Being successful is a really big deal, but the truth is you’re already a success. I know, you probably don’t believe it, but Merriam-Webster dictionary defines success as, “a person that succeeds.”
What that means is simple. You don’t attain success only when you’re on the cover of magazines. You attain success when you’re one step ahead of where you were a second ago.
One prayer my dad taught me to say was, “Help me ensure that every day is a plus for me.” It didn’t make sense, especially to a 5 year old. But 20+ years later, I realize that it’s something we all need to say to ourselves every day.
However, that doesn’t happen by magic. It takes some super-duper dose of conscious effort to make it work. As humans, we often have a very twisted definition of success and this makes us depressed when it looks like we’re not “there yet”.
You’ll never enjoy the process if you keep asking, “Are we there yet?” That kind of yapping can get anyone pissed. A much better and relieving question is, “Where are we now?” It creates an opportunity to explore and appreciate the momentary happenings, pending when you eventually “get there”…whatever that means.
In the context of this post, being ultra-successful doesn’t mean having a billion dollars to your name. It means reaching a point where when you look back, you can clearly recognize you’ve crazily stretched yourself, broken limits and scaled borders you never thought were possible for you.
So here are principles you can apply to your work and life to ensure when you look back 10 years or less from now, your jaw drops:
1. Leverage Your Comfort Zone
Your comfort zone is a place where you’re most confident and comfortable. It’s not a place where you’re lazy. With this kind of definition, I wonder why people tell us to leave our comfort zones. I love mine.
A writer is most confident and comfortable when he writes. Same with a craftsman when he creates, a painter when he paints, a strategist when he creates strategy, a developer when he codes, a work-from-home entrepreneur when he works from home, and so on.
Leveraging your comfort zone then means pushing yourself to limits you never thought you could be pushed to. It means learning everything you need to know about your craft and implementing everything. It could mean writing books instead of just articles, creating a design course instead of just designing for clients, or helping people get medical help easily through an app instead of just building 2D games.
However, to get to the point where you’re able to perfectly leverage your comfort zone, you need to build expertise through practice. That’s the next point.
“You cannot push anyone up a ladder unless he be willing to climb a little himself.” – Andrew Carnegie