5 Fundamentals of a Successful Life

“Action is the foundational key to all success.” Pablo Picasso

It’s safe to assume that most people want to be happier in their personal lives and reach a higher level of success in their professional careers. Given that volumes of literature have been produced on how to be successful, what does it really take to experience success in life?  Here are a few key factors that repeatedly appear in the most popular personal development literature.

The definition of success.  The most important aspect of becoming successful in life lies in an individual’s ability to outline the meaning of what success is to them.  A very personal issue, success to one is fame, fortune, and affluence, while to another it is simply living a quiet existence in a log cabin.  Your definition of success will depend on your personality and set of values.  To begin to understand what success means to you, picture yourself twenty years in the future.  Ask yourself what you regret not doing or having – going to school – getting married – changing careers.  Note that on a piece of paper.  In your visualization, what do you have that you are grateful for – health, family, financial security?  List these things as well.  Now you have a set of goals and a better sense of what makes you happy in life.

Differentiate between the urgent and the important.  Each day, we have at our disposal a certain number of hours to accomplish an unlimited number of things depending on our choices.  There are decisions to make, activities that need to be done, and interests to pursue.  These tasks can be categorized as either urgent, like paying the electric bill on time, or important, like reading to your child daily.  Making a list and classifying them in these two categories can make it easier to see the big picture of what is truly important in your life.  Additionally, it will automatically help you allocate your time resources according to rank of urgency or importance.

Think positively.  This well-worn cliché is far from worn-out.  There is extreme merit to thinking positively in terms of experiencing a successful life.  Positive thinkers experience better health, increased longevity, and more happiness.  Focusing on thoughts that produce good feelings and concentrating on the good in the world is a great approach to achieving aspirations of success.

Take action.  Whether you want to earn a million dollars, a college degree, or self-respect, your goals will never be realized if some sort of action is not taken.  Find out what action you need to take in order to accomplish your goals; then, create the self-discipline that it takes to exercise every day, write your novel, or start your business.  Success in any endeavor is rarely instantaneous, but materializes as a result of consistent action taken daily over a period of time.

Take responsibility.  Ultimately, every choice you make is your responsibility whether you see it that way or not.  Many adults are caught up in a delusional blame game, citing parents, co-workers, or enemies as the reason for their negative circumstances.  The reality is that, in most cases, many unwanted situations can, at least in part, be traced back to bad decision-making or lack of decision-making on our part.  The sooner we can own up to our own mistakes and failures, the more empowered we are to improve our lives and learn what works and what doesn’t.

Success doesn’t just happen to people; people make success happen.  Successful people have a positive, proactive mindset without which their dreams would stay at arm’s length.  In addition, they consistently take action toward their goals, bringing the realm of dreams into tangible reality.

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4 Replies to “5 Fundamentals of a Successful Life”

  1. I feel like sometimes we can’t always blame ourselves for making a certain decision since circumstances in the world can change. But still, you must accept your decisions as your own and try to learn from them if you fail.

    It takes a lot of bravery to get to know yourself and your limits well enough to put yourself out there to try to be a success. Thanks for reminding us about looking inward.

    1. Well said Victoria and I agree with everything you said. I have experienced many friends and family who resist the idea of looking inward for positive change in life. It is a brave personal battle a person must challenge themselves to fight.

  2. Growing up, my elderly neighbor always said “Your choices make your life.” Of course, I didn’t truly understand and appreciate this statement until I was much older. Whether you make good or bad choices, or simply sit around and let others make choices for you, your life’s path is ultimately paved by your actions (or lack thereof).

    1. Thank you for the comment Destiny…

      You remind me of something I listen to in the past. Unlike animals who are driven my instinct and the genetic code. We as humans have the ability to make choices.

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