A few days ago, I started an experiment to see how people would respond when asked if they were successful. It was interesting to see that most people responded with, “I like to think so.” I appreciate their humility. After all, going about your day telling people you are successful is likely to lose yourself some friends.
I’ve mentioned the importance of how we are what we think but what we say out loud also impacts our thoughts. So how do we respond to the success question without sounding like we’re full of ourselves? Saying “I like to think so” just tells yourself that you aren’t sure whether you are successful…which will keep you from becoming successful. So here’s a way to humbly say “yes” and confidently know you are successful.
Remember: “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.”
1. Set Your Goal
In order to be able to have progression towards a worthy goal, you need to first identify your’s. It’s amazing how many people don’t know what they are aiming for in life. We’ve all heard the metaphors about goals (a ship without a captain, a car without a destination, etc.) but very few people actually practice setting and working towards goals.
Your goal should be something you can achieve in the next 1-3 years that helps move you to your dream life. If you don’t know what your dream life is, a good exercise is to imagine you are at your 80th birthday party. Who is there with you and what would you like them to say about you and your life? That should help direct your thoughts to your dream life.
I like to keep at least two primary goals: One for the next 1-3 years, and one for the next 4-7 years. But for now, just focus on the first one. Take a few minutes to identify your goal and then WRITE IT DOWN.
2. Plan out your week
Alright you have your goal, now you need to plan out how you will achieve it. Don’t worry, you don’t have to know the full series of events that will get you to your goal. All you need to do is plan out one week of your “progression” towards the goal.
Ask yourself, “What are the one or two most important things I could do this week to achieve my goal?” Write down which day you will complete those tasks. The only requirement today is that when you plan out this week, give yourself something to do TODAY to help you realize your goal.
For example, if your goal is to buy a rental property in one year, your two items for this week might be: 1) Find a realtor and, 2) Listen to a podcast on real estate investment. Choose one of those to do today and save the other for later in the week.
3. Take one step towards your goal everyday
If you devote your thought and will to achieving a goal, it is impossible to not achieve it. Keep this in mind everyday as you progress towards your goal. Don’t plan out tasks to do everyday because you’ll get overwhelmed. Stick to the one or two most important things you can do in a week. On those days where you don’t have something planned, focus on your thoughts. Use this time to add clarity and details to your dream life and goal.
Don’t underestimate the importance of the thought exercises. The more you consciously think about something, the more ingrained in your subconscious it becomes. Your subconscious is incredibly powerful and is always working for you. Feed it the right thoughts and it will go to work to make those thoughts real…both good and bad.
Do these 3 steps today and you can confidently call yourself “successful.” When someone asks you if you’re successful, you can humbly say, “Yes, because I have a goal and I’m working towards it.”