All forms of success, be it personal, financial or physical, each carry with them unique and interconnecting underlying principles. Although the end result for each type of success is completely different, the principles used to attain them are very often shared.
Many people, smarter than I, including famous businessman and author Napoleon Hill have spent a good portion of their lives searching for these clues to success, those invisible paths that most (if not all) big successes have followed. We have an opportunity to learn from them and, let’s face it, make our own successes a little easier to obtain.
Over a year ago I put together what I believed to be my client success principles. It was made up of all the different principles that I had learnt through reading various books and articles, personal experience and even through my clients themselves. This list has been subject to many changes, mainly: it’s got shorter! It’s not that things were wrong but I wanted to keep refining it until I got it down to what I believed to be the core essentials for success. It now stands as six key principles.
#1 Start with the end in mind
You need to be crystal clear with yourself on what it is that you want to achieve and most importantly why that’s important to you. Former US Navy Seal Mark Divine talked about the “knowing your why” concept in his book explaining that even though some potential recruits were physically fitter than others, they still quit because their ‘why’ for being there just wasn’t strong enough. Things will get tough and at times you will probably want to quit and when that time comes if you’re not 100% sure about your ‘why’, things will go downhill fast.
#2 Believing before seeing
This is a big one and definitely something I have personally overlooked in the past. You must be able to look ahead and already see yourself as a success. Most people are stuck in a “seeing is believing” attitude where they are not even sure if they can succeed! How do you think this person will act to a temporary failure? Will they put in their best effort or secretly hold back knowing they are going to fail anyway? Check out any of the greats: they could all see themselves as a success well before it actually happened. We want a “believing is seeing” attitude. Don’t worry if you struggle at first. This is where tools like visualisation, meditation and positive affirmations come in to help build that clear image of your success.
#3 Just 4% at a time
This principle comes from the great mind of Steven Kotler who has shown through years of studies on human performance that the sweet spot for improvement is a mere 4% above your current skillset (comfort zone is another way of putting it). Not 10%, not 30%, not 80% but 4%. He states that when a task is too far from your skillset it’s easy to become disheartened, too low and you get bored but 4% is just enough so that it’s just out of reach but attainable.
#4 Embrace the three P’s
This is all about your attitude and I am not talking about having a bad one. The three P’s come from the Motivational Speaker and author Les Brown. Les stated that in order to be successful you must be willing to be persistent, patient and positive. Looking back at any time in my past when I have been unsuccessful, it’s due to one or more of these three giving out. This also links back to your “why”. When that is strong so are the three P’s.
#5 Be willing to fail forward
How good were you when you first tried to walk? Terrible, right? But with persistent and purposeful practice you slowly got better and better until you became the fast walking, hill running adult you are today. It didn’t happen overnight and you fell over more than a few times. Anything else you want to be successful at is going to follow the same path. Unless you have a good natural starting point with that skill or activity (some would call this natural talent) the chances are that you going to suck at first….and that’s cool! Almost everyone sucks at first but embrace your three P’s, know your why and keep failing forward until eventually what feels like a challenge now becomes easy. This also requires you to change how you see failure. Failing is not a bad thing, it’s a lesson and providing you learn from it you will become stronger for it.
#6 Progression not perfection
This can be a really hard one to grasp but it’s super important. With anything you do always aim for progression not perfection. Progression lets you celebrate your success and look forward to further improvement. Perfection is that horrible boss you had, for whom nothing was ever good enough. It’s really hard to keep positive when aiming for perfection. When applied to your goal setting and planning it means things don’t need to be perfect, just good enough to get you moving. You can always make changes on the move.
There you have it. Jamie’s #6 Core Principles for Success. To help you make sure you are hitting all six, send me an email using this link and I will send you my Core Principle Checklist.