This article was written by Catrin Cooper, a freelance writer and content manager from San Francisco. She sees her purpose in providing people with up-to-date info in spheres of marketing, self-development, and real estate. Apart from work, she adores traveling and yoga.
Some of us envy about our neighbor’s success. What we don’t know is that they, too, experience some ups and downs but they didn’t give up. That’s because they know how to get their act together; while the rest are having difficulties getting through a day.
Are they intelligent or just born with a silver spoon? You may ask.
You may be surprised to know that success isn’t limited to the size of your bank account, who your parents are and what your IQ level is. Although there’s no specific formula for success, successful people share traits that helped them in getting ahead of their game.
To help you have a right state of mind so that you can achieve your goals, here are some principles that you need to adhere if you wish to be ultra-successful in less than ten years.
1. Learn every day.
Improve your learning curve to a point where you already feel comfortable with learning new topics.
Every day, devote 15 minutes of your time to a non-fiction book reading. It’s not a lot, but it makes a difference to your development.
If you are considering investing in real estate, try reading books about this industry. Or simply read something success-oriented to get in a more motivated state of mind and understand how to move forward with a new career or skill.
2. Use visualization.
Success always starts with a goal. Whether your goal is big or small, it’ll guide you in the right direction. And to reach that destination, you need hard work and determination. But before you can believe in your goal, you need to know what it looks like.
With visualization, you’re creating a mental image of your prosperous future. Visualizing your desired outcome allows you to see the possibility of fulfilling your dream or goal.
You’ll get a glimpse of what is your preferred future. It gives you more motivation and allows you to prepare more to pursue that goal.
But visualization isn’t the same as “think it and you’ll be it” advice. Rather, it’s a method of improvement with scientific evidence. Successful people, like Oprah Winfrey, use it.
Oprah used to tell herself when she was young: “My life won’t be like this. My life won’t be like this, it will be better.” And her life wasn’t just better; she’s enjoying the best life that anyone could ever hope for.
In fact, Oprah creates her own vision boards. She advised her fans to create the grandest vision possible because “you become what you believe.”
Most athletes are also using visualization to help them increase their performance. For them, visualization improves concentration and coordination. It helps them relax and reduces their fear and anxiety.
3. Set priorities.
In our time-pressured world, it’s common to have several overlapping commitments that need our attention. Urgency has become an everyday occurrence.
To manage a flood of responsibilities while doing an excellent job and staying positive, you need to organize your priorities. As Stephen Covey suggested, you need to list your priorities in a grid with four quadrants.
In the first quadrant, write the most urgent and vital task. On the second quadrant, list down things that are not urgent but important. The third quadrant will have a list of things that are urgent but not important. And the fourth quadrant includes not urgent and not important tasks.
Most of our activities are in quadrants I and III. Hence, quadrant II is underused but it’s equally important. To successfully manage your priorities, make sure to find ways on how to expand quadrant II.
4. Manage money wisely.
Remember the first principle, learn every day? Yes, one of the books that you must read is financial management. The topic is vital to your long-term success as an individual or entrepreneur.
Those financial management books will teach you how to have a cash cushion. Experts recommend having enough money saved for six months to pay your bills before you even start investing.
The cushion is vital to your backup financial plan, in case your endeavor doesn’t work in your favor.
And if you have credit cards, make sure to manage them properly. Not all people know it, but credit cards are the worst investment in your life. You must only use them during emergencies and pay them off every 30 days.
5. Get up early.
To maximize your day, you need to get up early and tackle those difficult tasks. The most successful individuals wake up at 5 am and start working at 8 AM.
You can sleep in when you have already achieved your life goals. But when you’re nearly there, opt to make the most of your day and attack it soon.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, for example, wakes up at 3:45 am every morning. He does email for one hour and goes to the gym before he heads for work. It’s not difficult for him because he loves what he does and he doesn’t think of his work as work.
Richard Branson of Virgin Group rises as early as 5:45 in the morning. He uses the early hours to exercise before going to work.
6. Follow a healthy lifestyle.
As stated by Stephen Covey, it’s vital to have Production and Production Capability balance. You can stay up all night each night to get your projects done. Your goal, of course, is to increase production.
But as you increase production, your capability to produce diminishes because your production capacity fades as a result of lack of sleep.
You’ll get sick, and you’ll spend the money you have in hospitalization and doctor’s fees.
It’s like having a car. You need to maintain it to keep it going regularly. Failure to do so means your car won’t run smoothly in the long run.
You may have saved a bit of money on maintenance. But that’s only for a short term.
Not having it maintained regularly will cause a frequent breakdown in the future. It means you need to spend more of your money, including the money you’ve saved from not undergoing regular maintenance.
To keep your production and production capability balance, you should perform regular exercise, eat a balanced diet, and learn how to relax to keep stress at bay.