How To Be Successful In Life: 12 Things To Keep In Mind

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Our Tips For How To Be Successful in Life

These days, it seems like everyone wants to be successful in life. For some, it means being famous – for others, it means being rich. Some people just want to be happy or find pleasure in their career.

The key to finding success – and achieving success – in life is to understand what success means to you. From there, you just have to work for it. We want financial security, a general level of flexibility, and a life of meaning through hard work and our passions.

We are nowhere close to achieving success on the scale that we want. It’s a “work in progress” for sure – but we have identified what we want to achieve in life and how we want to do it. So, in this post, we wanted to share a few of the things that keep us focused on achieving our own level of success.

Find Your Own Definition Of Success

This is one the most important thing to consider. Period. If you want success in your life, you HAVE to define what success is for you. Furthermore, this definition that you come up with for you cannot be based/determined by looking at what others have/do/have become.

You have to be able to critically self assess what it is that you are aiming for in life. Then – and only then – can you begin to formulate a plan to aim for achieving it.

Have A Plan

Map with hat compass keys and other things on wood floor
Having a plan can make a big difference!

Once you know what you are working for – and what you are NOT working for – you can begin to formulate a plan to achieve it. If you have numbers you want to work with, use them. Numbers are easy to break down to understand how much you need to be achieving or aiming towards in the future.

For the things that aren’t measured by numbers, such as wanting to get better at something, you need to set goals that are measurable, realistic, and attainable. Essentially, you want to set SMART goals.

Setting goals to work towards can help keep you on the right path when things feel difficult. Success in the things you desire will rarely come easy. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it!

Related: Why Goal Setting Is Important

Be Committed

Wanting success in life is one thing – but acting towards it and staying committed is a whole other can of worms, as they say. Remember, you won’t reach success overnight. Reaching success will take time – and this time will take a certain level of dedication and commitment.

That said, it will be easier if you are committed to actually achieving something tangible. Otherwise, the chances that you give up sooner or later are high.

For us, commitment means working towards growing our business each day. We have work to do, markers to hit, and goals to achieve. Knowing what we are working towards – and seeing the results – helps us stay committed for sure.

Mindset Is Key

napkin with words written pen and coffee cup on wooden background
You develop the right mindset over time…

If you want to be successful or achieve success, having the right mindset is very important. You have to be realistic, positive, critical, and more – all at the same time.

Having the mindset for success is not something that just happens – it’s something you train your mind to have. It’s developed over time, forged by challenges and opportunities that come your way.

You need to try to get rid of distractions and stagnating thoughts that you have lingering about. Any fear or doubt that you might have has to be properly dealt with. Some fear is good – it keeps you agile and focused – but too much will paralyze you into inaction.

Related: How being a “Yes Person” Changed My Life

Get Rid of Distractions

graphic of phone with megaphone speaking to person in front of computer
Smartphones can be a huge distraction…

Along with having the right mindset, you need to stay focused on the task at hand. However you are measuring success, you need to get rid of the things that are distracting you from getting there.

Distractions can come in many forms. They can be people that are holding you back with negativity. They might be other ideas that are creeping into your head – trying to shake you from achieving the overall goals you hold. Sometimes they are objects – like our phones.

There are ways to get rid of distractions, too. Sometimes you can just shut your phone off or leave it in another room. Sometimes you might have to leave people and their ideas behind. Be careful not to cut off your supports – people who are critical can be there to help you, too.

Related: Productivity Tools We Love

Take Action

Once you have analyzed, planned, and committed yourself to the course of action – you need to act! It’s time for the work and the perseverance.

One of the biggest things that holds people back from success is not starting towards it in the first place. We see this all the time.

Success will never come if it sits on a sheet of paper all ready to go but never acted upon. You need to take action. We know that this can be difficult especially if you are a perfectionist – but trust us on this one. Just dive in towards what you want. That’s a good start.

Think Long-Term

person writing in notebook on wood table
Writing down your long-term goals is never a bad idea.

One of the keys to success is to think long-term. Working for short term gains can be good – but without a long-term game in mind, you will never achieve something greater than the sum of the small things you have achieved.

What we mean is that each small thing should be a part of a larger plan for overall success in something greater. This is where having an overall goal comes in handy. You can align your actions and short term goals so that they help you along the way later.

Even though short term wins can be more enticing since you get them quicker, working towards your overall goal is the key to success. Gotta stay focused on the long game!

Develop Healthy Habits

Woman with rainboots walking dog with fall colored trees in background
Having a dog can help you develop healthy habits since you have to leave your house.

Along the way towards success, you should develop healthy habits. Healthy habits are exactly what they sound like – they are habits that can keep you in top shape to continue on your journey towards achieving your definition of success.

We actually wrote a whole article on developing healthy habits. They include things like performing self-care, valuing your connections, eating well, etc.

Avoid “Shiny Object” Syndrome

Diamonds reflecting light with white background
It can be so easy to get distracted…

This one is because we are inspired by raccoons. Legend has it that raccoons love shiny objects. So, given the opportunity when out at night they will stop at nothing to snatch a shiny object even if it puts them in danger.

For us humans on the road to success, this is a metaphor for not grabbing for the next new idea, goal, project, or thing in life. It’s important to stay focused on the tasks at hand and seeing them through instead of starting something new without giving it much thought.

For us, this includes starting new websites when we know that our other ones aren’t where we want them to be yet. Sometimes we have to force ourselves to not get a distracted by a new shiny object – but it helps to keep us on track.

Balance Is Important

Rocks formig a scale with blue sky in background balance
Balance is key…

If you are trying to achieve success (in whatever way you see fit), you do have to work for it – but you also have to rest. Finding balance is so important to keeping up your mindset, your energy, your focus, and your drive towards success.

Resting isn’t for the weak – it’s for the ones who recognize their limits and take breaks so that they can get back at it fresh the next day! Things such as eating right and getting enough sleep (for your body’s needs) are important.

Related: Self Help Books That Are Awesome

Don’t Be Afraid Of Failure

If you want to be successful, you have to be ready to fail. Failure is something that many successful people (in different capacities) share. They failed again and again until they made it.

Now, we want to be clear – continuing down a stupid path with a bad idea isn’t good failure. Failure has to be something that you can learn from – you have to be able to take actionables away from you failures. You cannot fail in the same way at the same thing again and again expecting a different outcome.

Testing, failing, trying, failing, modifying, failing – this is good failing. For us, our failures come in our marketing skills. We test and learn from the failures to guide our efforts the next time.

Personally, you have to be okay with failing, too. If you’ve been a “winner” your whole life, then you need to get used to a little set back here and there on the road to success.

Related: Learning From Failure in Life

Never Give Up Learning New Things

Closeup of hand holding book and pen success in life
There are always new things to learn.

Having success can also come from an attitude of a “life long learner”. This means that you are constantly learning new things – even when formal schooling is finished.

Successful people grow and adapt all the time. They build businesses around change so that they can roll with the changes in the market, technology, whatever.

They learn new skills to keep themselves competitive in a changing job market – and you should, too! Just remember – like we said above don’t be afraid to fail.

Related: Growth Mindset Quotes That Will Inspire You

And there you have it – 12 tips that we follow that have helped us stay on a path to achieving success the way that we want it. Has it worked yet? No – not yet – but that’s because we are hard at work making it happen. We will let you know when we achieve our goals – and we hope you’ll let us know the same about you!

As always, Stay Curious,

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How to be successful in life