Six Secrets to Success

by Gaurav Maheshwari

Consultant Business Skills, PurpleLeap

Why are successful people successful?

Are they blessed?

Do they take risks or they are powerful and influential?

Let’s discuss.

Success is relative.

The first thing we fail to do is to set a bare minimum level for our achievements. We sometimes can’t clearly decide what success means to us.

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

“How many of us want to be successful in our lives?”

I ask this question to my students and ask them to raise their hands if they have a ‘yes’ for an answer.

And surprisingly, in all students’ groups I have seen a peculiar behavior. Most students don’t want to be the first to raise their hand. They wait till their fellow students have raised hands. They have a fear I might ask them to stand up and share their success plans with me, to which they are not sure if they have a response. The anxiety and fear takes over and they choose not to speak up.

Some students stretch out their hands to the maximum extent possible. They are the ones with confidence and a beam on faces.

The rest raise a hand to a level that is comfortable and  which does not take much effort. The comfort zone!

But undoubtedly everyone wants success.

Will life give us its 100% if we don’t give it ours?

No way.

This is where the secret lies.

1.    Resource Management- Everything we have at hand is a resource. We can make the most of it if we looked at its value. Time is the most important resource we have. Most of the time, we believe we don’t have ‘enough time’. It’s there. It’s just that we can’t see where we are wasting it. Remove the time wasters from your everyday routine for a week and see you have loads of time to do things that are important. The key is in PRIORITIZATION. First things first!

2.    Learn to say “NO”.- We make our own lives complicated. You are a student. The exams are approaching. You want to study. A friend comes and offers to go for an outing. You want to say that you want to study but you can’t say it. You slam the book shut and join him. Learn to say “NO”. There will be distractors coming your way at every point. Sometimes we take up things we know we will not be able to give our 100%. The failure is likely to happen in such cases and it will lead to frustration. All you need to do is to say “NO” to certain things in life. The key is in “ASSERTIVENESS”.

3.    Own your decisions– We all make decisions. Don’t we? Am I going to the class today? Which shirt am I wearing to work? What am I going to eat for lunch? Am I going to this party?

We all make such small decisions in life but when it comes to the big ones we always look up to someone else who we think should suggest us what to do. In our heart we always let others decide for us.

We are afraid if our own decisions turn out to be wrong.

But when we do it we also miss opportunities to make decisions that can change our lives positively.

Let’s take an example- My father wants me to sit for IAS exam. I know myself and the fact that I can’t study that hard or probably I have other priorities. I still don’t say ‘no’ to this decision and invest a year for preparation. Right from the day one, I know I am not going to get through and I have the explanation ready. “You wanted me to take this chance. Why am I responsible?”

Let’s look at another scenario- I want to sit for IAS exam and nobody approves of this decision. I still stick to it, put in my heart and soul in it and try my level best not to give others an opportunity to point a finger at me and say-“See, told ya!”

That’s the difference one feels when one owns his decisions.

The key is in “OWNERSHIP”.

4.    Be alert and relaxed at the same time-

That sounds funny!

But that’s needed. How many of us find ourselves running through the work to meet deadlines?

‘Quite a many’ is the answer.

As a student, I felt almost every year that my performance pattern and productivity levels fluctuated depending upon the times of the year. Throughout the academic session, I would be very relaxed; doing things I found pleasure in, choosing if I wanted to study or not.

When the exams would be just 2 weeks away, I would become a Bazooka. I would start straining my brain and my body to meet the deadline, trying to cover my syllabus before the exams began. I would spend sleepless nights and stressed out days. I would be very alert. No doubt, I managed the stress and did it but I never felt I could achieve what I was capable of.

All we need to do is to balance our alert and relaxed moods. Let’s start studying throughout the year, without having the 11th hour anxiety.

I hope people who are not students can relate it with their occupations. We all have deadlines, don’t we?

The key is in “BALANCING”.

5.    How you think is everything. You are nothing more than what you think you are.

Think Success, not Failure.

This task, I would say, is the most important in the list. The faith that you can accomplish has to be unwavering. The minute you tell yourself “I can’t…”, you have already lost.

I’ve found that from time-to-time my attitude waivers. My taekwondo coach said “it’s okay to visit pity city, but you can’t stay there and there comes a time when you need to leave”.

The key is in “BEING POSITIVE”.

6.    Be responsible: Feel responsibility about tasks 1-5. Otherwise reading it is no use.

Enough said. 🙂


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