How to Become Successful

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Some people get all the luck. Or so we think. Follow Daniel Dowling for a two-part article to discover the three things all successful people do to achieve fortune. 

It’s easy to look at high performers and think, ‘I wish I were that lucky.’ Most of us weren’t raised in the comforts of high society, so it’s natural to look up to the wealthy or famous and feel jealous of their fate. But not all of the elite have gotten to their positions by a stroke of fortune, and in fact, the ‘lucky’ are rare exceptions. Barring oil strikes or lottery wins, most high-performing individuals and families have relied on three things to attain their wealth. These are Planning, Persistence, and Patience.

These three habits together, and in the right order, are the foundation of every worthwhile gain. Even if the formula misses one element, or if one is out of place, nothing will come of your efforts. Most wealthy families ingrain these habits into their offspring’s subconscious, and as they grow older everything seems easy, but only because of their internalized habits of success. The only thing stopping any person from achieving their dreams is the willingness to drive these habits into their subconscious with repetition and faith.

Preparing your mind for success

For most of us the journey to the top will seem much harder compared to those born there, and that is because we have to swim against a current of limiting beliefs. Most people who aren’t born into wealth are programmed by their parent’s belief that they either do not deserve good fortune or aren’t capable of achieving it. People born into wealth are under no such spell and only plan and persist with patience until they achieve what they desire.

So before you internalize the three Ps, and during the process (which is a lifetime event), try adopting this one simple practice. Every morning right after you wake up, go to a mirror, look yourself in the eye, and say, “I am worthy and deserving of success. I am capable of succeeding in whatever I do and to any degree I choose if I plan for it, persist, and have patience. I am altogether unlimited and have every right to the best things in life to the extent that I work for them.” After you flood yourself with this truth, next, look deep into your eyes and see the person you are capable of becoming. See the achievements, see the accomplishments, and feel the sensations of that success. Then repeat this routine every night before you go to bed.

This practice will give you an unlimited future that can properly receive your plans, persistence and patience. You can practice the three Ps for all of your life and never achieve anything if you don’t actually believe that you can, and many people do. As you adopt a routine of positive affirmations and visualizations, you’ll notice how much greater the returns are for the work you put in. And now, the three Ps are explained in detail.

1. Planning


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(The majority of this section is based on the principles of holistic management, founded by Allan Savory)

It doesn’t matter what want to succeed in; first you need a plan. Or several plans that work together, as your goals become more complex. Plans are to a year what schedules are to a day; they are the structure that gives form to your efforts. Just as days tend to fall apart without a schedule, so too do your dreams without a plan. Many people struggle with plans because they seem too big and unwieldy, but that is only to the degree that planning goes unpracticed. If you can successfully schedule and execute one day, then you can plan and achieve a long-term goal; the only difference is in the scale.

To make a holistic plan, start with the end result that you have in mind. This first step is where many people fail before they even start the process. Most people don’t know what they really want because they listen to what other people tell them or want them to do. But if you can’t think of what is your true goal and end result, you can pick something that satisfies you and modify your end goal as you progress.

Another part of the first step that people get wrong is depth. Sure, you want to get to the goal, but who do you want to be by the time you get there; how do you plan on changing? The person you become through the goal is even more important than achieving the goal itself, so be sure to list the qualities of that person along with the goal.

2. Deeper considerations for your plans

Additionally, what lifestyle do you want through this goal? Do you want to achieve personal wealth and freedom to pursue the activities you want, and to support a family? Do you want lots of leisure time, and a low stress environment where you can be creative and thrive? If so, include these things with your holistic goal. If you don’t, you might just achieve your goal at the expense of your own happiness. Many people do this and end up regretting their success because it doesn’t benefit their happiness. If you plan your lifestyle into the goal, you will modify your means to achieve the goal in ways that suit the vision of your happiness. You definitely don’t want to be the guy that gets everything he asked for at the cost of his wife and family.

Check out this example of a fully formed holistic goal.

Another important consideration for your holistic goal is the resources that will help you achieve it. This includes finances, community, assets, relationships, and even attitudes. If you’re goal is to have a thriving business, you can’t achieve that at the expense of your business partners or the community you build it in if you expect it to have longevity. Also, if your goal involves interactions with customers and clients, then you’ll want to determine the attitudes that characterize your business or service. Honest, warm, generous, dependable, humorous, punctual, etc. etc. By including attitudes and habits into your resources, you’ll factor in the often-overlooked qualities that lead to a businesses success or failure.

Click here for a detailed worksheet on planning a holistic goal.

The next installment of this article details the last phase of planning and introduces the virtues of persistence and patience. 

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