Success is a word that we come across every single day.
In conversations, in copywriting, in online courses and classes.
But I guess this comes as no surprise, because generally, whatever we do in life, we want to do it well.
We've explored the definition of the word "success" before, but today let's go one step further and consider the phrase..."personal success".
What does personal success mean to you?
Well, most people would agree that personal success is somewhat complex and nuanced.
At the very least, it's the result of various factors that all come together in a remarkable way...
Of course, the first factor that we mention on this personal development blog - is indeed personal development.
Why is personal development so vital to personal success?
Because in order to achieve success in life, you have to acknowledge that you haven't yet reached your full potential.
Successful people realize that there is always room for improvement, and it is this realization that helps them achieve one milestone after another.
Yes - personal success requires honesty and self-reflection.
But it's worth it, because once you accept the fact that you're not perfect, you commit to the lifelong pursuit of growth, excellence, and success.
Have you ever heard of the success iceberg?
It's a fantastic representation of the untold story of successful people.
Success is like an iceberg because there's much more to it than the glamorous end result that we often see.
Nothing worth having comes easy, and achieving success in a certain area of life often involves an intense array of experiences, feelings and actions: including late nights, sacrifices, failure, risks and more.
In other words, success involves perseverance.
You've got to repeatedly show up, even when it's the last thing you want to do.
This is how we really put the "personal" in personal success - because no one else can do this for you. Nobody else will ever feel the sweat, pain and tears you feel as you keep on going, against all odds.
But it's this perseverance that brings a thrilling level of personal satisfaction when you break your own records and achieve the impossible.
Another reason why the term personal success is very fitting is because you simply cannot compare your own success to that of others.
Especially if you want to maintain your joy.
Many times you will need to put your blinders on to avoid getting distracted, comparing yourself to others, or wasting time on non-important activities as you work towards a big goal.
Interestingly, this isn't the same as being totally oblivious of your surroundings and the terrain in which you operate.
Putting "success blinders" on is not naivety.
On the contrary, it's a strategic placement of attention.
Even the sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus.
A love for life is not just a result of personal success, it's a prerequisite.
We love being around people who just seem to overflow with enthusiasm, excitement and gratitude.
In addition, we remember them.
These people help us to have a more hopeful outlook in life, to understand that there is beauty is everything - even in difficult circumstances.
But instead of just relying on other people's energy, we ourselves can work to become this type of person.
Always remember that being optimistic isn't the opposite of being realistic - the two qualities can co-exist together.
However, when you have an unshakeable love for life, you tend to be more successful, because you find golden opportunities in the places that no one else is searching.
There is no personal success without personal accountability.
Personal accountability involves taking full responsibility for the outcomes of your actions. It's a quality that all good leaders possess.
Why is it so important?
Well, in life, people tend to attribute good results to themselves, and negative results to others.
We naturally want to take the credit for the things that go well in our lives, however we shy away when our flaws come to the surface.
However, to enjoy personal success, you have to be willing to take the good with the bad.
Again, it's related to what we talked about in point 1. Taking ownership of your mistakes and learning from them is the only way to keep leveling up in the game of life.
A solid work ethic is a powerful foundation for success.
It doesn't matter what you want in life, you're going to have to work hard for it.
As a result, a strong work ethic is one of the most valuable qualities that a person can develop from a young age.
Even before you've mapped out your goals in life, a healthy attitude towards work will help you achieve success in school.
When you eventually decide what you want to do, your work ethic will be the force through which you achieve it.
But that's not all.
Should you ever change your mind and venture down a different path, your work ethic will make the transition as smooth as possible.
You see, nothing in this world can take the place of good, old-fashioned persistence and hard work.
Talent will not. Genius will not. Even education will not.
Yes, hard work is not a new, flashy concept.
But it's the age-old secret to making things happen.
Delayed gratification is the ability to postpone something that you want now in order to attain something that you really want later on.
When you think of delayed gratification in your own life, what comes to mind? This is a key question for personal reflection.
Well, since we all have different goals, the sacrifices we will need to make to achieve them will all look different.
However, once you have identified your personal context for delayed gratification, do all that's in your power to keep your promise... the promise you made to yourself.
Related: 10 Best Books on Self-Discipline
When I speak about stubborn flexibility, I'm referencing a particular quote that I heard a while ago:
"Be stubborn about your goals but flexible about your methods.”
When you're on the road to success, things won't always go your way. You will have realizations that will make you feel like you're back to square one.
When you find yourself in such a situation, the last thing you should do is give up on your goals.
Always look for another way. And of course, if you need to, rest - but don't quit.
It's a delicate balance, but when you are flexible about the itsy bitsy details that don't matter so much, you'll create space for the things that ultimately matter the most.
You are a person. You have a body.
Therefore, personal success naturally involves looking after that body.
Truly successful people take personal care very seriously. They pay attention to all dimensions of their wellbeing - including their mental, physical, and emotional health.
They eat well, sleep well, and dress well.
They also aim to replace negative thoughts with positive ones, because they realize the connection that our mind has with our body.
It takes consistent effort and there is no shortcut. But it's worth it, because at the end of the day, the greatest wealth is health.
Last but not least, personal success involves other people.
Well, contrary to popular belief, success does not result from being selfish or working in isolation.
Anything good you get in life will come from bringing value to others. As a result, personal success involves thinking of other people's wellbeing as well as your own.
That's what I refer to as collaborative contribution - the giving and receiving of value - whether it's time, knowledge or physical resources.
As much as you seek to learn from those who are more experienced than you, find ways to help those who are less experienced than you.
By developing people skills, such as emotional intelligence, you will enjoy better interpersonal interactions and cultivate relationships that may launch you in several exciting, unexpected directions.
So there we have it, 10 factors that contribute to personal success. When you think about the successful people you know, you can likely identify some of the above qualities, if not all of them.
In my opinion, success isn't just a destination, it's a state that you can enjoy as you travel on the journey, too.
As you continue to live, learn, and grow, you will continue to define what personal success means to you.
Thanks for reading!
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