Regardless of how old you are, where you live, or what your career goals are, it's likely your ultimate goals in life are to be happy and successful. To be successful means more than just having money and making your mark. It means following your passions, living purposefully, and enjoying the present moment.
Developing a Path to Success
Identify your passions. Before you can achieve success, you will have to define what success means to you. While it may take years to realize what you want to do with your life, identifying your passions, interests, and values will help you set goals and give your life a sense of meaning. If you have trouble identifying these things, then ask a friend or family member to help you. Ask yourself the following questions:
· What do you want your legacy to be?
· How would you like to be remembered by others?
· How do you want to make your community a better place?
· What are some favorite subjects of interest in your life? For example, think of subjects you enjoyed studying in school. Ask why you liked them.
· For instance, you may have loved musical theater. Think: was it because you loved the music, or was it because you loved working with a big group towards a common goal?
Make a list of your goals, and what you might do to achieve them. Be sure to address both short-term and long-term goals; try to think beyond financial and career goals, such as relationship goals, personal goals for bettering yourself, things you would like to experience, or things you want to learn. Draw up a timeline that says when you want to achieve each part.
· Set SMART goals; goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
· Break big goals down. For instance, if your goal is to see the world, you can set the goal of saving money and visiting certain countries.
Live purposefully. In order to achieve your dreams and be the person you want to be, you will have to start paying attention to your actions. Ask yourself, "Is what I'm doing going to lead me to where I want to be in life?"
· If you find yourself constantly bored, daydreaming about the future or past or counting down the minutes until the day ends, it is probably because you feel disconnected from what you're doing.
· Cherish your time. Try to spend your free time doing things that you enjoy doing, rather than wasting time. For example, rather than spending your weekends watching television, spend them partaking in your hobbies or spending time with loved ones and new friends.
· Measure your productivity by engagement, not achievement. Not everything you do has to be productive in the conventional sense, but activities should be engaging and enjoyable.
· Keep in mind that it is perfectly fine to spend some time doing nothing and just being lazy each day. This can actually help with your imagination and self-awareness. Strive for a balance between doing things you want to do and allowing yourself to just “be.”
Stick to your commitments. Planning is not sufficient; keeping your word is also important. If you tell someone you will do something, do it. Similarly, don't tell someone you will do something if you're not sure you can. Be honest about your limits.
· Avoid canceling plans and try not to cancel twice on the same person.
· Make commitments to yourself, and stick to them. Write down your commitments and hang them in places you can see.
· Make sure that your commitments are gradually moving you towards your goals. Review your goals now and then to make sure you are moving in the right direction.
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Achieving External Success
Be educated. Education gives you the knowledge, skills, and credibility to achieve your maximum potential. In terms of financial success, statistics have shown that the more education you have (i.e. the higher degree you achieve), the more money you are likely to make.
· In 2011, the median weekly earnings for high school graduates was $638 while those with bachelor's degrees made $1053. That same year, those with masters or doctoral degrees made $1263 and $1551 respectively.
· Not all education has to be formal. Apprenticeships and long-term training programs are also positively correlated with higher incomes. Obtaining a Certificate in your field can help to increase your salary.
· Educate you for pleasure as well. The more you know about the world you live in, the more questions you will have and the more interested you will be.
Manage your finances. Learning how to manage your money will help ensure your financial stability over time, regardless of your income.
· Keep track of your expenses. Subtract your monthly expenses from your monthly income to determine how much spending money you have available each month. Also, review your bank statements often and notice where you spend your money. This will help you prevent over-spending and ensure that your bank statements are correct.
· Understand your income. When calculating your income, be sure to take into account the federal, state, and social security taxes that will be deducted from your gross pay. Don't overlook miscellaneous deductions, such as health insurance premiums, savings bonds, and loan payments. The resulting number is your net pay, which is what you end up taking home with you.
· Cut back. If you are not earning enough money to cover your net expenses, then look into your expenses to see where you might be able to cut back.
· Save money. Every month, you should deposit some of your money into a savings account. Consider asking your employer to directly deposit a portion of your income into your savings account.
· Invest cautiously. If your workplace offers a retirement savings plan, put your excess incomes in that.
