When it comes to being successful in life, many people will want to give you advice and tell you how to change your life. However, these people don’t necessarily know what success looks like to you, so it’s vital that you concentrate on the things you think are important, and don’t let anyone else define success for you.
Whether you define success as being rich and famous, powerful, or you’ll feel successful if you’ve had a positive impact on the world, there are some tricks to a successful life that we can share, no matter what your life goals might be.
These powerful life tips will help you take the first step towards achieving your goals, and all come from some of the most successful people in the world.
So, if you’re ready to change your life for the better, get everything you want, and uncover the secrets of success in life, this article is for you.
What does success mean?
Before you can work towards your goals, you need to establish what success means to you.
It’s no use trying to measure your goals and life against someone else’s definition of success because it simply might not be valid.
For example, suppose your idea of success is to reduce your environmental impact. In that case, you’re not going to feel successful if you surround yourself with people who think the only true success comes from financial wealth.
To figure out what’s important to you, start by thinking about your perfect day. What would it be?
Would you be sitting by a lake writing that novel you always meant to write? Are you climbing Mount Everest and enjoying the feeling of accomplishment when you finally reach the plummet? Maybe your perfect day involves sipping cocktails in a tropical paradise while you get rich from passive income. Perhaps your perfect day would simply be spent playing with your kids.
It’s vital to remember that there is no right or wrong answer to what makes a perfect day. The only thing that matters is what it looks like to you.
Once you’ve imagined your perfect day, take some time to consider what particular aspects made it so perfect. Was the motivation financial – for example, was it a vacation you can’t afford right now? Or was it to do with the friends or family who were with you? Or maybe it was about the destination and adventure?
Next, consider what you need to do to achieve your perfect day. If it’s money, think about whether your next steps are to get a promotion at work or start your own business. If it’s a specific vacation, you might want to consider a side hustle to help you cover the expense.
There are many practicalities to overcome when working towards your goals. Some will be harder than others. But it’s vital to never give up if you’re truly ready to make your dreams come true.
How to be successful in life
As we’ve established, trying to be successful only works if you have a clear goal in mind. Successful people don’t achieve their goals by accident: they work on them every day.
With that in mind, these life tips are not designed to tell you how to be successful in any particular area. They’re simply here to help you become successful in whatever endeavors you’re striving towards.
1. Think positive thoughts
One of the first steps towards success is to rid yourself of negativity.
We’ve all heard the phrase “you are what you eat,” but a more accurate expression may well be “you are what you think.”
If you focus on negative thoughts, you’re unlikely to ever achieve success or happiness in life. But if you’re positive and motivated, you can do anything.
Consider babies for a moment. When a baby learns to walk, they won’t achieve their goal immediately. They’ll fall and fall and fall again. But the important thing isn’t the failing; it’s the determination to get up and try again no matter how hard it seems.
We can learn a lot about determination and positive thinking from babies. Instead of constantly thinking “I can’t,” try thinking “I will.” This simple exercise will allow you to feel more positive and motivated to achieve your goals, even when things feel impossible.
Remember what Gautama Buddha said: “Your mind is a powerful thing. When you fill it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change.”
2. Be prepared to learn
As Colin Powell said, “there are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure” that defines us. But the minute you stop being willing to learn new things is the minute you leave the path to success behind.
Take time to notice and learn new things every day. Even if you consider yourself to be an expert on a subject, you’ll be amazed to discover all the things you never realized you didn’t already know.
But being prepared to learn new things can go so much further than simple facts or stories. Be prepared to learn how to deal with disappointment, how to prevent burnout, and how to celebrate your victories along the way. Every day provides a chance to grow and learn. Successful people know this and take full advantage of it.
3. Don’t be afraid of having big goals.
There are countless books and guidance resources that claim the best way to become successful is to set yourself small, achievable goals to tick off as you go. But many of these people are afraid to think big.
Thinking big doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a plan and smaller steps, but it does mean that you have a dream and a goal that you can work towards.
So many people put aside their big dreams to work towards something more “realistic” or achievable. But successful people don’t care how ambitious their dreams might appear to others. All they know is that it’s what they really want and that they’re not afraid to go for it.
4. Focus on your strengths and passions, not your weaknesses
So often in life, we spend our time focused on improving our weaknesses and just take our strengths for granted. This isn’t the best way to become successful, or happy for that matter.
Instead of spending all your time and effort working on the things you’re not good at or not passionate about, focus on the things you are good at. Not only to help you decide what your goals in life should be (we’ve already established there’s no clear-cut answer to that one) but to help you see what skills you have that will help you along the way.
And it’s important not to stop there. Just like there are always new things to learn, there are always ways you can improve your skills and change your life. Successful people are never satisfied with just being “good” at something. They want to be the best and will put all their effort into it.
And while you’re at it, try to keep track of the things that make you happy and that you enjoy doing. Particularly when success is based on your career, you know you’ll be spending a decent chunk of your life working at it. So it’s vital to find something that makes you feel fulfilled in body and soul, as well as in your bank account!
