“When you have had a taste of excellence, you cannot go back to mediocrity.” —Maximillian Degenerez
I often get asked one very personal… but universal question: What does it take to be successful? Over the years, I’ve often thought about that very question and how it relates to my own path. I would like to share a few short tips that I’ve learned on my own journey.
Are you ready? Great! I truly believe that we are all called to greatness, however, few are willing to pay the price. Whether financially, emotionally, mentally, or even spiritually, many factors go into creating a successful life, however, you must first start with your own thoughts and beliefs.
1. Define what success means to you.
The first step is figuring out what success actually means to you. Perhaps the reason why so many people do not consider themselves successful is because they don’t really know what success is. Each of us harbor deep seated ideas as to what success means, however, at the very core, I believe that success could best be defined as having the necessary resources and abilities to reach your full potential. Ahh. Your full potential. Notice that I didn’t mention having a fancy car or gigantic mansion? Those are merely the products of success. Success is not defined by things. It is the maximization of your own potential. To achieve true success you must first stop seeing financial gain as a measure of success.
“Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion.” – Tony Hsieh
2. Stop making excuses for your life.
If you truly want success you need to stop making excuses for your life. Excuses are simply lies… an internal justification as to why we cannot or should not live a better life. These excuses prevent you from living up to your full potential. Excuses are simply a means of shifting blame to external circumstances. You must take ownership and responsibility for your actions. This means owning up to mistakes without making excuses for them. Once you are honest with yourself you will find yourself free from the denial and blame that is holding you back. Become the CEO of your own life.
“Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” – George Washington Carver
3. Live intently… and genuinely.
I owe most of my success to my laser beam focus. Even from a young age, I knew exactly what I wanted to do when I “grew up.” This awareness served as an internal compass that helped to keep my life on the correct path. Beyond focused intention, you must always give 100% – why bother engaging in something if you aren’t fully committed? As my father used to tell me “don’t half ass anything!” There will be roadblocks and detours along the way, however, always maintain your focus and intention as it will ultimately become your reality.
“The universe doesn’t give you what you ask for with your thoughts – it gives you what you demand with your actions.” – Steve Maraboli
4. Never give up.
This is probably the hardest tip to follow. I believe that we are all born with the instinct to never give up, however, somewhere along our path we lose sight of that instinct. Success never comes when you want it to. It comes when the time is right. You will fail. Often many, many times. However.. you must persist until you are successful. Keep pushing, struggling, and trying. Re-focus your intention and get up and try again. Eventually, your determination will pay off. Remember that Thomas Edison made over 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. A reporter once asked him “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” to which Edison replied “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”