Two simple steps that are hard to follow
Success is an elusive target sought by all. Most people feel they haven’t attained it. The first problem is how we define success. Most people think of wealth or fame when they think of success. The famous UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden defined success as follows:
“Success is peace of mind attained only through self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best of which you’re capable.”
This definition is helpful, as you can apply it in any area of your life. With a proper definition, the second problem is how to achieve success.
In an earlier article I wrote about how I lost 40 pounds in five months. For years I was unhappy with my weight and general health. I knew that I needed to consume less sugar and refined carbohydrates. My mid morning and mid afternoon cravings made this very hard. Things finally changed for me when I reduced my refined carbohydrate intake. And, I increased my healthy fat intake. Finally, I lost weight and my general well-being improved. I had achieved success in my diet goal.
This experience reinforced how to guarantee success. You need to do two things to guarantee success. First you need to start doing the right things. Second you need to stop doing the wrong things. It’s that simple. Stop the bad and begin the good. Reduce your bad habits and increase the good ones. This is so simple it sounds too good to be true. Let’s look at some real life examples.
Farming is as old as the human race. With all the advances in technology farming still consist of two things. If you’re planting, you need to feed and weed. Successful farmers will tell you that planting the best seeds doesn’t guarantee success. You need to provide the right amount of water and nutrients. At the same time, you also need to pull out any weeds that compete for those resource. A farmer thus has to take care of the good, while also eliminating the bad.
Diet and fitness fads come and go. One axiom stood the test of time. To be healthy and fitter, you have to eat less and exercise more. It’s as simple as that, while also that difficult. To guarantee physical success there is no other recipe that works. I now understood that refined carbohydrates cause my food cravings. So, I was finally able to “eat less”. I didn’t have the self control to eat less (or healthier) while consuming these. My low carb high fat diet has made that possible. Losing the excess weight and feeling healthier, I now find exercising much easier. I doesn’t matter what your food and exercise believes are. To guarantee physical success, you must eat less bad foods and exercise more.
To guarantee success as a student you need to party less and study more. To guarantee success as an employee, you need to procrastinate less and develop a good work ethic. To guarantee success as a spouse, you have to stop being self-centered and be thankful for the good things in your spouse.
It doesn’t matter what goal setting system you use. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world. It doesn’t matter what sex you are or your race. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor. There is only two things that will guarantee your success. You need to stop doing the wrong things and start doing the right things.
Your Action Plan
1. Pinpoint the area in your life that needs success the most (e.g. personal, relational, professional).
2. Write down the things you are currently doing that’s hindering your success.
3. Write down the things that will increase you ability to achieve success.
4. Keep a weekly log of your progress in reducing (2) and increasing (3).
5. If you want to, find an accountability partner who will help you stay on track.