Like Steve Jobs said – “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
Fostering a mindset that passion = success is the best method of achieving success. And chances are, the thing you love is already the thing you’re pretty good at!
5. Get rid of distractions.
Let’s face it, no matter how badly you want to make yourself successful, when there’s a show on Netflix you’re desperate to watch, your phone keeps pinging, you just know something exciting is happening on Instagram, it’s all too easy to focus on things that aren’t helping you achieve your goals.
That’s why it’s vital to get rid of excess distractions and negative thoughts on the path to success.
Now, that doesn’t mean you can never binge-watch a series again… But it does mean that you need to focus up and commit real time and attention to your goals.
For example, if your goal is to start your own online business; while you work, your phone should be on silent or in another room if you can’t be trusted not to look at it. If your dreams involve spending more quality time with your children, don’t waste the moments you have checking work emails or watching sports.
If you want a successful life, you need to be prepared to work for it. And this might mean sacrificing short-term pleasures for future gains.
Successful people know that the difference between achieving success and simply experiencing disappointment and frustration along the way really comes down to whether you allow distractions to interrupt your life. Or whether you cultivate good habits that will help your dreams progress.
If you’re not sure what’s getting in the way of your success, pay attention to the things you’re doing and thinking about daily. Are these things helpful to you? Or, are they just preventing you from knuckling down and working hard?
If it’s the second one, you know it’s gotta go!
6. Plan, plan, and plan again.
If you’re serious about being successful, you need a plan in place to help you achieve your goals. And yes, this should be a big plan. A big huge goal that reflects your wildest dreams, and you can work towards it every day.
But a dream-big mindset will only get you so far. You also need to keep track of your progress towards a successful life. And to do this, you’ll need a detailed plan that sets out how, when, and what you’re going to do on the journey.
For example, if you want to have a certain amount of money by the time you reach a particular age, you need to know how you’re going to achieve it. This includes whether you’ll continue working with your current company, try your skills in a new career, or get a side hustle or learn how to make money online.
You should also make a plan for when you’re going to do these things. Maybe you decide you want a new career and become your own boss, but you’re not willing to take the plunge just yet. In that case, make a plan to leave your employment in a certain length of time and stick to it. If you want more money but are happy with your job, decide when you’ll ask for a pay rise. And stick to it.
Many people talk about success but struggle to keep track of their progress, challenges, and habits that are helpful/unhelpful to their goals. But you’ll only ever achieve success with a detailed plan that you stick to, no matter what.
7. Switch it up to avoid burnout
When you’re highly motivated to succeed in life and have a strict plan to track your progress, it can be easy to get caught up in the mindset that only your goals matter. But this is a mistake.
The most successful people know that self-care and taking time out are also vital for ensuring success in life. Only focusing on your career, money, or other goals to the exclusion of anything else that provides you with joy will only lead to burnout and dissatisfaction.
Not only is taking time for yourself vital for your mental health, but it’s also the best way to ensure you’re in tip-top condition to actually achieve your dreams. Without rest, your mind and body can’t recover, and you’ll soon find that you’re not working at 100%.
Therefore, if you genuinely want to be successful, take time to do things that aren’t part of your plan too. Whether it’s meditation, breathing exercises, or a trip to the waterpark… Give yourself permission to practice mindfulness and even have fun once in a while!
And if you are experiencing burnout or you feel lost for ideas… Taking time out can help too. Don’t waste your time sitting at a blank computer screen. Get up, stretch, maybe go for a walk or call a friend. When you come back, you’ll feel better and are sure to be more productive than if you’d sat and struggled.
8. Make a real commitment to success.
Many people think you need to be motivated to be successful. But this isn’t entirely true. When you commit to yourself (or others), you’ll likely find that the motivation will come if you give it a chance.
Just because you don’t feel motivated to write that best-selling novel you’ve always talked about doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. If you’re committed to writing, the words will come, and the motivation will grow as you see yourself moving closer to the finish line.
It’s important to remember that not every day will be easy as you work towards success. You will make mistakes. You will face challenges. And you will have days where you simply don’t believe you’ll ever make it.
But if you’re committed and keep trying, successful life is possible.
If you’re not great at self-motivating, there’s also no harm in asking others to help you maintain your commitment and dedication to your goals. This could be as simple as asking your friends not to invite you out so you can spend time with your family or having someone help you build a budget to better manage your money.
Although nobody can achieve success for you, they can absolutely help you on your journey and ensure you stay accountable.
9. Become a person of action
One of Walt Disney’s most famous quotes is “the best way to get started is to quit talking and start doing,” along with “all our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
While these might sound a little corny, we can’t help but see Walt’s point: you’ll never achieve success if you’re not willing to take the first step towards it.
If you really want success in life, you can’t just talk about it. All the plans in the world are useless if you don’t take action and take the first step.
And we get it; there’s always a reason not to take a risk. Whether you don’t want kids because you’re worried it will affect your chances of a promotion or you’re scared to quit your secure job and focus on your dream of owning a business… There will never be that perfect moment to start this journey. So stop waiting.
