Everybody wants to understand the magic formula of how to be successful in life. And especially at the beginning of a New Year, we make resolutions to improve our lives, hoping to pivot towards success.
We set out to stop smoking, exercise regularly, learn a new language, or save more money. But studies have shown that 80% of all New Year Resolutions fail within weeks.
Why is it that people fail to stick to their resolutions? And how can you create lasting positive change in your life?
Any famous actor, athlete, or entrepreneur will tell you that success does not come overnight. Instead, being successful is the result of years of practice and making the right choices.
Master 3 Areas to Become Successful in Life
To experience the magic of great success, here are three areas we need to master:
First, we need to develop a life philosophy that helps us tackle daily life with the right attitude.
Second, we need to commit to lifelong learning.
And third, there are essential habits to heed that will make success unavoidable.
All the reasons why people don’t succeed with their New Year Resolutions relate in one way or another to attitude, learning, and habits.
And perhaps we weren’t ready when the New Year started. After all, it is just a random date, and any day is perfect for changing your life.
As the Chines proverb says, ‘The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.’
And the good news is that we all already can excel in these success enablers.
1. Develop the Right Attitude to Excel in Life
We live our lives moment by moment. And a lot of those moments we pass with seemingly unimportant activities like making our bed, brushing our teeth, taking the escalator, ordering coffee at Starbucks.
We also call these daily life activities the mundane, and many of us perceive them as dull.
And we tend to overlook the little things because they often do not have an immediate result. Little things compound over time. And as such, they make all the difference.
And as the ancient Zen saying goes, “The Way a Person Does One Thing Is the Way They Do Everything,” every seemingly small choice in our life matters.
When we control the small things in our lives, we demonstrate to ourselves that we are responsible for our lives.
Blaming the circumstances never gets us anywhere. And by being in control of the little things in our life, we also develop the proper focus that will eventually lead us to success.
95% of people fail at achieving most of their goals in life. How can this be when all we have to do is concentrate on the simple things in life? Successful people know that everything they do in life matters.
Unsuccessful people often think, unknowingly, that what they do right now does not matter.
Our view on life is our life philosophy. It determines our mindset and attitudes, feelings, and, of course, actions.
An essential part of our life philosophy related to success is knowing that we can improve our intelligence and abilities.
The Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck has called this the growth mindset. If you have a growth mindset, you don’t believe that your current situation is everlasting.
This understanding particularly applies to how we deal with failures. When you come to see faults as proof of having an inept personality, this limiting and prejudicial fixed mindset will become a natural constraint to your growth.
Dweck found that those with a growth mindset managed to recover from failures. More accurately, she noticed that because the growth-minded students didn’t regard their intelligence level as fixed, they did not perceive failure as a threat.
Instead, people with a growth mindset know they could learn from failure and use the experience to improve. As a result, they are more inclined to take on challenges and learn from them.
2. Lifelong Learning Will Help You Live up to New Challenges
Having a growth mindset, you understand that you can and must continuously evolve with your environment.
Good past choices that brought you where you are today might not keep you there as the world changes.
Reading a few pages every day of an educational or inspirational book can tremendously improve your life. By just reading a few pages every day, you could finish about one book every month.
When you learn something new, you need to practice to nurture retention. Practicing newly discovered materials also expands your understanding of the insights you get and makes them part of you.
The Chinese philosopher Confucius once said, ‘Knowledge without practice is useless, and practice without knowledge is dangerous.’
3. Use the Power of Positive Habits to Become Unstoppable
Letting go of a bad habit can be challenging. And many try hard in vain.
Here is how to effectively break with a bad habit:
Don’t tackle the annoying habit head-on. Instead, supplant it with a positive habit and see your old ways disappear.
Good habits are an essential component of how to be successful in life.
But forming good habits requires effort.
Ability, education, experience, or means don’t count until you do something.
Hence, the first and foremost habit we need to sustain is to show up and be present.
Likewise, this is what the American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson meant when he wrote, ‘Do the thing, and you shall have the power.’
It all starts with showing up, yet so many of us customarily don’t.
So, time can be our best friend or our worst enemy.
If we are consistent with taking small, simple, positive actions, success will materialize over time.
In contrast, by ignoring the mundane matters in life, we forgo a powerful compound effect.
And to make your life easier right now, surround yourself with successful people.
As the saying goes, ‘Birds of a feather flock together,’ people of similar character or background tend to associate with one another.
In the same vein, if you want to achieve success, look at the people around you. Where are they heading? People around us naturally influence us. And if your closest connections are heading for failure, you might end up there, too.
So join people on the path of success if you want that to be your destination.
And remember: It does not matter where you come from, but where you go makes all the difference.