How to be successful in life: 10 things you must know!
If you want to be successful in life and want to know how to be successful in life then there are 10 things you must know.
These 10 things are the 10 Principles for Successful Living and if you understand them and commit yourself to them you will change your life in the ways that you want. They will answer the question “how can I be succesful in life?” and give you the tools and strategies you need to do it.
If like me, you want a life of fulfliment where your cup is full or better still where your “cup runneth over” then read on.
A Life of Fulfilment
I am going to share with you the 10 principles for successful living over a series of articles so you’re not overwhelmed and you can start to introduce each one in a methodical approach.
These principles are approaches and strategies used by me as a Mindset, Behavioural & Transformation Coach both personally to create the life that I want and also professionally in working with individuals to make their goals and dreams a reality and to assist people in being all that they can be and to achieve all that they desire.
Each and every one of us can live a life of fulfilment if we choose, we just need to learn how and of course apply what we learn.
Fundamentally, successful living is an attitude, a way of thinking. To create the change you are looking for, when it really starts to accelerate is when you can appreciate that this is really an attitude. It’s a way of thinking and that means taking 100% responsibility for the results that we are getting in our lives.
These principles come as a result of studies in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), positive psychology and coaching principles and looking at what some of the master coaches around the world are doing.
I have to say that this is not ‘rocket science’. The concepts are actually quite simple. All you need is a willingness to learn, create and accept change.
So, let’s get started and discover Principle Number 1 to create and realise your dreams and goals.
The 10 Principles for Successful Living
Principle number 1: Boundary Conditions
When we are aiming for excellence and looking to succeed in whatever area of life we want to apply this to, it is all about moving ourselves beyond the boundary conditions of our thinking.
So, what does that mean? Boundary conditions are the conscious limits of our thinking. It’s the edge of what we know and what we are familiar with. It’s kind of like looking at the edge of our comfort zone. So, imagine a circle around you and that is your comfort zone, the edge of that is your boundary condition because you don’t know what’s beyond that. It is the boundary of what’s known and what’s unknown or unfamiliar to us.
Now why would we want to move ourselves beyond the boundary conditions of our thinking?
It’s simple. The results we are getting today are based on the thinking of today and the actions of the day. If we want to change our results and we are looking for a 10% improvement, we need to change our thinking and actions by at least 10%. It makes sense when you think about it.
So, in order to move beyond a boundary condition we may need to change the way we think or approach something or perhaps you may need to change your attitude towards a challenge or an opportunity. Or it could be about aligning your values, or creating a shift in what you value in a particular opportunity.
Maybe it’s about changing your language, becoming aware of the language you use and how you communicate with yourself and with those around you. Your communication is only as good as the response it gets. And so, if you want to change those results, then you need to change how you communicate. It could be getting yourself to do or to commit to a different action.
If it’s physical fitness for example that you want to increase, walking around the block once will achieve a certain level of fitness or non-fitness depending on the size of the block. To achieve extraordinary fitness, you need to start building that up by perhaps adding a block per day.
And so, expanding the boundaries of what you are willing to experience.
Another example – If you’re a car salesperson and you want to improve your income and you want to make more sales, and increase them from say 15 car sales per month to 20 car sales per month, then what do you need to do differently that you are not doing today. Or maybe it’s about what you haven’t been willing to do up until now or have not been aware you could do until now that will move you beyond your current boundaries of actionable thinking into an area you haven’t been to before.
What will be beyond your current thinking that will enable you to create a 25% improvement? Maybe it is every time someone comes on to the sales floor that you approach them, instead of only the people you “think” would buy a car.
Maybe instead of only just selling to someone, you followed up after the sale with a letter saying: “it’s been great having your business. Thank you for choosing us to provide you with the ideal car and can I give you these five vouchers to give to your friends when they come in so they can get something free”.
I’m sure you have heard the saying (it doesn’t hurt to be reminded) ‘the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different outcome”.
Because what we are doing is, we are staying with what is familiar and what we know and expecting the outcome to change. And it can’t really happen or if it does then it’s just going to be a fluke. And we don’t want to rely on fluke, we want to rely on volition.
You want to make sure that you are in control of and are aware of, and sensory aware of the changes you are creating. So, it is about finding ways to go beyond what your limits are today and realising that you have other choices available to you.
It is only when you go beyond what you know that you are able to find what you don’t know.
Now that might sound like a really strange sentence too, but think about it. It is only beyond what you know that you will be able to find what you don’t know. Now that sounds obvious doesn’t it?
