When it comes to productivity and performance, the internet is overflowing with advice from authors, experts, and entrepreneurs. There are dozens of classes, apps, and books outlining how to be more successful but they are only going to work for those with a foundation strong enough to handle the ebb and flow of a more extraordinary life.
This starts with tossing the limiting beliefs that ground you into groundhog day and allow doubt to fog up your vision. Here are five things to know:
1. Success requires lifelong dedication.
There is a difference between achieving a goal and living a successful life. You can be successful without hitting the goal and you can hit the goal without being successful.
Success is is something that requires movement and dedication. It requires that we pay close attention to who we are, in this moment, and where it is that we want to go.
It demands that hold that vision up in the air and work towards it every single day, even when it is painful. Even when it's inconvenient. Especially when you are terrified.
2. Know the difference between "can't" and "won't."
Think of how many times you hear these words interchanged by yourself and others. I can't make it. I can't tell you. I can't leave my job. I can't listen to this.
The truth is that there is little we can't do but a hell of a lot of things we are too ashamed to admit we won't do. The next time you find yourself hearing or saying the word "can't" replace it with "won't" and see how you feel.
There's a good chance you'll grasp how unfair you're being to yourself and others (and allowing others to be to you).
3. Accept failure as a sign you're succeeding.
No one likes to fail and I am not here to convince you to swallow some pollyanna style positivity that suggests that failure is supposed to feel good.
What I will say is that failure shows that you're moving. You're trying. You're not sitting on your ass simply talking about all of the things you would have loved to try if only life had not been so difficult.
All of us fail, and the more you get out there and create, innovate, network and search, the more you will fall and soar. That's just how it goes. If you fail, fail fast. Get back up, assess, reach out, and keep going.
4. Change your perspective.
So many people believe that their personal and professional lives have to be a certain way to be successful, and if the person or situation in front of them doesn't meet all of their preconceived criteria, it's not a good match. They walk away from tremendous opportunities because they lack the vision to see where grass can be watered, the seeds planted and the house built.
That, of course, is the best weapon for those who know better and are willing to get their hands dirty. Before you walk away from something, take a minute to check how flexible, realistic, honest and creative you're being in the situation.
Try 25 new ways to make it work before you walk. There's a good chance you'll discover a solid solution and strengthen your problem-solving skills in the process.
5. Give your undivided attention to whatever is in front of you.
Put your phone down when someone is speaking to you. Close all of the tabs and focus on writing that one email. Lock the door, dim the lights, and close your eyes when it's bath time.
You can't listen to your gut, desires or even take a moment to express a little gratitude with all of the noise. And make no mistake, it gets louder with every multitasking moment.