Friends, what gifts or talents do you possess that you enjoy and know you’re good at? Do you have amazing skill in the kitchen, or a knack at getting others to laugh and smile all day long? Maybe you can run marathons, hike big mountains, or ski down the steepest slopes. Perhaps you run a very successful business or have aspired to great heights in your career? Maybe your greatest gift is in being the best parent, friend, or spouse you can be. The truth is we all have unique gifts and talents.
This question got me thinking, what is it that the most successful people have that many others don’t? Do they have more education, luck, energy, connections, or brains? Is it genetic?
In reality, successful people are not much different from anyone else in the areas I mentioned. Studying success shows that it comes from very replicable recipes that can be followed by any of us. It is a recipe to thrive and grow in every aspect of your life. A huge aspect of this success is, yes, following a proven recipe, but also being accountable to yourself and to others.
Developing clarity is a big key to success in any area of life. Those who have the most success are clear about what they want and have determined specific goals and steps to get there. It’s not enough to say that you want to lose 25 pounds, run a marathon, be a better parent, or qualify for a better job. You need a specific plan, a road map to achievement.
For example, a physical goal might include a plan something like this. Schedule yourself to exercise for 60 minutes 3 times a week. Then devise a plan for specifically what you will do during those 60 minutes. There are numerous smart phone apps to help you with this. Concurrently you might decide to drink more water. Decide how much, for example 64 ounces. You might also decide to start skipping deserts. The more specific and clear the goals, the less likely you are to stray and make excuses. I know this has been a game changer in my own weight loss as well as other goals I have achieved.
You also must be clear on why you have this goal in the first place, and the underlying “why”. Having a goal with a distinct purpose keeps you going even through the tough times. For example, it is tempting to eat the unhealthy foods you love, but if you want to feel better, fit into clothes that are currently too tight, and perhaps be able to play with your kids or grandkids, you have a reason to stay on course. Ask yourself why. Why do I need to lose weight, why do I need to study for school, or why do I need to have a business plan? When we know the “why” behind our actions, commitments, and goals, it becomes much easier to endure the difficulties and setbacks that we may encounter along the way.
Lastly, and something that I believe is #1, at least for me, is that you can’t navigate through this world alone. Remarkable success and change typically doesn’t happen without the help from others, teamwork. Whether physically recovering from my illness, getting through school, participating in triathlons, or starting my speaking career, none of it could have been possible without the tremendous help of others.
So, don’t try to do it alone. Ask for help, find an accountability partner, or join a small group. Through collaboration we not only help ourselves, but we help each other and become more successful. We all want more out of life, but what I have learned is that getting more has to start with wanting what you already have and being accountable. Believe in yourself and that you have what it takes in any area of life that matters to you. When we can do this, only the best is yet to come!