To achieve success and fulfillment in virtually any endeavour one wishes to undertake, there is a common set of conditions that must be met. Every great man and woman throughout the pages of history has been a living testament to the prerequisites of achievement, which I call the “Eight Principles of Successful Living.”
PRINCIPLE #1: A White Hot Desire
Nothing of any real consequence happens until a person becomes passionate about achieving a specific outcome or objective.
Lukewarm desire does not work! Passion stimulates power!
Tentative actions stem from tentative thoughts. Both lack the power to self motivate or influence others. Tentative thoughts produce weak emotions, which create a disappointing outcome or circumstance. People who ultimately achieve their dreams start with and sustain a powerful passion for doing so, regardless of the circumstances they meet along the way.
A white hot desire to have the things you want must be matched with an equal desire to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to justify having them. Understanding this premise is essential to all achievement. The lack of this understanding is the primary reason for most of our failures.
Remember: Desire breeds Determination, which is expressed in Dedication!
PRINCIPLE #2: Never Wait To “Feel” Motivated
One of the greatest misconceptions about becoming successful is the idea that you should “feel good” or “motivated” before you act. Motivation almost always follows action, but seldom precedes it. As Emerson said: “Do the thing and you shall have the power.” Champions commit to disciplined actions and pay very little attention to how they feel.
Remember: Champions don’t prime to perform they perform to prime!
[ RELATED: Get Rid Of These Two Phrases ]
PRINCIPLE #3: Goals Are Essential To Success
A person’s power resources are largely invisible. They are housed in the mind and spirit of man. The door to release this power resides in the unconscious mind, but the key to that door is the conscious mind declaring with conviction and accuracy what I t wants.
Goals are absolutely indispensable to success. The unconscious mind demands specific intent, or a goal, in order to function as an optimum achievement mechanism. A conquering current always flows with a powerfully declared specific goal.
Remember: When setting goals, “what I want” will always be equal to “what I don’t want to do, struggle with or overcome to get it”!
PRINCIPLE #4: Total Commitment Is Paramount To Success
The dynamic expression and ultimate evidence of a person’s level of commitment is seen in a constant striving to become exceptional in performance. Thus, actions, not words, are the barometer with which you measure the level of one’s commitment. Total commitment also means that you must be able to accept or include whatever obstacles or roadblocks you might encounter along your road to eventual success.
Success, in reality, is seldom a sprint; most often it is a marathon. To finish, you cannot be content with mediocrity; true commitment won’t allow it.
Laziness and despondency are the saboteurs of commitment, but the ultimate slayers of your commitment will be the critics you listen to from within (“self talk”) or from without when the going gets tough. Self doubt, however imposed or accepted, will sap the strength of your commitment. When doubt comes, and it will, you need to abandon your emotions and rely almost entirely on your faith to be greater than your doubt.
Remember: What one actually does indicates with absolute clarity what one is committed to!
PRINCIPLE #5: Persistence
A determined human spirit is indomitable. Winning in life depends almost entirely on your ability to work hard and persevere. Excitement wears off, but persistence wears down the obstacles between you and success. The price of success is dedication, deprivation, lots of sustained effort and plenty of doubt and loneliness mixed in to test your resolve. Long hours of preparation are often required to hone the skills and develop the knowledge and techniques that will lead to efficiency and performance a nd ultimate victory.
To succeed greatly, you must sacrifice greatly. The best way to prepare for the sacrifice is to mentally include it as part of the price. “Surrender to purpose” creates an emotional cushion which softens the blow of negative emotions associated with disappointments that accompany striving for greatness.
Persistence is “falling in love” with the tedium of constant practice to become better. You have to be willing to do things over and over again. Consistency is the hallmark of all teachers. It is a quality which allows a person of average ability to be come a huge success. It is a concentrated patience. It deprives failure of the opportunity to become a permanent condition, but most of all, it is the one quality of spirit that transforms a person’s dreams into a loving, dynamic reality. To become a success at something, you must become a master at it. That takes practice and perseverance.
Remember: The house of Mastery sits at the end of Persistence Street!
PRINCIPLE #6: Set Your Mind To Station ‘Win’
It is absolutely amazing to see how many people today are still not aware of the interwoven relationship between the nature of their thoughts and the conditions in their lives. In spite of the fact that every great spiritual teacher, philosopher, poet an d psychologist has taught us about that exact relationship and its significance, most people are still in the dark on this pivotal truth. It is our thoughts that create our motivation to act or not act in any given situation. It is our thoughts about ourselves that determine our capabilities, limitations, “okayness” or “not okayness,” worthiness or unworthiness, lovability or unlovability.
Thus, we think our personal reality into existence. No one else thinks your thoughts but you. No one else is creating your life as it is perceived by you except you. Your thoughts are actually creating your experience of life.
