I am absolutely fascinated with biographies of successful people and the traits that have led to their success. It’s almost shameful to say, but everyone from world leaders to pop icons fascinate me. How did they become the successes that they are? Tiger Woods take a golf club as a small boy, smacked a golf ball, and turned it into millions. The Williams sisters stayed motivated to become champions in tennis. And how in the world did Lady Gaga do it? I know these examples are extreme.
When you look at the success of any leader, they have specific habits that assist in keeping them on track. There are certain methodologies that guide leaders and help them maintain their level of success or excel ahead of the pack. Scores of books have been written about the habits of successful people. Certainly, more books will make their way to the top of the best seller list in the future. If you go to Google, and type in “habits of productive people,” you will be given hundreds of links to blogs or other websites with advice. Here are some disciplines and traits I have always found necessary to be highly productive.
Traits and disciplines leading to success
1. Dream. I read somewhere once that a dream is a wish your heart makes…Walt Disney, maybe? It makes sense. But once you have your dream, write it down. Be realistic. I can never be the Pope (and don’t want to be). I can never be the starting forward for the Boston Celtics or the quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts. There are limits, but why can’t I dream of becoming a bestselling author? Why can’t I dream of becoming the CEO of a multimillion dollar company that I found? Who is to say what my limits are?
2. Set regular and realistic goals geared towards making your dream a reality. Goals have been hammered, and honestly they are a topic all their own. I wrote a blog entry regarding goals not long ago.
3. Surround yourself with positive people. Research is abundant to reinforce this. If you hang with a group of people that are negative and are convinced they are failures, you will begin to think as they think. Negativity is the poison to success. Find a network of people that think as you think and are as successful as or more so than you. If you aspire to be a successful real estate broker, find a real estate broker willing to take you under their wing. For someone who wants to have a short story published, find an author to mentor you and a publicist with faith in you. If you can’t find anyone in a similar field, find people who GENUINELY believe in your talents. Networking groups are all over the place. Find one specific to your dreams and build a network.
4. Never stop learning. We live in a very fast-paced world. If we simply want to maintain the status quo, we have to keep up with the status quo. If we want to exceed the status quo, we have to get ahead of the curve. Take classes, get coaches and attend seminars. If you stop learning, you will stop growing.
5. Never forget where you came from. We all have a mission. We all have a job to do and we’re all at different levels of learning in our life. The kid behind the counter at a restaurant or the waitress filling your drink request is part of your plan in one way or another. I’ll never forget my waitressing days. Don’t forget where you are now when you reach that star you are shooting for. Don’t forget to help those that follow.
It’s so easy to sit back and read a blog entry, get excited, and REALLY work towards your dreams and goals, short-term. It’s not so easy to keep motivated or to keep the dream alive. Sometimes you need a helping hand and a supportive partner to walk with who will always challenge you to be the best you can be. Sometimes you need guidance along the way.