What Does Success Really Look Like to You?
Most people desire to be successful. Unfortunately not everyone understands what success means – what it looks like, how to achieve it, or how to measure it.
In fact, success means different things to different people. In 1940-1950s, Abraham Maslow developed the Hierarchy of Needs theory.
Maslow’s theory was classical and remains the basis for seeking and achieving success in our present time. In his theory, Maslow grouped human needs into five different stages such as:
1. Basic needs covering food, water and sleep. These are basically everything you want when you are hungry, thirsty or tired and needing rest.
2. Safety – A sense of security to live and go about ones business without threat, abuse or molestation. In the absence of safety, people feel unsafe and withdrawn.
3. Love and belonging – Everybody wants to be connected to someone and loved. We all want to belong to groups, associations or social networks and build strong and healthy relationships. This need arises after the first two must have been met.
4. Self-Esteem – This is the stage where our ego needs for recognition and honour wants to be fulfilled. In pursuit of this we want to live luxurious life, buy expensive homes, cars and have a sense of respect. We become uncomfortable when we don’t meet this want.
5. Self-Actualization – This is the peak of all human needs where we demonstrate a sense of purpose, meaning and fulfillment. A place where we recognize that giving back, impacting lives positively and other noble missions have to be fulfilled. At this stage in life, nothing else matters until they are met.
What then is Success?
The search to fulfill Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is the search for success.
According to experts, success can be pursued and achieved in any of the following ten areas:
• Material – money, houses, cars, fashion or vacation
• Emotional – Relationships, self-esteem or fulfillment
• Intellectual – Pursuit for knowledge, or search for wisdom
• Spiritual – A sense of higher purpose, meaning and fulfillment
• Physical – Health and fitness, vitality or appearance
• Commercial – Business, entrepreneurship, productivity, profitability and goodwill
• Evangelical – Promoting good ideals and influencing others
• Environmental – Home, garden, creatures and saving the plant
• Time – Longevity and effectiveness
• Collectivity – Teamwork, masterminding, and innovation
Many people have misunderstood the concept of success for the search to “get-rich-quick” that they neither make effort to become successful nor talk about it. To them, success is a wrong motive. Too many others have intentions, dreams and desires, but are too far away from living their dreams. Experts have written a lot about success, yet it seems to be elusive to many. According to research, only about 5% of the population of America are constantly seeking and succeeding. What then is the matter with the other 95%?
I really want you to get excited about finding the secrets of success. You cannot take your life for granted and see things change. If you don’t like where you are right now in life, career, finance, relationship, health, or happiness, you can absolutely change it. If you are not succeeding, you are not completely experiencing joy.
What if your life was in danger of poverty or out of shape with health and fitness? How would you justify not having strong and healthy relationship with your family, friends and colleagues? What would be the consequence for you if your company or business is struggling perpetually while others in the same industry are doubling their productivities and profits every year? How come every person in your organization got the promotion and you were the only one left out? Is success a game of luck, or is God being partial to you?
Let’s change the direction of the question a little to the common area where I see some people resist success too often. Assuming you were a priest, a pastor or leader of a religious organization on an evangelical mission, how would the growth of your mission not bother you when your followership either stagnates or decreases year-on-year?
Not choosing to pursue success is by default a conscious choice to live in pain, sadness or dis-ease (disease). You cannot pretend not to be interested in your own success, there’s not mid-point.
Okay, If Success Was that Important, How Come Only a Few People Achieve It?
Fair enough! Before I answer this question, let me clarify one impression that keeps many people stuck; the impression that “everybody is not meant to be successful;” have you heard that before? The truth is that to be successful is a choice; anyone (rich or poor) can make the choice and live by it.
Now let’s answer the question. The reason that makes 95% of the people is struggling is a matter of concern, and that is the basis for this post. The golden rule for achieving success is simple; take action! Successful people are action-oriented. That’s what makes the difference between riches and poverty, healthy and fragile, or happiness and sadness.
