The road to achievement is littered with challenges. Whether you are trying to lose weight, start a business, do well on an exam, or achieve financial freedom, the path is rarely smooth sailing.
For example, I recently lost 50 pounds over a 6 year period losing the last 20 pounds last year alone! I did it without fancy diet pills or the hot new trend in physical fitness. Rather, my results are simply the result of two things–hard work and determination.
What does weight loss have to do with achieving a musical dream (e.g., getting your first Billboard hit)? starting a business? or passing an exam? In a word–everything. The thing I’ve found is that the tools I used to achieve success in weight loss can be applied to any other endeavor. So here, I will share with you my top 10 rules of Success that I learned along the way.
Success Is Not An Accident
In order to truly make a big change in any area of life, you need to take the area you want to succeed in off of autopilot. Be it weight loss, starting a business, or anything else, you need to become more conscious of your actions and habits. This means setting goals for yourself, developing a plan for achieving those goals, and constantly evaluating your progress–and making adjustments as needed along the way.
Why? Because many of our daily choices are based on learned behaviors and routine. Scientists have figured out that the vast majority of our decision-making is actually unconscious. In other words, we are not making decisions consciously. That is, we do things without giving them much thought. We don’t consider every action we take and its potential consequences, nor do we think about how to improve our results.
This is good news because it means that there is a way you can change your unconscious decision-making and therefore achieve whatever goal you set.
The first step in achieving success, then, is to develop positive habits around your goals. For example, if you want to achieve financial freedom, you need to create a plan for your finances, and stick to that plan.
Similarly, if you want to lose weight or reach a new personal goal on your instrument, it is key that you take actionable steps toward those goals every day.
If you can cultivate a habit of hard work and determination, success is within your reach. So start today and don’t let anything stand in your way!
According to life coach Brendon Butchard, whatever we leave in life to randomness always ends in mediocrity.
Success Doesn’t Look Like Success
I always envisioned my path to weight loss would be much more glamorous than it was. Instead of seeing the pounds dropping off day after day, it was months before I started to actually see my results. It was a day after day struggle of choosing to do the right thing even though I could not see any actual reward from it.
The same is true in any other area of life. Overcoming adversity, achieving financial freedom, or any other goal usually never brings immediate results. But even though you can’t see immediate results when you’re working to achieve something big, you need keep going.
If you are relying on immediate results to keep you motivated, you will fail. Success is really about doing the right things at the right time for the right amount of time. In other words: We are what we repeatedly do.
Continue to strive toward success!
With patience and persistence, the road to success will become much smoother. And eventually, at the end of that journey, you will find yourself looking back on all those seemingly insurmountable obstacles with awe and wonder at how far you’ve come. And for me, that feeling is worth every last bit of effort it took to get there.
Passion Will Only Get You So Far
Achieving success in any area of life is a constant balancing act between passion and pragmatism.
Successful people keep their eye on their ultimate goal, but that does not mean that the always feel like doing what they need to do. The reality is you will not always feel like doing what needs to be done-that is a part of the process.
I was on a 1670 calorie a day diet for over eight months and I sure did not feel like doing that most of the time.
In fact, I often felt like eating everything in sight and giving up completely.
It was even more challenging because I was the only one in my family on a diet. While they ate delicious, unhealthy foods, all I could have was a bowl of blueberries because it was one of the only nighttime snack that wouldn’t push me over my daily calorie limit.
Simply put, if I was relying on passion to get me though, I would have given up a long time ago.
Despite how unmotivated you may feel at times, be sure to stay focused on the big picture, and realize that the only way to reach your goals is by consistently doing what you need to do, even when you don’t feel like it.
Move in Silence
Have you ever shared your plans with someone and they didn’t share your same passion? (or worse they tried to talk you out of it?). Me too.
For example, after losing about 14 pounds this year, I actually had someone tell me to stop losing weight. Why? They were afraid that I would start losing muscle instead of fat. Well meaning, but If I had listened to them, I wouldn’t have achieved my goal.
I can’t put my figure on it, but for some reason this works for me every time. I find that you more you share about the goal you’re trying to achieve, the less likely you are to achieve it. It’s like there are a number of things that can go wrong when you share it: people start expressing their opinions about your new endvour (which may not be helpful).
Or they start celebrating you before you’ve made it. The problem with that is that you’re not at the finish line yet. What’s wrong with that you ask? Michael Jordan shared a story about himself and Luc Longley that illustrates the point.
In 1998, The Chicago Bulls were playing a game against the Utah Jazz. After the first half, the Bulls were up by 16 points; Longley had 12 points, four blocks, and four rebounds. Jordan noticed and gave Longley a huge compliment.
The Bulls lost the game by 15 points.
How many points did Longley have at the end of the game? 12 points, four blocks, and four rebounds.
Jordan looked at Longley and told him: “that is the last time I give you a compliment during a game.”
Sometimes, people notice our success and start to celebrate with us as if we have already made it. But this could sabotage our results if we let it. Be very careful when people start noticing that you don’t deceive yourself into believing that you’re already arrived.
