Where Success Comes From – Part Two

Very successful people are not necessary different than less successful people, they just do different things.

Success comes from doing. 

I could just leave it at that and this post, while very short, would still be pretty good. But it’s really not as simple as just doing something to succeed. In order to succeed you must do the right somethings and you need to do them at the right time. 

Doing something may make you busy but being busy doesn’t make you successful. Doing the right something makes you productive and being productive is very likely to lead to success.

So what are those right “somethings” that successful people do? I shared 6 of these “somethings” in part one of this post, the final six are highlighted now in part two. I found the graphic that accompanies these two posts online and I’d give credit to the person who created it but I still have no idea where it originated. While I didn’t create it and despite a few grammatical errors, I think the 12 “somethings” are absolutely spot on. 

So here are the 6 more “somethings” that successful people do…

Successful people keep life simple. They seldom make anything harder than it needs to be. When communicating they don’t count their words, they weigh them. If four words will convey their message then they don’t say five. If a goal can be reached in 7 steps their plan won’t have eight. They don’t worry about things that happened in the past and they don’t borrow worry from things that might not ever happen. They have a strong focus on what they are doing right now.

Successful people focus on continuous improvement. Instead of looking for a way to improve something 100% they look for ways to improve 100 things 1%. They make those improvements every single day and they are never satisfied with “good enough.”

Successful people know how they are doing. They track and measure their progress, usually on a daily basis. They know which actions produce the greatest results and they know which activities cause waste. They know when they are getting better and they know almost the very moment they fall into a rut. They use their goals to get themselves back on track towards success.

Successful people know that their attitude is their choice. They also know that every area of their life is easier if the CHOOSE a positive attitude. Successful people do get down, they just pull themselves back up more quickly than less successful people. They accept their mistakes as an opportunity to learn and then they move forward. 

Successful people invest their time with people who can help them succeed. They stay away from the nattering nabobs of negativism. The most successful people have a mentor or a coach who cares about them enough to be honest with them about their performance in all areas of their life. Successful people embrace people with opinions that are different than their own because they understand that they can’t learn as much from people who already think just like they do. 

Successful people have balance in their lives. They understand that sacrificing their personal life for business success is something less than full success. They understand that when success comes at the expense of other people it is success that is probably not worth having. They also know that the best way to increase their success is to share it with others. Truly successful people are successful in all areas of their life. 

If you’re like me you’ve likely seen at least one of the twelve “somethings” that you need to work on. I hope you do because success for you is unlikely unless YOU make it happen!

 

Don’t Start Until You Stop

Most people are really busy, at least they claim to be. Most people also wish they had more time but the truth is, no one on earth has more time than the people who say they don’t have enough. 

You see, you, and everyone else, have all the time in the world. No one, not one single person has more time than you. You have 1440 minutes a day, the exact same amount as everyone else. That’s why I don’t have much sympathy for people who constantly complain about not having enough. It’s as if they think the stuff they have to do is so important that they should somehow be given more time. 

Hogwash!

They don’t need more time, what they need is a lesson or two in prioritization. They need to look at their goals and values and decide what’s really worth doing and what doesn’t need to be done at all. They need to find a dictionary and look up the definition of busy and then look up the definition of productive. Notice that they aren’t the same.

They need to say no to the things that don’t matter so they can say yes to the things that do.

Despite their apparent shortage of time many of these same “short on time” folks will commit to doing more in 2016. They will commit to working out more, spending more time with family, taking up a new hobby and on and on it will go. 

If you’re one of these “never enough time” types then do yourself a BIG favor and just stop. Stop for a moment and ask yourself how anything “new” is even going to be remotely possible since you’ll have the exactly same amount of time in 2016 as you did in 2015.

Here’s a news flash for you: it’s very likely that your success in 2016 will be impacted at least as much by what you STOP doing as what you start doing. 

So begin 2016 by determining what you did in 2015 that you won’t do in 2016. What activities did you invest your precious resource of time in that gave you little or no return? Then why on earth would you continue to do them in 2015?

Successful people do not mistake busy for productive. They understand that what separates them from less successful people is often as simple as how well they use their time. 

Successful people use their time well but the most successful people are constantly asking themselves “is this the most effective use of my time at this particular moment?” 

If there is something more productive that you could be doing at any particular time then that’s what you should be doing. Now, before you go “all work and no play” on me understand that “productive” is your call. Sometimes spending some time to recharge your batteries WILL be the most productive thing you can be doing. That’s just fine so long as you’re honest with yourself.

So, before you add a single thing, task, or project to your to-do list in 2016 make sure you take something off. It’s the productive, and successful thing to do!

