When you hear “success,” what pop into your mind? Is it wealth, career, or health? Or is it a stable job, a loving family or a close community? Or could it be having a clear purpose, or being confident and happy?
The word “success” comes from Latin successus. Its verb is succedere which means “come close after.” Among many definitions, I like how Oxford defines it, “the fact that you have achieved something that you want and have been trying to do or get.” This definition simply calls out the desire (or goals), action and accomplishment associated with success.
I personally have rotated through different ways to define the concept of success in my own life. As I’ve matured (or, just getting old ), I truly appreciate Ralph Waldo Emerson’s view of success and admit that I am still a work in progress accordingly.
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate the beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!”
How do you define your successes? Where are you in this journey to successes?
Habits for your successes
Some habits are good, some are bad or even ugly. Good habits not only will get you started but also help keep your momentum going toward that well-defined successes in your mind. Here is my list of 17 good habits for you to consider while you are working toward successes.
1. Set goals
Setting goals is like entering the destination onto your GPS. You can’t expect the GPS to give you any direction without telling it where you want to go. It’s the same for reaching your success; knowing and setting your goals for success is your first step.
2. Know and believe in yourself
You can be your own best cheerleader in life, or, you could also be the worst enemy to sabotage your own success. Your success depends on you identifying your strengths and merits and exercising them on a regular basis. When doubt sets in, you concentrate and hold on to what you are really good at.
3. Have the right attitude and mindset
Zig Ziglar said, “it’s your attitude that will determine your altitude.” The point about this is that having a positive and “can do” attitude and mindset sets the tone for your successes, and it will come handy when you meet the bumps along the way.
4. Set plans
Let’s continue with our GPS metaphor. Plans are like GPS route options. It doesn’t matter if you decide to take highways with tolls or local streets with traffic lights, a good GPS will provide you with all the needed details to your destination; traffic jam, accidents, or road constructions and detours, and most importantly it will take you to your destination at the estimated arrival time.
5. Eat that frog
An advice from the best student in my high school was “eat that frog.” She explained how studying on the most important and challenging subjects first thing in the morning helped her engage, stay focused and conquer the daunting tasks. Do you take on that frog first? If you have the tendency to start with something easy and urgent but not important, it’s time for you identify, look at, and eat that frog.
6. Focus and work hard
This is very straightforward. Focus on a single task at a time, minimize the distractions around you, and commit yourself to the work and effort that’s required of you.
7. Commit with discipline
A path to success is full of ups and downs, and it’s never linear. Rome wasn’t built in a day, just like muscles don’t just appear after one workout. Habits take time to be formed; never give up even if you don’t see immediate results.
8. Reflect regularly
Peter Drucker, one of the most profound and influential thinkers in history, once said, “Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” I believe what he said was that action and reflection go hand in hand and together they enhance the possibility of your future successes.
9. Multiple “beings”
Being on time
Being optimistic and honest
Being open minded and humble for suggestions and feedback
10. Read and learn
Successful people, like Bill Gates and Elon Musk, spend at least 5 hours every week to read and learn something new. It’s not only about getting answers, it’s about investing in yourself, wrestling and learning through others’ cost, experiences, lessons and advice. Go with your own pace, fast or slow, and you will benefit from it in the long run.
11. Stay healthy
Regardless whatever the success you have in mind, staying healthy physically and mentally is crucial. Good diet, regular exercise, healthy breaks, and plenty of rest and sleep are the starting points. Remember to make appointments with your doctors for regular checkups too.
12. Be a decision maker and problem solver
Napoleon Hill said, “Successful people make decision quickly and firmly.” I appreciate Suzy Welch’s 10-10-10 decision making technique; 10 minutes, 10 months and 10 years. 10-10-10 rule helps you consider not only the immediate 10-minute impact, but also the mid- and long-term possible consequences.
13. Network and connect with others
A book I read decades ago (but forgot the title of it) had an advice to those who want to be successful. The advice is to hang out with like-minded people, because you can learn and align yourself with them, ignite your passion and energy, shorten your learning curve, bounce ideas off, and gain their support and understanding.
14. Find a mentor or two
Acknowledge that you don’t and can’t know everything (yes, even with Google at the tip of your fingers). Be humble and be open to learn, and have a mentor on your side who not only can impart their knowledge and advice to you and at the same time inspire you on your journey to success.
15. Involve in a bigger cause
When you have a vision that’s big or even bigger than yourself, the enthusiasm and passion you get from that vision will move you to do things beyond your imagination. Don’t get tied up with the nitty-gritty but always come back to your vision, tap into that well of passion and conviction, it will propel you forward toward your successes.
16. Take risks
Success in any life venture is never guaranteed, nor risk-free. But, don’t let that stop you. The guarantee about not taking risks is that you will never find out if that’s the pivotal point you need for your success. Risk-taking surely is an important habit of your successes.
17. Pay it forward
When I tried seeking advice from a world-famous executive coach a few years ago, I never thought he’d cared nor he’d got back to me. Surprisingly, he himself personally replied my email and got on a Zoom call with me. While I was humbled by his advice and presence, I didn’t know what else to do but thanked him repeatedly at the end of our call. And the only thing he told me is to “pay it forward,” and I’ve taken that into my heart till this day.
I know this blogpost is longer than the usual length, and if you got to this point, I thank you for your patience reading to the end. Writing this article, I realized, isn’t just to help you build good habits for your successes, it also allowed me to reflect my own journey and my gratefulness in life. And whatever you would define your successes, I sincerely hope you find some good nuggets from this article and pursue after them.
About Faye Weng
Your Online Life and Career Coach
Faye Weng is an expert life and career coach who works with clients to take back control of their lives by rediscovering their passions, living/working with a clear purpose, and becoming people who can positively impact the communities around them. As your life and career coach, Faye will help you minimize noises and distractions, focus your effort and attention on the right things, execute a clear plan of action, and celebrate alongside of you when each milestone is reached. Click here to book a complimentary session.