"Don't read this if you want the secret to success. There is no secret. There are no laws of attraction, no short cuts, no tricks of the trade. People who succeed in business, careers and in life do so because they work hard." This quote from Mark Bouris" new book "What it takes - an attitude of hard work, commitment and purpose" is a great opener and precursor to this blog post which is all about what it takes to succeed.
This is a great book to read if you want to be inspired to achieve your life's purpose, whether personal or professional. A copy of the book can be purchased from the following Yellow Brick Road
Mark Bouris is an Australian businessman who is best known as the founder and chairman of 'Wizard Home Loans', Australia's second largest non-bank mortgage lender behind Aussie Home Loans.
So let's explore the 3 elements Mark states are necessary to succeed.
Life is about choices - good, bad, happy, unhappy, purpose filled or void. Your choices should be reflective of who you are and what you believe in. It is about following your heart and doing what you love to do with passion and purpose. It is about having a "diamond like clarity about what you are trying to achieve". (Michael Hill - from Michael Hill Jewelers)
The following are some key concepts to focus on if you are willing to begin the journey that will bring you to a point where you can say "I know my purpose and love my life.":
1. Basic Needs - Food, water, shelter. These are the basis for survival and necessary in order to be able to move ahead with your life. Are these needs being met in your life right now?
2. Talents, Strengths and Skills - We are all unique with individual strengths and limitations. Review your current and past skills. Write them down and consider how you could utilise them in an area of your life now to achieve a goal you have set yourself.
3. Clarify Values - Faith, family, relationships, personal growth, work, finances. What are the most important things in life to you? Complete the exercise in Resolve to Evolve to help determine your current focus.
4. Passion - What gets your heart pumping and your mind racing. What makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning and keeps you motivated and energized all day ?
5. Mission and Vision - A mission is what are you called, compelled to do and accomplish. Write a clear concrete one to two paragraph statement of what you feel compelled to accomplish in your life. Vision is that visual picture in your head of what your future looks like - this can be in the form of some type of concrete plan i.e. Life plan or business plan. In 6 Keys to successful Goal Attainment we explored finding life purpose with the Wheel of Life exercise.
6. Goals - goals are essential in order to plan your life purpose. Smart Goals provides a great framework for establishing short and long term goals .
7. Support and Community - Look for a place where you can get feedback, support, and suggestions from others who have a similar goal or life purpose. Look for people who respect you for who you are, where you and your strengths.
8. Saying No and Setting Limits - When you are clear about your purpose, then it becomes much easier to say no to distractions. Remember - if it doesn't further your purpose then the answer should be No. Stay focused on your goal.
9. Action - Thoughts and plans are all well and good, but if you don't action them, then they aren't much use to you. So put those thoughts, plans, and skills into action! Identify the best place to start - typically one small task leads to another small task and that = success which =more energy and motivation which l= more action. Use Gap Analysis to draft an Action Plan.
10. Stay Motivated - Weekly encouragement, support and accountability have proven to be the best way to keep you energized and moving. Focus on your purpose and it will serve as a motivator. You may even want to keep a journal of your progress to log your progress towards your goal.
Attitude of Hard Work
As a wise man once said, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Success does not come cheaply. According to Michael Hill of Michael Hill Jewelers, in his book Think Bigger, "success is not a place or a thing; success is the process of getting up every morning, putting in the work, dealing with the disappointments, striving for the wins and being able to say at the end of the year that you had more victories than defeats. Success is the journey, success is the grind. Success is working at your purpose." It requires courage, responsibility, imagination, and integrity.
Michael Hill and Mark Bouris recommend we acquire the following:
- Responsibility - for your action or non-action. Don't play the blame game.
- Perspective - focus on the things you can control and influence which include your attitude, knowledge and skills Direct your energy, resources and time towards these aspects.
- Respond to change - remain flexible and adapt your action plan as circumstances dictate.
- Have an active approach - achieving is doing. Action has to be resolute, relentless and imbued with self belief.
- Inspire others - focus on the positives out of what your doing. Ensure you review and provide feedback to yourself and others.
- Take ownership of decisions both good and bad. Again don't play the blame game. View mistakes as a learning opportunity. Use self reflection and active learning approaches to grow as an individual or as an organisation.
- Deal with the fear - fear of failure and success. Acknowledge it and have a strategy for dealing with it (exercise, diet and breathing - more on this in a future post).
- Commitment is...An experience as real as cooking a meal. If you don't know whether or not you're committed, you're not. You'll know when you are.
- Commitment is...An absolute, like a light switch with no dimmers, it's just 'on' or 'off'. There's no such thing as being a little committed or very committed, only totally committed.
- Commitment is...What you make to someone or something. It is a choice freely made because you believe it will "work for you".
- Commitment is... a neon sign flashing across your forehead that reads 'not available' for anything that will defer, diminish or deflect you from the action you've committed to.
- Commitment is...Staying true to your values and beliefs. It means having a solid grasp of who you are and being true to yourself.
- Commitment is...Being able to and willing to be in a state of discomfort. It is understanding that sometimes you will have to make sacrifices. It's remembering your underlying intention is bigger than the temporary distress that you may experience. It serves to remind us that the bumps on the road are opportunities to develop practices that will strengthen the qualities that will support us in becoming more capable people.
- Commitment is...Requires 100 per cent effort. At times, commitment is a hard slog and a downright pain in the butt. Only a small percentage of the population are capable of commitment, mostly because they are unable to make the necessary sacrifices.
- Commitment is... a willingness to take responsibility for continually and repeatedly making the choice to persevere
To me, being committed means remaining steadfast and true to my life purpose and goals, no matter how much dust is kicked up on the road. What does it mean to you?
Remember your path isn't solitary and you are not on that road alone. Every committed action you take and every decision you make inspires others to take on their own personal challenges. Commitment is the key to unlocking doors and opening windows, and letting the light shine in to show how we can all lead a more focused and purposeful life.
Challenge: People spend thousands of dollars on counselling and life coaches. This blog provides tools and techniques used by some of these professions. While some of these tools are challenging and time consuming I encourage you to consider their benefit and complete some of them in your own time .
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope you found it informative and helpful. I know that I am learning a lot from researching and completing the activities I post here. Please leave a comment or share/recommend to a friend.