If google had a penny every time someone asked that, it will be a billion-dollar company. Wait a minute; it does get paid, not just a penny but as much as hundred bucks by advertisers for a search like this. And yes, it is not a billion-dollar company but a trillion-dollar one!
So, why is everyone obsessed with this concept?
Another similar kind of search query like how to be happy in life, is a cheaper keyword to target, although the volume range remains the same. It makes me suspect that maybe behind the curtains, the actual number of people interested in success are happier.
That brings me back to my query, about people's preoccupation with success, even more than happiness.
What it Means to Be Successful in Life
The reason might be, how multi-dimensional the word is. While happiness talks about a feeling and state of mind, success can denote much more. Success broadly means the fulfilment of a goal. Since all of us have plans in every section of our life, being successful means attainment of the personal highest level in all spheres of life. It means being champion in your career, in your relationship, in your mental and physical health (including happiness) and even as a member of society.
Tips on How to Be Successful in Life
Like I mentioned, tips and techniques are abundant around us on how to succeed—a plethora of books, seminars and workshops, self-help gurus and even scientific researches. We have tried to skim through the best of them and compiled the following list.
Clearly Define Your Purpose
Most of us who consciously aspire to be successful already know their purpose in life, but it is not well defined. Just by saying you want to be rich, won't be enough. It will help if you decide how much amount will be 'rich' for you. You have to decide, even put it down on a piece of paper, that by the end of the year 2020 I want to be earning two lakhs a month. Yes, the specification of time duration is also vital. And as you will read further, your one purpose or goal will be divided into many smaller goals. They should possess the same specificity.
Take Help From Experts
Do some research and find out the people who are already successful in your domain. Study them, know their qualification, their method, their journey. Replicate the same pattern first and as you follow, customize it according to your goals, so that it fits perfectly for you. But what needs to be done when you don't have the same education?
How to be successful without education
Take help from the internet. Do online courses, certifications, try on-job-training and remember a college degree is not a proof of knowledge or skill. And thanks to successful no-degree businessmen and artists, the world understands that too.
Devise a Plan & Practise It
As pointed out above, break your big goal into smaller achievable sub-goals. Plan it out. How to make two lakhs a month? Search what kind of jobs pay that much salary. Then find out what talents and skills you have. Maybe you need to learn a new skill. Sub goals might be- get this XYZ skill development course completed in 2 months. Next sub-goal- Find a job within two weeks. No job? Try freelancing. Next Sub-goal- build a clientele...
Each sub-goal should be more challenging than the previous one and also realistic.
Then comes execution. A deliberate practice to be done mindfully. Don't fool yourself by the number of hours you put into the training and work, evaluate the quality- how many of the hours did you practice and not daydream or wasted in other useless activities.
Develop Focus, Self- Discipline and Will Power
Napoleon Hill was one of the pioneers in self-help literature. He committed his entire life to devise the perfect philosophy of success. In his book, 'Outwitting the Devil', he says about how it is our mind stopping us from achieving anything in life. Our mind is the devil. Whenever we start to implement our plan, you will find your mind drifting to discouraging thoughts. That needs to be broken. You need to have a laser-sharp focus in your work.
Researcher Roy Baumeister warns that our will power might be limited. So use it well for the important things.
Hill goes on to say- To be self- disciplined you need to overcome six basic fears: the fear of poverty, the fear of ill health, the fear of old age, the fear of criticism and people's perception, the fear of loss of someone, and the fear of death.
You spend your entire life operating from either fear or faith.
Have FAITH in yourself
How to end all our fears? Through faith.
Believe in yourself. Eventually, others will start believing in you too. Hill says about how we can use affirmations to instil faith. Even autosuggestion that is doing conscious positive actions throughout our day, which will suggest our subconscious mind. And when that happens, our body goes into autopilot mode, and then positivity and belief come naturally.
You Need to Be Conscientious
You need to be committed and dutiful towards your goal. Your practice should be the highest form of service and obligation to you. Your work should be pious to you.
Have a strong Desire
Use desire as your trigger to focus on your work and continue with it. Passion for money, love or even s*x can be very powerful motivators. As Napoleon Hill says-
S*xual drive (the thoughts of physical expression) can be transmuted into highly creative and productive outlets, used as a powerful force for success.
Evolving System of Beliefs
Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck and her colleagues study the psychology behind success and say that successful people have 'growth mindset' in contrast to their counterpart who tend to have 'fixed mindset'. Successful people have beliefs which keep on evolving and adapting with time. They change their belief system according to their benefit. They believe they can always grow mentally. In contrast, others tend to have a more stereotypical closed mindset that was probably formed in the early years of their life. So, if they failed in something once they will go on believing that that work is not meant for them, or that is not their cup of tea.
Growth mindset ones will believe that someone is a good dancer not because he was born to be one, but he put in time and effort and learnt the skill. And so can anyone.
Build Your Social Capital
Your knowledge and skills are not enough. It would be best if you had a good team and a good network, especially in today's world, where social networking is such a big part of our lives. One can easily find fame and success if they are better connected with the right people.
Social capital is as real and as important as money.
This is the most important one. Never quit. As actor Will Smith says, you should be ready to sacrifice anything right now to achieve what you want. You have to develop a tolerance for failure and learn from each one of them. If your goal is still crystal clear, no matter how many setbacks you face, don't give up. Lay down everything you have on the racecourse. Don't quit until you reached the finishing line even if it seems highly unlikely that you will win. You never know, at the last moment even the best tumble down paves the way for your victory.
So, first, map your definition of success. What is it you want? Money, fame or just freedom. Put your all faculties into it. Don't back down. Be careful with your mind, with your thoughts. Be cooperative and enthusiastic about attracting high-quality people. And be hungry and desperate! As one of my favourite motivational speakers says-
When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe only, then you will be successful.
Co-author: Shreya Arya
A digital marketing enthusiast with experience in HR and hospital management, Shreya has wide interests ranging from philosophy, psychology to latest trends in automation. She is also a freelance content writer and loves lending beautiful words to ideas and feelings.