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Every time I have met someone who is extraordinarily successful, I have always taken an interest in finding out how the person became so successful. It may take me a few weeks of knowing the person, or a few months, but I am generally able to get the person to open up after some time and share with me some secrets of their success.
In all of my interviews, study, and thought about the matter, I have concluded that most people who become super successful commonly have utilized one or both of the following:
People who are not successful generally do not have that same motivating force and/or discipline to achieve their goals.
In order for people to become extremely successful, people generally need both (1) and (2); however, (1) is so powerful that many people have used this alone to succeed. Having an internal motivating force is so powerful that you too can succeed with it alone. In order to reach your full potential, it is important that you understand these success factors.
Many people are motivated to succeed due to their love for someone (a parent, spouse, desired mate). Love is a very powerful force and it drives many people forward, leading them to achieve incredible things. When you watch movies, you will often see a man who has been “burned” by a woman earlier in the film spend the rest of the film proving his worth by pursuing various accomplishments. Most movies about sports involve love in some manner. In the movie Rocky, for example, Adrian tells Rocky to “win”, and then Rocky becomes highly motivated and animated. We can use love to push as a motivating force to achieve that which might otherwise be impossible.
Throughout my career I have noticed that many companies prefer to hire married men over single men or women. The unwritten reason for this, from what I understand, is that the hiring firm believes that the man’s love for his family will keep him motivated and working harder than someone who does not have to support a family. Employers know that having this force of love will keep someone motivated and contributing more value to an organization.
When you love someone, or desire someone’s love, you can often accomplish far more than you could without this force influencing you. The most successful people often have a tremendous amount of love for someone. They may be trying to show the person that they can be or do something, or they may simply be trying to honor this person with their achievements. Regardless of the reason, this force of love is an incredible motivator that drives people forward.
Similarly, a lack of love, a withdrawal of affection and more, can cause people incredible turmoil. When you go into any dark bar in the middle of the day and start talking to people, you will almost always find that the unhappiest people are drowning their sorrows, upset because they feel a lack of love in their lives. People who get hurt in the love arena can often veer dangerously off course in their lives, and experience incredible problems and misfortunes. Many of the most unsuccessful people out there attribute their lack of success in the world to losing or being disappointed by love. The effect of love on our lives is a profound one.
We all have disappointments in our love lives at one time or another. It is how you handle these disappointments that is going to determine your destiny. Instead of holding these disappointments against yourself and allowing them to hurt you and your potential, the most important thing you can do is make them work for you.
Equally forceful are feelings of lack, rejection, and anger. Many very successful people feel a tremendous sense of lack. They might have been criticized and attacked when younger; they might have been rejected by the establishment; or they may just be flat-out angry at the world because of something that happened in their lives. These feelings can be channeled into all sorts of positive achievements. In order to do all the things you are capable of, you need something behind you that fires you up and makes you hungry. A sense of lack, rejection, or anger can do this.
When I was spending the majority of my time recruiting, my greatest concern was always trying to understand what made the best attorneys so good at what they did. Finding this out was somewhat of an “obsession” of mine. In fact, I was far more interested in this particular topic than the average recruiter. I could spend hours on the phone with one candidate discussing their success with them. I was genuinely interested, and wanted to be of service, so the attorneys usually didn’t mind having these conversations with me; however, this is not the sort of thing that most people open up about when you are getting to know them.
Most of the better attorneys had something in their past that they were angry about. It often was a parent, but sometimes it was someone or something else. It was sometimes that the attorneys grew up a certain way, wherein they did not have all of their needs met. People in their past might have told them that they would never amount to much. These sorts of experiences gave the attorneys a sense of lack and anger that they carried with them into their careers, which motivated them throughout their lives. Without this sense of lack, these attorneys may never have been able to achieve the results they did. The sense of lack and anger gave them passion.
