What You Must Do To Succeed

The tools for transforming your life are:

I – Intention

T – Thought.

I – Imagination.

A – Action.

Intention sets your course; thinking and imagination bring your mind into line with your ambitions; and action makes your goals reality.

The points below are in no particular order of priority – they’re all important.

  1. Keep your goals very clearly etched in your mind. Write them on a small card and keep it with you. Read it daily. Affirm silently and aloud that you can achieve them and are well on the way to doing so. Every morning and night, ‘visualise’ yourself (in clear detail) accomplishing your goal, and use autosuggestion.
  2. Be proactive. Take the initiative. Make things happen. ‘Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid.’ (Goethe)
  3. Identify your key result areas. In many fields, there are only a few – perhaps three or four – activities at which you must excel. It’s important to know what these are, and master them
  4. Plan carefully. Planning starts the process of translating your goals from ideas into something tangible. Included in your plan should be your long, medium and short-term goals. Long-term goals spell out your ultimate destination; medium goals are the major landmarks along the way; and short-term goals are your immediate priorities. Specify how you will set about achieving your goals and write it down. Read through the plan regularly to assess whether you’re on course. If not – make adjustments. But remember, no plan should ever be cast in stone. If it turns out to be impractical, change course. A good plan is not restrictive, but allows for every likely contingency.
  5. Assess risk. You may need to take a few risks, but risk taking doesn’t mean being foolhardy: weigh up the odds and if there’s a good chance of success have a go. Do your homework.
  6. Teamwork: Most achievements involve working with others to accomplish a goal. You’re unlikely to have all the information, skills, resources and contacts that you need. Find people who can help. Working with a team enables you to plug the gaps in areas where you’re relatively weak, generate more and better ideas than you could alone, gain access to resources you do not have and benefit from synergy – (the ‘2+2=5’ effect).  And most importantly, make sure that everyone in your team benefits.
  7. Go the extra mile. Give a little extra. Look for ways of doing more than is expected of you. Your ‘customers’ will come back for more and will recommend you to others.
  8. Learn from your ‘failures’ – everyone has them. Every successful person knows that each so-called ‘failure’ contains within it the seeds of success – providing you can spot them and turn them to your advantage. Thomas Edison tried for years to perfect the electric light bulb despite being told by the best scientific minds of the day that it was impossible to get light from electricity. After approximately five thousand attempts, a journalist asked him why he was risking his reputation on such a futile exercise. ‘You don’t understand the way the world works,’ he replied. ‘I haven’t failed at all. I’ve just found five thousand ways it won’t work. Each one takes me closer to discovering the way it will’. View setbacks merely as inconvenient and keep going.
  9. Don’t be a DOPE – ‘Driven by Other People’s Expectations’. Many people deny their own potential because listen to the wrong people. Dr Albert Einstein offered the following advice: ‘Be independent of the opinion of others.’ Share your dreams only with people who have high aspirations of their own. They’ll understand.
  10. Time management: success depends a great deal on how you use your time. You’ve heard it said that ‘time is money’, and this is partly true, but with two important differences: You can’t save time to spend another day; and no matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you’ve still got now… and tomorrow… and the day after that…
  11. Monitor your results. If you’re making headway – fine. Keep going. Carry out some fine-tuning if necessary. But if you’re not, be honest with yourself. Find out where you’re going wrong and make adjustments.
  12. Never, never give up. Determination and perseverance are probably the main distinguishing qualities of successful people.

©David Lawrence Preston, 21.3.2016

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How To Books, 2007


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