaining habits will adapt and shape a person’s identity

  1. Habits create thoughts and viewpoints
  2. Thoughts and viewpoints develop feelings and impressions
  3. Feelings and impressions create our mental state

Stopping a habit is often a tough habit of its own, so replace habits with better ones instead

Improving habits is more about how we do things than what we accomplish

  • It takes about 21 days to break most habits and is far easier with a purpose behind it

Countless habits that can start the path to success

Start with anything you don’t like in yourself

Start removing bad habits

If you see a bad habit in yourself, it’s likely one of your worst ones

Accept and live by some realities

Today and the future are the only periods of time worth observing

  • The past is over, and you won’t accomplish anything by beating yourself up about failures
  • 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

  • Every complaint you have today won’t matter in 5 years

Everyone suffers from the following common issues, irrespective of success

  • Loneliness
  • Occasionally feeling unimportant, underappreciated, and disappointed
  • Losing friends
  • Others disliking you

You will misjudge people, so learn from it and move on from it

You will never make perfect decisions or plans

  • Nobody takes you as seriously as you do
  • You will never know enough to consider every possible risk
  • Observe the difference between the right decision and the best decision

Behave maturely with others

Stop comparing yourself to everyone else

Listen to wisdom from older people

Engage with others according to your values

  • 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
  • Avoid jealousy over a date’s platonic friends
  • Reconcile with everyone you can and get rid of grudges
  • Find new friends and always stay open for more
  • Avoid unnecessary arguments, especially on the Internet

Respect others and honor their sensitivities

  • Learn gratitude for others in your life
  • Show genuine weakness to someone you trust
  • Find ways to disagree agreeably
  • Learn more about your family, especially your children

Improve yourself

Become a constant learner

Learn to manage money more effectively

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, and then the art of 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 visit places for the sole purpose of finding 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 avoid being “busy”

Developing habits fits a few general patterns

A. John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success builds habits into a foundational pyramid

The first tier is adopting healthy universal habits

  • Hard Work/Industriousness
    • Worthwhile results come from hard work and careful planning
      • Success travels in the company of arduous 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 every single day
  • Friendship
    • Strive to affiliate with groups filled with camaraderie and respect, which come from:
      • Mutual esteem
      • Mutual respect
      • Shared devotion
    • Like marriage, you shouldn’t take friendships for granted
      • We earn the gift of friendship
    • 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
    • Stay true to yourself, those you lead and the ones who depend on you
    • Keep your self-respect and maintain your respect with others
      • We can’t build trust and loyalty in one day
    • The more loyal members of a group are, the more motivated they will achieve group goals and the higher the chance of success
  • Cooperation
    • To be incrementally better, become competitive; to be exponentially better, become cooperative
    • Focus on what’s right more than who’s right
      • Look for the best way more than having your way
    • Get along with all levels of your co-workers
      • To be heard, listen
      • Pay attention to the needs of others, and then act
  • Enthusiasm
    • Enthusiasm for excellence is highly contagious
      • You can significantly inspire and stimulate others with your energy, enjoyment, drive, dedication, and joy
    • Your attitude brushes off those you come in contact with
      • You must genuinely 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 an organization begins with control of yourself
      • Become self-disciplined
      • Keep emotions under control
      • Use common sense
      • Practice good judgment
    • Intensity makes you stronger; emotionalism makes you weaker
      • Others will surpass you if you let your feelings take over
    • We most easily see self-control in our daily choices
  • Alertness
    • Pay close attention to others and yourself
      • Constantly stay 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
      • Don’t 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 includes adaptability toward any situation and honesty in both thought and action

  • Condition/Fitness
    • Ability may get you to the top, but character keeps you there
      • Mental through practicing focus and meditation
      • Moral through learning and practicing moderation
      • Physical, including rest, exercise, and diet
    • Eliminate dissipation and excess
    • Get in top physical shape for everything that comes
  • Skill
    • What a leader learns after you’ve learned everything counts most of all
      • You must swiftly carry out the fundamentals effectively
      • Stay 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, since everyone needs support

The fourth tier requires resourcefulness to follow through with proper judgment and integrity that speaks for itself when others question your character

  • Poise
    • Be yourself
      • Stay comfortable in any situation and never fight with yourself
      • Don’t get thrown off by events, whether good or bad
    • Learn to appreciate your gifts and talents, including the ones not tied to your goals
  • Confidence
    • Well-founded self-belief is stronger than steel
      • It is earned, not given
      • Confidence comes from being prepared and keeping everything in its proper perspective
    • Put forth your best effort and have faith in what you’ve done to ensure success

Finally, the fifth tier needs fight (the combination of effort and hustle) and reliability (others can 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

Building the pyramid only comes through faith in devoted prayer and patience, since good things take time

B. Stephen Covey expresses success as seven compounded habits focused on effectiveness

  1. Be proactive (as opposed to reactive)
  • Take the initiative instead of waiting for others to act first and claim responsibility for your actions
  • Proactivity comes from principles
    • Only humans can stop conditioned responses, but only when another force drives it
  • Habits take 30 days to change permanently
  • Proactivity focuses only on direct and indirect control and completely disregards anything uncontrollable
  1. Start with the end in mind
  • Identify your center, whether it is work, spouse, church, or self
    • To become effective, we need a center in unchanging principles that guide our actions
  • To discover what your principles are, imagine what others will think of you at your funeral
    • Mission statements create clearly defined results
    • Write down values you wish others to observe in you to start a personal mission statement
  • Mentally visualize your end as you strive for it
  1. Put first things first
  • Learn productivity by saying “no” to unimportant things
  • Work first on urgent important things, then on non-urgent important things, and ignore anything unimportant
  • Producers are proportional instruments, but managers are exponential instruments
  1. Think win/win
  • Build up emotional connectivity with others
  • Try to find the mutual benefit with others instead of harming them for your gain
  1. Seek first to understand, then to be understood
  • You need to understand someone to influence them, which requires listening to them
  • Understanding others makes communicating your own needs more seamless as well
  1. Synergize (synchronized energy)
  • Work in tandem with others toward a common goal
  • Risking openness in synergy is always worth its payout
  1. Sharpen the saw
  • Proper development requires continuous growth on all fronts
    • Physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially/emotionally
  • Practice constant renewal
    1. Commit to something
    2. Learn about it
    3. Do it
    4. Repeat

Once you feel fully ready for success, get to it!

Next: Success 103: Get To Changing