What is Successfulness (or what is Success)?
What are Successful Habits (or what is Successfulness)?
Before you can start the journey towards being successful and begin building habits that move you along that road, you need to understand what success is. Most people only have a vague idea of successfulness. This prevents them from actually becoming successful because they don’t know where they are going.
It’s like getting in your car and jumping onto the interstate with a full tank of gas, trying to drive to the perfect vacation spot. Odds are, you aren’t going to stumble onto it by accident. You need a destination in mind, and you need a map to get you there.
That’s exactly what this article is designed to be for you – both a way to identify your destination (sort of) and a road map to show you exactly how to get there. But in order to start the journey, you first need to understand what success is, and specifically, what successful habits actually are.
The Definition of Successfulness
The reason that people have problems becoming successful is that they have not figured out exactly what it means to be it. That’s why defining successfulness is the first step in achieving it. The problem is, success isn’t really a destination. Success is actually a journey with stops along the way. Those stops are definitely the destinations that you want to arrive at, but there is no “final destination” that you will get to where you will finally be happy. When it comes to being successful and happy, the only way to achieve it is to be constantly moving towards your goals.
For example, suppose that you have the goal of financial freedom – being wealthy enough to afford some of the finer things in life. You may want to eat out at better restaurants instead of places like Chili’s or Applebees (or fast food). Once you have created enough wealth to be able to afford restaurants where the bill always comes to at least $100, you are still not going to be satisfied.
You are going to want more, and that’s okay. You set another goal – a higher goal – of being able to attend charity dinners where the price of a plate is over $1000. Your happiness isn’t dependent upon the actual reaching of that goal – it is based upon your hard work and your sense of accomplishment from achieving that goal.
The bottom line is that your definition of successfulness should never be a specific destination, even though you should always be working towards that end, but it should instead be defined as being on the path to get the things that you want, one at a time, and continuing to improve yourself and inspiring yourself to reach more and more goals.
The Definition of Successful Habits
That brings us to the framework for those goals that you want to achieve – your habits for success. The habits that you will be teaching yourself will result in the success you desire. Habits for success are clearly defined, well thought out and designed to take you to the goals that you have set for yourself.
In order to understand what a habit for success is completely, you are going to have to set some goals first. But for demonstration purposes, in order to define habits for success, we will be using some example goals. In fact, we will be using three different examples because it can be difficult to understand how to identify the successful habit underneath the goal if the example is too unlike whatever you are trying to achieve.
Example One: The Weight Loss Goal
Our first goal is going to be weight loss. This may or may not be one of your specific goals, but getting healthy, losing weight and reducing the risk for heart attack, stroke, diabetes and other health problems is definitely one of the most common ones out there.
If you have a habit of eating unhealthy foods and avoiding the gym, you are not alone. When age 50 starts to creep up on people, their health becomes a primary concern. So, suppose that the goal that you have set for yourself is to lose 30 pounds and eat healthier. You don’t want to set goals or develop habits that are negatives. You want to create positive habits instead.
The reason for this is simple: when you try to change bad habits, you are taking something away from yourself – something you very likely enjoy. Instead, form good habits that will automatically replace the bad habits. That way, you are giving yourself something good and not taking anything away – at least in your mind. The difference is subtle but it really will make a difference.
So, when it comes to identifying habits for success for this example, let’s start with what you don’t want to do.
Habits to Change (Negatives)
- Stop eating so much junk food
- Stop watching so much evening TV
- Quit going to all-you-can-eat buffets
- Lay off soda
See how all of those are taking something away from your life? You are removing things that you enjoy and that’s just depressing. It will be very difficult to motivate yourself to change your habits because you feel as if you are giving up lots of stuff that you enjoy. But let’s change those habits slightly and make them positive.
Habits to Add (Positives)
- Start eating a piece of fruit every day
- Spend 30 minutes in the evening taking a casual stroll
- Start eating at nicer restaurants with a healthier menu
- Start drinking more water (flavored if desired)
Can you see how much of a difference this makes? When you are choosing new habits or trying to break old ones, you want to make sure that you are giving yourself something instead of taking it away. Even though you know somewhere inside that it is basically the same action, you can fool your brain into being more motivated this way.