Tips for long-lasting success

Slam dunkWithout a doubt, feeling successful at something in life is important for many people’s happiness. Success means different things to different people. Some might think it’s being rich; others might say it’s being the best at our job, or feeling like we do a good job at whatever we do.

One of the best definitions of success that I’ve read is by American physician and author George Sheehan. He said: “Success means having the courage, the determination and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.”

No matter what we are doing, or believe we should be doing, there are ways that can help us become and stay successful. Here are my tips for long-lasting success.

Do what we enjoy
Do things that benefit both ourselves and others
Be ethical and have integrity
Don’t have making money our top priority
Think, speak and behave like a winner
Work on what we are talented at
Stay focused
Commit to goals
Persist, be motivated and be patient
Imagine being a success
Care about what we do and take pride in our work
Put in the time
Aim to be the best
Learn about what we do and keep on learning
Set and achieve goals
Think of obstacles and “failures” as learning opportunities
Turn weaknesses into strengths

Do what we enjoy

For long-term success, do something we enjoy. If we don’t enjoy what we do, we probably won’t stick at it long enough to become successful, we’ll dislike the journey along the way to succeeding, or our success will be short-term. If we love what we do, we can work on it day and night, and it doesn’t seem like work at all.

If we are unclear about what we enjoy, do we have a hobby or pastime that we can, in time, make a living from? Or think back to when we were younger. Was there something we had a passion for and were good at? Perhaps there is something we have been wanting to do for years but been putting-off.

I remember watching an interview once with Mick Jagger on TV. He said the Rolling Stones have enough money, so they don’t continue to tour the world playing together to make more money, they tour because they enjoy it. I thought: “What a man – one of the greatest musicians of all time still enjoys what he does, and does an excellent job of it after more than 40 years.”

Mick is not a one-off case. If we observe the most successful people in their field, doing what they love for the joy of it and for the joy they bring to others – not simply for the money – is typical, not unusual.

Do things that benefit both ourselves and others

If we believe the sole purpose of work is to benefit ourselves, think more broadly. I believe that one of the key reasons each of us is alive is to serve others. By “serve” I mean help others – or animals, the environment… – through our talents, knowledge and skills. “Help” could also mean improve the quality of life, enhance or empower, to name just a few alternatives.

Think of success as an energy exchange – as we help others, we will be helped. It’s a win-win situation. Imagine the “success energy”, as I call it, doing a continuous loop from helping us, to helping others, then returning back to us and so on. If we don’t establish this loop, the flow of energy isn’t created; so success is fleeting or not forthcoming.

Be ethical and have integrity

Being kind, honest and ethical brings good energy to us. Being ruthless, cruel and unethical brings negative energy to us. We cannot avoid the law of the Universe as we sow so shall we reap.

It might take years for the negativity to flow back to us, and it might not come from whoever we hurt, but, in time, we all reap the consequences of our actions. Even if we make millions or billions of dollars, our health, happiness, safety or peace-of-mind… will be compromised in some way if we do the wrong thing by others.

A person I once knew summed it up well. He said if we are ethical and have integrity, the pathway to our goals will be open with opportunities. If, however, we compromise on these qualities, our road to success will be blocked with hindrances.

Don’t have making money our top priority

If getting rich is our main priority in life – regardless of how ethical, honest and capable we are – we might get rich, but will we also find joy and inner peace? People can have more than enough money, but if they are not happy, healthy nor peaceful, are they truly successful?

… There is no true success without peace of mind.”

– Joseph Murphy, best-selling self-help author

Think, speak and behave like a winner

Winners know their thoughts, words and actions largely shape their lives and create their future, so they continually steer these three elements towards success.

Here are some winning beliefs and thoughts. To reap positive results these need to sink into our subconscious mind.

  • Believe that we have the right to succeed.
  • Believe that we can and will win.
  • Think “I can” not “I can’t”.
  • Think “If they can do it, I can do it”.
  • Think “If I fail, I am not a failure. I’ll try again and I will get there.”

Talk like a success. Think like a success. Behave like a success. Be a success.

Work on what we are talented at

Make use of our talents. We all have something we are good at, which we should respect and value. There are infinite ways of being a success besides the usual jobs people think of like doctor, lawyer, elite athlete, model, singer, movie star….

Stay focused

My mother used to say to me, “To achieve a goal, be like a horse running on a race track with blinkers on”; in other words keep focused on our goal and don’t get distracted. Distractions will come about, but to succeed we must stay focussed and stay on track.

… Success is focusing the full power of all you are on what you have a burning desire to achieve.”

– Wilfred Peterson

Commit to goals

No matter how hard getting started or staying working on a job might be at times, keep trying, working and believing in what we are doing and what we aim for.

Persist, be motivated and be patient

Persist during difficult times. Too many people give up on their goals when times get tough, but if they kept going they probably would have been successful.

