How Successful People Stay On Track
by Regina Kiffin
I love the gym – well, now mainly as part of my fitness regimen for my ‘not 21 anymore’ body. It’s one of the few constants in my ever evolving life – I’ve been doing morning workouts since my father inspired me, taking me to the gym with him when I was 13 years old – and I was hooked. This morning, as I sweated it out on the elliptical stair master machine, I watched the myriad of TV screens mounted above us to not only distract us from the grunting and basically staring at other sweaty people, but to entertain us. I looked at entertainment and sports channels, their feature stories highlighting individuals at the top of their game who are more than happy to share what they did to achieve success in their respective fields. While appreciating hearing snippets from the rich and famous, I wanted to know: What intangible fabrics are woven into successful people which creates the blueprints for their success? I decided to find out from everyday successful people, successful in their own right, their own fields, what journeys and challenges they had to face and overcome to achieve their success. I posed the question: What things/habits/influences/experiences/mindsets were pivotal to achieving and maintaining success? Here are some of their stories – for anonymity, some of their names may have been changed.
Megan – Project Manager
Megan admitted that she first had to decide what it was that she wanted to do. This in itself wasn’t an easy task. But once she decided what she wanted, she stayed consistent and went for it. She made the decision in 2007 that she wanted to be a Project Manager, but had no idea what that truly entailed. She just knew that she liked the look & sound of it. There were a couple of mantras that stayed in her head during her journey, which she shared below:
Get over the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO!) – Because you will. You will miss out on happy hour, hanging out, and at times quality downtime with yourself.
Birds of a Feather Flock Together - The old saying is definitely true. Birds of a feather flock together! Surround yourself with like-minded people who have similar goals and lifestyles. Doing so will keep you focused, motivated and eliminate distractions.
Stay Current - Your Star has risen! But now you have to ensure it does not fall. Stay abreast of your industry and/or passion. Know the latest to remain marketable and relevant.
Know Your Worth - Know who and what deserves your time and effort. Know that you are AMAZING and never look back!
Steve M. – Physician, Pastor, Professor
Steve, a multi-talented, driven individual who has achieved and maintained success in several industries, had many variables that he adhered to, which dictated the direction and pace of his journey. Some of his insights below can be pivotal to help you identify and focus on helping you create your own path to success:
Recognize your strengths and weaknesses; Strengthen your weaknesses – While it’s easier to focus on your natural talents, shift your focus more on your weaknesses and cultivate that in order to complement your strengths. Being a well-rounded individual that can operate on many levels will give you more options, as well as having an advantage in your marketability.
Embrace the old as well as the new - Change is a necessary attribute – Be that person that adapts quickly to new and evolving responsibilities and situations. Think about that person who has been in the same position for 15-20 years – with the same skills and rigid mindset. They may be ‘stable’, but in any industry one has to be willing to learn new technology, and be open to being uncomfortable in order to grow not only within their personal self, but also become an asset in whatever industry they’re in.
Find a mentor, then become a mentor. With a nod to the age-old adage Pay it Forward, find a mentor that can not only give insights on their journey, but also provide guidance for you to reach your goals. What’s even more rewarding is, once you get to that successful level in your career, reaching back and mentoring someone who is in that very ‘newbie’ spot that you were once in is priceless! Everyone starts SOMEWHERE, don’t be stingy with that knowledge!
Physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual fitness. The body and mind work in symbiosis – one cannot exist without the other. Which brings into play the mind/body balance, in that what the mind says, the body will follow. For example, if you keep telling yourself that you are too old/too tired etc. (fill in the blanks to whatever excuse you want to insert here) to make it to the gym, eventually your body will assimilate to that mental directive, and you really won’t be able to do it! While it’s important to be mentally on top of all that you want to learn and obtain to achieve your career goals, it’s equally important to maintain physical and emotional strength in your body – so find your ‘thing’; whether it’s running, meditation, gym, dance, yoga, karate, etc., you will be exercising your body and inadvertently your mind’s strength.
Wherever you are in your journey to reach that pinnacle of success, all of the suggestions above provide a great starting point to advance you to the next level, so what are you waiting for? Keep moving forward to where you would like to be, because there is never a ‘right’ moment to start. There’s a motivational speaker that I absolutely love, Jay Shetty, who broke down success in this way: “Success is not built on success, it’s built on failure, it’s built on frustration, it is built on fears that you have to overcome. Sometimes it takes a good fall to know where you stand.” Success is not overnight – enjoy your journey, set and reset your goals along the way, learn from all your setbacks, and eventually you will enjoy the fruits of your labor. Be that next successful person, you’ve got this!