The meaning of success, in a broader sense, is the raised quality of one’s life, which in itself symbolises growth and contentedness. The success of one-time events, like winning a championship are part of this journey as they continue on into one’s daily life: they bring respect, admiration, and a better social position that increases the quality of life. The winning of a championship in this case is just a tool that gets one closer to the true meaning of success.
Success goals like winning a championship have a crucial role in this journey towards a higher quality of life. When you direct your efforts with the help of a specific goal to work towards, you channel and optimise your resources which increase your chances of getting there greatly. That is why finding a goal is crucial, it doesn’t have to be carved in stones, the goal can and often does change along the way. This is a natural part of your journey, since all your goals serve the ultimate aspiration of being successful in life and achieving the treatment and lifestyle you wish for yourself.
Building the path to success
Success is built up from a series of well-defined steps, which for some comes naturally and for others have to be consciously searched for to be clearly defined. In any case, in this journey the successfully completed steps outweigh the unsuccessful ones, leading to overall growth and the sense of reaching success in life. Any failures do not define the path, nor define the journey. It’s important to embrace two facts, one is that occasional failure is necessary, and the other one is that life rarely delivers black and white outcomes, which means there will be winnings without gain and there will be losses with great advantages.
While the experience toward success is personal for everybody, the actual road is made of clearly distinguishable stages that can be generalised and adapted to each individual.
Stage #1 – Define what success is for you – exactly
A really clear definition of what a successful life is to you is fundamental if you want to work towards it. If you can’t picture it you can’t work towards it, since it can’t tell you what to do. First and foremost, success needs to be described with exacts or the image will be too foggy and your drive will be too low to kickstart the journey.
Let’s say you have a picture of success that involves making a comfortable living from your business with no more than 4 hours of work per day, being able long holidays, regular fine dining, plenty of luxuries, and having a solid friend group around you, of which you are an integral part. This is good start, but without specifics, it’s just a dream. A dream becomes a goal when you put a price tag on it. How much money and personal effort are in that lifestyle?
- The financial components of the above goal would be for example, 20K monthly income for comfortable spending, calculated from how much you spend currently added to how much you have to give up because you cannot afford that, ending up in a clear number. In addition to that, there might be a need for 250K for a hacienda at Z riviera (or other purchase format eg. buying holiday rights, leasing etc.).
- The human components include the list of communities you highly regard and wish to be a member of, as well as defining how you’d like to be seen socially and treated in your daily life. This needs to be no less exact than the financial goals. Ideas of wanted to be trusted are too foggy to work towards; the interactions you want for yourself needs to be specified further. For example, when you go home you want to see a smiling face greeting you regardless of how late you arrived, because the partner knows you have the best intentions. Same for your business relationships, for example, you want to deal with people who pay in time as per contract, without the need to regularly nagging them.
Having clear image on the interactions one wants in their private and business life is crucial to consciously select people with the right attitude.
Stage #2 – Build the way to get those components of success
When the image you want to work towards is clear and you have the initial numbers (they may change as you learn more along your journey), it becomes possible to ideate about how to realise those numbers. For example, if you want a 20K monthly income, you need to strategize your earnings as employment rates alone rarely goes that high in terms of monthly income. You would likely need to start slowly move towards contractor frameworks, within which you might shift your audience several times to raise your rates. From there, you might start building out the basics of your own business that will be able to deliver the desired income.
You might need to do some research to gain an understanding of how much other similar businesses cost to run (materials, people, renting, legal etc.) and strategically define your services and products. This is not a one afternoon activity. The answers will reveal themselves during discussions with your peers, by observing competitors, during your research of different business models and so on. But once you have your ballpark estimation, you can work out the finer details of what costs what.
For this journey, having the right peopling method is crucial. That is where your definition of ideal interaction starts to be valuable. Partners, supporters, collaborators will come and go and if the peopling is bumpy, the journey will likely be miserable and short. There are two things that usually need to be put in gear for one’s networking journey to be refined:
- One is the channels and intention used to make connections. Random friending will bring random results, with a lot of mismatch. To select likeminded people, one needs to look for the channels where those people are and learn how those people can be approached. This is especially important for martial artists because highly assertive people are hard to find in normal networking circles: they are present in smaller, safer circles in which they aren’t ostracised for being ‘too much’.
- The other aspect is your communication style and/or general approach to others. We copy our communication style from our environment where it may work smoothly, but not necessarily work in other communities. Openness and tolerance for differences are crucial for expanding your network. If something you say doesn’t elicit the right response, you need to reconsider your current communication style. In turn, this will help you grow your network to include your ideal people. You might also want help form a communication coach, or have your outreach template written by a professional, your website copywritten by experts, etc. Putting forward a professional, appropriate front will help convince others to engage with your network.
This is the context within which the individual steps are set up. Including goals like winning a world championship, which would open the door for the desired networks and business opportunities. Keeping an eye on the wider context has extreme importance, because when one is fixated on the individual goal they loose the full picture why it was set up in the first place. These are the cases when too much has been given up along the way and winning the championship for example, which is merely one step in the journey, won’t be able to compensate for the sacrifices and the increase in life quality fails to come.
The actual action plans naturally come together when zooming in on the individual goals that derived from the above process of defining one’s own success:
Overall success >> goals to achieve a milestone >> steps to achieve a goal << moves to complete step.
In the example context:
Living the way I want >> winning a championship (and other goals) >> training to pro level >> how to’s for conditioning and competing.
Stage #3 – Ready yourself for growth
When it’s clear where you want to go and how you get there, the one thing left is making yourself able to do what needs to be done. Life is busy and working toward success is draining, especially if one is under a lot of stress and pressure from their current social network. That means, to be able to proceed with the plans, serious self-care measures need to be introduced.
Self-care in this case runs way beyond good nutrition, it includes letting go of unnecessary responsibilities towards others in the network, pulling out from unhealthy relationships and refusing people free favours – which in itself will cause further headaches until those relationships settle on a new basis. However, they are necessary measures to be able to invest your resources (time, energy, money) to proceed with your life. They are also the focal points of maintaining good mental health.
Also ensure that you minimise your contact with social media, as it is engineered to trigger unnecessary anxiety that sticks you on their platform.
Carving out the space for one’s on growth is an art in itself. Because activities and relationships have to be re-prioritised in favour of the future but without ignoring the present. You still need to have your emotional needs met, belonging and joy soaked up to be recharged and keep on going. Working like a dog and withdrawing from all of life’s pleasures will lead to burn out. And when it comes to success, if you burnt out, that’s the end of the game. Listening to your internal signals about what do you need in the present to maintain good mental and physical health is necessary for a sustainable growth.
In summary, setting oneself up to succeed consist of three core stages; pinning down exactly what success is, calculating how much it costs, and allocating resources for the required growth work to get there. For some, the improvement in lifestyle is obvious. For others, the increase of life quality is so gradual it’s hard to judge the moment when they got there. There will be won and lost battles on the way and the goals may change as well, but the underlying aim stays the same: achieving the feeling that you’ve ‘made it’.