It’s easy to be motivated when things are going well and we feel okay. When things aren’t going well, and we aren’t feeling good, keeping motivated can be harder. Remember the end results we want, stay focused and keep working, despite the troubles.

If something doesn’t work out as well as we wanted, find out what went wrong, make adjustments and try again. Keep going, even if it takes years to reach our goals. Be patient with achieving results too. Like when we sow seeds in a garden it takes time before our plants show signs of sprouting leaves, sowing the seeds of success takes time to see results.

Sylvester Stallone’s ideas for Rocky were rejected many times and scoffed, yet the movie was a hit, and he became a megastar. Jennifer Aniston starred in string of failed TV shows and considered giving up acting before she became a star in Friends.

… Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.”

– Napoleon Hill, best-selling author, and advisor to President Roosevelt, former U.S. President

Imagine being a success

Our imagination is a valuable tool to help us get to our goals. Regularly imagine (visualize) ourselves as a success. Many elite athletes, actors and others know and use the power of their imagination to help them succeed. What we often imagine tends to come to fruition.

Care about what we do and take pride in our work

If we don’t care about whether or not we do a good job it is reflected in our attitude, results and reputation. When we care about what we do and who we work for it shows, and people can tell that we care.

Our reputation is a key ingredient in our success and influences whether people want to work with us, employ us and so on. Cultivate a good reputation and we will be rewarded.

Put in the time

Most successful people take many years to become the best at what they do. The idea of an overnight success is mythical.

Less successful people might look at winners and think, “Oh, they are just lucky”. No – most winners spend years doing practise/study/training… and then there’s likely to be more of it throughout their lives. Yes, successful people have talent, but they combine talent with dedication, time, effort, persistence, inspiration, motivation….

… Some people dream of success while others wake up and work hard at it.”

– Winston Churchill, former British Prime Minister widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 1900s

Aim to be the best

Winners want to win and strive to win – a half-hearted effort and so-so results are not good enough. Their inner drive to succeed propels winners to become bigger and better, and continually improve throughout their lives.

Avoid over perfectionism though. I’ve experienced this trap. Now I accept that mistakes are part of being human, so I will make them, and that’s OK. I still aim to win, but I feel more at peace when I make mistakes now than in the past.

… Every success is built on the ability to do better than good enough.”

– Zig Ziglar, author, salesman and motivational speaker

Learn about what we do and keep on learning

Winners learn their craft and want to keep learning the latest information, trends, techniques… throughout their lives. Winners do not stagnate – they continually learn and improve. To be the best requires learning, otherwise we will be overtaken by our competitors.

Set and achieve goals

Winners set and achieve goals. Without goals we are aimlessly drifting through life. Goals give us purpose and direction. They help motivate and guide us. They give us something to live for.

A good way to help us set goals is to use the SMART technique.

SMART stands for different things; one of my favorites is:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-based (set a date that we want to achieve the goal by)

Think of obstacles and “failures” as learning opportunities

We tend to grow and learn the most from what doesn’t work well rather than what does work. When we make errors, we analyse what when wrong and re-plan, re-think and re-do what we did; and we aim to do better next time.

If we fail, don’t think of ourselves as failures. If we try enough things in life, some of them are bound to not turn out as well as we hoped. Yes, it’s disappointing, but it’s part of life.

Don’t keep trying the same old things that don’t work, then wonder why things fail. Make changes and try again, meet new people, make new friends…. Do whatever it takes to achieve.

Turn weaknesses into strengths

Weaknesses are part of being human. Many of the greatest achievers have turned their weaknesses into strengths. They worked on improving themselves to such an extent that they eventually became more successful than many others with less significant problems. Their desire to overcome a weakness – and prove to themselves and others that they can overcome it and succeed despite their circumstances – motivates them so strongly to achieve that nothing stops them.

Australian swimmer Susie Maroney was born with cerebral palsy – a condition that causes physical disability – but this didn’t stop her from becoming a three-time winner of the Manhattan Island swim race, and the fastest female two-way English Channel Crossing at age 17, among other sensational achievements.

… Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.”

– Orison Swett Marden

Be the winners we want to be. Use as many tips and ideas for success as we can by learning from those who are successful, happy and healthy, and as Wilfred Peterson said: “Champion the right to be yourself; dare to be different and to set your own pattern; live your own life and follow your own star.”

written by Nyomi Graef

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6 Responses to “Tips for long-lasting success”

  1. Max Booten says:

    Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones are timeless….I never get tired of listening to them!

  2. Jene Steller says:

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  3. sylvestor stalone is one of the legends…i can’t wait for his new movie to come out!

  4. Jay L says:

    This is a Great Article !!
    It is so Positive and Inspirational.
    I am working on the most important goal of my life, and reading this is giving me the determination, inspiration, and focus that I need.
    I have printed this, and I will read it everyday.
    Thankyou Nyomi – this is just what I needed.

  5. inspire says:

    Thanks for the great tips! It’s helpful.

  6. Dhanesh says:

    It’s really great and helpful for others.

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