Every result we get in our life is based on what we currently know. So, we know how to make $50,000 a year, we know how to have great relationships with 3 out of 4 people and if we knew how to make $150,000 a year, we would do that. We don’t know that yet so we want to go to what we don’t know to get a different result. We want to go to the unfamiliar.
I want you to think for a moment. Where in your life or in your business or in your relationships are you perhaps staying within your comfort zone, in your familiar zone?
And, if you were to go outside your comfort zone what would you discover, what would be out there, what would be a different way of thinking about this, what could be a different attitude you could have and how would you learn what different attitude to have?
What do you need to read or who do you need to talk to, who has already succeeded in this area that if you were to speak to them you would learn what their attitude was or their thinking or their beliefs or what they value about it, or what it is that they are willing to do to create success.
I want you to imagine for a moment that your comfort zone is a circle and if you were to write the word comfort zone and then outside of that ring write a whole bunch of the words called problems.
Now, what if instead of problems they were possibilities?
But, to get them to become possibilities they needed to become within your comfort zone. Does that mean the problem needs to go away or that you need to expand your comfort zone?
Now, given that we know that problems are built into life and that is going to be a constant, I’m going to suggest to you that what you need to do is to be willing to expand your comfort zone.
So, what appeared to be a problem outside your comfort zone, now appears within it and becomes a possibility, becomes potential or even becomes a gift.
New Thinking – an expanded comfort zone
We need to be willing to expand our thinking beyond the current boundary conditions to become self-aware of what kind of thinking and old thinking we have been using to create the current results.
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Be courageous in the face of fear
To go beyond our boundary conditions we need to start asking ourselves different questions. Questions that perhaps focus less on the problem and more about what we need to learn to be able to change this. That takes courage and courage can only turn up when we are willing to take action.
Courage doesn’t turn up in the mail, it doesn’t just suddenly arrive one day and you think, oh I feel courageous today, so here I go, I am going to take lots of action. Courage only turns up when we feel some doubt, or even some fear and we are willing to act anyway. It also takes a willingness to recognise that fear is normal.
If we wait for the fear to subside or to disappear altogether, we are really going to be waiting for what is possibly unattainable. The fear is going to be there because we are going to be stepping outside into the unknown, and the greatest fear in the world for everybody is the unknown. So that’s when courage needs to show up. It can only turn up when we are willing to act even with the fear there.
If you have been waiting for the fear to subside and for courage to turn up, then perhaps this is going to be a useful tool for you. Perhaps now you realise that you need to turn it around and do it the other way around. That you act and the courage will turn up and the fear will then subside.
How to know you’ve hit a boundary condition
Identifying a boundary condition can be a challenge on your own and this is where a Mindset and Behavioural Coach can assist you, to raise your awareness if you are using unresourceful thinking or language.
The easiest way to know you have hit a boundary condition is when you find yourself saying “I don’t know”.
Much of our thinking and language can be unconscious until someone points it out to us.
For instance, perhaps you are saying that this is really hard, perhaps you keep telling yourself that you can’t do it, perhaps you keep saying “oh it always goes wrong” or “it won’t make any difference”, that’s language that is definitely going to keep you within your current thinking isn’t it.
So, what would you need to do to change that thinking? How would you do that? What thinking would you need to change so that you are willing to step outside your comfort zone.
How to move through a boundary condition
To move through a boundary condition, ask yourself any or all of the following questions:
- What are the possibilities here?
- What is the gift in this for me?
- How can I turn this around?
- How can I do this differently?
- What has somebody else done in the situation that has worked?
- How can I think about this differently, what does my belief need to be to enable me to take the step beyond the boundary condition?
Another great set of questions to ask yourself to move beyond a boundary condition is:
- For what purpose would I want to do this?
- Why do I want to do this?
- Why do I want to create this change?
One of the most powerful things to know is that if you have a compelling reason why, the how tends to take care of itself.
When you find yourself saying I don’t know how to do it, move back to the why do you want to do it? Remind yourself why this is important to you. Remind yourself of why you want to create this change or why you must create the change and generally the change starts to happen.
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Build the muscle
You need to start building a different neurology. You need to build the muscle.
You need to start focusing on it and you need to start being really willing to build that neural muscle, that neural pathway in your brain.
That opens up all kinds of possibilities to you right now if you want it to.
This one key, this one success principle that we are using can be applied to any area of your life has the potential within it to change every aspect of your life if you want it to.
