Success means different things to different people. It is the achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted. For instance, if your goal is to be a magician and you attain that goal, you are successful. If your goal is to be a mother, and you attain that goal, you are successful. If your goal is to become a millionaire, and you achieve that goal, you are successful.
You define what success means to you. No one knows you better than you know yourself. Success is not defined by financial status. Success is the result of inner joy and personal fulfillment.
Many people are influenced by unfulfilling societal, familial and professional pressures. Your dream is special and does not need to be redirected by others. Find your purpose and live for it. While reading this blog, I want you to consider “chasing happiness” because after you chase happiness, everything else will come.
I am going to be your big brother in this journey and give you the “straight talk” that you deserve. There will be no sugar coating or fluff, just real tools and strategies that will help you improve and take your life to the next level.
This is your winning game plan that will put you in a position to succeed; all you have to do is follow it.
If you choose to do the key things described in this blog on a daily basis, you will do well and be successful. The operative word is do. If you choose not to do the things to accomplish your dreams then that is your butt, not mine. I cannot make you do anything. I can only provide you with the information that will help you live life with a smile on your face. The choice is yours. If you are ready, let’s move forward, because you deserve to be successful.
Life should serve you
Life can be hard and challenging for many, but this does not have to apply to you. Conquering life is achievable if you can control your emotions and do not allow the challenges of daily living to diminish your spirit. You have the ability to create your future and bring happiness into your life. Happiness is achieved by fulfilling your life’s purpose and accomplishing your personal goals.
A good way to find out our purpose is through curiosity and exposure. One of the best things that we can do throughout this journey is to expose ourselves to different countries, cultures, sciences, arts, professions, ideas, etc. You might be exceptional at something and don’t even know it because you have never been exposed to it. Curiosity combined with exposure can lead us to new possibilities if we choose to be open-minded and not conquered by fear.
For example, I viewed a video online of a world class sprinter who decided to play rugby. He wasn’t the fastest sprinter in the world but once he switched sports he became the fastest player in rugby and became highly successful. No one could catch him. His success was due to having an open-mind and exposure.
Discovery of your purpose will come as long as you take the journey and expose yourself to new things. New experiences can lead you in a direction in which you can thrive. This builds your confidence because you know that you are doing what you are supposed to do. From this experience you can maneuver through life with joy, strength and enthusiasm because you will be living in a state of expectation. When you are confident, you will do things knowing that you will achieve your desired results. This makes you powerful.
We develop our confidence through experience and accomplishments. Through practice we put ourselves in the position to accomplish personal goals and make the right choices. Choices give us power, and if we choose to make the right decisions in life we can attract success. The “law of cause and effect” lets us know that for every cause, there is an effect. Basically, the results in our lives are determined by the choices we make.
Life experiences shape your personality and how you view the world. If your view of the world is not working for you, put on a new lens. Get a new perspective. You can get a new perspective by changing your belief system.
There are many that move to the United States from other countries and blossom. They do extremely well and become successful in a short time. Why is that? They come to the United States with a different lens. They see the U.S. as the land of opportunity, so they live in expectation. They are emotionally charged and work with tenacity to get ahead in life. They are competitive and don’t waste time in acting on opportunities that many of us take for granted. They understand that if they put in the same hard work in the U.S. as they did in their homeland, they will be extremely successful.
It takes plenty of money and effort to legally move to another country. Whatever fears you may have in starting over and chasing your dream are minimal compared to obstacles faced by those who chose to move to the United States. They have to learn a new language, obtain citizenship, find employment and adapt to a new culture while in pursuit of their dreams. Are you willing to compete and be just as hungry as they are?
Ask yourself, “Why not me?” Don’t be convinced that your current level will be the best you will ever achieve. Have you ever noticed that some successful people are no smarter than you, perhaps even dumber? Yeah, I know it’s frustrating, just as frustrating as when you see a man with a woman that’s way out of his league. If you’re a guy, maybe you’re asking yourself, “How did he get her?” Well, maybe it’s because he was the only guy with the courage to ask her out. Or some people assume that it’s the money; he only got her because he had money, or a nice car, etc. Well, that may or may not be true. Maybe the woman was attracted to what the guy represents; purpose, ambition, integrity, and drive (P.A.I.D). Who knows? The key is to not worry about others and become envious of their success. Your job is to focus on you.
Sometimes people miss out on opportunities due to their belief system or baggage. They allow their past experiences to sabotage their future. Some people hold on to things so much that when they are presented with the solution to their problem, they don’t even recognize it.
For example, some people are bitter because they have not found Mr. or Ms. Right. As years go by, these people complain that they can’t find a suitable mate. What they don’t realize is that when they were approached by their suitable mate years ago, they never gave them a chance and missed out on their happiness due to a faulty belief system. They had their defense mechanisms up and because of hyper-sensitivity and prejudgment, their rational thinking became clouded. They missed their opportunity due to baggage from past relationships. This is unfortunate and happens all the time.
Your past does not have to become your reality. Past failures, abuse or rejection can be used as building blocks for success. Your past can be used as a reference tool of “what worked and what didn’t work.” Our brains are designed for learning and we can learn from our mistakes. We must forgive ourselves and others to establish a bright future. Resentment gets us nowhere. Letting go of uncomfortable memories and relationships can free us to move forward and accomplish our dreams.
