How To Succeed In Life
By Leo Gura - January 22, 2014 | 12 Comments
The absolute core fundamentals of how to be successful in life. If you follow these principles diligently, no one will be able to stop you.
Hey, this is Leo for Actualized.org. I’m going to tell you how to succeed in life. This is my forte. What I love to study is success and I’m going to give you about six or seven tips that are just the fundamentals of what it takes to create a really successful life. Get ready because it’s going to be a really powerful and quick self-help segment. I go into more depth in other videos.
You have to have a deep understanding of who you really are in life to have long-term sustainable success, and both happiness and then fulfillment. For me, success is shallow if it doesn’t come with the happiness and fulfillment component. I want to get all of it – both the external success and then the lasting fulfillment and happiness that you can get with that. I don’t want just shallow, external success.
To do that, you need to really understand and discover who you are. You might be thinking, “Well, I know who I am.” No, you don’t. I would say that 99 percent of people do not really know who they are because they have not gone on the journey that it takes to discover that.
This is not some abstract notion. What I’m talking about here is that you really need to discover what your top 10 values are. You need to discover what your top five feelings are in life. You need to discover what it is that you really want out of life and what is meaningful to you.
You also have to discover what you don’t want. You might say, “Well, I know what I don’t want. I know the things that I don’t like.” There might not be as much clarity there as you think there is.
This is all about a matter of clarity and articulation. It’s one thing to know vaguely, but it’s a totally different thing to actually articulate it, write it down, and know it very consciously. That’s going to clear a lot of things up for you.
If you sit down and do this process, you’re going to quickly realize that you don’t know as much about yourself as you think you do. You probably have had moments in your life that have been epiphanies where you’ve had deep self-discovery. Maybe it was when you were traveling. Maybe it was after a breakup in a relationship. Maybe it was when you were struggling at work. You discover things about yourself. By going through these challenging experiences, we really discover what it is that we want out of life. That’s the foundation. Successful people know what they want.
Have a Life Purpose
Life purpose is a very deep topic that I cover in other videos, but here, what I’m going to say about it are the fundamentals. Life purpose is what you want to accomplish in your life.
What’s true for all successful people is that all of their actions on a day-to-day basis, a weekly basis, a monthly basis, and a yearly basis are leading towards some sort of point. They’re all converging towards something. They know what that convergent point is. For them, the convergence point is, first of all, outside of themselves. It’s not so much about them, but rather something else – something bigger than them. It’s about a sense of contribution. Again, I don’t mean contribution in the sense that you have to be super altruistic and not care about yourself. It’s contribution in the sense that you get a lot of enjoyment from contributing something positive to the world.
So, the question is – “What is the impact that you want to have?” Are you clear on that? Are you totally committed to having that impact? This could be impact in your family. This could be impact in starting the kind of business that you want to start and having that business have a certain impact on society, whether it’s helping people in Africa get more water or helping produce green energy or helping people find love through creating an online dating site. It doesn’t matter what it is.
If you’re an inventor, it’s about creating useful gadgets for people to use or useful inventions. If you’re a scientist, it’s about discovering new things about human beings and the world. If you’re a mathematician, it’s about discovering new truth within mathematics. If you’re an engineer, it’s about building amazing machines that can help people. It’s some sort of positive impact and something that you’ve really bought into. It’s something that’s very important.
If you have that, you’re going to have passion. You’re going to get motivated. You’re going to get excited. That’s going to allow you to go out there and have the external success that you want. That’s going to lead to money, prestige, recognition, and fame. All of those things come from having a point outside of yourself that you’re moving towards and being very clear about it. You have to be very clear about what you want to be moving towards.
Set Big Goals
Successful people set bit goals. In fact, they set gargantuan goals and you have to do that too. There’s a tendency to say that we want to set realistic goals. You might say, “Well, I’m not going to set too ambitious of a goal because there’s a risk that I’m going to fail. Instead, what I’m going to do is I’m going to focus on a goal that’s realistic and that I can attain.” The problem with that kind of thinking is that a lot of times, those realistic goals that we set are undervaluing what we can actually do in our lives. You’re selling yourself short. You don’t know how much potential you really have until you set a very ambitious goal.
I’m sure that at one point in your life, you have done that and you’ve actually been able to meet it or even exceed it and you’ve felt the power of that. Setting an ambitious or big goal is a great way to supercharge your motivation. Successful people are very passionate and motivated. That’s because they set big goals for themselves.
If you set a weak goal, a small goal, or a realistic goal, what’s going to happen is that you’re not going to get engaged with it. You’re not going to get excited enough to really go out there and take the action and, counter-intuitively, what might happen is that the realistic goal that you set might actually be harder to accomplish than the very ambitious goal because the ambitious goal has heart to it, whereas no one really cares if you accomplish your weak and piddly little goal or not. It’s not going to have a big impact on you and it’s not going to have a big impact on the world. So, have goals out there that are big and are not just about you, but are about other people, too.
You have to work hard if you’re going to be successful. Successful people work their asses of. There are no magic bullets. There are no real “get rich quick” schemes. There are no real quick shortcuts to success and to a deep fulfillment. This is something that you work towards and that you have to take a lot of action towards.
