There are three primary drivers of results in life:
- Your luck (randomness)
- Your approach (strategy)
- Your actions (practices)
Only two and three are under your control. If you master those two, you can improve the odds that luck (#1) will work for you rather than against you.
1. Your Luck
Luck comes from, Having a dream Doing the work. Showing up to do the work again and again when you’ve done the work, you are prepared so that when an opportunity (luck) knocks, you are ready and can use the opportunity to its fullest advantage. So in a way, luck is somewhat in your control.
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. — Seneca
There is opportunity everywhere, you have to be open to it. When you have put in the preparation and steps, you can seize the opportunity that is luck.
2. Your approach (strategy)
Why do you make the choices you make? What is your why? Make choices that are in line with your why What are you trying to achieve, and why? I know my why. My why is simple; to help people by offering valuable advice about writing, productivity, and success through entertaining storytelling. My why might change, but for now, my why is to offer value to my readers and become a better writer. Knowing why I make the choices I make, makes it more likely that my strategy turns into actions that become habits. I align my choices with my why.
My choice to get up every morning and focus on “your why” for the first half of the day aligns with my value of becoming a better “fill in the blank”. I’m living my values — my why.
Step one — Find your why. Get clear on your why. When you know your why — your core belief where you’re operating from, the next step, coming up with a strategy, and an action plan to make an impact on your audience, your company, or the world, is easier.
But you need to get clear on your why.
If you don’t know your why, some questions to ask yourself might be, What contribution do I want to make in the world? What contribution do I want to make to my company, my community, my audience? Know what you can give, and who you want to impact.
We are either focused or we are consuming
Make a choice to be focused on your why and see what happens in the next year. When you drill down and act from a place of why, the choices that become your habits will drive success.
The average person spends 13 years in front of the TV (4 and a half hours a day).
Imagine what you could do with that time. You could instead write a novel, start a side hustle, create a product, offer a service, build a blog, build an online course. That’s where your potential wealth is, in those four hours. Every day ask yourself, “where should I spend more time on my business to increase my income?”
What we focus on is what we build and what we attract. You can’t just desire a goal. You need to make the goal a reality from the choices you make each day.
Write down, in detail, where you want to be a year from now and work backward on the calendar, brainstorming the strategies you need to implement to get to your goal one year from now. You need to sell yourself first on your dreams, so you have real enthusiasm and authenticity with your audience and your clients.
They won’t believe you if you don’t believe in your dreams.
Say “no” a lot
Part of a good strategy is making good choices. A large part of making good choices is deciding what your why is and not losing sight of it, saying no to the rest. Say no to the things that won’t get you closer to your goals. Say no to anything that’s not serving your why, that doesn’t give you value, or make you feel in line with your purpose.
Say “yes” to the things that excite you and are in line with your core belief.
3. Your Actions (practices)
The habits you choose today create the success you have in the future.
Steve Jobs said it so well, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
Successful people take action
Successful people take action, but they also know when to delegate. Successful people know they can’t do everything well, so they ask for help with what they don’t know. When they don’t know how to do something essential to grow their business, they hire someone who does know.
When we ask for help with things that are out of our skillset, we can then focus on the things we are good at and let other people fill in the gaps. Successful people take consistent action every day to reach their goals. They have the goal in mind, and they concentrate on getting a little closer to that goal each day.
Limit your choices:
Steve Jobs wore the same thing every day because he didn’t want to waste brainpower on figuring out which clothes to put on each morning.
Wearing the same outfit saves brainpower.
There are only so many decisions you can make in a day before you are spent. By limiting this one decision, Jobs had more energy for more important things, like his computer company that now dominates many industries. He was clear about his why.
You want to reduce decision making on the things that don’t matter. Humans only have so much emotional bandwidth and only so much time to execute decisions, so we want to save our brainpower for the important ones — decisions that matter most.
When we limit our choices, it is easier to create the habits that, in the long run, will get you to your purpose.
Create good habits intentionally
So many people create habits by default, without intention. The trick to successful habit building is to pick a goal that is so small you will stick to it, and then increase the habit in little ways each day or each week.
Choose a habit that is easy enough to stick to that you don’t need the motivation to stick to it. Motivation has been proven to vary and wane over time. Rather than starting with a goal of writing 3,000 words a day, start with writing for ten minutes a day, and then increase to twenty minutes the next week and so on.
Make the habit easy enough that not doing it is more mentally taxing than doing it.
It takes more mental energy to think about ditching a ten-minute goal of writing each day, then it would to just sit at the keyboard and write for ten minutes.
Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.— Jim Rohn
Don’t create negative habits by default. Put some thought into the tiny habit changes you want to make. Knowing your why makes this easier. When you stick to writing for ten minutes each day, your motivation and willpower will increase, making you more likely to stick with the habit in the long run.