Six Defining Rules

There is a common denominator among the successful people I know. They are in different places and doing different things, but they all say the same basic thing.

1. They don’t say they can’t
I know I write about can’t a lot. It’s a very powerful word that limits our options and opportunities before we even begin. Be truthful with yourself (you know if you are or not) and figure out if it’s I don’t want to or I don‘t know what to do or I don’t know how. Those are the real reasons, can’t is not. No one has succeeded by saying I can’t. Lou Holtz (I didn’t actually talk to him) said “Successful people will always tell you you can do something. It’s the people who have never accomplished anything who will always discourage you from trying to achieve excellent things”.

2. They aren’t lazy
This one’s hard to accept sometimes. We all have the same 24 hours in day but how we choose to use them is up to us and time doesn’t wait around until we figure it out. If I’m not willing to work for it, how badly do I really want it? Keep track of the time you spend doing nothing and you’ll likely be surprised by how much time you really do have. Work Now, Play Later.

3. They know what they want
How can we measure success if we don’t have a goal? What do you want to do, what do you want from life? It’s an important question and If you don’t know the answer there are 100’s of resources out there to help you figure it out. You can’t get there if you don’t know where “there” is.

4. They have a plan for how to get there
Knowing where we are going is important but there will be road blocks and detours along the way. If we don’t have any sort of plan those road blocks are going to feel like stop signs when in reality they are just putting us on a different path. We certainly don’t need to have every step planned out but we aren’t going to get anywhere by running in circles and hoping for the best. Make short term goals and long term goals and adjust along the way if necessary.

5. They ask for help
We aren’t designed to be alone and yet we won’t ask for help or guidance or even input we need it. Many times we are just embarrassed that we will look foolish or think asking for help makes us look weak. I’ve talked to quite a few successful people and not one of them said they got there by themselves. They listened to people they respected and sought out guidance when they weren’t sure what to do. They took opportunities they were offered because someone with more life experience said they should. The point is that we all need help sometimes.

6. They don’t quit
We don’t know what we want, so we can’t get there. We don’t know how to get there, so it can’t be done. We didn’t know it was going to take so much work, so it’s too hard. We give up before taking the next step or at the first sign of resistance. It will likely take more time and work than we expect, but the time is going to pass either way. I’d much rather look back and say “wow that took some work” than to look back and say “if I had only”. If one path doesn’t get you there, take a new one; just don’t quit.

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