You can change your beliefs by trying something different and giving yourself new experiences. You might be saying to yourself, “I keep experiencing bad things and it’s hard for me to change my perspective on life.” My answer to that would be, “Make different choices.” If you want different experiences, make different choices. If you want better experiences, make better choices. We make better choices by practicing decision making. If you want to get better at driving, singing or anything else, you have to practice. Decision making is no different. Our results are determined by the choices we make.
Make decisions that benefit you in the long term instead of the short term. Successful people make the majority of their decisions based on long term benefits. When you are making a decision, ask yourself these questions: “Does this benefit me in the short term or the long term? Will I be more satisfied with the short term results of my actions or the long term results?”
Our decisions have ripple effects. As small as some decisions may seem, after time they can compound into a positive or a negative result. Imagine that you put $10 dollars a day in your savings account for a year and it never gets spent. Eventually you will have $3650.00. On the flip side, imagine that you average spending $10 a day on lunch or dinner. How much money have you lost in a year?
Or imagine that you were feeling extremely lazy and decided not to take your trash out for three months. What would your house smell like? How would this affect your mood or health? How would it affect your image or reputation? This is no different than psychological trash. Some of us have been stocking up on psychological trash for years. This also needs to be taken out.
Sometimes we think that we are benefiting from the results of some of our short term decisions, but in the long run we are not, and it comes back to bite us. Some call it karma. Your choices should benefit you in the long run and have the potential to bring more joy and satisfaction into your life.
Procrastination is your enemy and has no benefits. Beat procrastination with a bat. Successful people don’t wait until their back is against the wall to make things happen. Be proactive and start working on your projects. Small projects can turn into big projects if you let procrastination have its way. There are no benefits in stalling on something that needs to get done.
Procrastinating to pay a cell phone bill has frustrated many people. When they need their phone the most, it is cut off. During their service interruption, they may have missed out on an opportunity that could have changed their life for the better.
Have you ever procrastinated on writing a paper or studying for an exam? If you were like me you ended up all night, cramming and stressed out, because you waited too late to get your work done. The next morning you’re miserable and looking crazy because you did not get enough sleep. We shouldn’t do this to ourselves. Life tends to have plenty of punishment available; there is no need to add to it.
Imagine that you are at work and your boss tells you that you’re fired because you arrived one hour late. You tell him, “I’m not late. I’m right on time.” Then suddenly it dawns on you and you realize what happened. You meant to change your clocks for daylight savings but you procrastinated and eventually forgot. This is an example of how procrastination and putting off simple tasks can turn into a big problem.
Sometimes we desire to change society and complain that things are not fair. Well, guess what? Things will never be fair. This is the reality of the world that we live in. Society is not going to change for us. It will not take the time to personally consult with us before it makes or changes policies and procedures. It is our job to adapt and maneuver through life so that it becomes advantageous for us. We also need to understand that we have the ability to create our own opportunities and do not have to wait on others to create them for us. The faster we accept this, the faster we will be able to progress in our lives.
Know that success doesn’t happen overnight. It is developed. Yes, there are those lucky few that are exceptions, but the vast majority of successful people have been practicing their behaviors for years. They have a habitual way of thinking, doing, and reacting to situations. Successful people are disciplined and look for opportunities and learn from their mistakes. You can do this, too.
You are an inspiration to someone, whether you know it or not. I tell my clients all the time, “The streets are watching.” People are watching you from a distance and you don’t even know it. So choose to be an example of inspiration instead of frustration.
Learn from your past and correct your mistakes. Remember that mistakes are lessons that can be learned from. It’s a part of maturing and growing and does not need to be dwelled on. Dwelling on the past is like driving a car and looking through the rear view mirror. Eventually you will crash.
Haters or doubters will get in your way but you have to stay optimistic and confident. Monitor your self-talk and do not doubt yourself. Sometimes we need to keep things to ourselves. It is our duty to protect our minds from being polluted by negativity, doubt and fear from other people. Don’t be affected by subliminal hate (facial expressions, sabotage, passive aggressive behavior, etc.) and maintain your drive.
Affirm your belief in yourself. Turn your passwords into affirmations for your email, social media, and personal accounts. This is one way you can try to reprogram your self-talk. For example, your password for your email account could be “I am confident and successful.” Now every time you log in to one of your accounts you will always have to affirm to yourself that you are confident and successful.
Changing your self-talk is extremely important. You have the awesome ability to achieve your goals. There is a reason that you were put here on this earth and you have a destiny to fulfill. I want you to know that I believe in you and I want you to keep pushing ahead. Believe in your abilities and your dreams. Know your self-worth and do not allow others to intimidate you. Don’t allow others to manipulate you with the “power of fear.” Remember that fear is a dream killer.
Haters see something in you that they cannot do themselves. Sometimes they want you to be fearful, just like them. It makes them comfortable to know that they are not alone. Some will try to tear you down or talk you out of pursuing your dreams so they can stop feeling inadequate when they are next to you. But you are better than this. You will overcome discouragement and fear. You are an achiever.
The best suggestion that I have is to stay away from the people that are trying to stop your progression. The less energy and attention you give them, the better. You have goals to accomplish and wasting precious time hanging around negative people only slows your progress. Hang around people that have your best interests in mind and give constructive, honest, reliable feedback.
You decided to read this blog because you have the desire to be successful. Use it as your support if you don’t have anyone to support you. It can be challenging to be optimistic if you feel that you are alone. But you are not alone. Successful people have gone through the same struggles, insecurities, fears and doubts that you now face.
