Let’s debunk another “truth” — fair warning, this one may depress you. What if I told you that we have all been fooled in believing that it only takes 21 days to break a habit? Once again, even 21 days is not enough time. According to the European Journal of Social Psychology, they found that it took on average, 68 days to break or form a habit. And that’s the average. It could take as long as eight months! But how can that be true? Isn’t it a fact that it takes 21 days? Bad news, that whole “21 day” myth that was touted by Dr. Maxwell Maltz wasn’t even a scientific study, but simply an observation.
Let’s talk about the solution to being successful — over weeks, over months, or over years . . .
10 REALISTIC WAYS TO SUCCEED:
Having a plan puts you in a position to succeed. It takes time to develop the right plan to achieve your specific objectives. Creating an effective and efficient plan also includes roles and responsibilities, step-by-step explanations, timeframes, resources required and projected outcomes. Without a plan, you have no purpose.
Like the legendary basketball coach from UCLA, John Wooden, said, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” It’s easy to get confused between planning and preparation, but you can’t have one without the other. Preparation is gathering information and resources and how they will be used.
Likely the most challenging trait of success, you must understand that patience is aligned with wisdom. For you to master your craft, it takes a tremendous amount of trial and error. You have to be prepared to test your plan and evaluate the outcomes. There is no substitute for patience, and once people are willing to come to terms with that, the path becomes easier.
Simply put, it is the ability to be persistent in what your goals are without allowing obstacles to detour your path to success. No innovation or breakthrough isn’t met with tremendous challenge, but handling the barriers with focus and determination will contribute to their success.
Success isn’t singular; it is an effort by more than one to achieve something that exceeds expectations. Successful people recognize this. They empower others to contribute, and encourage critical dialogue to show the importance of others input. Those who achieve success take as much pride in others as they do themselves.
One of the few guarantees on the journey toward success is failure — you will encounter it numerous times. Good preparation can help reduce or soften failures, but not eliminate risk entirely. Successful people know this and welcome the challenge, because they understand that each failure is simply a stepping stone toward their goal. In other words, if you get knocked down, get back up.
Absolutely critical to success is your ability to focus on the activity you are trying to complete. You cannot allow anything else to distort your goals because it will require your undivided attention. Great leaders have a unique talent and honing in on the specifics, knowing that the devil is in the details. They make no assumptions and always have a plan B prepared.
Without a realistic perception and understanding of who we are, as vulnerable of a position as it may put us, we don’t have the capacity to understand our “uniqueness” and strengths without being self-aware. More importantly, it allows us to identify where we have the opportunity to improve.
Success requires risk, which it takes you completely out of your comfort zone into an unknown area that most aren’t willing to explore as a result of fear. The rewards of working with a sense of courage creates innovation and breakthrough — these are the qualities of a successful person.
I’ve listed this last, but it’s certainly not least. To practice humility is to build character and earn the respect of others not just through your words, but your actions as well. Your ability to be humble will lead to your success, but also set the example for those who choose to emulate your behaviors that others will model.
Go do great things today and make a difference.