How to Become Successful
On top of every focusing on how to succeed in life, the world and the largest percentage of the population is suffering in enormous and excruciating ways with the current pandemic. The level of uncertainty that exists has not been known to the majority of us living today. The negative emotions of fear, panic, anxiety, depression, anger, resentment, upset and so on seem to rule the day as does boredom for many. While the full emotional toll this has taken remains to be seen, the predictable outcome is extremely bad. This is a trauma for many and as such there are expected impacts as a result. The economic toll is unfathomable. It is a disaster that is catastrophic for too many people on a variety of levels. The present circumstances of the pandemic are impacting people differently. Some individuals are being much harder hit than others. And, you may find yourself asking “how do I become a successful adult?” even more than before. Why is that? What does it take to flourish in life regardless of what is going on? What are the things that will help you function really well despite trauma or hardship?
As someone who has flourished in the face of trauma over and over again, I have some thoughts about the habits, practices, attitudes and so on that contribute to making people functional. If the concept of being functional is new to you then you can check out this post, which will help bring you up to speed.
Can you image feeling peaceful in times of great difficulty? Can you imagine being able to cause moments of happiness and joy in dark times? It is possible to excel in life and be happy in spite of your circumstances. It is a skill set that anyone can develop, which you can read about in my post on generating your own happiness.
Today I am distinguishing the top 8 things that – in my humble opinion – will help you flourish in life no matter what is going on. That does not mean, however that you will not have to grieve a loss, process sadness, or deal with your emotions. I am not saying that you will never be sad, unhappy or grieving a loss. What I am saying is that you can get to a certain level of skills, abilities, attitudes, practices and habits that will allow you to flourish even when you have suffered a huge loss. The fantastic and great news is that all of the things I am listing can be developed over time so there’s no reason to be blue if you are missing several or many of the items. In other words, it’s never too late to learn and grow. This is what I blog about and my passion – helping people be empowered and happy and love their life even when it’s hard.
– Love almost always makes my lists because I believe in love. I believe that LOVE is the most powerful emotion on the planet and is extremely healing. I believe that love can heal so many hurts and wounds from your past. I also believe in loving life and the things and people in your life. I am a fan of LOVE and I believe that most people could benefit from putting more love in their life. Here’s the thing about LOVE though – you have to be able to open your heart to let love in. You could be extremely well loved, but if you can’t open your heart to let love in – you won’t feel it. You will feel alone and lonely and quite frankly your life will be much harder than it has to be.
Love involves or centers around gratitude, generosity, compassion. The world clearly could use more gratitude, generosity and compassion. Love your friends. Love your family. Love your neighbors. Love your hobbies. There’s so much to love in life. Open your heart and let love in. GIVE LOVE. Give of yourself generously. It’s so amazing and beautiful. And yes, there’s some risk to it. You can read more about LOVE and getting LOVE in your life in this post, which includes some of the risks to love and opening your heart and a separate post devoted to dealing with your trust issues because it’s hard to let love in if you can’t trust other people.
Attitudes/Beliefs/Values (Including Character)
-I have lumped these together for the sake of brevity and because it can be difficult to distinguish between an attitude, belief and quite frankly sometimes a value and while this item is worthy of a standalone post today it gets a mere mention. Beliefs are assumptions and/or convictions we hold to be true based on past experiences. Attitudes come from core values and beliefs that we hold. Our core values include what is important or critical to you based on religion, concepts, people, things and ideas. Our behaviors are the expression (or mismatch) of the core values, beliefs, and attitudes that we hold.
There are empowering attitudes and beliefs and there are disempowering attitudes and beliefs. To flourish in life, I believe that it’s very helpful to sort out any disempowering beliefs and attitudes you have and swap them for empowering beliefs and attitudes. Here are some examples of disempowering or negative beliefs or attitudes:
- I’m not good enough.
- I can’t win.
- People always leave me.
- People always betray me.
- No one will ever love me.
- I don’t matter to anyone.
- Nobody loves me.
- It doesn’t matter what I do, my life never works out.
- Everyone else is better than me.
- No one cares what happens to me.
- People don’t like me.
These beliefs or attitudes will never allow you to have a life that you love. They are not only negative, but they provide the basis for the self-fulfilling prophecy, which means whatever you believe will come true does in fact come true. In other words, it is exactly like the athletic coaches tell their players – if you think you can – you can. If you think you can’t then you can’t. If you have negative or disempowering beliefs and attitudes then you want to replace them with empowering ones. Over time you can convert your thinking. Over time. Not overnight. Here are some examples of empowering or positive beliefs or attitudes:
- I am good enough.
- I am enough.
- People love me.
- I make a difference in the world.
- My life has a way of always working out.
- I am blessed beyond all measure.
- I am lucky.
- People really care about me.
- I have so much to be grateful for.
- Things happen for a reason.
- I am responsible for my own happiness.
- I get to choose how I respond to life.
One way to change your thinking from disempowering beliefs or attitudes to empowering beliefs and attitudes is through the use of affirmations. I have a post that will give you some insight and more information on how your beliefs and attitudes can impact your health and on affirmations, which you can find here.
While I am not going to get into the aspects of character and what defines someone of good character, I am going to mention that I personally belief that integrity is at the core of having a life that works. I believe that integrity is a must. If you want to know more about how integrity can impact your life and help you have a life that leaves you feeling good, you can read my post on the magic of integrity. I am an absolute integrity freak. It is extremely important to me personally.