You can succeed; I know it is in you. You are no different than any other successful person; they were just provided information that you did not have access to. But now you do. No more excuses; it’s time to get to work.
Master your mind
If you can control your emotions, you can control your life. Think about it: people don’t do things because they are not in the mood to do them. Your mood is your emotion. People don’t do things because they “don’t feel like it.” Imagine if you were always in the mood to workout, study, socialize and conduct business on a high level.
How do we do this? We find out what drives us. We can use the power of movement, music, movies or nostalgia to change our mood. Have you ever listened to some music that made you want to get active? Have you ever watched a movie or television show that made you want to workout?
When you watch a movie you are not consciously aware of how the background music is changing your mood. You are just watching the movie and trying to enjoy the experience. But the makers of the film are trying to get you emotionally involved by playing scary music in the background to enhance your feeling of fear. Or they may play sad music in the background during a traumatic scene to make you feel sadness. During a car chase or action scene, they play upbeat music to get you excited. During this whole experience your focus is not on the background music, it is on the film. You have been unconsciously influenced by music and you didn’t even notice it.Let me be clear; I am not telling you to go watch movies all day. I am giving you an example of how music and film can influence your mood.
You can use the same tricks that movies and commercials use to influence your buying decisions and behavior. What makes you focused? Figure it out and do it before you need to study. Do things that will influence you to be the person you desire to be.
Body movement can change your mood. If you don’t feel like working out, jump up in the air 10 times and yell out, “Yes, I am motivated and excited to go workout!” Smile and clap your hands and start dancing to music that you enjoy. Then go put on gym clothes that you look really good in, and head to the gym without delay.
There are some people like myself that watch the training montages from movies or videos online to get in the mood to workout. Do whatever works for you. Know yourself and manipulate your mind to do what you want it to do. You are the puppet master. You hold the controls to motivate yourself.
When I want to be happy I will use the power of nostalgia and watch wrestling DVDs from the ‘80s. This reminds me of my childhood and makes me extremely happy. If I need to be calm or relaxed, I will draw or cut my hair.
One of things that I used to do as a kid that I have started doing again is collecting coins. I feel like a treasure hunter when I collect coins, and it improves my mood. Do the things that you liked doing when you were 10, 20, 30 or 40 years old. Chances are you probably still like doing them now.
Sometimes as we grow older we forget about the simple pleasures in life. We cannot forget that there is power in nostalgia and it can help us improve our mood if we choose to remember the positive things that we used to enjoy. Pull out those old toys or play tea party. Go and watch your old favorite cartoons or play tetherball.
If you’re an adult it is okay to play “make believe.” Visualization is extremely powerful and effective. You are practicing your script for the blockbuster film. Make movies in your mind that have you accomplishing your goals. You are the writer and director, so only play out movies that have you succeeding. The movie should be vivid and have emotional music, smells and colors that draw you in.
Everything starts with your mind. Whatever you imagine, you can create, just like an architect who has a design idea for a building in his head. He or she sketches out the design and puts it on paper. Then the architect gives the design to construction workers and they take the design and build the building. Now a building is manifested. Where did the building originate from? It originated from the architect’s mind. Your mind is what makes your body move. It is the seed of motivation, desires, dreams and creativity. It is our most valuable asset. We must protect our minds from harm and build up our emotional strength. Strong positive emotions, combined with positive actions, will bring you success.
Some of us have forgotten how to have the mind of a child. When we were children, we daydreamed and thought that anything was possible. We were optimistic and had no boundaries until people came into our lives and discouraged us. Some of us lost our confidence and changed our minds due to this. I’m here to tell you to that the show isn’t over. Continue to dream. Your dream can turn into a reality if you are confident and bold enough to go out and get it. Forget those people in the past or present. They are not in charge of your happiness, you are.
Develop a plan
If you want to be successful, you are going to need to develop a plan. Know what steps you will need to take to get to your goal. Even if you don’t write them down, at least know what your plans are. Set deadlines and be actively in pursuit of benchmarks. Check your progress, make adjustments and seek advice to make sure that you are on the right path.
Get organized. Know where everything is. There is nothing worse than scrambling and searching for information when you need it the most. It creates panic and confusion. This can lead to mistakes and wasted time.
One time I had to go dumpster diving because I inadvertently threw away my passport while I was searching for documents in a crisis situation. I ended up frustrated and stressed out. To make things worse, I was anointed with dumpster juice for my lack of organization and preparation. This will never happen again.
I believe that we, as humans, are the most comfortable when we are stable. Most of us find comfort in knowing what is going to happen in the future. Stability gives us a sense of security. I think this is the primary reason some people don’t quit their jobs and go into business for themselves. They feel secure knowing that they have a paycheck coming every two weeks. By taking a risk and starting a new business, they potentially lose their security blanket, aka paycheck.
Many children who are moved around from home to home and school to school are known to have behavioral issues. Why is this? They desire stability. Defense mechanisms develop due to fear and emotional instability. Losing friends and leaving a familiar place to move to a strange new environment can be stressful and very scary. These same feelings can occur if one breaks away from the comfort zone of a job and starts their own business.
So how do we overcome this sense of instability? We get organized. We bring stability into our lives by developing a schedule and creating a daily regimen. We develop discipline by following our regimen and find comfort in knowing what we are supposed to do and what to expect next. Some of the greatest athletes, military leaders and businessmen of all time were known to follow a regimen. If it helped them, it can help you.
