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How would you define success / successful? No, not the dictionary definition, or the generally accepted definition, but your personal definition. And, based upon your definition of what it means to be successful, are you? If so, that’s great, keep it going! If not, hold on and keep reading…
Not Yet There…
If you don’t consider yourself successful, despite your best efforts, it’s time to consider what holds you back. So, do you know what keeps you from being the best you? What keeps you from achieving success and reaching your highest ideals, goals, and dreams? There may be many things that hold you back, but for certain, no matter who you are, the following problems must be conquered if you are to level-up and succeed.
1. Mirror, Mirror
Yes, believe it or not, one of the top three reasons you are where your are is you. At some point along the challenging path toward success, the vast majority of us will blame someone or something other than ourselves for our lack of success. But, truth is, we ourselves bear that responsibility to a very large degree. In other words, you are the reason you are not successful.
Look in a mirror and ask yourself the following six questions. Be brutally honest with yourself–no coddling–and really listen to what your answers.
- Who or what do I usually blame for where I am today?
- Am I really working hard (and smart) and giving my all each day?
- Do I have a solid, written plan for leveling-up?
- How much time am I wasting each day? Each week?
- What unhelpful habits or mindsets do I need to release or fix?
- Am I willing to sacrifice comfort and do the work needed to succeed?
If your answers point to you as the problem, congratulations, now you know, and now you can do something about it.
2. Excuses, Excuses
Excuses: we all have them, that’s just how it is. Some excuses may be legitimate, but most are not; most are a way of avoiding the issue(s) we’d rather not face or confront head-on. For sure, it’s so easy, almost instinctual, to blame other people, or situations, that most of us don’t even recognize this issue in our own lives. Taking responsibility, on the other hand, is not easy, it requires honesty and hard, sometimes uncomfortable work. The honesty begins by answering this question, and the work begins thereafter, depending on your answer: Have you excused your excuses, or do you constantly excuse your excuses?
- If you’ve excused your excuses, you have learned (or are learning) to recognize them for what they are. And, you’ve shown them the exit–good riddance! You have decided to face the actual issues that the excuses spring from and tend to cover up. Now the work, and the transformation, begins.
- If you excuse your excuses, if you allow them space in your life and time to be what they are (dream killers), they will continue to hold you down.
Which will you choose?
3. Subpar par
What do the following have in common?
- Restaurants: Piazza Duomo, Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, The Inn at Little Washington, Eleven Madison Park, L’Enclume
- Hotels: Baur au Lac, Villa d’Este, Belmond Copacabana Palace, Claridge’s, Fifteen Beacon
- German car manufacturers: Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW, Porsche
- Apparel manufacturers: Louis Vuitton, GUCCI, Chanel, Cartier, Dior
- Ivy League Colleges: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Penn, Cornell
If you’re thinking, “This one is easy–they’re all overpriced!”, you are right, but you are also missing the root answer. What these expensive brands have in common is their ability to raise their standards and to keep their standards high. For the majority of the above list, it’s the high standards that allow them to produce high-end products and charge high-end prices.
Oddly enough, we often expect too little of ourselves and more of others. Are you holding yourself to high enough standards? On a scale of 0 to 5, 5 being the highest, how would you rank your standards for yourself in the following areas?
- Nourishing and strengthening your relationships
- Managing your finances
- The quality of the work you do or products you produce
- Your professionalism
- How you treat others
- How you treat yourself
- Your level of commitment to your goals
- Your values, ethics, and morals
- Etc, etc…
No matter where each of the above items ranks, I’d challenge you to challenge yourself and raise your standards. And when your higher standards have taken you to higher level, raise them again.
Yes, raise your standards, face your issues, take responsibility, do the work, and see just how quickly you begin to level-up.
Until next time, learn, grow, evolve!