“When you want success as badly as you want air, then you will get it.  There is no other secret of success.” – Socrates.

Was Socrates correct?  Life would be great if you all you had to do were to just wish hard to achieve success.  If that were true we would all be enjoying a cruise around the world on our personal 500-foot yacht.  We’re left wondering: what does one have to do?  Why do some people acquire success seemingly without effort while others continuously strive and do not attain this ever-elusive status of success?

While success can be tied to one’s upbringing, social economic background, and fortuitous timing, individuals can also make a concerted effort to follow a precise process that when repeated, becomes almost involuntary.  Yes, we’re talking about habits. Though there isn’t a foolproof recipe for success, some experts have isolated a few habits that can help you achieve your goals.

  1. Crystalize specific, attainable goals without ambiguity. If you’re looking to drop a size before summer, don’t proclaim that your goal is “To lose weight.”  Instead, be specific.  Say, “I’m going to lose 10 pounds in two months, and I will do it by cutting out carbs, wine, and sweets.  Plus, I will exercise 4 times a week.”  By being precise and specific you can create a plan that is easier for you to follow.
  2. Envision what you want and note your achievements. In his book, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose , Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos wrote: “Envision, create, and believe in your own universe, and the universe will form around you.”  When you visualize your success and create concrete goals, you set in motion synchronized energy that can help you actualize your vision.  Additionally, if you set aside a few moments each day to write about recent achievements and future steps you can focus more intently on your goals.
  3. Work less and produce more. What happens with you have a full day off and decide to spend the entire time cleaning out the garage? By the end of the day you’re left with a cluttered garage and guilty conscience.  Conversely, by allocating a specific amount of time on a task, say 30 minutes, you will astutely devise a series of strategies aimed at helping you complete your task in the allotted time. Therefore, instead of “working” for an unlimited time period, strive for “producing” desired results during a limited time period.
  4. Seek excellence, not perfection. Whereas one’s quest for perfection can hinder innovation and risk-taking, the pursuit of excellence can in fact be a motivator that propels you to do things outside of your comfort zone. Of course, excellence is never incidental. Rather it is the result of “high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution.” -Aristotle.
  5. Be modest and honest. Knowing yourself -your strengths, weaknesses, and limits- and honestly addressing these facets of your personality can help you when setting realistic goals for yourself and when dealing with momentary setbacks.  This will enable you to be energized instead of exhausted and motivated instead of apathetic.

By developing and tailoring the aforementioned habits you too can enjoy success. At Alfano & Company, we specialize in helping risk-takers and innovation seekers like you grow to success. Contact us to assist you with your advisory needs.