“Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really: Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, so go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.” – Thomas J. Watson
Your Success Barometer
Success is something we all strive for in our lives, however, all too often we accidentally find ourselves striving for successes that we do not truly desire; a measure of success that has somebody other than you attached to it. The first thing we must do when measuring success is to ensure that reaching the goals in question are in line with our own personal desires and needs, and not somebody else’s idea of what it is to be successful. True achievement looks very different to each and every one of us, so look to what accomplishments will genuinely matter to you, personally. What do you really want to achieve?
Areas of Success
Another thing to consider when defining success is where we look for it. It is easy to feel down on oneself if we feel we are not reaching the heights that we want for ourselves. However, more often than not, if we peer into the other areas of our lives, we will see many an achievement, some plain to see and some a little more hidden. Success should be sought out, and can be found, in every area of life; relationships, financial gain, career, fitness, health and hobbies all harbour the potential for moments of victory. Look to these areas, and value each triumph you find with equal aplomb.
In order to focus on defining your own personal success a little reflection is required. Here are some points on how to ponder upon the subject…
1. Know Yourself
Knowing yourself is key to working out what constitutes victory for you, personally. What are your limits? What is realistic for you? What do you find hard? What do you find easy? The answers to these questions will be entirely different for each and every one of us… which brings me on to the following point; knowing yourself also includes the lack of temptation to compare yourself to others. Whether this comparison makes you look better or worse than another person, it is not a useful exercise as it either serves to belittle your own achievements or to belittle the achievements of others. Your personal success is for you and you alone; the self is the only true competition here!
2. Exceed Your Expectations
We have all been guilty of self-doubt; this, I do not doubt! However, the act of telling the self that something cannot be achieved is a sure way to stunt the potential for personal victory. Now that you have considered your limits, always try and aim a little beyond them… you may be stunned at how these incremental reaches beyond what you thought your limits were can exponentially broaden the reality of what you can achieve.
Consider a goal of yours. Why are you aiming for it? What does it actually mean to you? What are the benefits of this potential success? If the answers to this do not satisfy your desires and needs, or if the answers to these questions do not exist, then perhaps it is time to consider whether this particular challenge is worth the stress and effort required.
4. Clamber Over the Hurdles
Difficulty and/or failure are not good reasons to give up. I imagine we have all given up once or twice. We often take roadblocks as a good enough reason to turn back down the road to success. However, curve balls and complications are the very thing that make achievements greater; do not let stumbles quash your quest to hit your target. When I was a teenager, my favourite TV show was Scrubs; a silly show, yes indeed. However, a line from one of the characters always stuck with me and has helped to define my work ethic ever since; “Nothing worth achieving is ever easy.” Recognise the difficulty, acknowledge it, reset and move past it. Onwards!
5. Good Company
Choosing to have supportive people around you will help to give your goals clarity. You should not only have people that will encourage you to take your journeys, but also to alert you to when you are barking up the wrong tree. It is also vital to diagnose who those people in your life are that might not be quite so useful on your road to success, and perhaps to take their input with a pinch of salt!
By Chris Thomson
Get on your road to achievement by first making a top notch ‘To-Do’ list: How to Make A Mindful ‘To-Do’ List
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