Just as anger, lack and rejection can create tremendous passion to accomplish something positive, so too can it drive us to do negative things. Crimes and other various nefarious acts are usually committed by people who are using these same emotions in destructive ways. Similarly, people who withdraw and do not put in their full effort in their careers and lives are using these emotions destructively. Some people continually sabotage their own success, and this is another example of people using their feelings of anger, lack, and rejection in a destructive way.
How you use motivating emotions is something that is going to determine how well you do in your career and in your life. Nothing is more important than using these motivating emotions in a positive and empowering way. When you find someone who has gone astray in his or her life, you will often find someone who is using these motivating emotions for negative purposes, instead of positive purposes.
Is it even important to reach your full potential? This is a useful question. Many people do not care much about reaching their full potential. The reasons for asking this question are numerous, however, in its most positive light, people who are unconcerned with reaching their full potential are already there to some extent. They may not be out there like a lot of the world, chasing titles, wealth–or pushing their bodies and minds to go as far as possible. In fact, when you meet people like this they are typically quite happy and they are not all that concerned about how much better they can do in anything. Many of the happiest and most balanced people out there do not have any anger or other highly charged emotions of love, passion and so forth. They are simply happy being as they are. No one is saying you need to be a super achiever–but if you feel compelled to reach for higher achievement, using the emotions of love, anger and rejection can empower you to an incredible degree.
Many people, myself included, want to be in a comfort zone within various parts of our lives. Being in the comfort zone means that we do what is familiar and what we like, and avoid the things that are not familiar to us. Most people spend their entire lives doing this, and it has incredible ramifications because, due to this desire to remain comfortable, a great number of people never reach their full potential.
If you want to get better at something, the most important thing you can do is set up a routine wherein you regularly measure your progress. In fact, the only way to improve in just about anything is to measure yourself and to keep coming back to the thing you want to improve at on a daily or weekly basis. Measure your progress on an ongoing basis against some sort of baseline, and you will see results. If you measure your progress, you will know when you are falling back, when you are improving and what is necessary to push yourself a bit harder. Measurement keeps you from falling into the comfort zone, wherein no progress is achieved.
I have been fascinated whenever I have watched people undertake various weight loss programs. I have seen a lot of people lose weight on Weight Watchers. While I am not an expert in the program, I know that it essentially makes people measure their food intake by counting points. The dieters also must weigh themselves on an ongoing basis, which holds them accountable and keeps them focused. This system of measurement is what helps people achieve results. In fact, Weight Watchers has made a major business out of helping people measure their own progress.
If measurement can work for weight loss, imagine what else it can do for your life and your goals. Setting up a weekly and ongoing pattern for measuring your various goals can make a huge difference in how well you do. If you refuse to monitor your progress, eventually you will start to lose focus, and your progress will become stagnant.
It is very difficult to see where you are unless you can look at where you have been. Measurement helps you do this. If you want to get better at anything you need to know where you are, then develop standards for monitoring improvement from where you are. Schools, for example, understand the importance of measurement, which is why they grade students, have tests, and so forth. Without this sort of measurement, very few people would know when they are faltering, and they would stop learning and improving. Grades motivate students to improve and indicate when they are not progressing. In life, however, there is generally no one there to grade us. We need to grade ourselves and set up our own measurement tools.
There are numerous ways to measure how you are doing. One of the best ways is to simply write down your goals at the beginning of the year and then refer to them weekly. Another method is to simply examine where you are with respect to each of your long-term goals by looking at those goals once a week. Then judge whether you are making progress or not. Most people underestimate how much they can actually accomplish if they put their mind to something for a long period of time. Continued and sustained attention on a goal with routine is likely to create the results you are seeking. I believe that this is among the most important things that you can do–just make sure you check-in with your goals at least once each week to see how you are doing. This routine and nothing more may get you the results you are seeking.
People who never measure or check-in on their goals do not tend to reach their goals, and they have a long list of “somedays”–a stockpile of their elusive future achievements. These somedays never occur, since no procedure has been set up to measure them. If you set up a continuous and ongoing procedure for the measurement of your goals, as long as you are progressing, you will eventually reach your ultimate goals.
Use the power of a motivating force and routine to drive you forward.