The Next Level
When you’re already an achiever, it can sometimes be frustrating to try and figure out how to get to the next level with your work. You know the basics of how to succeed and are motivated about doing good work. But in order to truly make a mark in your community – and maybe in the world at large – you need to be willing to constantly study the masters and improve.
Small steps can make a huge difference in setting yourself up for achieving more. All of us have the same amount of hours in any given day. Some people are simply able to consistently structure their days to be the most productive possible. And, in being committed and consistent in that productivity practice, they can achieve astounding success.
So here are 16 simple steps that can set you apart from the crowd. These are tips and tricks utilized by some of the most admirable (and successful) people on the planet. Even if you already do some of these, it never hurts to add one or two more to your daily routine to see if you can ramp up prosperity even more.
Always, Always, Always Be Yourself
Billionaire Richard Branson is as much of a brand by himself is his famous Virgin brand. The playful and adventure-loving businessman shared on his blog that he feels being willing to be yourself is one of the most important choices you can make in your life. No matter what you may want to achieve, it needs to come from a place of truth within yourself. No matter what your business, you’ll go through a ton of ups and downs. If you want to be able to sustain the inevitable failures and hardships that are necessary to conquer any major task, you need to have a solid foundation about who you are and why you’re choosing what it is you’re doing.
Don't Believe In Limits
While it’s easy to ignore the office “successories” you see all over the place that annoyingly remind you to dream big, there’s some real truth behind the over-saturated sentiment. Of course, it’s smart to recognize and understand the genuine constraints you may be under. But if you live your life according to constraints, you’ll always be stuck allowing your external situation to determine your internal capabilities. Dreaming big doesn’t have to mean you immediately see how you get to the perceived outcome. It simply allows your mind understand the goal of your work. In pinpointing that goal, you can come back to your current situation and begin to create a blueprint that outlines just how you may be able to get there. Even if you only know one small step you can take, that’s one step more than you knew before.
Feel the Passion and Let It Fuel Your Work Fire
If you ever want to really have the impact you desire, you need to be willing to weather whatever storm may come your way. If you’re only going through the motions and lack the burning love for whatever it is you’re doing, the road may become impassable. Richard St. John studied tons of successful people throughout the years. And passion was one of the eight major factors he identified as necessary in order to be successful. So if you aren’t truly passionate about it, forget it. And if you’ve forgotten your passion, remind yourself of what drew you to that work in the first place.
Forget the Snooze Button and Get Up Early
High successful people seem to have more hours in the day. And part of that is because they get up early and attack the day. Without sacrificing sleep, the most successful people commit to waking up early. Author Tom Corley discovered this finding after studying successful people for over five years. He shared in his book Change Your Habits, Change Your Life that most of these high achievers got up three hours before their actual day started.
Commit to a Productive Morning Routine
If you follow the step above and get yourself up early, be sure to take full advantage of your time. Wasting time catching up on social media for an hour will not feel nearly as good as going on an invigorating jog or practicing a mind-clearing meditation session. No matter what the morning routine may be, if it feels good and forwards your goals, sticking with it consistently is key.
Be Willing and Ready to Adapt
Though it’s fun to pretend you can predict the future, the truth is we have no idea what may happen. People behave in surprising ways. Circumstances can change. And outside influences are constantly transforming the nature of some people’s realities. The most successful people don’t rigidly expect certain outcomes. They realize that the world is ever-changing and, though they may desire something specific, they’re constantly adapting to whatever new realities a situation may provide. That adaptability and resilience in the face of seeming failures can make all the difference in your life.
Saying “Sorry” Can Be a Strength Not Weakness
Too often, people equate vulnerability and recognition of making mistakes as a sign of weakness. But being willing to be self-reflective and openly admit mistakes makes you a more grounded and genuinely powerful person. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg proved this was true after publicly acknowledging that his company had made mistakes in the past. By recognizing your own human imperfections, you can be more open and honest to improving in the future. And, as a bonus, you’ll embody some powerful leadership characteristics.
