Your Recipe for Total Success
Every week, I receive emails asking about the "secrets" for success. Well, the good news is that there are no secrets! In fact, high achievers have written books, created programs and seminars and courses to teach all who are willing to learn. The "secret" is not the recipe for success. If there's any secret it's the mystery of why so few take advantage of the opportunities all around us.
The keys or "secrets" for success are the same timeless truths that have always applied. Literally thousands of people have compiled and published "recipes" for success. Some prefer to think of them as "maps" or "checklists" or "daily disciplines" (actually, that's another of my own favorite metaphors). Whatever you call it, the truth is that success requires only small amounts of genius, or capital, or "luck," but it does require a system, along with persistence, focus, and at times, hard work.
And having said that, here is what I call my "6-pack for success." Your wording may be slightly different. You may have seven items, or only five, but success requires a "recipe" and it requires that you follow your recipe every day. Here is mine:
- Basic Self-Care. I'm the only "me" I've got, and if it's going to get done, I have to be around to do it. Eat well, sleep well, rest often. I don't exercise but I do stretch, get a good walk or jog in every day, and once in a while I even go the "extra mile." Cut out the junk food; enjoy an apple once in a while. I've read that 60% of Americans are over weight and I'm convinced that impacts our results because achievement requires energy. It asks us to perform, to show up, and to work hard. Take care of yourself! This is fundamental.
- Advanced Self-Care. I've written a great deal about "Personal Eco-Systems™," and this is where your systems and your environment come into play. You deserve a great office, perfect tools, first-rate skills, good lighting, the right music, and cheerful colleagues. Success requires that you give yourself every chance to succeed! Take extreme care of yourself! Surround yourself with the best, and never settle for cut-rate, second-best or grungy. It's not worth it!
- You Gotta Have a Dream! My father always encouraged us to "dream big dreams." To achieve anything significant, you have to see it, smell it, and WANT it! You have to believe that it's possible, and you have to keep your "eyes on the prize." Use your imagination! (That's what its for!) Some people call it a vision or a goal. I don't care what you call it; I care that you can SEE it!
- Ask Better Questions. Success requires that we ask practical, powerful, positive questions every day. Asking, "Why can't I?" is a set-up for depression and misery! Instead, begin the morning with, "How can I make progress today?" Ask yourself, "Who will teach or coach me?" Ask, "Where can I begin?" Ask, "If anyone has ever done this, how did they do it?" Ask better questions and you'll get better answers.
- Focus on the Immediate. Highly successful people have mastered the art of shifting from distance vision to the practical aspects of immediate solutions. Where can you begin? What needs to be done first? Where can you make an impact today? Who will help you? Surround yourself with friends, partners and mentors who will encourage you to do what you can, where you are, right now. Start here, start now, get going!
- Take ACTION! Success always requires action! Even misguided action will get some results—maybe not what you hoped for, but it is a beginning. Without action, nothing happens. If you can take the "perfect" action, great! If you can do one perfectly timed action that unlocks the secrets of the universe, wonderful! But in the mean time, make a call. Send a note. Write a check. Do something!
Success is the natural result of doing the things that have worked for other people and doing them in the right way, at the right time. Find out what works, write it down, and do it. Most of us are not geniuses. We succeed by learning from others, from spending time with mentors, and doing what works. The key is to "get where it's good." Let others teach you. Partner with great people. And persist until.