We are groomed to follow a schedule. Most of us have followed a schedule from Kindergarten through the 12th grade. We follow schedules at work, at school and in the military. Prisoners even follow schedules. A schedule gives us structure and stability. We know what to expect and we are mentally prepared for it.
After high school some people begin to experience troubles because they are no longer following a schedule. Some would say that they have lost their structure and discipline. Maybe this is why some people go into the military. They may want to improve their personal development by entering a structured program that provides discipline while they are proudly serving their country.
Throughout life, you have to realize that you are going to have to jump through some hoops to get where you want to be. This journey will not be easy. People and situations are going to try to stop you from reaching your goal. This is where wisdom and preparation come into play. Always have a backup plan for every scenario. In substance abuse treatment, we call this a Relapse Prevention Plan.
Create a desired response or action for every challenging scenario that you may face. The goal is to prevent yourself from going back to your previous undesired behaviors. The prevention plan keeps you on track.
For example, let’s say you are trying to sell someone some cookies and they tell you, “I am not interested in buying cookies.” Your prevention plan for this response could be to keep a smile on your face and say, “Not a problem, here are some free samples and some coupons just in case you decide to change your mind. Have a good day.” And move on to the next person. Having planned responses or actions for different scenarios puts you at an advantage mentally. Rejection becomes more tolerable the more you practice dealing with it. In addition it makes you look powerful when you approach a person without fear and handle rejection well. It gives off the impression that you are confident and have a million options.
Don’t go back to your old behaviors or lose your vision or confidence because you get rejected. It happens, and it’s a part of life. Remember, rejection can sometimes be a test. People will test you to see how you react to certain situations.
Customer service is a dying art. I appreciate excellent customer service and so do other people. If they see you get an attitude after they turn you down, they will never buy from you in the future. Money is precious these days and no one will want to give their hard-earned money to someone with an attitude problem. This means that you were being phony in the first place.
Rejection can turn into an opportunity. Let’s play through this scenario again. The customer tells you, “I am not interested in buying cookies.” You then ask the customer, “Well, what are you interested in buying?” Whoa! The door of opportunity just opened. Do you see the difference? You might have some almonds that the customer is interested in buying. Who knows?
Small accomplishments build confidence. The more you accomplish, the more confident you become. The more experience you have, the more confident you become. Experience combined with accomplishments builds confidence.
In my opinion, energy is one of the most important things that you need to have to be successful. Without energy you cannot put your plans into action. Some of the most successful people in world have an extreme amount of energy. If you do not have the energy to accomplish tasks, how can you be successful? Successful people know that they need energy to get things done. Maybe this is why energy drinks are so popular.
After I graduated from college I lost my motivation to workout because I was no longer in that socially competitive environment. I had no purpose to do it anymore. Basically I got comfortable. In college, I was around good-looking women every day so I wanted to look my best. My friend Delali and I would have shoe battles to see who had the best sneakers. I used to work out at the gym with my friend Kirk to make sure that we were ready for Fall, Spring and Summer semesters.
Fast forward to real life where I entered into a workplace environment in which the majority of the people didn’t really care about their personal appearance. I adapted to my environment and ended up getting fat. My work consisted of sitting at a desk all day. Monday through Friday I would desperately rush out of my confined office space to break free and get some fast food for lunch. How did I get to the fast food chain? You guessed it; I drove there. This was a big difference from my college life. When I was in college I walked everywhere and it helped me stay in shape. I probably walked at least three miles a day navigating through campus.
Some people may think that their energy is decreasing due to age. I would argue that our energy decreases due to our habits. As I mentioned earlier, I could not muster the motivation to exercise because I was no longer in my college environment. Then one day it clicked.
If I would not work out to look good physically, I would have to find another reason to exercise. The reason that worked for me was energy. I would go to the gym with the purpose of gaining energy. My purpose changed my motivation. I needed a high level of energy to accomplish my professional goals. My success required energy so I was driven to obtain it. My pursuit of success motivated me to exercise. Energy was and still is required for me to perform at optimum levels. It is your job to find out what will motivate you. Here is your formula for motivation. Strong purpose, plus strong emotion, equals motivation.
Energy is a sign of vitality. It is something that everyone wants to be around. Everyone wants to be outside on a beautiful sunny day. The sun is energy and it brings life to the Earth. People need energy. Just like the sun attracts people outside, you can attract others to you with your energy and enthusiasm. Go outside and get some sunlight. Bring passion and enthusiasm to what you do. And remember, a smile can do wonders.
One good way to energize and charge your battery is to take a nap during lunch. There are benefits in the power nap. Some countries call it a siesta. That used to be my favorite part of the day when I was in Pre-K and Kindergarten. Your siesta or nap doesn’t have to be long. Twenty minutes can do wonders. Try it out and see how you feel.
Eat healthy and drink plenty of water. I cannot believe that I am actually writing this. I must be getting old. Get your vitamins in by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. We wouldn’t risk damaging our car by putting sugar in the gas tank, so why do we damage our bodies with unhealthy food? “Because it tastes good!” Okay, you got me. But try to do better for your sake.
One thing that is critical for success is enthusiasm. You should enjoy what you do and be passionate about it. People should be able to feel and see the energy emitted from you. When you speak, people should be able to hear the enthusiasm in your voice. When you sleep at night, you might dream of new ways to make your ideas better. You may keep a notepad handy everywhere you go, just in case a new idea emerges. Your experience is so gratifying that you might miss out on meals and sleep in order to work on your projects. This kind of energy can be contagious and passed to other people. Some describe this as the “transfer of energy.”