Force Yourself to Get Lucky By Staying in the Game
By its very nature, you can’t force luck. It’s that serendipitous moment where all your preparation and hard work finally pay off and you break through to the next level of achievement. But, you can make yourself significantly luckier by simply continuing to be in the game. The most successful people recognize that they’re committed to their profession for the long run. There will be times when it feels like nobody except themselves cares about their work. But rather than simply giving up or only putting themselves out there periodically, they help inspire magic by making Lady Luck find them. And they simply do so by taking advantage of every opportunity available to them.
Exercise That Imagination and Read Regularly
After school, so many people forget that reading can be extremely helpful for keeping your mind sharp. And that means focusing on more than just news articles you may come across on the internet. While all reading is beneficial, the most successful people take time to really exercise their imagination with consistent set-aside times to read autobiographies, fictions, classics, and whatever else may tickle their creative fancy. Additionally, they take time to commit to their ongoing education by continuously reading books by leaders in their own field and general personal development handbooks.
Know That Risks Are Inevitable & Approach Them Fearlessly
Successful people are already aware that every new venture contains some measure of risk. But the most successful people don’t simple recognize or attempt to avoid that risk. Instead, they embrace it. When you’re aware that risk is a necessary part of growth, you alleviate the stress that fear places on you. Plus, you begin to look for opportunities that provide that risk. By trying seemingly risky and exciting new adventures, you open yourself up to all sorts of new connections. Both failing and succeeding in big risks make you stronger and more capable the next time a new risk presents itself in your life.
Expect and Embrace Failure
Much like risk, failure in all aspects of life is inevitable. Even the most successful, confident people on the planet all doubt and question themselves when they face failure. But what sets the super-achievers apart from the regular workers is the ability to quickly recover and learn from each failure. Seeing failures as mere stepping stones to your next big success will help you keep focused and achieve even more in your respective career.
Ask People for Help
Americans (especially) love to feel independent. Our entire culture is founded on the idea that we can do whatever we want on our own. But behind every high-achieving successful millionaire (or billionaire) is a loyal and dedicated crew of people who are willing and able to support them. Simple delegation of tasks that aren’t in your skill set or might detract from your day can free up so much time and stress so that you can focus on more important – more valuable – tasks for your own growth and success. Just like apologizing, the ability to ask for help is actually a major strength not weakness.
Be Focused and Follow a Plan
You can have all the confidence and ability in the world but it will go to waste if you don’t focus on a clear vision and follow through with a plan to make it happen. Of course it’s important to retain balance in your life and not make every day simply jam-packed with plans for work, work, and more work. But that doesn’t mean that you should simply let whatever whim may strike your fancy determine your daily schedule. The most successful people approach each day as an opportunity – and are ready and willing to take full advantage of it by knowing how they want to use each moment.
Get Yourself Organized
The ten minutes you waste everyday looking for your keys isn’t doing your productivity output any good. Combine those ten minutes with all the other frantic searches you do for things you know you put “somewhere” but can’t seem to find when you need them, and you’ve got yourself a major time suck (not to mention a bunch of unnecessary added stress). So get yourself organized. If you’re not naturally organized, educate yourself on the basics. Or, simply hire an expert (remember being willing to ask for help in tip #12?). Organization will help you streamline both your ideas and your life. And when those two things are in more of a flow, you’ll be able to focus on significantly higher achievement rather than just scraping to get by moment to moment.
Take Time to Reflect and Meditate
Sometimes, you can get so caught up doing, you forget to sit and reflect upon the very thing you’re doing. The most successful people find – or make – time everyday to do some form of reflection. For some people, that’s prayer or quiet meditation. For others, that might mean journaling or taking your dog for a walk. The only requirement for the simple task is that it allows you to unplug and turn off the part of your brain that feels the need to constantly be in movement. It can feel counterintuitive at first that not doing something can actually help make you more productive. But it seems to work for extremely successful people who engage in some form of this habit regularly.
Be Willing to Do the Work
It doesn’t matter how much you believe in yourself if you aren’t willing to put in the muscle grease to make your dreams a reality. It’s not easy to remain self-motivated and focused on the difficult tasks at hand when you’re constantly facing rejection, hardships, and unforeseen challenges. But if you keep the perspective many of these tips help to cultivate in yourself, you’ll be more willing and able to dig deep and continue to pursue your passionate path.