– Psychological resilience is the ability to mentally or emotionally cope with a crisis or to return to pre-crisis status quickly. The condition of resilience happens or exists when a person uses mental processes and behaviors in taking care of oneself and protecting oneself from the possible negative impact or effects of the crisis or stressors. This is the raw essence of my blog posts and intention – to have you have a life that you love where you are resilient and can get through whatever happens. I very recently blogged about this aspect of life, which you can read here.
-I am an absolute fan of having a plan, setting and attaining goals and being the captain of your life. You steering your life in the direction that you want it to go in as opposed to being adrift at sea. Life happens. Have a plan. When you have a plan for your life as in one that you have created and one that you LOVE, you will automatically have a different feeling about life. You should be happier. You should be excited. If not, scrap that plan and make a new one that makes you happy and excited.
If I can be candid, most people don’t have a plan for their life. Most people don’t set goals on a regular basis. So, while it might not seem “normal” it is the path to having control over your life and having life go the way you want it to go – or at least more so than not. There are several aspects you have to consider in putting together a plan. You can find out more about the elements to think about in this post.
Executing Your Plan & Staying Motivated
-Once you have a plan, and by golly, it better be one that lights you up and inspires you or what are you doing -the next critical points are executing your plan and staying motivated while you execute your plan. There are tricks and techniques that I have used for decades to keep myself on track and my actions in alignment with my plan. It takes self-discipline to execute your plan, which is a habit or skill that you can practice and build on over time.
Self-Esteem & Self-Care
-Self-esteem is how you feel about your self-worth or how much you value yourself. Self-esteem can be measured on a continuum from low self-esteem to high self-esteem. While psychologist William James first introduced his theory on self-esteem in 1890, the self-esteem movement didn’t really take off until the 1960’s. The difference between someone with low self-esteem and high self-esteem can be quite remarkable. Whereas a person with high self-esteem is focused on growth and development, a person with low self-esteem is focused on not making a mistake.
While children typically have high self-esteem that often declines through adolescence and teen years, there are things that can cause self-esteem to plummet at any age including: unsupportive parents or caregivers, friends who are bad influences, stressful life events like divorce, moving, trauma or abuse, and mood disorders like depression or anxiety. The higher you can get your self-esteem the easier your life will be. And there are things you can do to improve your self-esteem.
Self-care is very important and, in my opinion, relates to self-esteem. Some people with low self-esteem can’t generate the interest or don’t have the ability to care for themselves, which makes sense to me based on what I know. Self-care is extremely important if you want to have a great life.
Whatever you can do to increase your self-esteem and engage in self-care will be extremely helpful.
Social Connections & Friends
-Most people are shocked to learn how important social connections and friends are to health and wellbeing. I am going to repeat what I wrote in an October 2019 post because it is significant:
Loneliness and social isolation increase premature death by up to 50% making it a bigger threat than obesity according to two meta-analyses from Brigham Young University. Social isolation is defined as a lack of contact with other individuals. Loneliness is described as a feeling that one is emotionally disconnected from others, so you can feel lonely even if you are in a group of people. Compelling research by J. Tanskanen and T. Anttila (Am J Public Health 2016 November; 106(11): 2042-2048. NCBI.NIM.NIH.GOV) indicates that a lack of social connections is as influential a mortality risk as traditional health-related indicators such as alcohol, smoking or obesity.
What this means is that having friends, family, neighbors to connect with, even if it is by telephone or a remote connection, is extremely important if you want to be healthy. It means that we should all make connecting with other human beings a priority. Let me put it another way, if you want to be healthy then you need to be connecting with people. I know that can be difficult for some people. I understand that. So get paired up with a friend or family member who will drag you out to things because some people just need a nudge.
For some of you that might mean that you need to make new friends. I have always been a big fan of having good friends. Making friends is difficult for many people, but you can learn ways to make new friends. Now that applies more than ever before.
- Emotional Intelligence/Emotional Quotient-This is the ability to identify, manage and process your emotions as well as have empathy and recognize the emotions that other individuals are likely to be feeling. I simply can’t emphasize enough how important this is to having a life that you love. We are not born into this world and given lessons on how to identify, process and manage our emotions. If we all knew how to do that there would be a lot less depression, anxiety, suicide, and mental health issues in the world. Yet, these are skills that you can learn over time. This particular item, in my opinion of course, is an extremely rich area. When you can control your emotions and identify how others might be feeling in a given situation it is both rewarding and powerful.
I summarized the top 17 benefits to having high emotional intelligence, and it is really amazing stuff.
While you are working on growing your emotional intelligence or quotient, there are things you can do that will help you. One of those things is to learn how to change your emotional state by “Flipping the Switch”, which I have a blog post devoted to because it is a game changer. That will help you right now.
Call to Action:
What can you do today that will make your life better or help you feel better? Are you willing to do that? Was this article helpful to you in some way? If so, please share it on social media! If not, what is missing or how can I be helpful to you? My mission is to help people live lives that they LOVE. Are there any areas that you are struggling with? Let me know in the comment section – as in here is what I would love to read about in your next blog post (or whatever you have to say).
I am here to love you along the way. I know that life is hard. Trust me – I know. Yet I also know that life can be delicious and joyful more often than not. Sending you love and good energy!