Success is something that we all want to attain. It’s a station of life that we dream about. Why wouldn’t you want to shoot for the stars, reach your goals, and have a taste of the sweet life you worked so hard to achieve? That’s why Elite Daily spoke with experts to give you the 411 on the best principles for success you should keep handy.
Success can boil down to the principles in life that make your dreams a reality. Diana Dorell, certified life coach and author of The Dating Mirror: Love Again, Trust Again, tells Elite Daily, “To me success is following your own intuition and truth. Doing what's right in your heart vs. what's easy.” Transformational coach Thomas Edwards, Jr. adds, “I personally believe success is created with three other s’s: strategy, support, and state. Strategy is the ‘how.’ While it’s important, you don’t need every detail [from the start]. Support is the ‘who.’ If you want to create powerful success, you will need help getting there. State (of being) is the ‘why,’” knowing why you want this success in the first place. The clear vision you have in your mind as to “why” can guide you towards your goals.
It’s important to note the definition of “success” may vary for each individual. That being said, here are 13 principles of life that may help you accomplish the goals you are striving for, according to experts.
1. Be committed.
Even the most prepared-for journey can have unexpected twists and turns. Edwards explains being totally committed is a key ingredient to reaching your final destination, regardless of hitting any bumps in the road.
Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show further explains, “Celebrate the wins, but understand they are not the endpoint. You [can] pick up after the losses, recognizing that they are not the ends of your dreams.” Klapow also suggests taking the “slow and steady” route. Your personal journey to success isn’t a race.
2. Do exactly what makes you love yourself.
Edwards stresses, “Do what makes you love yourself.” It’s always really important to fill your life with doing things that make you happy with who you are. Klapow notes if you don’t have a passion for what you’re doing, it’s easy to get tired of your situation quickly. If you do what makes you love yourself, you may feel more balanced and in sync. This is one principle in life that can’t be ignored.
3. Set an attainable routine.
People set goals, have dreams, and want different things in life, but they may not achieve them because they don't actually start working toward them. Never put things off until tomorrow. Start today by setting an easy, attainable routine. Edwards says, “Take any action, collect feedback. Course correct, repeat.”
According to NorthwesternMedicine.org, there are many benefits to setting a daily routine. Scheduling time for exercise and healthy meals will fuel your body with energy and nutrition for the day. Getting proper sleep will have you feeling rejuvenated and can affect your body and mind. A positive routine can lead to positive results.
4. Move in the right direction.
You may find yourself wondering, “How can I tell if I’m moving in the ‘right’ direction to reach my goals?” Klapow says going in the “right” direction means you feel completely in line with your thoughts, emotions, and actions. It means what you’re thinking, how you’re feeling, and what you’re doing should work harmoniously. Klapow also explains the direction you’re going should feel right. Different changes in life can happen, and you may need to reevaluate your course.
If you feel lost on your path, remind yourself of your purpose. “When you know why you're doing something, you won't need to be motivated,” Dorell adds. “You'll be inspired to keep going.”
5. Use the power of dreams and your imagination.
Edwards says, “You are still a kid with wild dreams and a powerful imagination,” so have fun. What you dream for yourself is what you can make happen in your life.
Klapow adds, “Life has rules and structure; imagination doesn’t. By combining dreams of success and the broadest use of our imagination, we can tap into a motivational reservoir.” Don’t get too caught up in dreaming and imagining without achieving, though.
6. Think bigger than you are.
Edwards suggests, “Always think bigger.” It’s important to keep in mind that unexpected curveballs can come your way, and although many things can be possible if you put your mind to them, things might not go according to plan. The key is establishing a happy medium when it comes to your mindset. Klapow advises, “Dream and think big, but have a healthy dose of reality to counterbalance that.”
Thinking bigger is also about having faith in yourself and your abilities. When you believe in yourself, you can play an active role in your own life. “There is a satisfaction and self confidence that comes from trusting that you can design your own life vs. being a victim of the world or at the mercy of the external,” Dorell says.
7. Focus on growth.
Success is a problem-solving, solution-driven situation, and that’s where growth comes from. Klapow points out that circumstances can change as you move through life. Things don’t always go as expected, but you learn and grow along the way. Face it: Even when you’re going through a bad time, you may work it out, take away a valuable lesson, and grow that much stronger in the process.
“Of course we all have days where you are feeling off or insecure, lazy,” Dorell adds. “In those instances, high energy positive music can help, moving your body and getting out of your head, and even making a vision board as a reminder of your ultimate aim and the feeling behind it can be very helpful.”
8. Be determined.
Where there’s a will, there’s some sort of a way — even if you have to create one. “[Have] persistence in action, determination toward the outcome, and resilience to overcome,” Edwards suggests. According to Klapow, even if there are obstacles or your journey isn’t going at the pace you’d like it to go, you’re still persevering toward your goals: “It’s not just about thinking hard, feeling dedicated, [and] putting your mind to things. It’s about engaging in the millions of actions that are usually required to succeed.”
9. Have a clear vision in mind.
Success is about having vision. Vision will allow you to aim where you need to go. “Your vision should be the blueprint for what you are going to actually do to [achieve] success,” Klapow says. He stresses that clarity is everything.
“Clearly define what your goals are. Why are you aiming for them — what's the feeling you are hoping to feel by fulfilling them?” Dorell says. “It will give you the drive to keep going when obstacles, challenges, and delays arise.”
10. Set goals along the way.
A final goal means setting the big picture and seeing your finished canvas. Your goals along the way are the paint you use to get there. Edwards suggests creating “checkpoints” to ensure you stay on the right path. This way, you can adjust if you ever end up going off course. Klapow says these goals can be broken down into three categories: easily attainable short-term goals, mid-term goals that require you to be determined, and long-term goals that rely on both your short-term and mid-term goals. “Short-term goals are the motivational fuel that allows us to stay in the game to reach long-term goals,” he says.
11. Use affirmations to keep motivated.
Affirmations are what will motivate you along your journey. With affirmations, you are defining your own reality. Klapow suggests there’s a lot of power in consistently telling yourself encouraging things like, “I’ve got this,” “I can do this,” and “I want this.” You’re creating a positive dialogue with yourself, and this positive energy may eventually manifest into reality. Edwards adds, “No matter what, always tell yourself, ‘[I] can.’"
12. Surround yourself with people who genuinely support you.
The people in your circle should push you to be your best. “Having community behind you can be especially helpful for extra emotional support and also if you're in a space where everyone is thriving or ahead of you, encouraging you, that can be very motivating to move through fear, etc. that pops up along the way,” Dorell says.
Negative influences and negative people can stand in your way. On your road to success, try your best to steer clear of toxic energy. According to Edwards, “You’re only as powerful as the people who support you.” Surround yourself with people who believe in you and are excited about your dreams.
Klapow points out you can tell if a friend or loved one is genuinely supportive if they care about you and not solely your vision for success. “People who are enamored with your vision for themselves only, for their future only, and not for the joy it also brings you are short-term supporters at best,” he says.
13. Appreciate everything you already have in your life.
The final principle for success is to appreciate what you have already. Realize that you already have enough, and be grateful for what your future beholds. Klapow emphasizes how crucial gratitude is. He says, “Being appreciative and grateful for what you have keeps you grounded, allows you to elicit joy in the moment, and helps to keep you optimistic. The more you can be appreciative for what you have, the more you will operate out of passion to expand vs. fear of not having enough.”
Thomas Edwards, Jr., transformational coach
Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show
Diana Dorell, certified life coach and author of The Dating Mirror: Love Again, Trust Again
Additional reporting by Alexa Mellardo & Nhari Djan
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