If you had to define success in one sentence how would you do it?
I know that is a really tricky question, but I really want you to think about it. So if you can stop reading this blog post for just a few minutes and think and dig deep into your thoughts on what you truly believe success is, then come back.
Did you do it? Are you sure? Okay, good.
I think when a lot of us think of success we think of somebody who either has a lot of money or influence and power and you're considered very successful if you have both. Such as Oprah, Elon Musk, or Tom Cruise. But having money and having status is not a definition of success that I personally subscribe to.
A few years ago on Youtube, I came across a 30 minute video that is more of an audio recording by Earl Nightingale and it's called, 'The Strangest Secret.' When I listen to it, I listened to it again, and again, and again. I watched it almost everyday for over 2 months and it has profoundly impacted my life. It's a short little audio clip, but it's really potent, profound, and I seriously cannot recommend it highly enough.
Now let's dive in to some of the principles I've learned and applied from this life changing audio.
So let's start with the definition of success as Earl describes it.
"Success if the progressive realization of a worthy ideal." - Earl Nightingale
This sounds pretty wordy but essentially what it means is that if you're working towards this worthy end goal, something that you've determined that you really want to do, you are successful at each and every step that you take towards building that vision.
I love this definition of success. For me, it's not about competition, it's not about results, it's not about comparing yourself to anybody else but you. It's about being creative and taking action and just doing it.
So let's break this down. Let's say that for you a worthy end goal was to be completely debt free (this includes your mortgage). Now you, according to Earl's definition are successful at each and every moment you work towards making that a reality. You're successful when you get pen to paper and start writing down a budget. You are successful when you sacrifice that Starbucks grande hazelnut latte. You are successful when you pay above the minimum payments towards your student loan. You are successful when you pack your lunch for work instead of going out to eat. You are successful not only when you hit a huge milestone like paying off your car, but every single step of the way.
This principle can be applied in every single part of your life such as being successful in school, at work, in the home, being more active, etc. Try applying this in every different areas of your life. And don't forget, Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.
Plant the Right Seed
Now here is another thing that Earl says. He says that the keys to success is realizing that you become what you think about. And I can't agree with this more.
"You become what you think about." - Earl Nightingale
If you think of a concrete and worthy goal, you will get there. He uses an analogy to better explain. He says that our mind is similar to a fertile farmland. You can choose whatever kind of plant you wish to put into this fertile soil. You can plant the seed for a beautiful flower or the seed of a deadly poison. But if you tend for the plant daily and water it, the plan will grow whether it's the beautiful flower of the deadly poison. It does not matter.
The same thing happens with our minds. If we think in negative terms, we're going to get negative results. If we think in positive terms, we're going to get positive results. So if you want to be successful think in positive terms, always.
This includes social media, television, even our friends and family. If you are planting deadly poisons into your mind you won't get the results you are aiming for. Try to stay conscious of what you are feeding your precious mind. This is one of the reasons why I don't watch the news, use social media only for business, I've even let go a few friends from my life because I realized it was creating a toxic environment in my mind. Instead I now surround myself with only positivity by reading encouraging blog posts and books daily, I meditate, I write in a gratitude journal every morning, and exercise my body. In the beginning, it didn't make a significant difference but as the time went by, I noticed I was closer to my goals in the shortest amount of time.
Try implementing this principle into your life and let me know the positive difference you see because trust me, you will.
Behave = Be + Have
So here's a friend put it to me one. He said, "If you want to achieve anything, you have to behave as if you already have it."
"If you want to achieve anything, you have to behave as if you already have it."
Take that word 'Behave' and break it up. What do you get? Be + Have.
'Be' comes before 'Have.' So you have to be it, before you have it.
Do you want to have a healthier lifestyle? Then you have to 'BE' the type of person who is healthy. What would a healthy person do? What kind of choices would a healthy person make? They would likely be going grocery shopping filling their carts with lot fresh fruits and vegetables, and they would be creative with making healthy and wholesome meals. They would 'Be' making the time everyday to get in some physical activity. You need to behave like it's already happened.
You may not feel like your healthy and fit yet, but that doesn't matter. You have to first, 'behave' like you are and then it's going to happen. There is no way that it can't.
Give to Receive
Success is not a limited resource. There is more than enough to go around so that everyone can be successful.
It is not about competition. Remember that prosperity works on the law of mutual exchange. At least that is what Earl says and I love it. No man can get rich themselves unless they enrich the lives of others.
"No man can get rich themselves unless they enrich the lives of others."
So if you have some worthwhile knowledge to give, share it and the world will give it back to you in some way.
Now go ahead and give the audio recording a listen. I hope it rocks your world as much as it did for me. If you do give it a listen, comment below and let me know what you think. 'The Strangest Secret.'
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