SUCCESS PRINCIPLE NO 1
Success is something you are, something you become not something you go out and get
Successful people know who they are, they know who they are ‘being’ in the world. They know what they believe in, what they will stand up for, how to treat people, and how to respond to the challenges life will always present them. They understand what’s important, and they know that life and work is an opportunity to achieve something bigger. They are not just here to exist. This guiding commitment softens the inevitable ups and downs of life and business. In life, we should understand who we are, not just what we want. It’s an important distinction.
“With our thoughts we make the world.”
Your external qualities are how the world experiences you but your inner qualities are as equally important. You can’t think one way, but do the opposite. Instead, you must be consistent in both your thoughts and actions.
Your private thoughts and behaviors are incredibly powerful; particularly if they are things you think and do consistently. These thoughts and behaviors implant themselves and define your reality, so it’s crucial to be aware of them so that you can shape them to your will. Only you are in charge of your thoughts and actions. Like a director, you control the action and in turn, your life.
You can write endless lists and goals and tell people what you want, declare it on Facebook etc, however, if your private actions and thoughts (the things you do and say when no one else is around) are at odds with your public face, you’re undermining yourself. You cannot fool success – every thought matters.
The spoken word is incredibly powerful. Don Miguel Ruiz, the author of The Four Agreements,a hugely popular and influential book which explores 4 agreements or ‘commitments’ we can make to ourselves. One of them is: “Being impeccable with your word.” – This means only saying things that you mean and believe. Think before you speak – ensure your statements originate from you, and are not simply what you believe others want to hear. Ask yourself: are you recycling the thoughts of your parents or role models?
Don Miguel Ruiz implores us to say things we intend to follow through with, and only speak of things we want to happen, not the things we don’t want. You can’t assume that the world and other people already know what you want. You have to be specific. You have to articulate exactly what you want in order to achieve that goal.
Or, as Dr. Seuss says,
“Say what you mean and mean what you say.”
I believe these things matter and shape who you are – the ‘being’ part of you. Remember, be careful what you wish for, because you will always get it in some form or another.
SUCCESS PRINCIPLE NO 2
BE SIGNIFICANT, BE INFLUENTIAL, BE VISIBLE. BE MORE THAN AN OBSERVER
A 2013 research study investigated people’s life goals and desires. The findings showed that our deepest desires included being viewed by others as ‘significant’, and ‘of some influence’. We also want to know that our life ‘means something’ and that we are really ‘seen’. Essentially, we crave the knowledge that we have an impact on the world and on other people. That our life was for some purpose or reason.
Instinctively, we long to exist in a profound state of ‘being.’ And if we don’t, we can feel that something very important is missing.
Many people feel these deep, often unexpressed desires. However the majority of the population only ‘observe’ rather than participate fully in their lives.
The pathway to significance and influence is to engage and participate in life. To only ‘observe life’, or know life only through watching it on TV and movies, being more involved in our friends’ lives than in creating our own, observing celebrities in magazines, and just talking about it…this means a lack of understanding of the true meaning of success, love, victory, hard work, or failure and making mistakes.
In my opinion, to be a true success means avoiding sitting on the sidelines. Rather engage fully, ‘feel’, get hurt, make huge mistakes, lose money, take risks, be visible, have your photo taken, make that phone call that you think is hard, stretch yourself, leave a job, date that person, try things out and go places you feel uncomfortable.
A favourite quote of mine by anonymous:
You can’t be a secret and be successful, if you want to reach those who need what you have to offer, being visible is essential…
Incidentally, it is it no coincidence one of the most popular books of all time is Dale Carnegie’s “How to win friends and influence people”.
Vanessa is an Entrepreneurial Muse & Creative Strategist. Visit her site www.vanessajane.com.