7 World-Class Choices You Need to Make That Will Get You World-Class Success
1. Don’t Let Anyone Define “Success” For You
“At some point, I realized that I had to give up other people’s definition of success. This is one of the most difficult things to give up because it is so deeply embedded in our cultural narratives that it becomes the standard by which we measure our lives. Even as entrepreneurs we have collectively agreed that fame and fortune are the markers of success.
But, giving up other people’s definition of success is incredibly liberating and ultimately leads to the fullest expression of who you are and what matters to you.It’s not a one-time thing. It’s a daily habit of comparing less and creating more.”
“Success” doesn’t just mean what the larger mob of society says it means: “lots of money, fame, and fortune.” Many people with fame, fortune, and money have terribly empty, imbalanced lives.
Your success isn’t defined by what other people say.
No one can define your success but you. If you continue to let others tell you what success is, you’ll never reach it. Even if you did, it wouldn’t be a true success, because it’s not what you really valued.
No, living an extraordinary life means defining your own version of what success is. You can begin to spend your time on what really matters to you.
Do you really want 1,000,000 Twitter followers?
Do you really need to be in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list?
Do you really want to be a New York Times Bestselling Author?
Or is your version of success more nuanced, more narrowed, more focused, more specific?
If you want to live an extraordinary life, your definition of success must be your own. If we are always chasing what other people tell us to, we’ll never experience true success.
Let go of other people’s versions of success. Define your own success, and achieve it.
That is true success.
“Many people think in terms of ‘I have to do what my colleague/neighbor/family member is doing’ instead of ‘I have to do what’s best for me.’” -Grant Cardone
2. Stop Seeking Approval From Others
“When we are not chosen, we feel bad. When we are chosen — even by idiots — we feel good. We need to unlearn this imprisonment. Not dissect and analyze it. Just completely unlearn it.” -James Altucher, best-selling author
If you live your life to please others, you’ll never experience world-class success.
That’s because world-class success requires you to be unique and extraordinary. World-class success almost always comes out of following a “crazy idea” to fruition. One day it’s crazy, and the next day, it’s a breakthrough.
You’ll never get to your breakthrough if you focus on the approval of others.
Wrote author Todd Henry:
“The more bold you are, the more rejection you’ll experience.”
The closer you get to your goals, the more criticism you attract. Your ascent often highlights others’ descent. If you’re seeking approval, you’ll get nowhere — just stuck in other people’s changing opinions.
World-class performers went against the grain.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first agent begged him to take the only roles he was offered: Nazi henchmen and nameless villains. But Schwarzenegger believed he was leading-man material.
- Steve Martin developed his comedy material through 10 years of rejection before hitting it big. (He even recorded every “boo” and applause for his jokes in a journal).
- American chef Julia Child enrolled in a cutthroat, all-male, all-French chef school, where she was ridiculed for months — until she become the #1 student.
Stop seeking approval from others.
Focus on being as authentic as possible instead.
3. Choose the Path of the Black Sheep
In the words of Chris Herd, founder of Nexves:
“There is one character trait that every successful person I have ever encountered all have: an immunity to peer pressure.”
If you do what everyone else is doing, you’ll get what everyone else has.
If you want big change, you need to make big changes.
It’s lonely at the top of the mountain. Those few who have reached world-class success have gone against the grain time and time again. They’ve ruffled feathered, flipped the status quo, and bothered more people than they can remember.
World-class success requires world-class choices. One of the most difficult of these choices is to be a black sheep:
- Do things most people don’t do
- Act in ways many people think are crazy
- Say things people might not understand
- Believe things people might find arrogant or stupid
Henry Ford, creator of one of the first automobiles, once said:
“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
When you choose the path of the black sheep, you invariably draw ire and criticism from the rest of the herd.
But you also place yourself in a position to do what no one else has ever done, or ever accomplished.
As Douglas MacArthur once said:
“You are remembered for the rules that you break.”
4. Choose to Be Consistent Above All Else
“Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” -Calvin Coolidge
Consistency is the most fundamental virtue to achieving world-class success.
