Being successful is a really big deal, but the truth is you’re already a success. I know, you probably don’t believe it, but Merriam-Webster dictionary defines success as, “a person that succeeds.”
What that means is simple. You don’t attain success only when you’re on the cover of magazines. You attain success when you’re one step ahead of where you were a second ago.
One prayer my dad taught me to say was, “Help me ensure that every day is a plus for me.” It didn’t make sense, especially to a 5 year old. But 20+ years later, I realize that it’s something we all need to say to ourselves every day.
However, that doesn’t happen by magic. It takes some super-duper dose of conscious effort to make it work. As humans, we often have a very twisted definition of success and this makes us depressed when it looks like we’re not “there yet”.
You’ll never enjoy the process if you keep asking, “Are we there yet?” That kind of yapping can get anyone pissed. A much better and relieving question is, “Where are we now?” It creates an opportunity to explore and appreciate the momentary happenings, pending when you eventually “get there”…whatever that means.
In the context of this post, being ultra-successful doesn’t mean having a billion dollars to your name. It means reaching a point where when you look back, you can clearly recognize you’ve crazily stretched yourself, broken limits and scaled borders you never thought were possible for you.
So here are principles you can apply to your work and life to ensure when you look back 10 years or less from now, your jaw drops:
1. Leverage Your Comfort Zone
Your comfort zone is a place where you’re most confident and comfortable. It’s not a place where you’re lazy. With this kind of definition, I wonder why people tell us to leave our comfort zones. I love mine.
A writer is most confident and comfortable when he writes. Same with a craftsman when he creates, a painter when he paints, a strategist when he creates strategy, a developer when he codes, a work-from-home entrepreneur when he works from home, and so on.
Leveraging your comfort zone then means pushing yourself to limits you never thought you could be pushed to. It means learning everything you need to know about your craft and implementing everything. It could mean writing books instead of just articles, creating a design course instead of just designing for clients, or helping people get medical help easily through an app instead of just building 2D games.
However, to get to the point where you’re able to perfectly leverage your comfort zone, you need to build expertise through practice. That’s the next point.
“You cannot push anyone up a ladder unless he be willing to climb a little himself.” – Andrew Carnegie
2. Exercise Daily
When I made a decision to write on a daily basis, it sounded sweet to my ears. When I started, I had to wonder whether or not I was in my right senses when I made that commitment.
A newbie developer who just learned his first line of code yesterday can’t build a viral app today. Mastery takes time. Consistent daily practice in whatever makes you most confident and comfortable makes time work in your favor. It somehow bunches time up and helps you achieve more in a lesser amount of time.
Little drops make a mighty ocean. Nonetheless, you can’t compare one drop per week to the same drop per day. The latter makes a mighty ocean faster.
There are now several platforms to help you express and show the world whatever your hands find to do. Whatever you choose to do daily doesn’t always have to be for public consumption. Yes, public feedback is good, but if you’re not the type who takes criticism lightly, start by showing a few nice people, before you move to the blunt ones.
The positive feedback from the nice guys will help you emotionally when you take the plunge. When you do, choose the right platform.
3. Create On The Right Platform
When Seth Godin, bestselling author of Purple cow, started writing daily, he did it on Typepad, not Youtube because he shared articles, not video content. Today, over 10 years later, even some of his posts that are less than 100 words get more than 200 shares. What you have to offer determines where you share it.
The right platform isn’t just defined by what format your work is in. It’s also defined by where you feel most comfortable (remember our point on comfort zone?). The right platform could be online or offline. The bottom line is you’re sharing something through a medium that reaches a certain number of people, with the lowest number being one.
Don’t bother about going viral with what you share, or getting 10k likes every time. You’ll be tempted to, but that’s not the point. Stay focused on being a success every day. Push yourself beyond limits right there in your comfort zone. In a couple of years, you’ll be surprised at how those little drops make you mighty. Anyone who comes in contact with you wouldn’t know when they get drowned in your work.
“I never dreamt of success. I worked for it.” – Este Lauder
How are you creating momentum towards success today? Comment below and let us know!
Image courtesy of Twenty20.com
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