Everyone wants to have a quick fix for success, but not everyone understands that the formula for success is a wee-bit more complicated than that. Many will argue that the formula for success will result on achieving one’s desired goals, when in reality the formula for success is about more than achievements.
The formula for success is about how you learn (tweet this!).
Not too long ago I wrote an article about the entrepreneurial mindset to allude to the fact that everyone has entrepreneurial skills as part of their skill arsenal. Then, after writing about how to become successful last week, I thought it wise to continue exploring the topics of success and entrepreneurship.
To recap that article about the entrepreneurial mindset in one simple quote:
“Being entrepreneurial is essentially about thinking and doing something that we have not done before in order to achieve a desirable goal or outcome” Donna de Carolis, PhD.
I love this quote because it demystifies entrepreneurship and makes it an achievable goal. In other words, to be an entrepreneur you do not have to own or operate your own business. It just so happens to be that entrepreneurs more often than not choose to become their own bosses.
So what does this have to do with success and this so-called formula for success?
Self-awareness + action = success (Tweet this!)
Allow me to elaborate.
The role of self-awareness in this so-called formula for success:
Ultimately, the formula for success is as simple as developing self-awareness. For the sake of simplicity, we shall think of self-awareness as the thoughts you have about your thoughts, behaviors, and emotional states.
As I wrote last week, becoming successful largely depends upon your ability to do three things: honoring where you are at, keeping your eye on the big picture, and defining success in your own terms. But in order to fulfill any of the above requirements, you have to know yourself, and you need some sort of awareness of your thoughts, behaviors, and emotional states.
One of my old bosses used to say “to think outside the box you first have to know the limits of the box”.
Self-awareness, as the sole foundation for the formula for success, is the difference between going off on a tangent of doom inside your head, and knowing when to stop this inner-conversation because you know that this pattern is not self-serving of whatever goal you have in mind.
I am going to be writing a lot about self-serving thoughts, behaviors, and emotions as I am on a “what is going to help me accomplish my goals today?” kick. And in order to figure out what is and what isn’t going to help me accomplish my goals today I need a certain degree of self-awareness.
For example, I joined the NaNoWriMo movement because I have always wanted to publish a book, and because I wanted to beta-test a program I am developing to overcome procrastination and increase productivity (sign up for my newsletter at the top of the page or below this article if you want to be the first to find out more about this program or even becoming a beta-tester yourself). As I was developing a plan to achieve my goal of finishing a book I decided I could easily write 500 words daily over the next 90 days.
If I want to accomplish my goal of finishing my book by the end of January I have to get really honest with myself.
Is watching TV going to serve my purpose of writing 500 words today?
Is my low self-esteem going to serve my purpose of writing 500 words today?
Is not being in the mood to write today going to serve my purpose of writing 500 words today?
By now you have probably guessed that the answer to these questions was a big, fat HELL DUCKING* NO (in case you are not familiar, iPhones autocorrect the F-word+ING with the word “ducking”).
But in order to know if any of these issues are self-serving to my goal or not, I first have to become aware of how I am using my time, what I am afraid of, why I have low self-esteem, or why I am not in the mood to write.
So far I’ve written 4800 words out of 5500 that I should have written by November 11th. I consider this a success—but that’s another conversation that shall be continued in weeks to come.
The role of taking action in this so-called formula for success:
Now that you understand the value of self-awareness to success, you will want to take action on what you learned about yourself. You can think of it as a feedback loop in which your awareness of yourself provides you with the information that you need to implement in order to make the desired changes that can help you achieve your goal.
See what I did there? I added italics to the word implement to draw your attention to the fact that you have to take action. No excuses, no questions asked. You just do it.
The one thing that you can do right now that is going to contribute towards the success you wish to achieve is starting today.
Today, not tomorrow, today.
I found this little gem on the internet about a small movement dedicated to improving your life today instead of waiting for tomorrow. In fact, this is the reason why I no longer make New Year’s resolutions. If you remember last week’s post, only about 8% of Americans who make New Year’s resolutions successfully follow through and achieve what they set out to do.
So what is going on here?
What is the #itstartstoday movement all about?
The #itstartstoday movement is a call to action to take whatever step you need to take today in order to live the life of your dreams. It is a call to live an authentic life full of meaning. It is a call to engage with your life more fully in this very moment, rather than waiting until January 1st to get started.
If there is a gap between how your life is right now and how you wish your life was, know that the gap can be bridged by taking action. Success can be defined as the completion and accomplishment of that desired life. But in order to get there you have to take consistent and continuous action.
Self-awareness can only take you so far in becoming successful. That is why action is such an integral part of the formula for success.
The formula for success is composed of two important elements: becoming aware of your thoughts, behaviors, and emotional states, and taking action upon what you have learned about yourself.
Self-awareness allows you to tap into the very entrepreneurial mindset that allows you to do something that you have not done before in order to achieve different results (surely you have heard about Einstein’s definition of insanity). But if you want to become successful you have to take action on what you have learned through self-reflection today.
Self-awareness says: “I know that I do not feel confident in my ability to reach my goal.” And taking action looks like developing the skills that I have identified will aid me in reaching my goal.
Always keep in mind that success is a journey. I cannot emphasize enough to read last week’s article on re-framing the meaning of success.
So… what will you do today to build that bridge to the castle you have built in the sky?
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Thank you for reading and bestestest of wishes to you!