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How to Find Success – Self Help

After translating a book on this subject, I thought I’d write down the basic points together with what I myself have learned over the years, in a shorter, concise article.

 

The first you should ask yourself is What is Success? Many people rush into a career automatically believing that they need a fancy car and big house to be happy. But this is not necessarily so. Perhaps you may want to go to India to find spiritual enlightenment, and consider that as a successful and happy life. Perhaps what will be successful for you (primarily happiness) will have nothing to do with money. So you first need to sit down and think hard of what you really want. Perhaps you could float around and experiment for a while. Some people may argue that a year spent as such a vagrant is a total waste of time, but if during that year of experimenting you discover what type of work you truly enjoy, the rest of your life will be much better spent, in which case that year of discovery will not be a waste but time very well spent. Keep in mind that your average job will require about 8 hours of your attention a day. Probably moreso in the beginning as you establish your career. Then you might have about an hour to get to work and an hour to get back, perhaps about an hour to eat breakfast and prepare yourself for the day, maybe an hour to run some errands after work, maybe two hours to eat dinner/cook/go to a restaurant, order and wait… At the end of the day, you might find you only have a few hours to spend on recreation. If you do not like your work, those two hours of recreation will be hard pressed to make up for an entire day of unpleasantness and busy running errands. So make sure you define what this “success” should be before you embark on your journey.

 

Research

Now let’s say you decided your dream is to sell tennis rackets in your village or neighbourhood. You are excited about the prospect of doing what you love, but before you set out, you should examine your chances carefully. Is there already a tennis store in your neighbourhood? Is there any reason why locals will go to your store as opposed to buying a racket at the tennis club? You need to research your competition, potential client base, and the costs of running the business. It is easy to get excited and carried away with a new idea and rush right into it, following the “broad path to destruction”, since some 90% of people who first start a business are doomed to failure. Do not be afraid to ask others what they think of your idea. Even if it is a super fantastic idea that is so unique someone else can steal it, chances are nobody will bother. Glean what information you can from the competition. In fact, you will probably succeed with much greater probability if you first work in a tennis store, to learn the tricks of the trade, how a successful store is run, how to contact the suppliers/distributors and so on. By working there, not only will you gain much needed knowledge, but you can build up some savings at the same time. It is tempting to lunge into your new business and be confident you have a great idea, but it is wiser to be prudent, hold back the reigns and really think your idea through. Make sure you are well prepared! And if you do decide to start some company, you will definitely need a lot more savings than you might imagine.

 

Strategy

Once you’ve done your research you need to carve out a battle plan. One of my biggest mistakes was that I had many of the ingredients but I didn’t really focus my thoughts on what was the most necessary. I thought that, if I just worked diligently in different areas, was good to people and believed in God, prosperity would present itself as a royal carpet might be unrolled before a king. But you cannot expect God to run your business for you. After all, that is not even his intention for you – to get rich – but rather to attain spiritual enlightenment. In any case, he has saved me from many disasters in the past, and believing in God is good, but the purpose of finding success is not to be constantly saved from disasters, but to follow a winning formula. Focus on what you need the most. You imagine you have borrowed money and filled up your new store with tennis rackets, but how will you go about finding new customers or convincing them that your rackets are better? Make sure to have a clear plan that seems at least fool proof. With experience and time it is possible you will tweak or change your plan, but keep focusing on what is the most important, to get the job done. Once you’ve built up a solid enough client-base and cash flow to be confident you can survive over the long term, THEN you can tinker around with other ideas. Make sure you are operational and sustainable first, and always focus on what needs to be done first in order to reach your goals.

 

Act

At some point you will need to act. Even the research phase is acting. You need to get out there and do the legwork. Many people can talk forever about this or that which they want to accomplish, but the rhetoric seems more like something which makes them feel good about themselves, and which sounds good when boasting about it to others, but they never really take the first step. It reminds me of the lowest point in my life, when I decided I went as low as I wanted to go and wanted to move forward. The path before me seemed like an incredibly long and daunting task, but with each step you will become increasingly confident that your goal is getting with sight’s distance.

 

Perseverance

Once you have defined your goal, researched the prospect well and actually started with some of the necessary measures, you need to keep plugging away at it. Don’t let yourself be discouraged but keep considering that every step you take in that direction is bringing you closer to the realization of your dreams. If events are not turning out as you expected, you can re-analyse everything to confirm that it is in fact feasible. No point beating a dead horse with the same stick. It should be evident that it is not going to get up and carry something for you. But don’t instantly use every failure as an excuse to stop trying. All successful entrepreneurs have suffered endless failures, but you will learn the most from your failures.

 

Positive Thinking

To help with your perseverance, positive thinking can prove a very useful aid. It is common that one spends their childhood constantly listening to elders around them instructing them what they should or should not do. Because of this, most of us develop a complex and are afraid to try anything out of the ordinary. Or if you do try something new, you might hear many around you warn of negative consequences: “Oh c’mon, you will certainly fail. If that idea would work, why didn’t someone already try it?” People can be very envious creatures who would rather drag or keep you down, lest they lose you to the stars and be angry they could not manage the same. Or perhaps you grew up in an abusive and critical household, where you were constantly told you are a loser, will never amount to anything, or other negative comment. Studies have proven that, when you hear this enough, your mind simply starts to believe it. What’s worse, such people will often reinforce the thought by telling themselves the same. “Why should I even try, after all, nothing will ever come of me.” The trick to this is to REPORGRAM yourself. It feels strange, especially at first, but it definitely works. One way is to put your faith in God, which is a form of positive thinking. “Yes, perhaps my parents told me I will be a failure, but I believe in God and that he will help me make it happen.” Alternatively, you can keep telling yourself “I WILL succeed. I AM beautiful.” Someone may be fairly attractive, but if they are told enough times that they are ugly, they will start to believe it. They will look at themselves in the mirror and be convinced they are ugly. Their shoulders will slouch because of their low self esteem, they will wear shabby clothes because they see no point in trying, and they will actually make themselves less appealing in the process. The negativity has created a moment and become self-sustaining. But you CAN reverse the trend by reprogramming yourself in this manner. It may seem difficult to believe, but real-life studies have proven that it works, and it doesn’t cost anything to try. Just force yourself to say it, over and over again, and your mind and thinking eventually transform. It may take a while, you WILL eventually get there. If you are still a negative environment, either change it by fighting back, or simply move elsewhere.

 

If you would like to ask for advice, feel free to write to me through my contact form.

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