My 5 Year Vision Board — made October 2014

6 Things the Best (At-Success) Have in Common

Frequently — like most people trying to improve their physical well-being — I read up on the latest and greatest from the experts in the Heath and Wellness industry. The articles and self-help guides are endless. Personal social media accounts have exploded with followers trying to find motivation and tips from others’ personal experiences. People of all genders and ages flock and follow, then incorporate into their lives what they have learned to be more successful in their pursuit of perfect personal appearance. The most successful to change and improve their current state have applied simple rules in their ‘training regimen’ that they learned during their journey. Success has always been about action. Action is key, but one must learn from the best — first.

While reading an article on Stack that outlined principles of what sets the best athletes apart from the rest, I found exactly what I had been looking for to give me an advantage. Who doesn’t want to know what the best athletes do to make them the best? As I read each point the expert columnist, Andy Haley, wrote from what he learned by those that worked with these top athletes, I couldn’t help but think those same principles apply to how individuals can find success in life or business, overall.

Being at the top of your game financially and in business is an attainable goal to all those that are willing. Adapting these same six guidelines in life will help you in exactly the way Haley describes — “if you emulate them, you may get more out of your (life’s) training program than ever before.” So, here is the advantage.

1. Don’t Be Afraid of Your Weakness(es).

At the ripe age of 34, Kobe Bryant was asked about A-Rod’s slump as he got older and what to look out for. Interestingly enough, instead of sympathizing that age does change a person, he simply made a statement to show his fearlessness.

..sometimes he forgets he’s the best….Where, I don’t,” Kobe quipped.

Weaknesses are a good and not-so-good thing, BUT mostly good. Who has to know about them other than yourself? As you work hard and strive to do your best each day, you have to believe that these weaknesses you have will get better. So why are they good? It doesn’t have to be one step at a time or figured out immediately. Our personal weaknesses are simply small opportunities that we get to improve and work towards perfection. Without them, how can we continue our progression? Kobe doesn’t look at his weaknesses as a stumbling block. He looks at them as opportunities to prove himself — to himself. He simply doesn’t need someone to tell him he’s the best. He already knows it, despite what other say. He doesn’t forget what he’s best at either.

Many times people tend to focus so much on their weaknesses and what they aren’t good at that it inhibits their own progress. This simply can’t happen. Don’t be afraid of them. Instead, recognize them and look at examples from others in how they overcame them and do it. That’s what makes successful people unique. They are fearless and push themselves to make those weaknesses either better, or use their strengths to out weigh the weakness(es) that they have. They work hard to improve.

2. Cultivate a Growth Mindset

Never let a failure make you want to give up.

Training, developing or devoting one self takes time and habit. It takes time and consistency to create habits. Choose good habits to create. One is getting back up when you fall. Never let a failure make you want to give up.

Whether it is from the famous Michael Jordan Nike Commercial about his failures, or the list of Abraham Lincoln’s failures in life and then his triumphant wins, or J.K. Rowling’s inspirational experience before and during her Harry Potter books, it has been proven that if there is growth, there once was failure. Stopping at the first fail has NEVER helped anyone succeed. Failing is part of growth. It instills in our hearts and minds the desire to improve and learn. It’s what many call the School of “Hard Knocks.” Understand now that failure can be a good thing if we have the mindset to learn from it.

3. Warm Up Correctly

“if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

Really, think about this. How do you start your day? What habits have you created at the beginning of your day to help you win? Does your day start with meditation or being grateful for what you do have? Do you plan your day out in your mind or jot goals down on paper or on your personal device? How about having a breakfast of champions (Wheaties) or hitting the gym? Your day is the most important 24 hours of your life. Just as you would before working out at the gym or when an athlete prepares for a game, warming up is essential to your success.

I have found that as you begin your day in meditation and focus on the day’s goals, you will be able to jot down and prioritize your every move. Make this a habit. Planning your day is a must! We have heard many times over: “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” These words are true! Things that you can do to warm up correctly include: waking up early, enjoying a good breakfast, planing your day for success, and staying on track! This leads to our next guideline.

4. Avoid (Negative) Distractions

Negative people suck!

A distraction can be many things. One that comes to mind is the naysayer or a negative person or entity, whatever they may be. Negative people suck! They suck as much positive energy as they can out of you. Sometimes they and you don’t even see it coming or see it happening and before you know it, it’s too late. You now have less positive energy than before to accomplish what you want to do. Things get harder, you get irritated faster, and even negative emotions and thoughts start appearing.

Get your mind in the mode to be successful! You really can accomplish whatever it is you want to do. Make up your mind now and believe in yourself. There will be distractions. It is important to understand what all these different distractions are that can happen from day to day and protect yourself. You will be able to then see them coming. How you learn to guard yourself from the negativity is what can set you apart from the rest.

I had a manager that would tell me to look for ways to make positive disruptions in my life. These positive disruptions were changes I could make that set my path on the right track, or put me in a better situation. I try and make positive disruptions as much as possible and cleanse myself from any negative influences I have that try and keep me down. These negative distractions are like leaches and they will do their best to keep you down. Do not let them! I am sure you can figure out for yourself what you must do and what negative distractions need to be kicked out of your life. Getting rid of them will be the single most noticeable improvement to your attitude and environment.

5. Don’t Seek Shortcuts

Just like building muscles, learning and growing takes time. I was taught at a young age that you should work hard each day and soon you will find that “the work” isn’t hard anymore. It’s not that the work or task at hand isn’t hard anymore, but as you train yourself effectively, things simply get easier for you. Time magically appears and allows you to do more! There may be more effective and efficient ways to do things in your life and you must always look for opportunities to improve, but don’t ever look for shortcuts.

Looking for shortcuts can put you in danger of selling yourself short. Many times, looking for shortcuts to success usually leads to disappointments. Frequently, people that lose weight quickly end up having a hard time keeping that weight off for the long term. Why? Because they didn’t learn to create good habits. They simply thought they could change over night and have success. The weight is put back on and old habits creep back up. Even worse, they tend to give up and never try to better their health again.

Success is not made overnight. It takes time, seconds and minutes. Never underestimate yourself in accomplishing all that you set your mind to do. There are many examples of hard work and overcoming obstacles for us to learn from. Learn from these people, get mentored and seek good examples. Even learn from other people’s mistakes so you don’t make them.

6. Practice Consistently and Discipline

“I’m gonna…”

“I’m gonna…” — the most infamous words preceded and followed by procrastination. Don’t just say it, just do it! After a little time of doing these things daily, (some say 21 days), it becomes a habit. Like muscle memory, your brain is accustomed to continue doing what you have done over and over. These habits will create proper synapses in your brain to ensure that you continue on your path of success.

Next Steps:

Create a five-year plan or vision board. These are things you know you want to accomplish that matter to you the most. Then align your monthly goals with your five-year plan. Goals you set should help you get closer to achieving your vision at a great pace. Then break it down each day. The goals you make and the plan you have each day should help you achieve your monthly goals.

As you practice these guidelines consistently and have discipline, your mindset and actions are in tune with the laws of success. Everything about you becomes better and that’s when things get interesting. The universe actually starts working with you and the momentum takes things from there. Even the ebbs and flows of life or the bumps and bruises from obstacles seem to be minimized as you have learned to overcome them with ease. Inevitably, it does make you stronger.

In your journey towards success, give it your all and do your part. Real success will be realized. Good luck on your journey towards success! You WILL accomplish…..(fill in the blank here)!

Thanks Andy Haley for your article and the inspiration.

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