The Basics of Success, Part I: The Foundation

 

Silhouette of a successful woman or girl arms raised celebrating at sunrise or sunset in front of the New York City Skyline

Whether you do a Google search or browse the self-help section of your local bookstore, you will see a myriad of articles or books that claim to give you the secret formula for success. And the chances are, for the author and a few other people, those formulas work. But real success — regardless of the person or the achievement — has the same foundation.

First, let’s explore what the foundation of success is NOT.

1. Trying to Do Everything at Once

You cannot and you do not want to. Looking at an entire project and attempting to do it all in one step is a recipe for disaster.

Instead: Take one small step, observe the results, adjust as necessary, repeat.

2. Becoming Intimidated or Overwhelmed by Your Goals’ Size

Your goals are likely large and complex — and they should be! But that can lead to becoming overwhelmed or too intimidated to even begin.

Instead: Determine one step — just the first step. Ask for advice if you get stuck.

3. Waiting Until You Feel Completely Prepared

Yes, it is important to research and understand the process, but waiting until you feel entirely ready will likely result in permanent procrastination.

Instead: Do a reasonable amount of research, and then take that first step — no matter how intimidating or overwhelming it may seem.

Do you see a trend here? Start small and take consistent steps — you will get you to your goal.

But what about when things go wrong?

Distractions, interruptions, mistakes, and setbacks are a normal part of life. As such, they cannot distract you from your goal. Disappointed about the result of your first step? Remind yourself that it is a natural part of the journey, accept the lessons you can learn from it, and immediately look for the next step to keep moving forward.

Life provides innumerable opportunities to turn your goals and aspirations into success. But this success will not simple materialize on its own. Success comes from consistent hard work, patience, and creativity, but it all starts with that first step. And it grows from that foundation: using every moment of your life to take small steps forward. They quickly add up to more success than you had even imagined.

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