Getting what you want out of life takes more than talent and persistence. You must know when to break with convention and which rules can be broken as part of the journey.
There’s no need to be ruthless or arrogant in order to achieve this.
However, you must be willing to challenge conventional wisdom and to do whatever it takes.
When I first began studying successful people, I realized that their strategies could work for me, and you too. So start your journey with these ideas in mind.
Find Your Passion
Many people start out with a passion – a dream – and then spend their lives pursuing it. Others take the time to notice the activities that bring them joy or excitement along the way. There are several steps you can take to determine where your passion lies.
- Pursue information and turn it into knowledge – People sometimes find their calling by accident. This random opportunity would not have been identified unless they were out in the world exploring, taking risks, and accepting challenges. This kind of serendipity also takes place when you continuously expose yourself to new ideas, new people, new surroundings, new cultures, and new sources of inspiration.
- Encourage yourself to take risks – Attend networking events and introduce yourself to new people. Ask them questions about their success. They are usually happy to share their knowledge and experience, when asked. Read books and articles, and take classes to get new ideas, but don’t stop there. Become a perpetual learning machine and remember to use your new knowledge so that it becomes transformative learning.
- Try activities that are completely new to you. You might discover that you have a talent for something you never dreamed possible. While not every lead you follow will amount to much, sooner or later one of them will point you in a direction that makes the most sense to you. Discover your strengths by asking yourself a series of questions that lead you to find out what you love the most.
• Remember three times in your life when you were filled with joy.
• Remember your three favorite vacations.
• Identify three accomplishments that made you feel confident in your abilities.
• Identify three things you are always or often complemented about.
• Think of three things you’ve always loved but think you have outgrown.
• Identify three things you feel you are really good at.
Check your list to uncover what these things have in common then use that knowledge to propel you forward.
Conversely, if you find yourself resenting someone else’s success or abilities ask yourself this question: “What can I do to motivate myself to this level of success?”
Jealousy may veil a good opportunity to learn from other’s success. What you can do to achieve success as they have, may be right there for your viewing.
Fight Procrastination and Inertia
While it is important to have a strategy and goals, don’t spend so much time perfecting the plan that you fail to recognize potential opportunities. Rather than getting everything “just so”, identify the things that must be done immediately, and then do them.
The rest can be converted to long-term goals that you continue to plan for while you work the plan for your short-term goals, and take advantage of low-hanging fruit.
For example, you may not have a college degree or the advanced degree that an opportunity requires, but you may be able to find a certificate program at a local university that costs less and can be completed in a shorter time frame.
If the first step causes you to procrastinate, then start wherever you can.
Start at the end, or in the middle, it doesn’t matter.
What really matters is that you start today.
© Excerpt from “Self Creation: 10 Powerful Principles for Changing Your Life” by Yvonne F. Brown