It really is an amazing and powerful and empowering key. Think about it. Your neurology that you access today is creating today’s results. What neurology do you need to create, or fire up or revisit in your brain or in your mind or in your thinking to create the result that you are looking for. It is simply science.
Fear is a neural pathway. Courage is a different pathway. Wanting to feel safe and comfortable is a neural pathway and willing to be adventurous is a different one. Which neurology are you choosing?
Do whatever it takes
The first success principle is to move beyond the current boundary conditions of our thinking and you have got to be willing to do whatever it takes.
It could be laughter, it could be challenging beliefs, it could be simply asking the question, “Is that true?”
If somebody has a belief that they always fail, they need to ask themselves, is that true? Really, think about the veracity of that belief.
It could be just getting yourself laughing about a crazy belief that you have held onto for years and never really thought about. It could be moving your physiology.
So just getting moving and be willing to take small steps and small steps and small steps, until you have created the change and all of a sudden, it’s different and you will be looking back at your old comfort zone and you go, wow, look where I’ve come.
You’ve got to be a bit imaginative with it and you’ve got to be willing to do whatever it takes.
So, get yourself laughing, get yourself thinking differently about it. Get yourself moving about this and the results can be amazing.
If you approach the day with heaviness and you think, same day, same results, you are right.
If you approach the day saying what is my intent?, I’m going to help myself move beyond the boundary conditions of my thinking, I am going to do one thing today that is different that I have never done before and I am going to do something that really worked yesterday and I am going to do it a little bit different.
That to me is going to be moving on the path of creating change and the change you are looking for. That is assisting yourself and conspiring for your own success.
Where to from here?
1. Get started on doing whatever it takes to challenge and change the boundary conditions of your thinking.
Become aware of your thoughts.
Catch them. Challenge them. Change them.
2. Take action. New thoughts create different actions. So, do something differently, even if it’s just one thing a day and be fearless.
3. Check out my Top 10 Recommended Books on mastering your mindset to maximise success.
4. Get coached! Nothing can replace 1:1 personalised coaching.
5. Learn more about becoming aware of your thoughts by reading What is the Power of Awareness? Waking to a Life Unimagined.
6. Subscribe to Your Pure Potential (scroll to the top or bottom of this page) so that you get alerted when I write about Success Principle #2 (not to mention all the others to come).
I’d love to hear how you get on. If you have any questions or comments please post them below.
Here’s to a happier, transformed and successful life whatever that means for you!
Very nicely written. Sometimes we know things but we fail to implement. It is high time to implement these things in life and march towards success. Thank you.
Thanks Prav, I appreciate your comment.
Hi Martine. Great article! Full of wisdom and very practical advice on how to transcend our current limitations.
“Every result we get in our life is based on what we currently know. ” Once people understand this, they can understand that if they want to achieve different outcomes, they just need to learn more!
Fear of the unknown is what holds many people back, but learning to overcome fear, step by step, guarantees us of a better future that the life we are currently living.
Your “where to from here” points are important…… Number one, become aware of your thoughts and then add more thoughts that lead to the resutly that we desire for ourselves!
Thanks very much Andrew. Yes, or we just need to get in touch with our deeper consciousness and then everything works.
Martine. Wow. What a complete blog. No aspect has been left unturned. We all have the opportunity to understand how “we tick” now because of all the research that has been done and is still being done. Once we have interest it isn’t difficult and the end products are refreshing. I think the hardest part is to show interest, believe in it, start it and maintain the discipline to maintain our interest.
I look forward to the remaining 9 points.
Thank you for your hard work.
Thanks for the positive feedback Stephen.
Totally agree with you: it is insanity to be doing the same thing over and over again and expect different outcome, but unfortunately that is how majority of us live – in the automatic without thinking about our actions or lack of it. I am strong believer in changing your thoughts change your life. Thanks for this post
As a facilitator for Outward Mindset and Outward Leadership thinking I was struck by the similarity and common elements I found between the Arbinger Institute method and what you have articulated here in your article.
I was particularly taken with the excellent graphic comparison between old and new thinking and how subtle changes have huge effects in the outcomes in our behaviours, success and achievement.
Possibility thinking is a passion of mine to the extent that I have told the large team that I lead that as a service delivery organisation we will never ever say NO! We will instead have a conversation to find a path which ultimately may not be facilitated by us but we will at least have navigated the customer towards a viable outcome.
This is a great article that exercised my mind and extended my knowledge; thanks for the post.
I’m glad you have found it of value. Thanks for your extensive feedback.