One of the problems with a lot of success advice is that it’s entirely too cerebral. You’re told to visualize success, to get organized for success, and prepare for success.
There just isn’t a lot of action in that advice. Henry David Thoreau once said that “Success comes to people who are too busy to look for it.” This means that it takes action to become successful.
Here are ten keys to success for people who are ready to take action:
1. Give your goals at least an hour each day
Whatever you are trying to accomplish, if it is important enough to you, you will find a way to dedicate at least an hour each day towards accomplishing that goal. Get up an hour earlier. Go to bed an hour later. Say no to happy hour. Eat lunch at your desk. It will be difficult at first, but once you get into a rhythm, you will feel out of sorts if you don’t get your hour in.
“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” – Henry David Thoreau
2. Find out who can help you and reach out to them
As you begin working to achieve your goals, identify the people who are willing and able to help you. Then, get over any awkwardness, apprehension, or shyness that you might feel, and make contact with them. More often than not, people who are in a position to help or mentor somebody else are proud to be asked. The worst thing that can happen to you is a terse no. The best thing that can happen to you is that the person you reach out to goes over and above to help you get to where you want to be.
3. Turn off the television set
Yes, this is symbolic. You can television with smartphone, laptop, Xbox, etc.. The point is this. There is absolutely nothing wrong with watching television or playing video games as long as you keep it in check. If you are actively engaged and interested in a tv show, for example, that’s fine. Unfortunately, so many people spend hours in front of screens watching things or playing things when they aren’t even that interested. Pay attention to the number of hours you spend each week staring at screens doing absolutely nothing. Then, figure out how to replace at least half of those hours doing something productive.
4. Invest in yourself
Nobody is more interested in your success than you are. So, why aren’t you investing more in your own success? What do you need to achieve your goals? Is it equipment, education, or training? Don’t wait for an employer or anybody else to hand that to you. Make that happen for yourself.
Take a class on the internet. Read a book. Start a project at home and work through it. Join a professional association so that you gain insights and networking opportunities. Pay your own way to a conference or convention related to your chosen field
“Those who improve with age embrace the power of personal growth and personal achievement and begin to replace youth with wisdom, innocence with understanding, and lack of purpose with self-actualization.” – Bo Bennett
5. Start working out
Even if your success goals have absolutely nothing to do with fitness, you should seriously consider adding working out to your daily roster. When you schedule and stick to a regular workout schedule, several things happen. First, you add one more thing to your list of positive accomplishments, and one positive accomplishment tends to follow the other.
In addition to that, you also boost your fitness and energy levels. You will need this to put in extra hours and expend the extra energy required to move forward. Finally, you will literally improve your ability to focus and concentrate.
6. Resign from the water cooler club
Every workplace has a location where the employees gather to gossip and discuss weekend plans. Sometimes this is near the water cooler. In other cases it’s in a break room or around a particularly social person’s cubicle. If you are a regular presence in any of these places, stop it.
There’s a reason why you never see managers or executives in these places, and it isn’t because they are setting an example. It’s because they either have something better to do, or they find something better to do.
7. Create a project and lead it to success
One of the best ways to make a great impression on the job is to identify a problem, develop a solution, create a proposal, present it, and then lead the resulting project to a successful conclusion.
Even with a small idea, you can prove your ability to solve problems, manage a team, persuade people with a great presentation, and ensure that everything goes off without any issue.
8. Eliminate your barriers to success
Take an evening to sit down and have a long and honest conversation with yourself. What you want to do is come up with a list of everything and every person who is for any reason coming between you and your chance at success. Then, look at that list and figure out what you are going to do about it.
9. Write it down at the end of the day
Before you go to bed each evening, write down everything that you have done to gain ground on the goals that you have set. Then, ask yourself if it was enough. If not, make plans to do more the next day.
10. Start all over again
Every time you achieve a goal, find a way to celebrate your accomplishment. Then, think of the next thing that you want to accomplish and start working on that next. Never let yourself stagnate.
Always remember that the keys to success involve doing. If you want to become a successful person, stop thinking about it. Put one foot in front of the other and make it happen.