by: E.B. Johnson
If we want to be successful in this life, we have to find the motivation and the courage to step up to the plate for ourselves. The biggest success stories in this world weren’t (for the most part) people who were handed their abilities or their abundance. They took what opportunities they had and made the most of them. Then, they doubled down and bet on themselves and their ability to thrive.
You can also be a major success in life and whatever career you choose. So much of it comes down to your belief in self, as well as your ability to persevere despite the setbacks and the knock-downs. The biggest earners are those who decide they want more control over their lives. They are the ones that let their disappointment fuel them, and they are the ones who break out of the comfort zone to pursue their natural curiosity. You can be that person too. But first you have to decide to act.
Life isn’t a passive endeavor.
We are living through difficult times. Inequality — both socially and fiscally — is rampant. Unhappiness seems to be at an all-time high. We are more suspicious of one another (and ourselves) than ever before, and that hardly makes for a climate that nurtures creativity and courage. Be that as it may, we have to look at the traits of those success stories we admire and take similar action in our own lives. After all, life isn’t a passive endeavor…especially when you want to be wealthy or successful.
Successful people make their own opportunities every single day, and they do it because they know that’s the quickest and surest route to their happiness. To rely on others for all your security, all your health and happiness — it’s reckless. It’s better to invest in ourselves and take as much control as we can over our wellbeing and our stability.
Bet on yourself. Decide to take your life in your own hands and become the success you’ve always wanted to be. Master your time management and tackle the tough stuff first (just like the pros). Then, you can reframe your mindset and start looking for windows when the doors close up to you. Opportunity is everywhere, but it wants you to find the right fit. Give yourself time to deep dive into personal development and say “yes” to life energetically and often.
Why highly successful people make their own opportunities.
Highly successful people aren’t generally handed their success. They don’t fall into it one day and become overnight masters of their crafts. The climb to success is a long one, and it’s an intentional one too. The business leaders and billionaires that some of us look up to didn’t fall into their wealth by accident. They made their own opportunities and capitalized on them.
Tired of being disappointed
Disappointment — believe it or not — can feed into our ability to strike out, or pursue our dreams. In many cases, the highly successful person was once no more than a member of the disappointed masses. They put up with the same brick wall rejections and endless failings before they decided that enough was enough. Taking their courage and their skills to hand, they set out to build something that fills the opportunity they see staring them right in the face.
A point of necessity
Being let down alone isn’t enough to fuel the person who is determined to succeed. More often than not, they were pushed to the point of creating an opportunity out of necessity. Maybe they came to a dead end in a career which was no longer fulfilling or supportive. Perhaps they found themselves with no more options at all. When it feels as though we’re standing on the edge of a cliff about to be pushed — we can often make the choice to fly.
Desire for greater control
Depending on another person for income leaves you out of control and dependent on a system that doesn’t care about you at all. Billionaires are all billionaires because they created opportunities for themselves — they exerted control over their environments. You need to exert control too, if you want to build a life that’s prosperous and abundant. You need to control your wealth and control your ability to earn what you want to earn.
Seeing danger in the comfort zone
It’s nice to be comfortable, but it’s also dangerous too. We get lulled into a false sense of security when things get too cozy in our lives. When this happens, we let go of our dreams and can see our physical and emotional motivation disappearing too. The highly successful person knows this and knows the value of pushing themselves beyond this comfort zone. They saw danger in the comfort zone and the acted by pushing themselves beyond it.
Realizing time is short
Like it or not, the time we have on this planet is short. Do you want to earn enough money to be comfortable? To do and buy the things that you want? Do you want to travel and enjoy the journey? Our bodies don’t last forever, and neither does our energy. Most highly successful people realize how limited their time is, and make the most of the opportunities that they have in front of them. This is a powerful mindset to combine with the work hard-play hard mentality.
Natural sense of curiosity
Have you ever wandered “what if?” What if you did make a million dollars? What if you did manage to create something that was both fulfilling and financially supportive? The most successful people in life are those who don’t just stop at these very important questions. They look for the answers by acting and figuring out what’s over the horizon. Life is all about calculated risks. It’s also about taking control of your own life and your own material destiny.
Seeking solutions over defeat
The 2 things that every successful person has in common are failure and defeat. It’s impossible to get things right all the time. As humans, we are flawed creatures with far more ego than foresight. We’re bound to make mistakes, and we’re bound to get things wrong. Even when we’re right, we can find that life still gets in the way. Successful people don’t allow these failures and setbacks to deter them. In fact, it invigorates them and drives them to find something else which works.
The 5 best ways to create a success story of your own.
Being highly successful isn’t limited to the realm of the CEO or the entrepreneurial miracle-story. We can all cultivate habits which allow us to create new opportunities for success. It requires, though, that we commit to action, master our time management, and face our challenges head on and with enthusiasm.
1. Master your time management
Successful people are not successful by accident. They are successful by design. Part of this design includes managing their time and their schedules efficiently. How can this be done? By prioritizing our tasks, cutting out the nonsense, and leaning into the things that truly align with our goals and our journey. Before we can truly be successful, we have to take control of our lives and that starts with better time management.
Break down your schedule and take a look at how you are spending your time. A personal planner is a great place to start, as it allows you to write down your schedule and appointments, as well as a keep track of how long things take. Once it’s laid out in front of you, you can begin to see where you are wasting momentum and where you could add extra room for family and work.
