In my opinion, success is more a combination of 1. The right approach and 2. The proper motivation, instead of the implementation of lots of little secrets. I am going to share with you some important key distinctions that may help you become successful at anything you want.
1. Focus on your target result. Focus feeds proximity and proximity feeds focus. You get closer to what you focus on. If you buy magazines and books about your desired results you’ll eventually know more about the topic and get better at it. If you have a vivid imagination, spend a few minutes a day describing the future that you want for yourself. Be extremely specific and don’t hesitate to “focus” on the details. This will help you get clear about what you really want. And believe it or not, in my experience, most people are not truly clear about their objective – their desires.
2. “Do” instead of “Plan”. A car is easier to steer in the right direction when it’s moving in any direction. Just as a car, you will have an easier time moving forward and achieving your goals if you are doing something. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Michael Masterson puts it like this: Ready, Fire, Aim. Which means: do, then try to adjust. I see many people that have problems getting started because they truly want it to be perfect. Don’t even worry about being great. Just move forward: do something! Once you have something, then it is easier for you, or for somebody else, to revise it and give you ideas on how to improve it. But planning until its perfect will get you nowhere. Do you want to lose weight? Set a goal of 1 pound. Then act with all your power to do anything it takes to achieve that goal. Why is it easier to be successful that way? Because you are moving forward. Start today with something. Anything. Even if it is in the wrong direction. Move!
3. Talk to others about your idea. Make notes, take criticism and continue to refine. Don’t make the mistake of just keeping your ideas to yourself. Sometimes the fear is that if you share it with people, that they will steal it and “make millions” or worse, that they will criticize you. Although that is possible, believe me, that is highly unlikely. What is highly likely is the fact that by sharing your ideas and plans with others, you’ll get motivated and you’ll become socially accountable to them. This will put a bit of pressure on your plate to get things done. That’s always good. Be disciplined and speak about your plans and ideas with as many trustworthy people as you can.
4. Train yourself to accept reasonable risk (moving out of your comfort zone). Only risk is rewarded – that’s a law of nature. Only the people that lend money get an interest. Only the farmer that plants gets a crop. If you don’t learn to risk something and to put something you value on the line, you’ll have a difficult time succeeding. Think about it, every time that you are scared or feel pain about doing something is because your brain is telling you that you want it, but at the same time its telling you that there’s a risk involved. Make an effort not to focus on the risk – because if you do, you’ll only see the potential loss. If you focus on the potential reward then it’ll be easier to overcome your obstacles and achieve what you are looking for. Also, as an exercise, try to mentally rehearse the worst case scenarios and what kind of pain are you really going to experience if those scenarios were to become true. This small exercise will show you that for the most part the associated perceived risk is composed of two parts:
- The real risk associated with taking action and
- The fear of the unknown.
By rehearsing the worst case scenarios you basically destroy the fear of the unknown and are left with only the true risk of taking action – therefore making it easier to measure if it is worth it.
5. Stay when everybody has left. Practice when practice is over. Kobe Bryant, NBA basketball player, used to train after every practice. For most people practice is where they are acquiring the skills to succeed. But in the world in which we live today, everybody is going to practice. The true exceptional people are the ones that stay after practice. Those are the ones that excel. Those are the people that will reach the next level. Of course, it is impossible to consistently do this, unless you love what you do. This in itself will kill you psychologically. So remember to dedicate your attention and focus to that specific skill which you love and which you are strong at. That way, when it is time for everybody else to go home, you’ll still want to stay and practice another 100 shots.
6. Find a minimum effort that makes you move in the right direction and just commit to that. I call this: SADs: Small Acts of Discipline. Your momentum is what will carry you into higher accomplishments. I see many people that can’t move forward because in their mind the tasks are simply too big or too difficult. They relate the task to perceived future pain and therefore try to stay away. But when all you do is commit to a small effort, you’ll find that momentum can carry a very important weight. For example, when you want to start a running regime, don’t mentally commit to running 10 miles every day, otherwise your brain will immediately reject the idea. However, if instead you commit to running 2 minutes next time and you stick to it, believe me that once you are running 2 minutes – you’ll know that you might as well run another 5 minutes. Before you know it, you’ll eventually be able to run more and more time and just by having the discipline to do the small. The Bible says it in this way: “He who is faithful in the little is faithful in the much”.
7. Make a mental list of all the people that have made fun of you, have belittle you or thought that you would never amount to anything. Every time that you are at that moment when you are tired and don’t want to take action, pull that mental list. And then think of this: “I don’t owe anything to anybody, in the secret of my mind, they don’t know the struggle that I am having, but if I can move the needle even a small bit in the direction of my goals, I will have proven all those people wrong about me.”
That’s it – These techniques should help you become more effective in reaching your goals.