Have you ever looked forward to going to work because you knew someone who was cool would be there? And once you got there, their good vibes and energy rubbed off on you? You felt good, time flew by and everything went smoothly. That was the transfer of positive energy.
Or have you ever walked into a room and could tell that the people in the room had been arguing? It was like you could feel the tension in the room. That is negative energy. Then you left the room feeling weird and it kind of threw off your mood a little bit. That negative energy was transferred to you.
Let’s say that today you have an interview for a position that you’re really excited about. This is the perfect profession for you and it caters to all of your strengths. You are in the house getting prepared for your interview and your spouse is complaining about something that has him/her in a bad mood. You try to ignore the situation but their bad vibes end up rubbing off on you. During your interview you display poor body language, confidence and energy. Your mind is partially somewhere else and you have just ruined your chance of obtaining your ideal career.
Do not allow people to transfer their bad energy or vibes to you. Transfers of energy occur if you allow them to occur. If someone is in a bad mood, let them be in a bad mood alone. Use the strategies discussed earlier to keep your mood positive. Bad moods block blessings and opportunities.
Life is a game. There is no way of getting away from this reality. The faster you recognize this aspect of life, the better off you will be. The game has changed since our parents and grandparents played it. A college degree is not what it is used to be, and there are different rules now.
Simply put, if you want to increase your chances of being successful, you have to specialize. You need to have a niche or brand that separates you from the pack. Bring something to the table that few people can bring. Find out what other people are missing and give it to them. Go after certifications, licenses and specializations.
Pursue things that are not advertised and that the majority of people are not thinking about. According to culinaryschools.com, an established Food Stylist can make $450-$800 a day. These are the people who style or make food for commercials, cookbooks and movies. Have you ever wondered why the food looks better on TV than it does in person? These are the people who are responsible for that.
For some weird reason I wondered who wrote the scripts for infomercials. Direct Response TV Producers do this. They use consumer psychology to make people want to buy products during infomercials. This is also a different avenue that one could consider as a career choice.
What is a Stenotype Operator? How do you become a Foley Artist? How do you manufacture traffic safety signs and aluminum sign blanks? How do you get into Robotic Repair? How do you start a Trauma Cleanup business? How do you become a Polygraph Examiner? How do you become a Deep Sea Welder? How do you start a Toy Cleaning Service? I don’t know, but I want you to consider doing things that no one else is thinking about. Get specialized, certified and licensed in things that put you in high demand.
If you are specialized and few people know how to do what you do, an employer or vendor has to compensate you royally just to keep you around. This is the “law of compensation.” Your specialized skill or niche puts you in high demand.
Seek education and information. Education will get you through the front door, but information will get you in the back door where all the real money is. There are people in this world who are “gatekeepers” of information. Go after information and pursue it tenaciously. Once you get it, act on it. Don’t waste time playing around because the longer you wait, the more hoops you will have to jump through. Hoops or prerequisites are created to stop others from pursuing these opportunities. These can be in the form of degrees, certifications, experience and licenses.
Gatekeepers create hoops to weed out the competition and see who is really serious. Let’s be honest. Most people are not serious. Once they see all of the hoops that they have to jump through to get to their desired goal, they will stop pursuing it. Why is that? We live in a microwave society and have been conditioned to obtain our desires quickly. Most people do not want to wait. This puts patient people at an advantage. Practicing delayed gratification is important for success. It separates you from the pack and shows that you can commit to something.
Once again, this is a game. If there are a lot of hoops to jump through, it is probably extremely profitable or advantageous. Save yourself some time and frustration. Act on it early. Jump through the least amount of hoops possible. If you get into the game late, don’t give the gatekeepers a reason to tell you no. Be patient and jump through all of those hoops. Get every certification, license, degree, or apprenticeship that relates to the field that you are trying to break into. It will pay off in the long run.
According to investopedia.com, your odds of becoming a millionaire are one in 106 and of earning a six figure income are one in 23. Ask yourself, “Why not me?” It is possible. Those are great odds. Statistically, one out of 23 people you see walking down the street makes at least $100,000. This is a game changer. It’s easier to make money being different than being like everyone else and chasing the lotto dream. According to galottery.com, your odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are one in 175,711, 536.
I’ll even tell you something that I’ve noticed. It is my opinion that rich people make the majority of their money off of the poor and uninformed. How is the lottery any different? Have you ever asked yourself if the lottery is going to payout $300 million to a jackpot winner, how much money did the lottery make off of that $300 million dollar investment?
Once again, life is a game. Pay attention to the patterns. They just sold you a dream for $1 or more. The last time I checked dreams are free. Are you a vulture or are you an eagle? Vultures are scavengers and will accept leftovers that a predator left behind. They don’t know how to hunt. Be an eagle and go get your own meal. Use your great vision. You don’t need anyone to hunt for you because you are self-sufficient. You can get it anytime you want to and don’t have to wait on a handout or left behind scraps. Instead of wasting money on get-rich-quick schemes and lotto tickets, work on your specialized niche and skill. Separate yourself from all of those vultures out there and be an eagle.
