When you finally decide that you want to be successful you should check your aspirations against the Five Key Principles of Success. It is unlikely that you will succeed unless you understand them and concentrate on them.
#1 Know Your Outcome. You need to know EXACTLY what it is that you are trying to achieve. Otherwise how will you know how close you are to achieving the outcome or even if you have finally achieved it.
Unless you are likely to achieve the outcome in the very near future it is essential that you write the outcome down so that you can continue to track your progress towards the outcome. It is also essential that you write down the EXACT why you are wanting to achieve the outcome.
Everyone of us has set off with a definite outcome in mind, but as we progress towards where we wanted to go our motivations can dissipate. If the “why” is not powerful enough the outcome goes out of focus and you can actually find yourself back where you started. Think about the billions of dollars spent on weight loss and the yo-yo dieting of many people to understand how that works.
#2 Take Positive Action. It is unlikely that you will be able to achieve anything without setting out to perform a number of positive actions. Commit those actions to paper with dates and timescales and ensure that your effort is consistent and persistent. Most people do not understand how powerful the action of committing yourself to outcomes and actions in writing can actually be, until they try it.
#3 Practice and Improve your Sensory Acuity. Sensory, (sight, sound, taste, smell, feel) acuity is important in allowing you to assess and improve your effectiveness. Gain an understanding of verbal skills and body language so that you are able to know how effective your presentation skills are and where you need to make improvements.
You can rehearse your content and have awesome graphics for your presentation but you need to be able to read your audience while presenting the content. Have you ever pitched or presented to an individual or a group and noticed that you had lost their interest? You may as well be reciting the phone directory because you have allowed their interest to wander. You need to be able to recognise when you have the audience enthralled, spot when their attention is drifting and have some techniques for grabbing them again.
#4 Have Behavioural Flexibility. Being focussed on your outcome and refusing to be swayed from it is a noble thing and you need that focus and determination. The problem is that when the actions that you are taking are not working and moving you towards your outcome you need to change the actions. You are not changing the outcome and your stated goal. You are merely altering your technique. A definition of insanity is, “performing the same action repetitively whilst expecting a different result from the same action”.
When what you are doing is not working you need to do something, anything else, because what you are doing is not working. The choice is very simple, keep doing what you are doing without progressing or, have behavioural flexibility until you get back on track to your intended outcome. The greater your level of flexibility the greater your chances of success.
#5 Operate from a Physiology and a Psychology of Excellence. Your physiology can transform your mood in seconds. Has anyone told you to, “snap out of it”? That really is how easy it is. Just for a second think of something sad, relax the muscles in your face, stare at the floor, slump your shoulders, purse your mouth as though you are trying to stop yourself crying and feel how sad that can make you in an instant. You might even feel yourself becoming tearful. Nothing has changed in your life. One minute you were reading a blog post about being successful and all you did was look down, think of crying and slump your shoulders and you feel sad.
Now, jump out of your chair. Stand to attention. Take a couple of really deep breaths, pull your shoulders back, chest out, stare ahead with your head tilted slightly back and focus intently on the wall in front of you. Tell yourself three times that you are powerful and will be successful whilst taking further deep breaths. Feel the difference. From the depths of despair to a feeling of power and success in seconds.
Anytime you are feeling down, worried that your outcome is evading you and thinking that you will never achieve, “SNAP OUT OF IT!” You know how to do it, so just do it.
When you find yourself thinking negative thoughts you can make a choice to wallow in the negativity or you can “SNAP OUT OF IT!” and concentrate on the positive. Think of a set of weighing scales. On one side put all of your daily negative thoughts and on the other, pile on your positive daily thoughts. Ensure that at any point it is the positive side that is the heaviest and anytime your negative thoughts start to equalise the balance, pile on the positive again.
Only someone who is superhuman will never have a negative thought but I guarantee those destined to achieve the most positive outcomes ensure that the daily balance is massively on the side of the positive. Catch yourself having a single negative thought and you should stop doing what you are doing and specifically have three or more positive thoughts to keep the daily thought scales, heavily weighed with positives.