Manage your time. Putting off important tasks until the last minute can cause you unnecessary stress, and increase the likelihood of errors and negligence. Manage your time so that you have enough time to complete tasks effectively.
· Use a planner to help keep you organized throughout the day, week, and month.
· Set reminders on your smartphone and make use of its electronic timer for better time management.
· Make a list of all the things you need to do on a given day and check off each task as you complete it. This will help you stay organized and motivated.
Achieving Internal Success
Enjoy the present moment. If you are constantly dwelling on the past or daydreaming about the future, you are missing out on the present moment. Remember that the past and the future are simply illusions and that real life takes place here and now.
· Start paying attention to negative thoughts so that you can move on from them and enjoy the present moment. If a negative thought arises in your head, then acknowledge it, label it a negative thought, and then let it fade away. Regular meditation or mindfulness exercises can help to make this feel more natural for you.
· Get in the habit of paying attention to small details around you. Appreciate the feeling of the sun on your skin, the sensation of your feet walking on the ground, or the artwork in the restaurant you are eating in. Noticing things like these will help you silence a rambling mind and appreciate every moment.
Don't compare your own life to other peoples' lives. Unfortunately, many people measure their own success by comparing it to the success of those around them. If you want to feel accomplished and happy, you will have to value your life for its own sake.
· Many people have the tendency to compare the low points of their own lives with the high points of other peoples' lives. Remember that no matter how perfect somebody's life may seem, behind closed doors everybody deals with tragedy, insecurity, and other difficulties. Pay attention to and limit your use of social media to help you remember this.
· Rather than comparing yourself with people who are "better off" than you, think about all of the people who are homeless, chronically ill, or living in poverty. This will help you appreciate what you have rather than feeling sorry for yourself. Try engaging in volunteer work to help make this more apparent. This can help to boost your happiness and confidence as well.
Count your blessings. No matter how much you achieve in life, you will always feel unhappy if you constantly focus on what you don't have. Instead, devote time every day to appreciating the things you do have. Think beyond material items; appreciate your loved ones, and cherish happy memories.
Cultivating Success in Every Aspect of Your Life
Look after your health. A healthy body supports a healthy mind. Eat a balanced diet and ensure that you aren't lacking in any necessary nutrients. Establish the cause of any problems you may experience, such as a lack of energy or a lack of concentration and deal with them by discussing with a doctor, nutritionist, and related health professionals. Get plenty of exercises too but make your fitness choices according to what you enjoy.
Follow up on opportunities. If you have a chance to shine, take it. If you are worried you won't have time and energy for a good opportunity, ask yourself: would this contribute to my end goals? If it would, then get rid of other commitments in order to pursue this opportunity.
· Remember, some chances only come around once. You can't bank them.
· This doesn't mean you should throw away all your savings or get rid of your safety net. It just means you should say yes when you are given an offer to move ahead.
Surround yourself with positive people. Make friends with people you admire for various reasons: because they are happy, kind, generous, successful at work, or successful in other ways. Join forces with those who have achieved things you want to achieve, or who are on their way to a common goal. Don't let jealousy get in your way: nobody's success is a threat to yours.
When making friends with someone, ask yourself if the person makes you feel motivated, positive, and confident, or if they make you feel tired, overwhelmed, or incompetent. Choose to spend time with the positive people, not the ones sucking your energy.
If you have friends or family members who always make you feel bad about yourself, limit the time you spend with them. Also, make sure to identify relationships that are not helping you to move towards your goals, that stress you out, or that require too much of your time and energy without being reciprocal.
Look for mentors among the people you admire. If you think you could learn from someone, ask for their advice.
Set boundaries with others. Advocate for your own needs. Be caring towards others, but don't accept abuse from anyone. Remember, being a good person does not mean you have to take violent or disrespectful language or actions from anyone.
Respect the boundaries others set for you, too. Listen to your loved ones when they tell you they need space, or want to do something alone.
Many people want to achieve success in life, but it's easier said than done. While they like to be successful, others accept to live their lives anyhow. The simple fact that you're reading this article indicates that you want to be different from others, and be successful in life. However, there are so many distractions that it can be challenging to discipline oneself to accomplish a monumental goal. By keeping the following advice in mind, however, you can dramatically increase your chances of becoming successful in whatever you choose to pursue.
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