Train like a boxer
One sport that I highly respect is boxing. A boxer will go on a strict diet, stop having sex and go on a grueling training regimen for 3 months for a 50/50 shot at winning a fight. I want to emphasize the 50/50 shot at winning. The boxer will do all of this work and he still has a 50% chance of losing. I would argue that if we prepped ourselves like a boxer, we would achieve many of our goals. Are you training to get your husband/wife? Are you training to get your business? Are you working on your weaknesses so you can get what you want out of life? Are you training like a boxer?
I want you to put yourself in training mode. Decide what adjustments you have to make to be successful. Change is hard but adjustments are easy. These adjustments do not have to be big or overwhelming. They can be small and something that you can live with and build on.
One must have discipline to be successful. Professional boxers and many other athletes have developed discipline to perform on an elite level. Discipline is also what separates successful people from the pack. Believe in what you are doing and be dedicated.
Some people are envious of successful people. But they do not know what price those successful people had to pay to get where they are in life. Those on the outside looking in only see the end result; they never saw the struggle. What did those successful people sacrifice? Some sacrificed sleep, partying, friends, new clothes, family, cars, etc. What are you willing to sacrifice?
When I played football my coach always used to say, “Men, you have to pay the price.” He was right. Everything has a price. What are you willing to pay? If you pay a little, you get a little. If you pay a lot, you get a lot. As I write this book I’m choosing to sacrifice my sleep. Although I’d rather be sleeping right now, I see the bigger picture. I am confident that I will have more restful nights after this book is published.
Everything has a different price and a different reward. A bodybuilder sacrifices his social life, diet, and relaxation to get large muscles. That is the cost. What are you willing to give up to achieve your dream or goal? Invest in your dream like you invest in reality shows, sports, drugs or alcohol, video games, social media, texting, etc., and see how much more you accomplish.
Do things that fulfill you and make you happy. Live to be your ideal self. If you don’t take care of yourself, how will you take care of the people you love? Ask yourself, “What do I have to do to become my ideal self?” How much will you weigh? What languages will you speak? What career will you have? Where will you travel? What are the things that you have to start doing today to accomplish these goals? What steps do you have to take right now? Write it down on a sheet of paper and develop an action plan.
This is the part of the book where we deal with reality. We call it work. You cannot get away from it. Every successful person that I have ever known or read about has been recognized as a hard or smart worker. You cannot be lazy. Even a smart worker will invest some hard work to develop an automated system. Either way, you have to put in some work.
Work is good! Yes, I said it. Work is good. Hard work makes you appreciate the things that you have gained through your labor and sacrifice. It gives extra value to your purchases because you know how hard you worked to get them. Your accomplishments will be more personal and you will not allow anyone to disrespect them.
Appreciate the things that you have, even if they are not exactly what you want right now. Appreciation is another way of showing respect and a great way to get more. Have you ever noticed that your car drives better after you wash it? If you neglect your car maintenance needs, your car will start breaking down on you. Your body is the same way. Appreciate your body and take care of it. The more you appreciate what you have, the more you will get.
Respect your things and respect yourself. Treat yourself better than anyone could ever treat you. Invest in your wellbeing mentally, physically and spiritually. Your happiness should be determined by you and should always be in your control. Keep working on yourself and in due time you will get what you deserve---as long as you don’t give up.
Pass your tests
When I was in elementary school, if someone failed their grade, they had to take it over again. That is no different than life. Whether your test is patience, discipline, or the wherewithal to stop dating the wrong type of man/woman, you will be tested over and over again until you pass your test. Your objective in life is to pass your tests. If you pass your test, you will be elevated to the next level. This is just like being promoted to the next grade in elementary school. By passing your personal tests you are letting the universe know that you are ready for more.
Only you know what personal tests you have to pass to become successful. The benefit of passing your test is that you will improve on your weaknesses by developing discipline, which will ultimately lead to a more successful life. You will also get promoted to the next level. After you pass your first test you will be given a second test to pass. Then a third test, then a fourth…and so on and so forth. One of my favorite motivational speakers, Les Brown, once said, “If you do what is easy, your life will be hard. If you do what is hard, your life will be easy.” Think about it.
One of the tests that I had to pass was patience. How could I be a counselor and not have patience? Clients would not want to work with me and my practice would suffer. So I worked on it. If you want to get better at anything, whether it’s cooking, algebra or public speaking, one of the things that you have to do is practice.
One of the things that I did to practice my patience was to walk my trash to the dumpster instead of placing it on the hood of my car and driving it to the garbage disposal in my apartment complex. Yes, it took me longer to get rid of the trash, but I did not care because I was practicing my patience.
When I was 29 years old, I said enough was enough and started working on passing my test. I even started working on puzzles to improve my patience. I would not leave the table until I completed each puzzle. I know it seems weird to some, but I did this because I was investing in my future. I wanted to pass my test so I would be elevated to the next level in my career.
If you notice, I invested time, not money. Time is something that we do not get back and is highly valuable. To this day I still say, “I’d rather waste money than time.” It is one area in which all humans are equal. We all have 24 hours in a day. What will you do with your 24 hours?
What test do you need to pass? What do you need to work on? What tests do you keep failing over and over again? One test that I notice that people keep failing is fear. When you think of fear, I want you to equate that with “dream killer”. Fear is a dream killer. If you want to accomplish your dreams or goals you cannot be fearful. You have to be courageous. Practice being courageous and take chances that will improve your life.
