There are 24 hours in a day, 168 in a week, and 8760 in a year. When you spell it out like that, it seems like a lot. However, after binge watching all those seasons on Netflix, spending hours on social media, and getting caught up in the day-to-day life, each year flies by faster than the last. We find ourselves in the same place we were last year, not anywhere closer to where we want to be.
Still, it isn’t too late to change. You want to be successful? Look at people you admire and try to mimic them. Through observation, personal reflection, and reading of autobiographies of people I greatly admire, I have deduced that there are four main sections of every successful person’s life, and they’re much easier to achieve than you’d think.
1. Pursue Your Passion
The only difference between that billionaire on the news and you is that they had the courage to relentlessly go after the thing they cared the most about. They weren’t afraid to fail, take risks, and mess up one thousand times. Successful people rarely find their big break on their first attempt. JK Rowling got rejected 9 times by publishers before Harry Potter was ever published. Thomas Edison made 1,000 attempts at a lightbulb before any ever worked.
If you have a passion, follow it. A dream will never become a reality if you don’t start. Your passion doesn’t have to be grand, either. Maybe you’re passionate about being a great mother or father. Maybe you dream of teaching and changing a child’s life. There is no passion too big or too small for this world. Once you’ve found your passion, make sure you try to dedicate a portion of every day to pursuing it and making your dream a reality.
2. Practice Self-Love
Confidence is a key element to a successful life, and you can’t be confident without first loving yourself. Self-love comes into play in a number of ways. Sometimes it’s taking the time to rest and enjoy a warm bath and a book even when there are things you should potentially be doing. Other times practicing self-love means doing things you don’t really want to be doing: going to the gym when you’d rather be sleeping, putting down that donut that’s screaming your name, turning off the TV to get a full night’s rest. A successful person knows that self-love isn’t always as fun as we might think it is. It’s not all fun and games, but rather listening to your body and soul and feeding it what it needs.
The needs of each person are different, so it’s important to know yourself well. For me, I recharge through being around people. That’s why I make it a priority to spend time with people, because I know that I won’t give my 110% without that much needed social time. Other people need time alone to recharge and socialize. There’s no wrong version of self-love.
3. Provide for Others
If you’ve been following along, you now know that you need to follow passions and practice self-love. However, if you stop right there, you’ll be lacking the most important aspect of success: providing for others. Every successful person knows that a self-centered attitude will never get you to the top and, even if it does, that ‘top’ is not going to be what you thought it would be.
If your sole goal is to get incredibly rich, you may reach that, but you’re not going to find happiness. Just read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens if you don’t believe me. Success isn’t success if you have no one to share it with. We’re relational beings, and we need people in our lives.
I think the biggest mistake that people make in searching for success is putting so much time into their passion that they neglect those around them.
A psychological study in the Perspectives of on Psychological Science found that “people who reported being lonely were 26 percent more likely to have died than those who did not.” After all, is that fifth house in Martha’s Vineyard really going to make you happier than the third or fourth? Probably not.
I firmly believe that no matter where you’re at monetarily, you never are too poor to give to others. There’s a Christian parable found in Luke 20:45-21:4 called “The Widow’s Offering.” Regardless of your religious affiliation, the truth behind this parable is extremely powerful. Some rich men and a widow were giving money to the temple. While the rich gave high quantities, the widow only put 2 small copper coins (almost all she had). In the parable, Jesus blessed the poor woman for her faithfulness and kindness. Who do you think is happier? The rich men or the poor woman? I’ll let you be the judge.
4. Participate in Societal Duties
I wish I could tell you that we could stop right there, loving yourself, pursuing your passion, and giving to others, because that life sounds pretty fun. However, I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that everyone is going to make it. In reality, very few people can turn their passion into a career.
I love to write. It gives me so much joy and it will forever be a life passion of mine. However, do I realistically believe that I’ll ever make a living off of my writing? Doubtful. We must have a realistic skepticism with our passion pursuit and realize that very few people get to incorporate their passion into their career. Do your passion because you love it, not because you want to make money from it. If it works out that way, you should feel extremely blessed. If you don’t, that’s okay too.
Participating in societal duties means taking a job you might not love, but doing it because society needs all kinds of people to function properly. Do you think driving a garbage truck is that man or woman’s passion? Possibly, but I highly doubt it. Being successful means doing something that contributes to the greater good of society, even if it might not be your favorite thing.
With these four aspects of the successful person’s life, it is important to remember that this ‘recipe’ for success will never come out right without the proper measurements of each. You need equal parts of each in order to reach the maximum level of success. If you divide each day and each week into putting effort into each category of these four aspects, I promise you you’ll be one step closer to living the life you want to live.
Give it a try this week and intentionally break up your week into pursuing each aspect of your life, and let me know how it’s working! As always, leave a comment, ask questions, and keep striving for success!