You want to work on your plans quietly so that by the time people find out about it, it’s too late to stop you. To borrow from Sun Tzu, Author of the Art of War, “Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.”
Success Happens Little By Little….And then All at Once
Relatedly, success in any endeavor happens gradually. Over time, you will make small changes to your habits and actions that eventually add up to big results.
I’ll never forget the day I went to buy some new jeans and realized that I gone from a size 38 waist to a size 32! It was one of the best victories I experience on my weight loss journey! But I wouldn’t have gotten there if I wasn’t consistent with my diet when I couldn’t see my results. For months, no one noticed that I had lost weight, and I could only see a few small changes here and there.
Over time, those small efforts and little victories will add up–until one day they culminate into something amazing. So don’t give up! Stay consistent with your goals and keep working towards them, and success will be yours.
Failure is a Normal Part of the Process
Atelophobia is an obsessive fear of imperfection. While I’ve never been official diagnosed, I think i’ve come close to this at various points in my life. In life, one of the greatest fears is the fear of making a mistake. As a musician, I often spend a great deal of time looking over my mistakes.
I’ve failed more times than I can count on one hand. Overcoming adversity is not easy, and it’s certainly not quick. And that’s okay!
Sometimes you will fall short of your own expectations. That doesn’t mean that all is lost or that you should give up. Instead, it’s an opportunity for growth and self-reflection.
Turn your failure into a triumph!
Take a moment to think about why something didn’t work out or what you could do differently next time. Then set new goals based on the lessons you learned from your failure. Overcoming adversity is all about learning from your mistakes and continuing to push onward.
So don’t be afraid to take risks, try new things, and put yourself out there. Just keep moving forward and you will find success in your endeavors–one step at a time!
Read–Because Someone Else Has Probably Figured this Out Already.
No doubt someone else has been where you are right now on your particular journey to success.
They have felt what you are feeling right now. And better yet, they know the challenges that you will face and how to overcome them.
Oftentimes, the goal we are trying to achieve was achieved by someone else. So why not learn from that person’s mistakes and avoid them?
This is why reading about success is so important. It can help encourage you, and help you know what pitfalls to avoid and ( should you find you find yourself in a pitfall) how to get out of it.
You Will Have to Forget You Old Way of Life
The only way to achieve lasting success is to change your habits. And if you want permanent results, it means you have to basically die to your old way of life.
I was on a 1670 calorie-a-day diet for months. And what I found is that in order to keep progressing, I had to change the way I ate. Instead of grabbing that 200 calorie protein bar with extra carbohydrates, I opted for chicken and vegetables. I found myself eating more and more vegetables because they were much lower in calories and I could eat more of them.
Overcoming adversity also requires that you leave behind your old way of life. Over time, you will have to let go of the habits and activities that were once central to your life–whether they are unhealthy relationships, bad eating habits, or toxic work environments.
It can be tempting to try to cling to these things in fear of losing them forever. But ultimately, only by leaving them behind can you move forward on your path towards change and growth. So embrace the uncertainty and discomfort that come with letting go–and remember that it’s all part of the process of achieving success!
People May Not Understand
When you’re chasing your habits to improve your life, you have to remember that the people around you have not–and you will have to navigate that.
I can’t tell you how many functions I went to during my weight loss journey where it came up that I was on a diet. There was sooooo much delicious food. And many people didn’t think it was a big deal to eat a piece of cake.
Or my wife would bring home these amazing Boulder Chips that were soooo delicious (but part of the reason why I was gaining weight). I found out that it is much easier to avoid temptation at the supermarket than in your own house. In fact, I had my wife lock the chips in a storage bin that I still don’t have access to.
What’s worse, is that some people will actually try to discourage you from your goals, in part, because they are used to you being a certain way and that is more comfortable for them.
This is why I always say it is much better to make big moves silently. Move in silence. Don’t let people know your next move!
Change is hard, regardless of the endeavor, but you may have to let people not understand you for some time. Many people will not understand what you are trying to do, even those who claim to be close to you or supportive. Don’t let these types of people get in the way of your success. Don’t rely on external validation for motivation and don’t let anyone else determine your self-worth. You alone are responsible for creating the life that makes you happy and satisfied–no one else!
Success Begets Success
One of the benefits of achieving success is that it leaves you with a general blueprint that you can use to get success in other areas.
The rules above can be literally applied to any area of your life and will bring you success! For example, one of my goals for this year is to get better at my main instrument. This means that I have to take my regular practice routine off of autopilot, determine what my goals are, and research how to reach those goals (because someone has already figured it out I’m sure).
By applying the 10 rules of success to my music practice, I have found that it has been much easier to stay motivated and make continual progress in my instrument.
Success is something that we all strive for in our lives. It takes courage, confidence and the right set of rules to build a successful life. The 10 rules of success outlined in this article can help you achieve your goals by providing guidance on how to navigate obstacles and overcome adversity. Remember that failure is part of the process–don’t be afraid to make mistakes or take risks! Even though it may seem like some people are naturally more successful than others, with enough hard work and dedication anyone can become one of those successful people if they follow these 10 essential steps. Good luck on your journey towards success!