The trick to success is to take the plunge anyway and keep trying even when it gets tough, or you’re afraid you might make a mistake. The only mistake is not to try.
10. Don’t be afraid of failure.
No matter how talented, motivated, committed, passionate you are or how much you want to learn and succeed, failure is an inevitable part of every journey and one you’ll have to deal with throughout your life.
However, it’s vital to learn that failure doesn’t always mean the end of the road. It just means you need to try a different path or put in some extra practice before achieving your goals.
So many people decide not to take a risk because they believe they will fail. But “the greatest failure is not to try” (Debbi Fields). And you’ll always regret a missed opportunity if fear of failure stops you from taking the first step.
And if fear of failure really is stopping you from living your dreams, we recommend you consider this quote from Barack Obama: “The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.”
As Obama wisely said, failure is inevitable. But choosing to give up or keep going is down to you. And it may well make you stronger, wiser, or better in the meantime.
Stop looking for your silver bullet
No matter how many social media adverts claim that you can make thousands of dollars overnight, or self-help books promise to revolutionize your life… The simple answer to how to be successful is that there is no simple answer.
The key to success isn’t a pill or a hack or a conference. It’s not being afraid of failure, learning from mistakes, and believing in yourself. It’s showing up and trying again and again until you get it right.
So, think about what it is you really want to do. Make a goal, then make a plan for how you will achieve that goal, and stick to it. Over time, you’ll develop habits and a mindset that will help you overcome any challenges, so you can be successful in life… No matter what that means to you.
How to be successful: closing thoughts
Now you’ve read our article on achieving success, you have two options.
Option One: You take our advice and consider where your skills and passions lie and take the first step towards your ideas. Maybe you start writing a blog, or open an online store, or close the computer and go hang out with your family. It doesn’t matter what you do; just do it.
Option Two: You realize that you have no idea what your goals are or that you’re not willing to put in the effort. You get okay with the idea that you’ll never succeed. Maybe you binge-watch something on Netflix for the rest of the afternoon.
Considering you’ve read this article all the way through, we hope you’ll feel inspired to go out and learn what you need to do to succeed in whatever way matters to you. But even if you’re not ready today, this article will still be here whenever you’re ready to take action and change your world.
What are the five keys to success?
Although defining success can be difficult, it is possible to narrow down how to achieve success into five key categories. There are:
- Determination: If you aren’t determined to succeed, you won’t. It really is that simple.
- Skill: Although you’ll read many motivational quotes about how you can “achieve anything you put your mind to,” it’s a little more complicated than that. You will almost definitely need some sort of skill, talent, or knowledge in your chosen area to succeed. Sure, you can learn new things along the way and practice aspects that you need to improve on, but you will need at least some related skills before you can achieve your goals.
- Passion: Steve Jobs really got this one right – “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, don’t settle.” As important as it is to have skills and discipline on your journey to success, you also need passion and love for the tasks. This passion is what could make the difference between a learning opportunity and failure. Remember, there will always be moments when you don’t believe you can do it. But if you have passion, you can work through your fear and succeed.
- Discipline: Some days, you simply won’t want to learn or work towards your goals. No amount of money or family pressure will motivate you. On these days, a positive mindset won’t be enough to get you through, and you’ll need plenty of discipline to work through the disillusionment and keep striving towards your goals.
- Luck: We’re not going to lie to you. The most successful people definitely have plenty of determination, skill, passion, and discipline, but they were also helped along the way by a fair bit of luck. But while this may dishearten some of you, others will be excited to realize that not every failure is due to a mistake. And that one lucky moment could be the very thing that ensures you succeed.
As you’ll see, you can only achieve success when you have all five key components. Once you’ve got the correct levels of determination, skill, passion, discipline, and a little luck, you’ll be able to develop the habits and practice that will ensure you succeed.
How do I get everything I want?
We all have things we want in life. From starting a family to a rewarding career or making a positive impact on the environment… Or maybe your idea of success is even more comprehensive than this?
No matter what you want in life, you can have it with the right mindset and good habits.
And there are no limits to the things you’re allowed to want! So many people seem to think that you have to choose between family and money, or working for a cause vs. being fit and healthy. But they’re wrong. You can want and have everything, as long as you’re willing to put in the effort and take the first step.
Can you really do anything you want in life?
In today’s world, it’s so easy to get caught up in the things you can’t do or find excuses not to go out and live the life of your dreams. But the real secret is that the only thing stopping you from having everything you want is you.
Go back and read the five keys to success and our 10 tips to getting everything you want in life. You’ll see that it’s entirely possible to do anything if you’re willing to put in the time and effort.
It’s also crucial to consider that overnight successes are never what they appear. You won’t become a millionaire tomorrow (or at least, most of us won’t!). You need to believe in your dreams and be willing to work to succeed.
What is the biggest secret of success?
The biggest secret of success is that you need to take action to achieve your goals. Nothing will come if you don’t go for it. So stop reading articles about how to be successful and go do something. You can thank us later.