If it’s success you’re looking for, try this.
Despite where I’m at in my life, I still consider myself a successful individual. I’m staying alive, fed, with a roof over my head, and I’m free to do whatever I like in my life.
Everyone’s version of success is different of course, however, the road to all of our success follows a really basic and easy-to-follow pattern. Regardless of you trying to live a humbling, simple life or making millions, the path to achieving success and almost anything in life comes down to these steps.
Have Goals (Ideally Written Down)
As much as people say to-do lists and goal setting don’t work their arguments don’t make sense. Even the people that we have praised many times over have set goals.
They merely didn’t announce it or talk much about it.
Goals provide you with a drive and a direction. At the very least you’ll have some kind of vision that you are working towards as no person does something just for the sake of it.
There is always some level of motivation behind a person’s actions. Even if those actions are to do nothing at all.
If you are looking for any kind of success, you’ll need to figure out what success looks like to you and have clear steps — milestones — that can lead you towards that.
Writing those goals down solidifies them and can give you a personal interest in pursuing them. The more you work towards your goals, the more you find reasons to keep going.
Chase Those Goals Relentlessly
Following up from the first step, you then want to pursue those goals. This means finding the motivation you need to keep going.
There are two core ways to be motivating yourself: external and internal motivation.
While many people say internal motivation is the strongest out there, I find that there can be a use for both of them. I’d recommend using both of these as valuable tools to motivate yourself and chase your goals.
Internal motivation is all about yourself. Why do you want to achieve this goal? Why do you want to succeed?
When you have a deep personal reason for doing something, chances are much higher that you’ll go and do it. This personal investment is part of the reason why people argue this is the strongest and most useful of the two sources of motivation.
It’s a slow burn, however I think it lacks the spikes that external motivation provides. Sometimes a personal reason — or multiple personal reasons — may not be enough.
This is where external motivation can come in. It all occurs externally. Motivational videos, posters, speeches, reading this article. It’s all a form of external motivation.
While there are definitely some adverse effects of external motivation, using it as a final push or for brief moments is fine.
While this is a strong word, our brains tend to think of the most extreme cases of failure. Things like giving up or losing everything as a result of pursuing this goal.
Failure is gentler than that in most situations. It’s not always a life and death situation. Rather it’s the difference between things going well for you or your plans not folding out as intended.
Facing problems or experiencing setbacks — even minor ones — can mean that you’ve failed in some fashion.
Don’t see failure as a bad thing but rather as a good omen. It means that what you are doing is mostly right and that something about what you’re doing is wrong.
And it’s up to you to figure out what that is.
Make Adjustments Until Succeed
The fourth step is making adjustments. It’s about looking for that thing that’s causing issues.
One thing to recognize about goals is that goals groom you in a sense. Depending on how long you’ve been pursuing a goal, you’ll notice that aspects about you change.
Not always physical, but mental and skillwise too.
Experiencing failure can mean all kinds of things and the key is to keep experimenting. If you’ve plateaued, see if you can find the reason and how you can breakthrough.
Spend some time to understand more about what you’re pursuing.
With renewed knowledge, the final step is to go back to the first step and go through the whole process again. Even if a goal is simple, it can still be life changing and can provide with some new perspectives to things.
There is no harm in setting a newly adjusted goal and motivating yourself until you achieve it.
And when you do achieve it, the next thing is to set some new goals and find more motivation for it.
When you understand this cycle and leverage it, success will be slightly easier to achieve. It’s still going to take effort on your part, but falling back on a system that’s worked for so many is better than running blindly.