Do not let fear stop you. Think of any famous celebrity, successful businessman, or inventor. One thing that they all had in common was courage. Anyone who has accomplished anything of great significance has been courageous.
Follow the signs
What is the purpose of street signs? Street signs give us direction. These signs tell us what the speed limit is and whether we should go or stop. Some signs tell us to slow down and alert us if there is a railroad crossing ahead. Signs warn us of danger and inform us that we should be cautious. If we choose to ignore these signs, we could potentially crash and face severe injury or possible death.
Our life is no different. We are given signs but sometimes we choose to ignore them. This is why our lives end up in a wreck. We fail to follow the signs. Sometimes signs lead us in a certain direction but we keep on detouring because we are hard- headed and would rather take the long route. Why go through this? Why waste time and energy? When I was growing up my dad used to always tell me, “You can learn the easy way, or you can learn the hard way.” At 33 years old, I now choose the easy way.
Many of us can see signs from a distance. I personally like to learn from others’ mistakes. I find out what they did wrong so I make sure I don’t do it. But I also study people who are more successful than I am and follow their patterns.
It is very important to follow the signs. I was lead to become an Alcohol and Drug Counselor and fought it every step of the way. I was a case manager at a treatment facility and my supervisor and co-workers kept on telling me to get my Alcohol and Drug Credentials. I was like, “Nope.” Eventually I got laid off because the two-year grant that I was hired for ended. For a year I was unemployed and broke. I eventually got a lucky break and ended up working at a DUI School, where I taught Defensive Driving and DUI classes on a part-time basis. This gave me barely enough money to pay my rent. Because my back was against the wall, I decided to obtain my Alcohol and Drug Credential and go into business for myself. I am happier now and I make more money than I did at the treatment facility.
I went through four years of struggle because I wanted to be hard-headed and not follow the signs. I could have had this success at 29 instead of 33. How much further along would I be now if I had started my business at 29? Who knows? But I am grateful for that situation and I used it as a stepping stone to lead me to where I am today. I am ecstatic that I finally passed that test. What signs do you need to follow?
If you are currently in high school or college, I want you to pay close attention to this part. What is cool in high school/college is not cool in adulthood. Basically, being “cool” does not pay the bills. No one is saying, “Oh I think this guy is cool, I’m going to give him some money.” Nope! Play it cool if you want to. Your feelings may get hurt and you might end up broke! The roles reverse in adulthood. Those who sacrifice, show patience, study and work hard are the ones who are cool.
Some of the people that were considered “cool” at my high school didn’t even want to show up to our 10 year reunion because they were ashamed of where they ended up in life. I flew from Georgia to California for my reunion, and it was a sad sight to see. So many people were missing. I even heard that some of them didn’t show up because they had to pay $35 for the ticket to the reunion. I was pissed. These fools were at least 28 years old and they couldn’t afford a $35 dollar ticket for their high school reunion. I’ve spent more than that on a t-shirt. My plane ticket alone was over $350. Don’t let this happen to you.
Now that you have your goal in mind and destination in sight, it is time to get started. For many people this is the hardest part. Don’t worry, I am here to ease your pain and let you know that there is a benefit to starting. I call it momentum. Have you ever tried to run down a hill and then stop? Was it hard for you to stop, or was it easy? I would assume that it was hard. Why? Because you had momentum. It is harder to break up with someone after five years as opposed to five months. Why? Because there is momentum. Or have you ever watched your favorite team play on TV and they were getting their butts kicked by the opposing team and then someone on your team made a great play and woke your team up and changed the momentum? Your team started making all of the right plays and had the other team on their heels. Your team was scoring left and right and things changed for the better due to a shift in momentum. This can happen for you as well, but you have to get in the game.
Momentum can work in two different ways, positively or negatively. If you know this law, you can use it to your advantage. For example, some say, “It’s harder to go back to school once you have stopped.” Why? Because the momentum is lost. Many recommend that high school students go to college immediately after graduation to build on their momentum and make the transition easier. These students are already used to doing school-work and following a schedule, so the progression is easy. Or you might have heard of this saying: “Once you start working out, don’t stop. Because it’s harder to start back up once you have stopped.” Why is that? This occurs because you have lost momentum.
Whatever good you have going in your life, keep doing it. Build on that momentum. You do not want to lose it. Some musicians take years off after they have made millions and gained popularity. Then they struggle to make new music that was just as popular as their old music when they decide to come back. Don’t let this happen to you. Don’t stop. Keep working; you will only improve and get better. Build your momentum or you will lose it.
If you have anything going bad in your life, recognize the “law of momentum” and stop it immediately. Remember, it is harder to start back up once you have stopped. But you also have to stop before it has developed significant momentum or become a habit. Early intervention is always best when dealing with negative momentum. Be proactive and slow its speed by stopping it quickly, before it becomes a habit that is hard to control.
If a car’s emergency brake is released and it rolls in front of you traveling at one mile per hour you could easily step in front of the car and stop it with your body weight. But if it was traveling 60 miles per hour and had more momentum, it could potentially kill you. I used this example in order to stress to you that you have to know when to cut bad habits off; the earlier, the better. Build up positive momentum and keep building on your success.
Let me be clear about something. Make sure that you know when to stop working on something that is not gaining momentum. For example, if you are continuously spending more money than you are making on a business venture, it is probably time for you to try something else. Maybe this is not the business for you. Remember to follow the signs. Don’t be delusional. Be open to feedback from others, even if you don’t like it. Everyone is not a hater. Throw your ego in the backseat so you can put your success in the front. You need to hear the truth. It only saves you time, energy and money.