Become a master of your time management. Build a schedule and a routine that works for you, your business, and your family. Give yourself designated blocks in which to address your work and your loved ones separately. Don’t forget to include time for personal development and self-care. Use tools like timers to make sure you stick to your plans and give yourself plenty of buffer at the end of a week to tie up loose ends.
2. Solve your toughest challenges first
Are you someone who is regularly confronted with a long list of tasks or ideas that you failed to complete or realize? Believe it or not, a lot of this can come down to our inability to properly prioritize things. You need to analyze the goals you want to accomplish, and you need to weigh out how long they will take, and what they will require. Then you can manage to arrange them by difficulty, as well as the amount of time they’ll take to conquer.
Start by writing down your primary goals and then break them down into actionable steps. Within those steps, consider the action you’re going to take. What requires the most effort? What are the most daunting tasks, and what are the easiest for you to tackle?
Put aside some time each day to take action toward your goals. Focus on the steps you named above and then organize them. Start with the biggest and most daunting task in a day first. The task that takes the most energy, or the one that you dread above all the others. By picking the big stuff first, you can get it out of the way while your mind is sharp and your energy is high. Work your way down through a prioritized list. Always seek to end a designated work period with the easiest or simplest task.
3. Look for windows when doors close
There is little chance that you will be able to succeed in career, life, or love if you give up every time you’re confronted with a setback. That’s the cost of being a great success. You have to be willing to get things wrong, and you have to be willing to deal with delays. Life is chaotic. Things rarely go the way that we want them to, so we have to get used to looking for new avenues when the pathway gets blocked to us. You can’t stop fighting in the face of rejection. You have to look for windows when the doors close.
Is your fear of “no” preventing your ability to succeed? You’ve got to push outside of your comfort zone and find a different way to get where you want to go. Did the first business idea fail? Is the second one performing less ideally than you had hoped? Dig deep. Look around. What’s the next opportunity that can boost your ideas and your potential?
There’s always another option, but we have to be creative and courageous enough to see it. That’s not really an achievement of skill. It’s more about tenacity and refusing to give up. Keep facing forward and looking for another road that can take you where you want to go. It works to think of it a bit like upping your odds. The more you put in to your dreams, the more likely you are to realize (at least) a part of them. Fight for what you want and stop giving up.
4. Give yourself enough time to deep dive
It’s easy to get so caught up in the hustle that you forget to keep growing your inner world. True success, as with anything in this life, is an ever-changing experience. To stay on top, we have to be able to pivot and to redirect our focus and our ideas. That’s hard to do if we don’t nurture our internal being. When we fail to stop building on our skills, our confidence, and even our general health — it can take a serious toll on ability to persevere and thrive.
Take enough time to take care of yourself and give yourself space to deep dive internally when you need it. Climbing to the top of any mountain requires a lot of effort. It also requires a lot of breaks. We need time to rest, recharge, and reground ourselves so that our brains and our bodies can continue to work the way they are supposed to.
Don’t just rush through your projects, tasks, and setbacks. Take your time. Slow down. Step back when you need to and deep dive through your thoughts and emotions. You have the time you need, so take it. Sometimes stepping away to collect our thoughts is the action we need to get things right. Whatever schedule you build for yourself, make sure that it includes plenty of bumper time to deal with challenges inside and outside.
5. Say “yes” to life and do it often
Opportunity isn’t asked for. It doesn’t politely invite itself in and hang about while you figure out how you want to proceed. We find ourselves on the brink of success because we put ourselves there intentionally. We take small steps each day, or little bouts of action, in order to get closer to our ultimate goal. Beyond this action, though, we have to learn how to say “yes” when others confront us with an opportunity to grow or try something different.
Your open doors in life won’t always be the ones that you planned. Sometimes, they lay behind a wall of brick which can only be opened by chance and by the hand of someone else. Open up your heart. Open up your mind. Pursue people and experiences which intrigue you — even if you aren’t clear on how they exactly equal success.
Say “yes” to your life and do it often. While you may have planned to make a million dollars on that one-of-a-kind app, it may just be an unplanned writing career that opens the door on stability and security. Embrace the ride and have the guts to pursue even the unexpected challenge that offers a major payoff of success. If you keep turning down the experiences that life has to offer, it will stop bring up the best that it has to give.
Putting it all together…
When it comes to highly successful people, we often raise them up on a pedestal or look up to them with a bit of jealousy. We can become these people, however, when we decide to stop taking “no” for an answer and start creating opportunities for ourselves. Tired of being disappointed? Ready to have greater control over your life and your finances? Decide to take action and you could become a highly successful person too.
Become a master of time management and stop wasting your energy on tasks and pursuits that don’t align to the direction you need to take. Tackle the tough stuff first. When we are most energized and motivated is the time to take action. Get your most dreaded tasks out of the way first so that you can then move on to the easier or less time-consuming stuff. Stop seeing closed doors whenever you receive a rejection or face a setback. Look for the next option and find a window that gets you where you need to go. Don’t lose sight of self, though. Make sure you’re still taking time to see to your mental and emotional needs, so you have the energy to power through when things get tough. Above all else, though, learn how to say “yes” to life and the people and opportunities which intrigue you. You never know what success may be lurking around the corner where you least expect it.