If there’s one particular subject that everyone thinks about, my guess is that it has something to do with becoming a “success”. Of course, before you get to the steps to success, you need to figure out exactly what defines success for you because it may be different than what it means to me or anyone else. Success in most cases is personal and that makes it a perfect subject right here in a personal finance article.
Where Do You See YOUR Success?
I have written several times about success, the financial and the personal kind. Both are important areas and when we gain success in one or the other or both, we feel much better about our lives and ourselves.
There is, however, a real misconception out there that in order to be a success at work, relationships, and life in general, that you have to be smarter, luckier, or know someone to ensure that you are successful. While that does happen in a lot of instances, I’m here to tell you that long-term success is actually built on a series of good habits that are extremely simple to understand and implement. In fact, most successful people do all of them routinely every day of the week! My theory and experience tell me that when you try to emulate these behaviors that foster success, you soon will be on your way to both a successful and happy financial life.
The 5 Simple Daily Steps to Success
I have learned some basic steps to success when it comes to gaining what I want in life and by practicing them it can happen for you, too. Does it come with a guarantee? No, but tell me this: What in our life actually does?
Here are 5 simple daily steps to success that will help you on your way to reach your goals:
1. Have a Morning Routine
Successful people tend to be early risers. You may be the all night DJ on the local radio station and if you are disregard my references to “morning” and use the rest of what I’m saying, that applies to you!
If you remember good old Ben Franklin, you may remember he said this way back in the 18th century and it is still sage advice: “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise!”. Why?
Getting up early allows you to have time to prepare for your day in advance. If you have more time, you will be able to make faster and better decisions. Your mood will improve and you’ll be focusing on the “big picture” all day long and not yawning at the next meeting you attend.
In the morning, you will probably be the most energetic. Lots of successful people plan their day, eat their breakfast, and then either head off to the gym for a quick workout or a take brief morning jog. All of this helps build your confidence, alertness, and health which go hand in hand with success!
If you’re rolling out of bed at the last possible minute, dressing quickly, skipping breakfast, and haven’t got a spare minute to think of your work plan for the day, every day, do you think you’re on equal footing with Mr. or Ms. Early Riser? Look around and you’ll see the stark truth.
2. Schedule Your Least Favorite Tasks for Early in the Day
Typically, when left to our own devices, we start performing at our jobs with the tasks we like most or that we’re really good at doing. But the successful person’s approach is to work the opposite way.
When you’re most alert and energetic, you will have a clearer mind to deal with the more serious problems and their challenges. Most of us wear down as the day wears on and successful people are no different than you and me when it comes to that. Spend your early energy like that energy is cash and accomplish the toughest or your least favorite tasks on your to-do list. It will make the rest of the day fly by and give you a real sense of accomplishment. It will be noticed by the boss, too.
3. Remain Calm No Matter What
When things go wrong, it’s easy to panic, complain, and get flustered. Look around you and you see it. Instead, it’s better to simply accept that bad things do happen sometimes. Nothing is always perfect and while your situation may present a challenge, it also presents a new opportunity. Dwelling on negative thoughts isn’t a problem solver, ever. Success is born from the ability to move forward even though it may not be a straight line to the goal. Think about how great players zig and zag to the goal line in a football game and you will visualize what I am saying.
4. Work When You Feel It
Successful people can get inspired at any time of the day or night. If you’re inspired to do something and it means heading into the office extra early or staying late, don’t hesitate. It can even mean rolling out of bed at 3 a.m. to jot a few notes down, because it came to you in a dream!
That inspiration might just be the next great idea! Working at home when the feeling strikes is just as effective anywhere inspiration comes from. Paul McCartney wrote his biggest hit, “Yesterday” (originally titled “Scrambled Eggs”), when he awoke in the middle of the night to jot down the tune after dreaming about the inspiration. That one was worth a few mill and eternal fame, too!
5. Seek Out Input
Despite the fact that you may feel that you can do something faster, better, and more effectively than anyone else (oh, those delusions of grandeur!), the most successful people depend on teamwork and getting input, ideas, and alternatives before they implement big-time plans in their areas of responsibility. That’s the same reason the President of the USA has a cabinet. He isn’t capable of knowing every detail when making decisions so he needs just a bit of help (some waaaaaay more than others as history has shown!). Seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
Balancing your work and personal life is probably the hardest part of real success. But simple approaches always seem to lead you back to being organized, happy, more alert, and more attuned to the people and things that surround you. When you are all of those things, then you are a success. Success isn’t just measured in dollars and cents. Sense makes cents add up and if you think that way then the dollars follow along, too.
Do you have any recommendations to make on these steps to success? What steps do you swear by and what have you learned along your pathway you can share? What do you do or encourage friends, family, and colleagues to do?