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10 Universal Principles of Success
Success is not something that only a chosen few can achieve. Everyone can be successful in every area of his or her life. You just need to know how to do things in such a way as to make sure you succeed every time. Success comes as a result of forming certain habits, and continuing in them. Consistency is key. To succeed, you need to be a certain type of person. Don't be discouraged if you are not yet that type of person. With practice, anyone can become a successful person. The successful person thinks in a certain way, talks in a certain way, and acts in a certain way. The list below briefly outlines 10 of those ways (and a bonus tip!). Anyone who consistently applies these principles to any area of their life *will* experience success in that area.
- 1. Vision: Have a clear picture of what exactly it is you want to achieve or become. Keep this picture at the top of your mind at all times. Doing something you want to do, because you want to do it, will motivate you to succeed at it. Start with the end in mind.
- 2. Belief: Believe without a shadow of a doubt that you can do it. Believe that you will succeed. Believe in a Higher Power who is helping you get what you want. Stay away from negative influences (people, books/articles, anything negative), which make you doubt your ability to succeed. Surround yourself with things that remind you that you can, and will, succeed.
- 3. Responsibility: Realize that you alone are responsible for your future. You alone are responsible for the outcome of your efforts. Don't look for anyone to blame. Feel free to ask for help as you need it, but remember the final decision is up to you. It's your life, after all.
- 4. Affirm: Make a habit of saying out loud what you hope to achieve. Speak of it in the present tense, e.g., 'I am fit and trim', as opposed to 'I will be fit and trim'. If you feel awkward speaking out loud to yourself, write down the affirmation. Then look at it (or better still, rewrite it) several times each day. This helps your mind stay focused on the goal. It also builds your self-belief and confidence.
- 5. Commitment: Make a firm commitment to action. Decide to take whatever steps you need to take to help you achieve your goals. Then honour the commitment you've made. Too often we find it easy to keep our commitments to others while neglecting to keep our commitments to ourselves. This pattern has to change if you're to succeed in life.
- 6. Set a SMART goal: Now that you know what you want to achieve or become, you need to define it by making it a goal. Your goal has to be Specific, Measurable (you need a standard to help you know when you've achieved it) and Motivational (it's got to inspire you and keep you motivated), Attainable and Attractive, Realistic (no point setting an unrealistic goal such as "I want to be a millionaire this evening") and Timed (State when you hope to achieve it).
- 7. Plan and Take Action: Work out a plan of action. Break down the plan into baby steps. Take a step or two each day, reminding yourself that each step is bringing you closer to your goal. Perform each act to the best of your ability, filled with faith, determination and purpose to reach your goal. Most importantly, be consistent.
- 8. Persistence: Do not give up until you have achieved what you desire. In the course of things, be willing to change any part of your plan which turns out not to work, and try something else. Thomas Edison did not give up in his quest to invent the light bulb, even though he'd 'failed' 10,000 times. Now that's persistence! See every failure as a stepping-stone to success and as a temporary set back. Learn from it and push on towards your goal.
- 9. Gratitude: Maintain an attitude of gratitude, knowing that your dream is about to become a reality. Refuse to grumble when circumstances look contrary. Refuse to complain. Be grateful for where you are now, and for where you are headed. Look around for things to be grateful for. You'll be surprised to find quite a few.
- 10. Become a giver. In your relationships, always think in terms of what you can do for the other person. What goes round comes round. After all, whatever dreams you have most likely involve interacting with other people. Be kind and generous to all; you never know where your breakthrough will come from.
So there you have it. I have given you a summary of principles which, if you apply consistently, WILL guarantee you success in any endeavour. Don't just take my word for it, though. Prove it yourself by actually applying it to your life situation.
Knowledge is not powerful until you act on what you know. Think about that. Better yet, act on it! You'll be glad you did.
Dr Kem Thompson is a General Practitioner, Author and Speaker. She specializes in Healthy Lifestyle medicine and is passionate about Health & Fitness, Personal Development, Success Principles and Women's issues.
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