The dictionary definition of success is: the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.
Which is bullshit. Accomplishing anything doesn’t make you a success. You must also enjoy getting there or you will be miserable 99% of the time. Then, you must be prepared to pay the price for success.
If a gold medal in gymnastics at Olympics is your goal, that’s great. But when your joints will be in pain for the last 5 decades of your life, your satisfaction of achieving that goal must overpower the pain, or you will be miserable.
My favorite definition of success is:
Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day. – Jim Rohn
First, it makes you a success from day #1. If you put the first step on the path to your daily disciplines, you are already a success. And you are a success all the way to the final destination, including the final outcome.
Second, it makes success attainable for common mortals. I used to think that success was a gold medal at the Olympics or running a multimillion-dollar company. I was clearly unable to reach any of those goals so I didn’t even try. Thanks to Jim Rohn’s definition of success, I made an effort.
Third, it’s the most sterling way to actually “accomplish an aim or purpose.” Daily disciplines and habits spare you a lot of brainpower and decision making. You can utilize them in other areas of your life or to magnify your focus on your goal.
When you show up every day, you can’t help but improve. And you show up every day because you enjoy the process. It’s not too easy, it’s not too hard. Your skills and experience grow with every day of practice. You feel your progress.
If a runner starts a marathon, consistently put his feet in front of one another and heads in the right direction, he must reach the finish line eventually.
So, in summary – you can’t get success in life WITHOUT solid daily habits. I attest to that with the experiences I’ve had in the last six years of my life.
I was aimless and discouraged before I decided to give Jim Rohn’s definition of success a try.
We generally change ourselves for one of two reasons: inspiration or desperation. — Jim Rohn
I was motivated by desperation. I didn’t really believe that I could reach success by practicing daily habits, but no other avenue to success was available to me. So, one day I sat, wrote down several goals for all areas of my life (health, finance, relationships, spirituality and so on) and brainstormed 15 daily disciplines that could help me reach those goals.
Soon, I discarded five of those habits. They came from the wrong place or weren’t aligned with my values. I diligently practiced the remaining ten. Six of them are still part of my daily life.
After a month of practicing speed reading my reading speed almost doubled. That gave me an ounce of belief into this way of achieving success.
It has never let me down since then.
I lost excess weight, made new friends all over the world, became an author, bought a house, beat hundreds of personal fitness records, became a life coach, passed a few exams and got a couple professional certificates for my day job, overcame my shyness, wrote over 1.75 million words, published hundreds of articles online (on my blog, Quora, Medium, blogs and magazines), changed jobs (35% salary raise), sold tens of thousands copies of my books, started a book advertising business, my wife quit her job and I transitioned into half-time work.
And it’s just a tip of the iceberg.
And none of my initial daily disciplines took more than 10 minutes a day.
Do you know what you want to accomplish in regard to your finances, health, spirituality, relationships, career, self-development, happiness? Great, write it down.
You don’t know? Reflect on your values and priorities and come up with something. Write it down.
Then brainstorm simple daily disciplines that will meet these criteria: What’s one simple, single, easy-to-do activity can you do, day in and day out, that will have the greatest impact to that outcome?
Write those disciplines down.
Execute them consistently.
Every. Single. Day.
You are a success.