You don’t want your work to be a grind, so the secret to making this work is aligning your work with your purpose and with your values. The boundary between work and play starts to really blur. When you’re working, you’re feeling like you’re doing what you really love to do. You’re really passionate about it and the two are so blended that you no longer make a distinction between your time off and your time at work. Therefore, you can work really hard, but it doesn’t feel like you’re working really hard. You can then take a lot of action, which is necessary to accomplish big goals, and you can get your goals accomplished and you can feel great about them. So, it’s really like a win-win-win situation.
However, you have to be out there working hard. If you’re sitting on your ass all the time, at home on the couch watching TV, you’re not going to have success in your life. It’s just not going to happen. There are people out there who are really pushing themselves and you have to position yourself at a place in life where you’re pushing yourself hard too. This is where you want to be. This is being on your edge. This is living an exciting and charged kind of life. So, work hard. It’s very important.
Do Not Quit
Successful people are extremely persistent. They do not quit when it gets tough and it will get tough. I don’t care how passionate you are about what you’re doing. I don’t care how much you love it. Whether you love it or you don’t, there are going to be ups and downs in life. Whatever you’re pursuing and whatever kind of big goal you set for yourself – especially if you set those big goals – they’re going to be challenging. They’re going to require you to grow. They’re going to require you to step outside your comfort zone. That means that emotional labor will be involved. That’s okay, but to make sure that you get through that and get to your ultimate objective of success, you’re going to have to be persistent and you can’t quit when the going gets tough.
So, maybe you’re working on a project and something’s not working out the way you want or something slips or something fails and you’re really tempted to quit and throw in the towel. Maybe there’s a relationship and you’re trying to work it out, but it’s not working and you’re tempted to drop it and you’re tempted to quit there. Whatever part of your life you really want to quit or drop right now, if you’re in that kind of point, you have to push through it if it’s really aligned with your values and your purpose. If it’s not aligned, you can drop it. In fact, you should. However, otherwise, you have to be very persistent.
If you read biographies of the most successful people throughout human history, like business leaders, social leaders, politicians, celebrities, and actors, you know that the underlying theme of all of those biographies and all their histories is that they were very persistent and they were okay with failure. In fact, most of these people were so successful because they failed so much that their success was inevitable. After you fail thousands of times, you start to learn your lessons and you start to get good. The human brain is really stubborn and it doesn’t tend to learn from success as much as it does from failure.
So, when you’re failing a lot,don’t get discouraged. Push on. Persevere. Go through your hardest moments because the hardest moments that you go through are the ones in which you learn your biggest lessons. Those are what grow you to be able to handle bigger challenges to accomplish more and more and get that kind of success that you want. These are also, coincidentally, the proudest moments of your life. They’re the moments of your life that you will never regret. So, never quit when you’re doing something that’s important to you.
Master Your Thoughts and Emotions
The next point is to master your thoughts and emotions. This is a more subtle point, but it’s very important. If you can’t master your thoughts and you’re always swayed by your emotions, you’re thinking pessimistically, negatively, and uncritically. If your emotions have the better of you and you’re always stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed and you can’t focus, then what are you going to accomplish? How can you accomplish anything in your life?
Not only are you not going to be externally successful because you’re not going to be able to run a business, hold down a job, study, or be able to be in a good relationship (because no one’s going to want to be in a relationship when you’re like that), but you’re also going to feel miserable, too. You don’t want to be swayed by all these negative emotions. You don’t want to be worrying all the time. You don’t want to be stressed all the time. Nobody likes to feel that and you don’t want your thoughts going in a million different places. You want to be able to concentrate and focus your thoughts.
This is called “emotional mastery.” You have to master your emotions. You have to master your thoughts. That means that you have to do some introspection once in a while. How about taking up some habits like journaling, meditation, reading books, or talking with mentors or having a coach? These are great ways to start to develop mastery over your emotions or your thoughts. If you’re all over the place, you’re going to be so concerned about just fixing problems in your own life that you’re not going to be able to go out there and take the action that you need to take and make the contribution that you need to make in order to generate really big success.
The last point is one of my favorites and this is one that people really miss out on. It’s “Study success.” Successful people study success. Success is not what we naively think is just something that happens naturally to some people and doesn’t happen to other people. Success is a very deliberate and conscious endeavor that you undertake. Success is built over months and years and it’s done consciously. The more you understand the principles of success and the concepts of success and the more you study people who have been successful, the more you see what it really takes. That process of success – the principles – are not always what they seem.
For me, something that I’ve really committed my life to is studying these principles and I really love it. It’s exciting for me and I really encourage you to get involved with that. So, that means attending some seminars, reading some books, watching these videos, learning about it, joining a group of friends who are successful, or joining a mastermind group. Be around successful people. Learn how the success process works and learn about the psychology of success. We’re not talking about the externals of success. We’re talking about the psychology.
So, I’m going to wrap it up here. This is “How to Be Successful in Life.” Please post your comments for me. I love reading them. Of course, “like” this and share it, if you would. Check out Actualize.org where we have advanced personal development videos just like this one. We go into a lot more depth about what it really takes to be successful and happy in life. We specifically cover these last two points about how to master your thoughts and your emotions and how to study success and what are the principles of success.
I have my personal development blueprint on there. It is a free product and guide that has 100 of the biggest and most important principles out there for success and happiness. I spent literally years researching this and distilling it down from over $100,000 of the best personal development material that I could find out there, from books to really expensive seminars. So, go ahead and check that out. It’s free.