Which of These Success Factors
Do You Already Have?
What if you knew the exact Success Factors shared by top performers in all fields, so you could emulate what they do in your own life? How do you think that would shape your destiny?
I do a lot of reading and research into the lives of successful individuals — people who excel in all areas. It’s fascinating to see how they’ve lived their lives. Plus, it helps me as I form a model for how to live mine to the fullest.
In my research, I’ve found a number of Success Factors shared by top performers in all areas — from civic leaders to multimillionaire entrepreneurs, to religious and spiritual leaders and beyond.
Before I give you my list, I want to share a quote with you that I find particularly powerful. You may or may not have seen it before — if you have, read it carefully again to frame the “why” for the rest of this article; if you haven’t, you’ll probably want to read it at least twice.
Here’s the quote, from Marianne Williamson’s book A Return To Love, Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
So why should you be a successful, amazing person? Because it’s who you actually are and who you are expected to be. It’s living out your purpose — your destiny. Each one of us has within us a Love and a Light that we must let shine. By letting our Love and our Light come through in everything we do, we accomplish great things, attract all kinds of wealth (material and immaterial), and share a more bountiful and joyful life with the world and those around us.
Striving to live the Success Factors I list below is not a selfish thing to do — even if it results in the accumulation of tremendous material wealth. Striving to live the Success Factors I list below is about doing great things, so you can give back to the world in the form of inspiration, love, and light, as well as financial and material support.
The Success Factors
- You have an unshakable belief in yourself. This may be the greatest of all Success Factors. It comes from knowing who you are. You are a remarkable person who is the embodiment of Love and Life. And from this place of knowing, you can have confidence you will accomplish great things. When someone recognizes this in themselves, it’s like light radiates from every cell of their body. Your energy is magnetic. (Incidentally, to live with this recognition does not require you to follow any spiritual or religious tradition — it is present in everyone.) Once you recognize you are great by your very nature — and all things are within your reach — it’s impossible to shake your belief in what you set out to accomplish.
- You write your own rules. Rules are imposed on us from every direction. From infancy, others tell us how we must live our lives. Top performers recognize and live with these rules on a daily basis — yet when a rule doesn’t make sense, top performers don’t hesitate to break or rewrite it to suit their vision. Nothing is impossible — although sometimes the rules must change drastically to make things happen.
- You’re always learning and improving. Great people never stop learning and improving themselves. They learn from books. They learn from the news. They learn from talking with people. They learn from observation. They never consider themselves above trying to pick up new knowledge … to open up their perspective and enrich their understanding of the world. Applied to your career, this means always working to develop new skills and master your craft.
- You connect ideas in new and unique ways. As they’re learning, top performers don’t just file every new insight and idea into its own separate file. They’re always looking for relations and interconnectedness of ideas, in order to see things and understand things in new ways. This is the root of innovation and invention. This is where breakthroughs happen. Every time you learn something new, try taking a quiet moment to let your brain play ‘connect-the-dots’ as you wonder, “How can this be related to something I already know?” Soon this comes naturally, and happens even when you don’t think about it.
- You’re always moving forward, because that’s what you do. If you want to be a top performer, you must develop near disdain for inaction and sloth. “Onwards and upwards!” is your battle cry. You develop the habit of never stopping moving — even if it’s just your subconscious processing the day’s thoughts and activities and planning tomorrow as you wind down for the evening. This is how small good things snowball into big good things, and you accomplish more.
- You embrace chaos and uncertainty. When you’re living big — always creating a new and higher answer to “How high is high?” — there will be a lot of chaos and uncertainty in your life. It’s not comfortable. It’s not comfortable to put yourself out there with a new business, or approach a big new client. It’s not comfortable to choose to be a nun who dedicates yourself to serving the poorest of the poor in Calcutta. It’s not comfortable to run for Mayor or Governor or Congress or President. Doing these things is stepping into discomfort, chaos, and uncertainty. It takes practice to become comfortable doing this. And even more practice to embrace it. Yet it’s what top performers do and what you should practice doing, too.
- You’ll jump in when others won’t. This builds on embracing chaos. Most people are content to live lives of quiet desperation. Because it’s less scary to live small than to do something important. Yet, if you want to create magic in your life … if you want to do something big … if you want to be a somebody instead of a nobody … you have to practice jumping in. Sometimes you’ll find shark-infested waters and you’ll have to skedaddle your little butt up out of the water before you get bitten too hard. Yet more often, you’ll find the water far warmer and more enriching — and waaaay less scary — than you could have ever imagined.
- You’ll try, and try, and try again. Failure is a fact of life. The final Success Factor common in top performers is the unwillingness to let failure stop them from getting back up and trying again. They fail, and fail again. And, get back up and try, and try again. You can’t let failure get you down. Because just on the other side of one of these roadblocks — on the other side of one of these failures — is the success you’ve been working toward. Why not fail as fast as you can — trying, and trying again — until you get there? Very few will remember your failures … and many will recognize and applaud your success.
So, which of these Success Factors do you have? Which are you working on?
The good news is, they can all be practiced and picked up. In reality, even top performers practice and struggle with living out these Success Factors every day of their lives. There are periods of intense doubt. There are “enlightened” periods where everything seems to be clicking. And there’s everywhere in between. Everyone goes through them.
When the final cards are counted, it’ll be obvious who lived their lives focused on practicing and making habits of these Success Factors, and who gave up when the going got rough. Which will you be?
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