 

Don’t Slow Down

The New Year will soon be upon us. For some people 2015 can’t end soon enough, nothing seemed to go as planned and they are hoping for a fresh start in 2016.

Others wish this year would never end; they are basking in the glow of a very successful year and they are wishing it could last forever. Whichever group you find yourself in I have a message for you…. don’t slow down. Don’t slow jam your way to the end of the year. 

This is not the time of the year to take your foot off the gas. No matter what kind of year you’ve had so far remember, it’s only “so far.” You have another whole month to build yourself a foundation for a successful New Year. 

If you’ve had a great 2015 and decide to rest the remainder of the year it likely will take you a good while to get back up to speed as the New Year begins. Don’t waste the powerful momentum you’ve built for yourself by finishing your successful year on auto-pilot. Whatever you did to succeed in 2015 continue to execute in the same way throughout the month of December. While the prospect of some well deserved extra rest is enticing you’ll be glad you didn’t take the bait. You’ll begin the year with the kind of momentum that builds true success, the repeatable kind of success.

If 2015 wasn’t exactly the year you had in mind 11 months ago then stop only long enough to determine what went wrong. Take a long look at your plan…by the way if you don’t have a 2015 plan to look at I’d HIGHLY recommend you invest some time in December making sure that you have a realistic, executable plan for 2016 before January rolls around.

Assuming you had a plan examine it closely to see where it went off track. Did you remember to include a backup plan for when the inevitable unexpected and uncontrollable circumstances made your original plan unworkable? Stuff happens and you should plan on it happening to you. 

If 2015 didn’t go according to your plan did you remember to ask for help? Successful people are not afraid or embarrassed to ask for help. They identify well in advance the source of their help just in case it’s needed. Literally list the names of the people you’ll ask for help with your plan should it be required. 

One purpose of a good plan is to eliminate the “wonder” from your year. Successful people don’t “wonder” what they should do, who they should ask or where they should look for help. They “know” because they have prepared for the unexpected. If you found yourself hesitating when things went off course in 2015 it’s possibly because you were missing that key element of your plan. 

Don’t hope for a better 2016, plan on it! 

Successful people treat December as the last month of the year. The most successful people treat December as the first month of the New Year. Which would you like to be? 

Make the choice to finish 2015 strong and it may be the last great choice you make in 2015 …. or it just might be your first great choice for the New Year ahead. 

It’s Never Too Late

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb

One of my favorite stories is the one about the wise old man in a small village. Two young boys once approached this wise old man and asked about a bird that one of them had in their hand. They asked if the bird was alive or was dead. The wise old man knew that if he said it was alive they would simply crush the bird and kill it thus proving him wrong. If he said it was dead they would simply open their hand and release it, again proving him wrong. So his answer was this; he told the boys that the answer to their question was in their hands. Their actions would determine the answer to the question.

Will 2016 be a “better” year for you than 2015 has been? 

That’s a big question and the answer to it is in your hands. A “better” 2016 depends almost entirely on the decisions you make and the actions you take. You see, your future is in your hands.

One way to ensure a better 2016 is to finish 2015 strong. Perhaps 2015 was an awesome year for you, you’ve made your goals and are basking in the glow of success. If so you may be tempted to coast through the reminder of the year. Don’t do it… the most successful people finish well, they don’t stop simply because they are ahead.

Maybe 2015 has not met your expectations, if so you may be thinking about just taking your foot off the gas and gliding into 2016. Don’t do it… successful people don’t give up just because it’s late in the game. Successful people make the most of the best and the best of the worst. Finishing 2015 strong is the surest way to make the most of a bad year and ensure a strong start to 2016.

Another way to ensure a better 2016 is to plan for it. The best time to plan for next year was several years ago, the second best time is now. The more you plan the less you’ll find yourself counting on luck.

Successful people don’t rely on luck, they make luck. They don’t respond to circumstances, they make their circumstances. The don’t complain about the unexpected, they expect it and their expectations are reflected in their plan. 

I can’t tell you how many thousands, yes literally thousands of times I’ve been told by someone that they couldn’t plan because their life or job had too unexpected things happen nearly every day. 

If that’s your case too then I have a question for you. Why the heck aren’t you planning for those unexpected things? Seriously, why isn’t there an hour or two on your calendar every day to handle those unexpected things that pop up…. every day?

Lack of planning is a major cause of stress in people’s lives. You can actually plan a good bit of stress right out of your life. Even if you’ve never made a plan it’s not too late to start. Here’s a couple of posts from my archives to show you how.

http://wp.me/p2nthJ-p1 

http://wp.me/p2nthJ-p6  

If you’re planning on a successful 2016 and you don’t have a plan to make it happen then the odds are against you. Play the odds…make a plan.