(6 minute read)
Is there a formula to achieving success? Perhaps, though I'm inclined to think not 😉 I do, however, believe in showing up and doing the work and taking guidance from those who've walked the path before me (and are making it work). I do the same with those I lead, coach and mentor. I share all I am to the best of my experience, knowledge and ability to make their lives easier.
On “how to achieve success”, I'm going back to it all being in the mind and living a healthy lifestyle. I swear to God, it works. This post isn't about me, it's about my experience and if you're that critical thinker who can read beyond the message and between the lines you'll get it, start doing it, and rapidly excel your path to even greater success.
Persistent and Intentional Visualization
I grew up in a small town, was born in the early 80's and didn't really watch a lot of TV. What I did a lot of, however, was read and visualize. I created a visual of what I wanted my life to look like and I did this on the regular because I was curious and interested in participating in life on a bigger playing field. I call this active creation. An active imagination paired with realistic action will get you through the gate and on your way if you're persistent and clear – beyond persistent and clear must come a lot else to keep you there and move you beyond the basics. Visualization on purpose and a flexible approach is where it starts. When you have a vision held with strong conviction and do not have anything to counter or create the belief that it's impossible – the vision is possible.
Self Talk and Values to Fuel Your Vision
As someone who was more into books than TV I read quotes. I read quotes of those who came before me in triumph and defeat; these were quotes of all kinds from athletes, to entertainers, actors and playwrights, physicists, and philosophers. I ate these quotes up like they were the last meal I was ever going to eat and they became my motivators and dialog from a young age. In my spare time I would reinforce this dialog and align what applied to my values, beliefs and actions as I continued on my life's path, unknowing what I was doing. These quotes turned into self talk that motivated and fuelled my vision. Think about it: you can talk yourself into and out of anything, it's no wonder self talk plays a huge part in healthily propelling us forward or planting us 10 steps back regarding our success rate. As always, we choose. So what have we got on the list so far: visualization and self talk.
One's visual needs injections of the extraordinary once in a while to bridge the gaps and create a further stretch of “what is possible”. The window to my outer world when I was younger, small town living with a sense of wonder, were films. They taught lessons, gave hope and painted pictures – many of realism, also of faith. The simple transcendance a film can do to expand one's visualization, a key to success. Now go make a list of films to inspire you! Don't just limit yourself to feel-good's for inspiration or motivation, watch the stories of breakthrough, hardship, bravery and the one's who make you want to reach for more and make a difference. If any character dreamed up and put on the silver screen can do it – you can too. Believe it.
The more simple you make one thing, the easier everything becomes. I'm all too familiar with tough choices – as the land distinctly turns grey when you're living a life of experiences vs earlier days as a child or adolescent when things are merely black or white. Experience had, I still live today the method of: what's the worst case scenario? By identifying the worst case scenario (aside from preventing death when there's minutes to live), there's often a solution when you're resourceful. Either way, you've got to learn to make decisions whether they're easy or not – the most effective way is to break them down and not psyche yourself out. Live from a place of being solution-oriented always. In my view, this is an ultimate key to success.
Treat your neighbor as yourself. People are equal. You work towards the common good and support each other and do things not out of return, you just do them. This is kind of the mentality and action growing up in a small town. How I landed my first “career type job” (which really was the springboard for every good thing that unfolded in my life thereafter) was out of showing up and participating in an event, not asking questions if showing up was to my benefit.
With success, everyone wants to know what's in it for them – and fair enough. The key to real opportunities, however, is completely backwards to the what's in it for me mentality. Values based business' and relationships of all kinds are built on trust, not transaction. Those who trust you and share your values-system will automatically prove to share the same wavelength of opportunity you each need to make your success transact. It will happen. Kind of how they say, “don't force relationships” – the same goes for working opportunities. Always be the best version of yourself and opportunities will present themselves if you're acting from a place of good-willed intention. Yet another simple key to success.
Success can be made to be simple – as long as you keep showing up and doing the work! My recipe is simple: visualize & follow and share guidance, positive (and realistic) self talk, ideation to help fuel and expand your vision, keep things simple and solution-oriented, hold relationships in mutual regard and live as though everything is a possibility.
In plain English at the most basic level I'm telling you to daydream, read quotes, watch movies, don't take no for an answer, and to choose relationships based on value. As the possibility of “more” fills our minds and comes our way, many of us are really good at overcomplicating the how-to. My advice: only add to the pile when you have the capacity.
Your life is what you make it. Paint the picture you want to wake up to – and be prepared to solve around the challenges to defend, protect and achieve it.
Every step of my career I've had to pay attention to the global economy and the news on a daily basis – this, can be depressing and crush one's vision. Either way, the balance of reality, the future and belief in outcome and/or creation is present. Paying too close of attention to the granular details of the economy has tripped me up from time to time, hence operating on a need to know (enough) basis has served myself and career positively. Take a step back and ask yourself what the externalizers are all about and how they apply to, affect and impact your vision. Quite frankly, I don't know anyone in this world who doesn't wake up for love! Make the choices easy and you will achieve success.