Success does not mean the absence of failures. It means the attainment of ultimate objectives. It means winning the war, not every battle.- Edwin C Bliss
The road to success is not a bed of roses. It is full of thorns, pitfalls and gins. Only those who wade through the hazards and hurdles with grit and determination could smell success. That is how Gandhi became a leader par excellence; that made Churchill the greatest and the most successful war time leader. These traits and qualities have paid rich dividends to Sachin and made him persona grata. After all, winners don’t do different things. They do things differently. Have you the determination to succeed? Are you willing to devote the time and energy necessary to achieve success?
Here are some proven techniques that will help you to achieve success and happiness in life.
The first step is to set yourself clear goals, to define precisely what you want to achieve. Goals provide direction to your behaviour and guide your thoughts and actions to the desired outcomes. Goal plans enable you to go beyond momentary influences and organise your behaviour over extended periods of time. Goals should be an extension of your values, your most important fundamental beliefs
Specific goals are better than general ones. Self-chosen goals are better than assigned ones. Choose goals that are challenging but reachable. Write down your short term and long term goals. This will help you in establishing priorities and in deciding on the actions that you must engage in. Form a very intense, extremely vivid mental picture of what you want. Verbalise your mental picture with a brief, concise, forceful ‘GOAL COMMAND’. Repeat it everyday to make it easier for your sub-conscious mind to embrace them. As Swami Vivekananda says, “Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success”.
Prepare an ‘Action plan’, outlining the specific steps needed to accomplish the result you want. You must get timely feed-back on your progress and be able to modify your strategies when changes occur. Sometimes, even if the goals are not attained the resultant consequences, feed-back or reinforcement can be beneficial.
There are literally millions of things in this world which are right and which need to be done – but to which you must mentally, if not vocally say “No!”
No person has the time and the ability to do any but a few things which need to be done. The proven success method is this:
(1) Say “ No” generally.
(2) Say “yes” very, very selectively
You simply concentrate your thought, time and effort on your one main goal. You cannot possibly do all of the things you will be asked to do. So you are going to have to say ‘No’ to a lot of desirable and worthwhile things, simply because they are “incompatible” with the necessary work you must do to reach your main goal.
Don’t be afraid of failure. Failure is an accepted procedure in experimenting, research, testing and all scientific forms of “finding out”. Failure is simply the means of finding out what will not work so that it can be eliminated in the search for what will work. So there is no need to think of failure as something to be feared and avoided.
Edison and his staff conducted 17,000 experiments which failed before they succeeded in the one experiment which enabled them to extract latex in substantial quantities from just one variety of plant, which was worth the 17,000 failures! Besides, failure is good for your character and personality. It is a challenging experience.
The next step is to develop proper self-concept. What you think about yourself is very important. Persons with high self-esteem feel unique, competent, secure, empowered and connected to the people around them. Whereas people who have poor self-concept feel insecure, lack self- confidence and become withdrawn. To improve your self-esteem, become aware of your hidden potentialities and activate them. Take note of your shortcomings and drawbacks and try to overcome them. You can prepare a ‘Weed list’ and a ‘Seed list’. Believe firmly that you can improve. As the Bhagavad Gita says, “One should lift oneself by one’s own efforts and should not degrade oneself; for one’s own self is one’s friend, and one’s own self is one’s enemy”.
Another aspect of self-development is ‘Time Management’. Time is your most valuable resource. Successful people are those who manage their time efficiently. They find time for everything; reading newspapers, jogging and even occasional visits to the cinema. Since they have planned everything, they feel relaxed and do their work efficiently. What about you? Do you make optimum use of your time? To know this, write down all you did yesterday with the amount of time spent on each activity. Then you will realise how much time is being wasted on useless activities and why you are not able to achieve your targets in time. Draw a time-table for your daily activities and try to stick to it. Keeping a diary is another useful habit which you must cultivate. This will help you review and monitor your progress.
Many people make themselves miserable by trying to imitate others. Mrs. Edith Allred was one such person. She remained unhappy even after she married into a poised and self-confident family. A chance remark by her mother-in-law transformed her life. While talking about how she brought her children up, her mother-in-law said, “No matter what happened, I always insisted on their being themselves”. In a flash Mrs. Allred realised that she had brought misery on herself by trying to fit herself into a pattern to which she did not conform. She changed overnight. She started being herself. She tried to make a study of her own personality. Now she is the happiest person.
The renowned psychologist, William James was speaking of people who had never found themselves when he declared that the average person develops only ten percent of his or her latent abilities
You and I have such abilities. So, do not waste a second worrying because you are not like other people. Remember you are unique. There never was and never will be anybody exactly like you. Make the most of what nature gave you. For better or for worse, you must play your own instrument in the orchestra of life.
As Emerson says, “Envy is ignorance and imitation is suicide”. No real benefit will come to you except through your own toil. Nature has given you the power. You only know what you can and cannot do. So, find yourself and be yourself.
There are people who keep on grumbling and complaining. For them here is the story of Harold Abbott who used to worry a lot. One day, he happened to see a man who had no legs but looked cheerful and happy. He greeted him with a grand smile. At that moment, Harold Abbott felt ashamed of his self-pity. He realised how rich he was. He had two legs and he could walk. This realisation changed his mind. That was a turning point in his life.
If we want to be happy, all we have to do is to concentrate on the ninety percent things that are right in our lives and ignore the ten percent that are wrong.
Think of all we have to be grateful for and thank God for all our boons and bounties. Would you sell your eyes for a billion dollars? What would you take for your legs? Your hands? Your hearing? Your family? Add up your assets and you will find that you won’t sell what you have for all the gold amassed by the Rockfellers, the Fords and the Morgans combined. So, “Count your blessings, not your troubles”.
Make the best of your time. Be optimistic. Plan your work and work your plan. Success will knock at your door. Adieu!