Choose to run down the hill and start working on your dream. Build the momentum. Things can only get better as long as you don’t give up. If your dream coincides with your natural talent and purpose, you will be successful.
Timing is everything
It is what it is. Frustration will come and some days will be hard. If you have to vent to someone to get through the day, go ahead and make it happen. As long as you don’t give up. Go workout, if you have to, and take small breaks from your project.
Everything happens in due season and in the right timing. It is our job to be prepared for our season to come along. I remember back when I was out of work and I was mad that no one was offering me a job. I had interview after interview and I knew I was qualified for these jobs and interviewed well. I became discouraged and got down on myself because I could not figure out why I was not offered a job. Fast forward three months later: I was offered a position that was perfect for me. It allowed me to travel and work with others as well as independently. It catered to all of my strengths and skill sets. It was the perfect job. I thought to myself, “I’m so happy I did not get those other jobs. I would have missed out on this great opportunity.” That job became a stepping stone that led me to go into business for myself. Things happen for a reason and timing is everything. You have to be patient because it will all make sense in the end.
Patience is something that is developed over time and can be practiced.
As I mentioned in an earlier chapter, learning to wait for delayed gratification is highly important. As a society we have been conditioned to seek instant gratification. This can get us in trouble. Fast food is convenient and easy but if you keep eating it long enough on a regular basis, you may end up with some health problems.
It is very important for us to take our time and develop our skills. Having patience can be a struggle when you feel like your back is against the wall but it is necessary. This is how people end up in prison. Instead of being patient, they choose to commit crimes so they can get quick money and then they end up behind bars. Don’t be controlled by your emotions when your back is against the wall. This is when people make the majority of their stupid decisions. Remember to think about the long-term consequences. What is the purpose of rushing in the first place? Most of the time these are not life and death situations. Taking unnecessary risks for the purpose of protecting your ego is simply not worth it.
Struggle is a part of life and builds character. Anything that comes too easy is usually not appreciated or held in great value. We must learn to put our egos aside and swallow our pride. It’s okay to ask for help and admit that we are going through some hard times. Accepting this, makes us wiser.
Don’t get caught up with keeping up with the Joneses and all of that other stuff. If someone’s value of you is based on what kind of car you drive, the clothes you wear or how much you have in your bank account, you need to get rid of them. They are not genuine and you do not need them in your life.
Many people try to project an image of success for people who care nothing about them. More than likely, those people are posing as well. I call them magicians. They project an image of success, but it is really an illusion. We see what they want us to see. Don’t get caught up in being envious of other people’s lives. You never know what is going on behind closed doors. They may look good on the outside, but good magicians cover up and hide all kinds of issues including substance abuse, infidelity, criminal activity, physical abuse, and other things. Everyone pays a price and you may not be willing to pay theirs.
Some of my worst work has been the result of doing it too fast. I have learned my lesson and I work on projects at a comfortable pace. I don’t rush them unless it is truly necessary. I know myself and I know my speed. It is important that you know your speed as well.
Some people are turtles, some are rabbits and others are roadrunners. Make sure you know which one you are. This helps you identify how you need to operate your life. Basically, you don’t want to be a turtle working a job that requires you to be a roadrunner. You have just set yourself up for a loss and you will probably end up terminated. If you are a roadrunner you do not want to date someone that is a turtle. They will annoy you until your patience runs out and you will end up breaking up. Set yourself up for success and know your speed.
Don’t change your speed based on societal influences. Have healthy self-esteem. Don’t be pressured into anything. Have a vision for yourself. If you have a clear vision of what you want for yourself and someone comes into your life that does not fit that vision, you can dismiss them quickly! Don’t waste your time dealing with them, because you already know your path. If you don’t know your path, someone will come into your life and make one for you.
Know that some things come faster and slower than others. This is ok. It’s a part of life and is the process. Intuition is extremely important, and you have to follow your gut. If something feels good, and you are prepared for it, move on it. How will you know if it will work out if you do not try? You have to try. If you do not, how will you know if there are adjustments to be made? Success is a learning process.
Be persistent and don’t give up. My grandpa’s favorite saying was, “I may give out, but I will never give up.” Apply this to your life. You have to wait on your time. Sometimes we think we are ready for opportunities when we really are not. Sometimes we may have to improve our work ethic, skills, or maturity level to receive the things that we desire. Don’t get discouraged or desperate. Opportunities will show up when you are ready for them. With this being said, do not wait for opportunities to fall into your lap. You have to go after them.
Always be ethical. I cannot stress this point enough. Do not go after the quick come up or the get rich quick schemes. They will always bite you in the butt. Karma is real and you have to protect your reputation and legacy at all costs. Do good work and treat people fairly. Be honest and give excellent customer service in whatever field you choose to be in. Word of mouth is the best advertising but it can also be the worst, depending on what side of the spectrum you are on.
Be a blessing to others and give your time or services for free. Sponsor a team or donate to charity. Sow into other’s lives and try to make someone’s life easier. The more you give, the more you will receive if you are genuine and not concerned with getting something in return.
If you want to learn more about success, purchase my book "How to be successful with or without a college degree" on this website. It will give you more insight and strategies on how to be successful. You can also schedule private one -on -one coaching sessions with me at 404-503-8069.
Wishing you the best, on your road to success.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.