It is your thoughts that trigger your emotions of love or hate, happiness or depression, guilt or serenity, and so it goes, on and on. The relationship between your thoughts, feelings and behaviours is reciprocal. You define yourself and your life by the thoughts you think. Everything you experience in your life is experienced in your mind. We are all trapped by our thoughts, our judgments and interpretations of the events in our lives. It is, therefore, essential that we take control of our thoughts.
Success begins in the mind and it is impossible to achieve while your private beliefs and thoughts are hostile to it. Be aware that any thought that serves to diminish you, your strength, your confidence, your intelligence or your security will produce anxiety and stress. You will deal with that stress and anxiety as your thoughts about them dictate. You will either choose to use the stress and anxiety to perform, or you will retreat into resignation which, in turn, must create more thoughts to perpetrate your misfortune. Thus, we become what we think about! “We reap what we sow” is never truer than in the domain of thought.
To change the conditions of your life you must be willing to correct the thinking that created those conditions. This is what Disraeli meant when he said, “Man is not the creature of circumstances. Circumstances are the creatures of man.” Thoughts, themselves unseen, nonetheless work their effects unerringly. Consequently, you receive what you think about most of the time.
Reveal your dominant thoughts and a person who understands this concept can write an accurate description of your life. Our lives as they are, therefore, are a perfect advertisement of our dominant thoughts. There is a constant creating dialogue between our thoughts and our conditions in life. Change the thoughts, and you eventually change the conditions.
This truth must be too simple to grasp, for too many people never catch on. The works of Dr. William James say it best: “You can alter the conditions of your life by altering your attitudes of mind!”
Remember: You may not always control what happens in your life, but you have absolute control over what you decide to think about what happens. Take control of your thoughts and you take control of your life!
PRINCIPLE #7: Have An Upbeat Vibration As You Work & Live
Enthusiasm is the least expensive yet most effective cosmetic in the world. It is beauty dancing for its own enjoyment. It is the fuel that propels great actions. It is an unequalled attention getter. It is life’s primary expression of appreciation of itself. When combined with sincerity, it is the most enduring of all positive personality traits. It compels us to look for the best in all situations. It makes you a human magnet, pulling close the people and circumstances you need to be involved with to reach your goals. It will transform a sincere wish into a vivid reality. You discover your real self and your talents when you are enthusiastic. As an added bonus, you feel truly alive.
Being “laid back” may be considered a cool attitude in some circles, but the people who get what they want in life are expressive and alive in their actions. They abandon pretense and get flat out excited about what they are doing.
True self expression flows from an enthusiastic spirit. When you are really fired up for the task at hand, you discover who you really are and what your powers to create can actually achieve. In the final analysis, there are only two types of people on the planet: Those who are inspired and those who are not! Uninspired people get what is easily available and not very satisfying.
Remember: Enthusiasm is an art. It must become a learned attitude, totally independent of favourable or unfavourable stimuli.
PRINCIPLE #8: Live Life Now
The achievement resources we have as humans are awesome powers when developed and directed toward specific objectives. The weaving, connecting and maturing influence is TIME. When understood as a limited resource wherein the virtually unlimited resources of our minds express themselves, it becomes crucial to develop a healthy relationship with time. Most people, since they are not specific with their intent, have a neurotic preoccupation with time and its apparent limitations. They are likely to squander it or struggle with not having enough of the stuff to accomplish what needs doing.
The crucial element of time is clearly its use. This is one area where we all unquestionably are created equal. We all get the same amount for doing the deeds of a day. How does one allocate time and on what activities does one spend or invest it? Time in this context becomes a critical factor in achievement. Choice becomes of critical import, as well.
When one chooses to do a particular thing, it requires time. That single choice eliminates all other choices for a specified number of minutes, hours, or days. Now it becomes clear that time is a limited and therefore precious resource which should be invested very wisely.
Would I put my money (resource) in a bank that paid no interest, or in a bond that had no history of positive performance? No! Why? Because it would be an unwise investment. Yet I will seldom audit my use of time, my most precious commodity my life expressing itself in the context of a limitation. Wow! I need to wake up!
Life is NOW experience and if I am to be blessed to be here tomorrow, all I’ll have is another NOW to make it happen.
In conclusion, life is about growth, about “become,” within a limited period of linear time called Earth life. If life is to have meaning, it must have purpose. Purpose on this planet is manifest in the context of time. Becoming all you can be, given y our unusual self, is the ultimate joy life offers. The journey is recorded in time. Its wise use is all you and I have with which to “become” our purpose.
This is a universe of laws and operating principles. Learning comes through concentrated study. Mastery, however, comes through tedious repetition of the principles and rules of the game you are playing. The game you’re playing is LIFE, and every day I s Super Bowl Sunday!
Remember: Life is the ride and Time is the train. Make the most of your trip and become all you can possibly become on your journey.
GEORGE ZALUCKI has done it all polio survivor, basketball star, winning coach, college professor of psychology and sociology, business manager, college dean, top marketer with a successful Fortune 500 company. Learn more about Zalucki on his website.