Okay, so if I take action, I will become successful right? Nope! Not all actions you take will make you successful. Your actions have to be focused on the things you most wanted for your life. They must be consistent with your goals and align with your mission, vision and values. Anything short of this is waste of time, energy and resources. It will not produce the results you are seeking.
The reason 95% of the people fail to live their dreams is because majority of them channel their actions, time, energy, and other resources in wrong directions. This is true for the executive in a multi-million Dollar corporation, as it is for a housewife next door. Although you have to work hard to succeed, success is not entirely achieved on a set of hard work rules.
How Can Success Be Created?
Great question! Research has shown that to be successful, you have to follow proven set of principles, which I call, The Success Factor. The Success Factor is the embodiment of carefully selected principles; tools and strategies that are guaranteed to help you achieve success in any area of life, if only you apply them.
The Success Factor concept believes that if you sow in a certain way, you’re guaranteed to reap in a certain way. With this in mind, we began to research to find what works and what doesn’t, why some people are successful while others struggle. Fortunately, we discovered and assemble the fundamental principles used by successful people that ever lived. These key principles are now the bedrock of our successful life coaching and training – The Success Factor, to help you and everyone else move from where they are, to where they want to go. We help people find the secrets of success and become successful in life.
The bedrock of The Success factors are:
1. Take 100% Responsibility
If you want to be successful, take nothing less than 100% responsibility for your life. Decide today to take full responsibility for everything that happens to you, all your past breakthroughs, mistakes and failures. This means, you must stop complaining and blaming someone else for any outcome of your life. Taking responsibility also means making the commitment to change everything you don’t want in your life, career, business, finance, relationship, health, or community. Assume the position of control; you’ve got the power!
2. Define Your Mission for Life – Who Are You Really?
In my coaching work, one of the problems I often deal with is helping my clients find their higher missions and get aligned with their careers, relationships or business they’re meant for. Nothing erodes success than believing that you can succeed by doing anything. The truth is that although you can make some progress, you certainly won’t find satisfaction, enjoyment and fulfillment until you discover and fill your mission.
3. Decide Exactly What You Want
This principle helps you gain clarity about what you want the most, and your reasons for wanting them. Some people fail because they lack clear direction of where they want to go. They start one thing today and if they don’t find the result they’re seeking in six months they complain and quit. Other than knowing what you want, you have to write down exactly the reason or benefits you will enjoy when you eventually find what you are looking for. This is the motivation that keeps going even in the face of obstacles.
4. Leverage the Power of Goal Setting
People that do not plan, actually plan to fail. This is true also about being successful. You have to set goals for every important thing you want to achieve in life. Successful people are intensely goal oriented and goal setting is the tool they use to chart the course of success. Goal setting enforces clarity and helps to attract the resources you need to achieve it. By setting a goal, you’re able to identify any challenge in the way as well as being able to set a time frame to achieve your goal by. In The Success Factor live coaching and training retreat, I teach the principles of goal setting and demonstrate the various ways you can achieve them using several exercises and tools.
5. Release the Brakes
Have you tried driving a car with your emergency brake on? What was your experience? You can also relate it to the experience of riding a bicycle or a motorbike with your brakes on. It seems frustrating right? That’s exactly what happens when you go about life with your brakes on. Everyday, people go about life with anger, doubt, fear, unforgiveness, resentment, or negative beliefs. Every one of these represents your psychological emergency brake that keeps you stuck no matter how much you try. You have to let go if you must be successful. At The Success Factor events, I help participants with proven tools including beliefs changing process exercises, visualization, affirmation, and vision board to help them overcome these blocks.
6. Implement Disciplined Execution
If you want to be successful, you have to be addicted to “taking action.” This is the number one thing that more than anything else separates successful people from losers. To practice disciplined execution, you have to overcome your fears and doubts and make the commitment to take consistent action towards achieving your goal. Make yourself a list of five key actions must you must complete everyday without failing.
7. Surround Yourself With the Best People
It goes without saying that you cannot achieve everything you want in life all by yourself. You need the collaboration of other people who are willing to support your vision. Successful people have people that hold them accountable to reach their goals. You need a successful life coach, a mentor, or a trusted friend that would support you to see the blind spots in your journey.