To become world-class, you need to develop mastery over several complex areas. This will take time. Even the most disciplined individuals struggle with consistency. It won’t be easy.
But if you choose to fully commit, to keep going no matter what…
You can accomplish nearly any goal.
The truth is, consistency beat talent.
Consistency beats luck.
Consistency beats good intentions.
Frankly, consistency even beats quality. The consistent performer will, over time, outperform her more talented yet inconsistent counterpart.
World-class success requires extreme commitment. In the words of John Assaraf:
“If you’re ‘interested’, you come up with stories, excuses, reasons, and circumstances about why you can’t or why you won’t. If you’re committed, those go out the window. You just do whatever it takes.”
Do you want world-class success?
If so, ask yourself:
Am I committed?
Or merely interested?
Commit to consistency, and world-class success will follow.
“Most people knock on the door of their dreams once, then run away before anyone has a chance to the open the door. But if you keep knocking, persistently and endlessly, eventually the door will open.” -Les Brown
5. Spend More Time Learning and Creating Than On Entertainment and Distraction
“Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become.” -Hal Elrod
Entertainment and distraction are the enemies of true learning and growth. They will prevent you from being extraordinary.
Renowned motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said the most successful people in the world are always lifelong learners. As the old saying goes, “leaders are readers.” World-class individuals fully understand that their level of education directly determines their quality of life.
“Formal education makes a living, but self-education makes a fortune,” Rohn explained.
It’s not just about a college degree. Frankly, most of what you learn in college isn’t applicable to real-world success. It’s your self-education, the kind of learning that helps you develop into the next evolution of yourself.
Sadly, many people will continue to go through life “in quiet desperation, with their songs left unsung.” They let others dictate their income, their happiness, and their fulfillment.
If you want world-class success, you must choose self-education over entertainment. It’s a choice too few make — then again, there are very few world-class individuals.
6. Invest So Much in Yourself, People Will Think You’re Crazy
“Every skill you acquire doubles the odds of your success.” -Scott Adams
You are your greatest asset.
The world’s most successful individuals invest heavily into themselves.
This is the reason why athletes like LeBron James reportedly spend $1.5 million dollars a year investing in his health and body. It seems the more successful an individual, the more they invest in themselves.
Self-investment begets success, which begets more means (money and influence) to reinvest.
If you want world-class success, you’ll need many tools, abilities, and competencies — most of which you might not have yet. This mastery costs money and time.
Ordinary people often spend their money and time on “liabilities” — purchases that can’t earn you more income.
Extraordinary, world-class individuals constantly spend their time and money on “assets” — purchases that earn you substantial income over time.
If you want to be middle-class and average, spend your life buying liabilities.
But if you want to be rich and successful, spend your life buying assets.
7. Choose Freedom Over Security
The ultimate measure of success isn’t money;
World-class individuals are constantly working towards a life where they can:
- Spend their time how they want
- Spend their time with whom they want
- Have the freedom to do what they want
The more freedom you create — time-freedom, energy-freedom, schedule-freedom — the more you’ll be able to evolve into a world-class individual.
Most people, when given the choice, choose “security” over freedom: a safe job, a safe financial plan, a safe life.
This isn’t bad — many people are content with living an ordinary life, without much risk. But what most of these individuals don’t recognize is that this “security” is really a lie.
In fact, when you choose security over freedom, you’re actually living a very risky life. You’re putting your safety in the hands of your employer (who says they won’t fire you?), the economy (we all know how unstable that it), and other people (who don’t truly care about your security).
World-class individuals choose freedom over security. You can’t have both.
Said Louis Sachar, New York Times best-selling author:
“So, what’s it going to be — safety, or freedom? You can’t have both.”
“The key to becoming world-class in your endeavors is to build your performance around world-class routines.” -Darren Hardy
If you want world-class success, you need to make world-class choices.
Choices create action.
Action creates habits and routines.
Habits and routines create your life.
Once you start building your life on the foundation of world-class choices, every area of your life will begin to improve. You’ll move forward towards freedom.
Choose the extraordinary life over the ordinary one.
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