The secrets for a successful life

If you’ve been reading some of my previous posts, you will know that I don’t believe there to be any real secrets when it comes to success. Of course, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of motivational speakers and gurus who claim to have all the answers if you sign up for their programmes, but I respectfully disagree. That is not to take away anything away from or discredit their work, though. The work which they do, and businesses which they run, help countless people take control of their lives and futures. The problem is that success itself is very personal and therefore difficult to boil down to a general set of rules and guidelines.

The definition of success, and what it means to live a fulfilled life, varies from one person to the next. This is because each of us has different dreams, goals and priorities. One person’s idea of success might involve having multiple houses, expensive cars and financial independence. For another person, success may be centered around spiritual development. For this reason, if you are to seek help on your journey, you should seriously consider working individually with a coach or mentor on a personalised programme to help you reach your goals.

Before you seek the help or professional services of others, though, here are a few things which could help you. In and of themselves, they may not bring you success and fulfillment, but they can certainly help to lay the foundations upon which you can build later.

  • Practice self-reflection. This will help you to better understand your dreams, purpose, strengths and weaknesses. You will gain a clearer idea of the direction which you would like your life to take, the goals to be accomplished along the way and how to meet the potential obstacles and challenges which you will undoubtedly face.
  • Practice gratitude. When you learn to identify and focus on what you have to be appreciative of, magical things happen. Expressing gratitude, whether publicly or in a private journal, improves your mood. Your mindset becomes positive and optimistic which in turn attracts positivity, but it also gives you the confidence and mental strength to keep going even when times become tricky.
  • Embrace life-long learning. Life is a journey of discovery so it makes sense to remain inquisitive. In order to keep moving forward, keep reflecting and learning. Reflection will identify areas for improvement, which you can address through learning. As you learn, your mind develops and grows through new experiences or knowledge gained. This means that you will be become better able to meet challenges in the future because of your new knowledge or experiences. Furthermore, it will also open up your mind to new possibilities.
  • Take care of your wellbeing. We have long been told that a healthy mind needs a healthy body in which to exist, which stands to reason, so we need to look after our physical health. This doesn’t mean that we should live in the gym, but there is a lot we can do to help ourselves, from getting enough sleep to trying to ensure that we eat foods which will provide us with the right nutrients. And of course, it helps to become more active. Just as important, though, is our mental health, which can be greatly helped if we surround ourselves with people who inspire us and challenge us to grow.
  • Pay it forward (wherever possible). We all have our own strengths and talents, and it would be a shame if we kept these hidden from the world simply through self-doubt. In sharing your gift, you can not only help and inspire others to follow their own dreams and passions, but you might also get some constructive feedback which could help you in your own development.

Experimenting with the above suggestions can help to lay the foundations upon which you can build a successful life by helping you to adopt a growth mindset.  This list, however, is far from exhaustive, and I would love to hear from you if you have anything further to add.

Coaching and Mentoring

Everyone we meet, whoever they may be, has something valuable to teach us. IF we are prepared to listen. It really all comes down to your attitude and desire, and whether you really want to live a healthy, happy and productive life. When your attitude is positive and receptive, you will notice how people quickly become more willing to to help you. Positivity attracts positivity after all.

This isn’t an easy thing to do, as you will first need to set your ego aside. Before you can accept any advice or guidance from another, you must accept that you don’t know everything and that there is a lot which you can learn from others. This is often best done through coaching and mentoring, but not always. It could just come from a simple conversation with someone you just met. Coaching and mentoring, however, are essentially more structured processes of learning from the experiences of other people, and applying that knowledge to your own situation. That new knowledge can help you to address any shortcomings you may have identified as you strive towards your goals. In order to be coachable though, you must be humble and receptive.

To really benefit from the guidance and advice of others, you first need to abandon the belief that you are always right, and accept that others may have a lot to offer. Ditch the ego. Moreover, you need to realise that seeking coaching, mentoring or help from others, is not a sign of weakness. Seeking help in the pursuit of your goals shows that you have been reflecting honestly on your strengths and weaknesses. It also shows that you have the strength, courage and self-awareness to address any shortcomings which might be slowing down your progress.

Your chances of really benefiting from coaching or mentoring in addressing your areas for improvement will be helped if you heed the following points;

  • Be ready and willing to do whatever it takes (within reason) to take a step closer towards your goals.
  • Be humble and accept that you do not know everything. Understand that other people have the potential to share valuable advice if you give them the opportunity.
  • Listen to feedback and constructive criticism, without regarding it as a personal insult or attack.
  • At regular intervals, reflect on your strengths, weaknesses and progress so far. This will help you to re-evaluate or replace your goals, or identify areas with which you need support in order to move forward.
  • Research. Once you have identified the areas with which you need help, visit your local library to see what books they have to offer, or go online to seek the information or blogs on your chosen topic which are freely available.
  • Not all coaching and mentoring opportunities are free, though, so if necessary, be prepared to invest a small amount of your monthly wage in the right programmes, books or seminars which could help you in pursuit of your goals.

There is a wealth of information online and in our libraries if we look carefully, but sometimes we need a little more guidance or support. This is where coaching and mentoring, whether formal or informal, can really make a difference. In order to get the most from a coach or mentor, though, we must first prepare ourselves as best we can. And leave our egos at home.

In short; talk less, listen more and keep working hard on yourself.