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Many of the greatest minds of any generation have spent all the time they have left after their achievements desperately pursuing the keys to success. Having achieved such great things, they now sought to share the secret of their successes with the world. After reviewing and refuting many theories in this regard, many have given up without ever truly finding an answer. Others have been left to believe that the secret to success lies with the cards we are dealt or the opportunities we are given. Still, others are of the view that genetics will determine how successful one becomes. But the truth is that none of us were born to be ordinary and people of similar upbringings often to do enjoy the same level of success. Which happy parents look down at their newborn child and imagines them being just average or just doing enough to get by? None in their right minds of course. We all imagine the great things our children will do, say and accomplish from before they are conceived. And when those children are born, we do all that we can to give them the best possible start to what we hope will be a successful life. Some of these children will be born to parents with great wealth, while others will have to struggle with extremely limited financial resources. But no one knows for sure which of them will become successful. So what really is the key to success? Motivation!
Motivation is the one thing that distinguishes the great minds of our world from people who simply aim to get by. How many times have you heard about successful individuals crazily going without food, rest or relaxation because they are just too focused on their aspirations to stop for the mundane activities of life? Or how many times have you heard about people who were fed up with their lot in life and then worked tirelessly to become successful? These kinds of individuals are they type that change the world with new inventions, ingenious business ideas or earth shattering theories. These are the individuals we describe as successful; industry leaders, world-renowned scientists, tech gurus, business masterminds and the list goes on.
How can you be successful? You too need to be that intrinsically motivated as well. Motivation is a very delicate achievement. It requires optimizing our environment, minds, and bodies in order to achieve the best possible outcomes. This book will help you unlock your true potential by showing you the keys to becoming so motivated that reaching your goals will seem like the only logical result of your actions.
Chapter 1 – Define Success on Your Own Terms
“Your true success in life begins only when you make the commitment to become excellent at what you do.” —Brian Tracy “Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” —John Wooden “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” – Steve Jobs Success, like happiness, is an individual pursuit. For years, we have been taught that success is all about making a lot of money. That is also what we have inadvertently taught our children and in turn, they too will pass on this folly to their children. You might never have heard your parents speak about success but isn’t it true that they often encouraged you to become a Lawyer or Doctor, long before you were old enough to know what you are good at?
Why do you think this is the case? The prominence associated with these jobs may only be part of the reasons we subtly push our children in that direction. But for the most part, it is the money that they find attractive. Even if they or their children are accomplished within their respective areas of expertise but are struggling financially, they find it hard to regard this as success. The result of this kind of narrow-minded thinking is a society of people who are unhappy, depressed or underachieving because they are stuck in a career they hate or miserable because they can never live up to the unrealistic expectations set for and are being forcefully imposed upon them. Just think about all the wealthy celebrities you know that have committed suicide or are fighting hard to recover from a drug addiction.
While being stable or even well off financially is often the result of much diligence and hard work, it is not the only true measure of success. There is no real satisfaction from being rich if you do not truly enjoy what you do. If you are struggling to make ends meet however, it is only natural to want a better life for yourself and your children. I would never encourage you to stop pushing yourself to earn enough to care for the needs of your family. But when your happiness and even the affection you have for your children is hinged solely on wealth or material possessions, I have to draw the line.
That being said, what really makes a person successful? Here is what some of the greatest minds of this century have to say on the matter.
“Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be.”– Zig Ziglar
“However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.” - Stephen Hawking
“The starting point of all achievement is desire.” - Napoleon Hill As you can see, each one has their own opinions about the boundaries within which we define success. That is because success means totally different things to different people. In fact, even those with great wealth may not see themselves as successful. There is, however, one common theme in these sayings. Success is no accident. Success achieved as a result of working hard at whatever you do.
It is impossible to become successful by just doing enough to get by. Anyone can be average. If your aim is to be successful, you must have such a burning desire to be first, to do more or even to do better, that it pains you stop working towards these goals. Your aspirations should greet you every morning and daintily waltz about in your dreams every night. And no matter what obstacle presents itself, you will always keep telling yourself that you can’t stop and you won’t stop.
That kind of burning desire is what I call motivation. Motivation is the force that compels us to strive for success, helps us to unlock the full potential of our minds and keeps us continually focused on and committed to attaining our goals. Motivation is thus the universal key to success. It is impossible to have this kind of drive if you do not truly love what you do and if you are not confident enough to think you are able to do it well. That is why it is so crucial for you to define success on your own terms. Which achievement do you think is worth pursuing? Which accomplishment do you yearn to share with your children and grandchildren? That is the aspiration that will make you a success and you should never stop trying to make these dreams a reality. Realism is a very important aspect of being motivated to succeed. The next chapter is designed to help you stay motivated by teaching you to set realistic goals.
Chapter 2 – Motivation Key #1: Setting Realistic Goals
A goal by definition is the end result of achieving your objectives. Some people hope to achieve success by becoming the first to walk on unexplored planets, others aspire to fly aircraft that have not yet been invented and still, others hope to become billionaires overnight. Without the requisite years of training or skills, these goals may not be possible and thus lack the realism I encourage. When we hinge our success and by extension our happiness, on achieving goals that may always be out of our reach for whatever reason, what kind of enjoyment will we find in life when we fail to achieve them? Bear in mind, however, that there is a huge difference between setting realistic goals and limiting yourself. That is why my encouragement to you is to set goals that are S.M.A.R.T and thus realistic.
The acronym S.M.A.R.T means that our goals will be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound. When we employ this kind of framework to analyze our goals, we are less likely to end up disappointed and it will be easier for us to stay motivated to work towards this goal. If your aim is to simply invent something great, sometime in the course of your life, that goal would neither be specific, measurable, achievable or time bound. Working towards a goal that indeterminate will lead you in circles and be very discouraging. If your goals are to be considered realistic, they must meet up to the requirements of all the other aspects of your S.M.A.R.T analysis. So even if you hope to achieve great things by the time you are twenty-three but have not really set a specific means to achieve this goal, you will not be very motivated to get much done. S.M.A.R.T objectives ensure that you direct your efforts in the right direction and do not waste time trying to re-invent the wheel or striking the air.
Working towards something that is impossible for whatever reason will leave us too discouraged to achieve much else. But this is a very touchy topic for me because men like the great Steve Jobs, Ronald Wayne, and Steve Wozniak, did indeed achieve what was thought impossible by their contemporaries when they invented Apple Inc. So where does one draw the line between realistic and ludicrous? Ask yourself these questions: