Has the global pandemic redefined what success means to you?
Life has certainly been different during the Covid-19 pandemic, and your goals and priorities may have changed because of it. What you once thought was important may now be off your radar and what you once took for granted may now be sacrosanct.
Different stages of your life are like different chapters, and your definition of success may change for each chapter, therefore consider 2020 as a chapter in your success journey. You see, success is not a place but a way of thinking, feeling and subsequently acting.
Over the past two decades, I have focused my time and energy on understanding what differentiates high achievers from the rest, and in doing so, I’ve identified five secrets of their success.
Mastering these five secrets will accelerate your focus, your confidence and your self-belief, empowering and enabling you with the knowledge, skills and framework to start living the life you were meant to lead.
Success Secret 1 – Define what success means to you
Success Secret 2 – Create your success formula
Success Secret 3 – Success modelling to fast-track your timeline
Success Secret 4 – Develop your success disciplines
Success Secret 5 – Hone your success habits
The Five Secrets of Success
Success Secret 1: Define what success means to you
Success is such an emotive word, which we each define differently. Success for one person could be at opposite ends of the scale for the next. However, if you examine the words and actions of some of the most successful people today and throughout history, you’ll find they each have something in common:
- A clear set of motivational drivers
- A reason for being
- A clear answer to the question ‘Why?’
- A purposeful intent that drives what they do and how they do it.
Have you ever considered what success means to you? Have you really reflected on this question or taken time out to answer it? And I mean properly answer it. Create some quiet time, take out your pad and pen or preferred gadget and commit it to black and white.
- What does success mean to you personally?
- What does success mean to you professionally?
- Are your two definitions aligned, or are they in tension?
Think about these things, and you begin to raise your conscious awareness of your motivational drivers, which in turn will help unlock your ‘Why?’ and ultimately your definition of success. When you are clear about what success means to you, both personally and professionally, you can design your life, fully aware of the tensions and trade-offs you’re making.
If you consider 2020 as a chapter in your success journey, what did you learn from it? What went well? What would you do differently? Closeout 2020 by defining what success means to you now.
Success Secret 2: Create your success formula
To turn your success definition into reality, you now need to create your success formulas. You may be thinking, how do I do that?
The great news is that we all have areas of our lives where we already apply success formulas. Perhaps you don’t describe or think about them as formulas; you may call them plans, routines, systems, rituals, regimens or just ‘the way you do it’. But if you’re repeating something regularly in the same way because you know it gets you the result you want, that’s a success formula.
To help you in the creation and application of your success formulas, firstly define ‘success’ or the goal that you want to achieve. Create a strategy, a success formula, a game plan for how you’re going to turn your defined success or goal into reality, then take massive action, aligned to your strategy and review it regularly. This is the step that ultimately plagues most people and the principal reason why a success formula will fail.
Success Secret 3: Success modelling to fast-track your timeline
You don’t need to be an expert in everything. You can fast-track your success by learning from the experts.
Whether it being in your business or personal growth journey, you have two choices: the first is to put in the hard yards, learning through trial and error as you reinvent the wheel; the second is to learn from those who have already navigated a pathway to success.
We all know successful people who have achieved great things, but you may be surprised to discover how willing they often are to share their success, if only they were asked to do so.
Success Secret 4: Develop your success disciplines
Warren Buffett, considered one of the most successful investors in the world, was speaking at Harvard Business School. He was addressing students of the final graduating year, who were just about to start their careers. During the Q&A session at the end, a student asked: ‘Mr Buffett, if there was one final thought you could share with us as we head into the world of work and start our careers, what would it be?’ This was a great question, and Buffett’s response was, ‘Get your habits right while you’re young, because once embedded they will serve you in creating a compelling future.’
This was an insightful response, particularly the words ‘because once embedded’. This is the difference that makes the difference for high achievers: consistency of action – consistency over time that, in turn, leads to habit.
You can invest quality time defining what success means to you personally and professionally. You can create your success formula and a success modelling strategy, and on paper, you are set up for success, only to fall on disciplined execution.
I’ve seen so many people achieve some quick wins, but delivering accelerated, sustained and repeatable results requires a whole new set of skills and disciplines. It requires focus, it requires rigour, and it requires boundless levels of energy, commitment and resilience.
Success Secret 5: Hone your success habits
There is a saying, ‘No crowds are lining the extra mile’. Masters of their craft, whatever their specialist field of endeavour, are part of a select group of people who live by this saying.
Because the extra mile is where they spend most of their time, they don’t subscribe to the tribe of life, the herd mentality. For them, a life of mediocrity is not an option. Instead, they invest their time every day in being the best of the best, raising their standards and chasing perfection. Even though perfection isn’t truly attainable, they know that by going the extra mile, they may just catch excellence on the journey.