A strange thing happens when you start a business. Suddenly, people start to wish you success on a regular basis, which is a odd phenomenon when you think about it. I mean, if you're going to apply to a new job or get accepted to a school, it seems like people generally wish you good luck, but to me, they're all part of the same range, so to speak. (And btw, if you're one of those people who's wished me success, I am grateful! See #15 :)
Motivational posters like to affirm that success is this sole mountain with us standing at the top when we've "reached success", but then what? Are we simply expected to stand there? Is that truly success? To me, I envision success as the force in moving forward through an entire mountain range; to ascend each mountain through hard work, and not simply rest on laurels by remaining there, but rather to descend it and climb the next one. That's part of that "comfort zone" thing. Sometimes life knocks us off of that mountain and if that's the case, don't look back. Life gave you a shortcut to the next level, so be grateful for that and make the most of the opportunity. Other times, we fall deep into an abyss in the valley and can't even really see the next mountain. To me, those are the people putting in the most effort with little to show for it, but that doesn't make them less successful. In fact, I'd argue that it's making them even stronger to ascend the next mountain with even greater speed and heights.
So, for me, this idea of "reaching the top" means nothing more than being at the bottom. It's all part of the same network, the same process, the same journey of success. Because that's really what success is: the journey. Not a destination. It's something we build. Not something we strive towards. And it's something we all live with everyday, no matter what part of the journey we're on. If you're still having doubts, Lifehack.org has created an awesome list to help lift your spirits if you feel like you are struggling. "Check out these 17 signs that will prove that you certainly are on the road to success.
1. You’re facing your fears and winning.
Previously, you froze when you started moving outside of your comfort zone. You were frightened you might fail. However, now that you have taken many small steps, it’s not as terrifying as you expected. You know that in order to be successful, you must push through your fears, and that’s just what you’re doing. You’re facing those fears head on. This is definitely is a sign of success.
2. You’ve accepted that failure is part of self growth – and that’s positive.
To you, failure is the jumping off point for having another go, but maybe changing your tactics to adjust would fair better. Your “I accept that failures are part of success” attitude has enabled you to use your creativity to solve problems and jump hurdles. Each setback is a new opportunity to start afresh. You have made a choice between letting failure hold you back, and viewing failure as a positive part of your journey. Well done!
3. You believe in the power of focusing on today.
This has been a difficult concept to deal with, but eventually you accepted that your real life is happening right now. Your focus is on the present and on what you can do and create today. Yesterday is in the past and can’t be altered. The moment you start worrying about tomorrow or about an annoyance from yesterday, precious moments are lost that could have brought a boost to yourself or others.
4. You realize that you can’t please everyone all the time.
What a huge step towards success was taken when you stopped trying to please everyone. You’ve found that some people just can’t be pleased, no matter what. You’ve found that there’s more than one way to do something. You do what you believe is right for you, and whatever works best. You’ve filled your life with people who really matter to you.
5. You accentuate the positive thoughts in your mind.
It’s not easy to accentuate the positive because our minds are wandering from the past to the future throughout every waking moment. Replacing the negative with positive thoughts is only achieved through practice. You’ve found that having positive thoughts results in a calmer attitude, particularly when handling difficulties. You are also becoming competent at silencing your inner critic (who can be very harsh).
6. You’ve stopped judging and blaming others.
At last, you’ve escaped from the habit of blaming other people for whatever happens to you. You know how to step back from the situation. You look at it from a different angle in order to find a creative solution. You’ve found you are calmer when you’re less judgmental. It’s easier to criticize, but instead you try to understand the other person’s point of view. This is an impressive step forward toward being successful.
7. You’ve started pursuing the things you’re passionate about.
You’ve made some changes so you can pursue your passion. That means you get up every day excited about working towards the day’s mini-goals. You have special talents and skills that enable you to contribute to the world and benefit others. You’re keen to use these skills to the best of your ability. You know you can do that only if you’re pursuing your passion.
8. You take time to be grateful every day.
You’ve found that one great way to move towards success is to be grateful. As you wake up, you think of 5 things that you are grateful for. You also smile about things that are going well in your life. Again at night, you’re grateful for 5 things that went well during the day. You ask yourself, “In what ways was I successful today?” Being grateful helps you concentrate on positives.
9. You avoid busyness and focus on effectiveness.
It’s easy to fill your day with being busy without achieving anything. If this pattern is repeated, it can lead to frustration and the feeling that success just isn’t within your grasp and never will be. So, you avoid busyness, focusing on making progress instead, little by little. You feel excited about what you’re achieving. You can see that you’re productive, efficient, and effective. It is this, and not busyness, that is your way to success.
10. You set yourself a goal to achieve every day.
You know that drifting along doesn’t lead to success, so you start each day with a plan. You have a clear list of jobs you’ll accomplish to move you closer to your vision. While you have wider goals for the future, you set yourself mini-goals for each week and each day. You know how you intend to reach your goals. Your vision is a vivid picture that dances in your mind.
11. You try to see positives in each setback or difficulty.
There’s a positive hidden in each setback or difficulty. Now, you look for those positives. No longer do you focus on the setbacks themselves, as you did in the past. You see beyond to the good things that accompany negative circumstances. You even get excited about obstacles because of the positive outcomes that can result. Obstacles can lead to places you never dreamed of.
12. You’ve acknowledged that you don’t need to be perfect.
Some of the stress has been removed from your life, now that you’ve stopped striving for perfection. Actually, you have learned to accept yourself the way you are – vibrant and competent. You believe in yourself. You make mistakes just like all of us. You look at mistakes as “life’s little lessons” that make you a stronger person. A better version of yourself emerges from the mistakes and propels you forward.
13. You are aware that building self-confidence is a key to success.
Feeling confident gives calmness and sets people up for success. You have worked at becoming more confident and that is commendable. Confidence is a skill to acquire, if you are traveling the road to success. The key to becoming confident is to repeat a particular technique until you can do it comfortably. You’ll fail at the start (of course), but getting up and trying again is part of the process.
14. You give away smiles regularly – it’s a habit.
You smile at people you pass on the street. You toss a coin to buskers and make them smile. You send emails or text messages, praising friends for something they’ve accomplished. Sometimes you do it just because they are who they are. Smiling makes you calmer and happier inside. This attitude shines bright enough to influence others.
15. You’ve built up a support group of family and friends.
You’ve had to let go of some people who, in the past, dragged you down by making you stressed or anxious. Letting go is very difficult to do. It’s a huge step you’ve taken towards success, though. Instead, you have a support group of family and friends with whom you can laugh, discuss, confide, and plan. They love you for the wonderful person you are.
16. You’re doing what you want to do in life because you are in control.
Following your own path, and really enjoying the journey, is a sure-fire way to be successful. You don’t let other people’s opinions stop you from moving towards your dream. You feel empowered and in control of where you’re going. You’re comfortable with this situation.
17. You consistently factor recreational activities into your routines.
You’re well on the way to success when you timetable exercise and recreational activities into your day. Taking time for yourself is essential in order to relax the mind and body before returning to the work environment. Go to the gym, run, play golf, meet friends for a chat and coffee, or do any other activity that you enjoy. It will recharge your batteries. You’ll feel refreshed, particularly if you do something outdoors."
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