Defining Success in Life: 10 Keys to Success

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Assuming that everyone wants to be successful in life, here are very helpful 10 keys to success in life. But before getting into these keys it is very important to understand what success is.


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Defining Success in Life:

Generally, having a great career, wealth, and respect from society is considered being successful. But, we cannot ignore the importance of happiness in life while looking at success.

Following are some of the important factors which determine the level of happiness in one’s life:

  • Physical health
  • Family life
  • Social circle
  • Safety and security
  • Creative Self Expression

Everyone wants to be successful in life but, success has no value without happiness.

On the contrary, if you are happy watching TV in your parent’s basement, that does not mean that you’re successful.

Thus, the important thing to consider is that being happy and being successful are the two things that are different but they complement each other. Either one is incomplete in the absence of the other.

Broadly speaking success is a status of achieving your desired visions and planned goals. But there is no simple hack to achieve success, it requires constant effort, and that too in the right direction.

“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.”

– Steve Jobs

1. Make a Plan:

The very first thing you need to be successful is to have an actionable and achievable plan. This would require having a clear vision of the life scenario that you desire to be in. This means that you also need to have very clear and specific goals about what you want to achieve in your life.

Remember it is very important that your goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-Bound). If your goals are not SMART then there are chances that you wander away in pursuit of your desired successful life. In that case, making a plan becomes fairly difficult.

Man Reviewing Plan

2. Prepare for Unexpected

All of your plans can go down in only a second due to a small mishap that was not accounted for earlier.  Success may turn into a failure only in a blink of an eye.

So, you must list down all the possible risks that can occur during the course of your plan. Then you should define an alternate course of actions or Plan B which you may call it, in case any of your listed risks occur.

It is an attribute of a good plan that all possible risks or unexpected events are already catered for.

3. Prioritize your Goals

When you are working on a big plan it is very easy that you get distracted by petty things and lose sight of the big picture. Time is a limited resource and you only have so much time in the day that your most important goals can take the front seat. You need to learn to utilize your time efficiently.

So, to be successful you need to prioritize your goals, and most of your time must be spent on the most important tasks. The best way to do this is to list down all your goals and assign them numbers according to their importance. Then you need to allocate a specific amount of time to each of your priority goals and make sure that time table is strictly followed.

4. Develop Good Habits

You can be doing most of the things right but still, be unsuccessful. To be successful you need to repeatedly keep on doing good things. When you follow these good practices consistently then they become your habits. Forming these good habits and following them creates the necessary momentum required to achieve your desired success.

As it is very well said:

“In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.”

Tony Robbins

5. Learn from Your Mistakes

When you are following a plan to achieve your big success, making mistakes is a must during the process. But what most successful people are good at is that they learn from their mistakes and restrain from doing them again. Making mistakes is a part of the process, everyone makes them. You need to critically analyze your mistakes and see what you did wrong and how would you do it differently the next time.

It has been observed almost never – people repeating their mistakes again and again and still be successful.

“When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.”

Paulo Coelho, Brida

6. Try Different Strategies

The road to success is not straight – it involves turns, twists, curls, and bumps. If you stick to your usual way of doing things, chances are you end not being successful. So it is very important to change your strategies when traditional ways are not working for you.

As they say, “there are more than one ways to skin a cat”. So you need to keep on trying to change the strategies until you find the one that works for you.

7. Take Smart Risks

At times, Road to success may get a bit scary – when you’re doing something out of your comfort zone and trying something entirely new. But, you need not worry and take the calculated risk if it is worth it. You need to evaluate the possible risks in comparison to the benefits that risk may bring. And after careful estimation, if the risk to reward ratio is in your favor, heck yes go for it.

8. Learn from the Successful People

Although there is no common recipe for success, still watching other successful people can prove to be a great help. By following other great people you may not find clear directions to the road to success but still, you can learn a lot from them, like:

  • How do they behave?
  • What are their Common habits?
  • What are the things they did to cope with pressure situations?
  • How do they deal with the roadblocks that may come along, etc.?

For Example, you cannot redo everything that Elon Musk did but knowing that he read 2 books every day gives you a sense that how helpful reading can be. Thus, following the footsteps of these great people, you can improve your productivity in your field of interest as well.

9. Master How to Say No

It may seem simple, but at times saying no to people and opportunities can get really difficult. Sometimes your personal relations could get in the way of saying no to the people, other times it may get difficult due to a lack of awareness of your own potentials and capacity.

If you’re not up for a certain task or job and you just do it to oblige your relationsit may cause more harm than a benefit to you and the other person. On the other hand, if you do not have deep understanding of your abilities and you’re confused to go for a certain opportunity or notit’s even a bigger disaster.

Successful people fully understand their limitations and boundaries, and that is why you would often see them saying no to people and opportunity which they don’t see fit. So, to be successful you must be able to judge and evaluate opportunities at length and learn to say no to an inappropriate one.

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Related Post: How to Say No: A Guide to Saying No Politely

10. Invest in Relationships

As you know, humans are social animals, and building relationship is a bit of a social requirement as well. But, relationships require time and effort and you should be careful about where you are putting it. Remember, whom to build a relationship with is mostly your choice so choose those people who can steer you in the direction of success.

Not just your friends, sometimes your competitors can prove to be a good companion, as they always keep you on your toes to perform better and better.

In essence, investing in the right relations can drive you more towards success than anything else.

“Business is all about relationships … how well you build them determines how well they build your business …”

Brad Sugars

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