This transcript is based on my January 15, 2013 podcast WAKE UP: The Trifecta for Successful Living
3 Simple Success Principles
Each one of us has with in whatever is needed to create any desired reality. How do I know that? When I look into my own life and think about the times when I am the happiest, the most productive, and the most successful, I discover there’s something in common throughout those scenarios; it’s a result of living by three simple principles.
These are principles that you can apply to your own life too. Learn them, get really good at living them, and I promise you that you’ll wake up to a whole new world of possibilities.
Living and following these principles are key to what separates the top 3% of successful people out there from everyone else. (Those are the kind of people I learned these principles from; you don’t learn these in school!) These are the people who just seem to have everything going for them: business is increasing in size, their relationships are blossoming, they’re always getting that promotion. Their lives all have these three principles in common.
I can trace my own success, and that of so many other successful entrepreneurs, to these three simple strategies that I learned, from studying them. To follow through on this, one doesn’t require an expensive education or high IQ.
I’m going to get bold here: if you follow these three principles consistently on a daily basis, it is impossible for your life not to change in a seriously good way; so strong is my belief in this.
Here are the three principles:
Principle #1: Know The Outcome
Successful people know exactly what they are working toward. It’s something that lights a fire inside of them that burns so brightly that they will stop at nothing in pursuit of it. They know what they want to achieve next month, next year, five years from now, and ten years from now.
A goal has to be specific. To say, “I want to make more money”, isn’t solid enough. “I want to increase my income by $10,000 this year” is more like it. Specific goals drive specific actions to achieve those goals. Notice that we’re talking about what you want here, not what you don’t want. It’s not good enough just to know what you don’t want! The stuff that you don’t want will take care of itself if you’re focusing your energies on what you do want. Know what you want, and make it as specific as possible. Once that is in plac, you’ll need a plan…
Principle #2: Create a Strategic Game Plan
You are only as good as your plans. Successful outcomes are driven by plans. Sporting events, business goals, and battles cannot be won without a plan. The success of all of these things are dictated by systems and plans; yet, when we think about our lives, how many of us have a plan for success? If you don’t have a plan, you are just showing up and playing bumper cars with everyone else.
Most people don’t have a plan because they don’t know what the heck they desire out of life. (See principle #1.) Once you figure that out, you can form a specific plan to accomplish the desired fixed outcome. It’s got to be something you can execute on every day, driven by a specific goal. A goal of “I want to make more money” may yield a plan of “I need to make more calls to my contacts” – not specific enough – but a plan of “I want to add $10,000 to my income this year” yields a specific plan, like “I will make 3 calls to my business contacts every day.” Specific goals yield specific actions. Which brings us to taking action on our plans…
Principle #3: Take Consistent Action
As humans, we only work as hard as obliged to. We need a goal that’s such a burning desire for us that we have to get it done to motivate us to do more. Make it something you lose sleep over. That’s “the destination” we talked about a few weeks ago; without it, no one’s driving the vehicle of your life. Having that is also how we can raise our action level above “just doing enough to get by.” Consistent action, taken every day towards that ultimate goal and guided by a plan, is what’s going to get you there.
Create a clear vision of an ideal outcome you desire, have a plan to guide you, then work your arse off. Rinse and repeat.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend four sharpening the axe.”
Visualize the firewood from the tree as the outcome you desire. Most people just go out there and hack away, with no specific outcome in mind. You’ve got to know how you’re going to chop the tree down, how many whacks you’re going to take in each spot, in order to get the job done; then do it. That’s the specific outcome, plan, and actions that you need.
Specific goals drive specific actions to achieve those goals.
You can’t just show up every day in life to make your dreams come true.
To visualize this better, picture a continuum of people in the world. Most people are what we’ll call “passive”, in the middle of the spectrum. They just drift along and go with the flow, day by day. Their lives aren’t great, but they’re good enough. These people are willing to deal with that, and that’s one way of living life. On one side (the negative side) are the “reactive” people, who go through life without a plan or a specific goal. Reactive people rarely experience success because they don’t embrace the three success principles. They respond to life; they don’t create it.
On the other side (the positive side) are the “proactive” people, who live by those three principles and actively create the path their life takes them. They are the most successful ones.
Everyone falls somewhere on that spectrum. Most people are in the middle, living life by the status quo of, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Bull…!
If you’re driving a car that seems to be working, but you’re not taking care of it, it will eventually break down. That will force you to change from passively driving along to becoming reactive and fixing it; you let life dictate what you do.
The proactive driver, on the other hand, keeps good care of the car as time goes on and doesn’t need to worry about the car breaking down.
See the difference?
If you don’t know what you want, life will force you into a reactive state. What do you want? Don’t wait until you HAVE to make the move; that’s not how you succeed in the Digital Economy. That’s now how you lead by being on the cutting edge.
Being proactive means thinking ahead and knowing what you want tomorrow, next month, and next year. Doesn’t it sound simple? By thinking that way, you make yourself responsible for the outcome. You can’t blame anyone else if it doesn’t work out.
Our thoughts drive us.
All the thousands of thoughts we have every day can be bent towards the future if we think proactively. Good, bad or indifferent – proactive, reactive, or passive – our thoughts drive us. By proactively bending your thoughts towards the future, you are giving them a positive incubator to create the life you desire.
Don’t let reactive thoughts of doubt and fear drive you! When you are proactive, your mind learns to block out all the reactive people and thoughts that are trying to hold you back. All of a sudden, those things don’t bother you anymore because you’re not operating in a reactive realm. You aren’t matching that reactive energy.
This is so incredibly simple and powerful.
By thinking proactively, you set yourself on a course to live by the three success principles.
That’s how you align yourself with what you want. It’s what will bring you closer to your goals instead of moving you away from them.
I absolutely promise you that you will see a world filled with new possibilities for you to create with when you approach your life this way. In no time, you’ll be wondering, “How could my thoughts have been so limited?”.
Life has so much to offer you! Figure out what you want from it and settle for nothing less.