“We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.”
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) wanted Jesse Owens to boycott the 1936 Olympic Games in order to send a message to the world regarding Adolf Hitler’s policies toward people of color. Others felt that Owens emerging victorious at the Games would send an even louder message. Of course, this would only be true if Owens dominated. Fortunately, Jesse Owens won four gold medals in the Games becoming the most successful athlete at the Games and crushing Hitler’s views on Aryan supremacy.
We may not have as much pressure on us as Jesse Owens did or be in a major competition with all the best competitors in the world in our business category, but we are in competition against ourselves on a daily basis. I believe that this is where we can truly be a “winner”. We should focus on being our best “inner” self, not on just achieving “outer” success.
So how do we do it? How do we become our best self?
Believe that you Can
Above all other advice, you have to REALLY believe that you can achieve your dreams. There are many personal development books out there that can help you train your mind to think positively. Positive self-talk will lead to a positive attitude which will lead to positive outcomes. This will require great self-discipline.
Practice, Practice, Practice
To become better at something you have to do it again and again. Discipline yourself to stick to and create good habits. Once you start achieving success, don’t loosen up on your daily habits that got you there. Anyone at the “top of their game” will fall if they get lazy.
Study Successful People
Success leaves clues. Many successful people have autobiographies/biographies written or documentaries about them that we can learn from. I recently wrote my memoirs entitled My Life Encapsulated: The Path to Success (available here) as a way to pass along some of my experience. There are a myriad of personal and business development books, training courses, videos and podcasts that are available. In fact, I recently wrote a blog that’s worth taking a look at, which lists some of my favorite classic personal development books ‘Must read’ books for 2016. In our information age, just searching on the internet can provide a wealth of information as well.
Stay the Course
Dale Carnegie said, “Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” The road can be rocky and you will have hard days, but hang in there, stay the course and don’t quit.
Monitor your Progress
If you are looking to better yourself, then you have most likely written down your goals. Studies have shown that by simply writing your goals down you are 42% more likely to achieve them. Make sure that you break your goals down into realistic and actionable steps. Then it is critical that you monitor your progress on a regular basis, evaluate and make adjustments as necessary.
Studies have also shown that you are 78% more likely to achieve your goals if you tell someone about them. Therefore, it is extremely beneficial to share your goals with someone. I would recommend finding a family member, friend, personal coach and/or mentor that you trust to hold you accountable, give you honest feedback and hopefully encouragement. If you’re part of a team, then discuss, set and work toward your team goals together. Then, be or become a leader of your team by not only just personally using these success principles, but also teaching them to your team.
I’m confident in recommending these six principles to become your best self, because I have personally used and continue to use them. I believe that it is a lifelong pursuit to become our best selves.
All my best to you along your journey to becoming your best self!
“Successful individuals compete with others, measuring their success against what others accomplish. Significant individuals move along the growth path and attain both material and spiritual greatness by competing against themselves.”