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The most successful people in the world

“Sometimes life’s going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did.” — Steve Jobs

Even the most successful people in history have had their confidence rocked (video), their good ideas questioned & ridiculed, and the door of opportunity slammed in their face.

The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.” — Randy Pausch

Even the most successful, most intelligent, most attractive, and most beloved people in the world have felt tired, lonely, scared, ugly, stupid, and alone.

Even the most successful people in the world have set goals, made mistakes and suffered serious setbacks and failure.

Success is 99 percent failure.” — Soichiro Honda

But what made many of the most successful people in the world successful is that they persisted. They had the desire, the determination, the passion, and the will to succeed. And they used it.

And that made all the difference.

Success isn’t a magical thing that some people can have and others cannot. It’s something you work for.

As Steve Jobs also said:

Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.” (video)

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‘If Plan A doesn’t work out…’

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If “Plan A” doesn’t work, don’t worry, you still have 25 letters left.

Not helpful!

The truth is, you don’t always get a 2nd chance, let alone a 3rd. But every mistake or failure provides valuable lessons to learn from.

  • Re-think where it went wrong
  • Seek help where you need it, and
  • Take everything you learned from the experience and use it to strategize a new plan for success.

Ways to find encouragement: Take it easy on yourself

Ways to find encouragement series:

Take it easy on yourself.

Many of us are our own worst critics. We beat ourselves up when things don’t play out as we imagined.

It may be disappointing to make mistakes or not perform as well as we expected, but it’s important to remember that no experience is wasted if we learn from it.

Life is hard enough as it is — we shouldn’t make it even harder on ourselves by focusing on our failures, lacks, or shortcomings. Yes, having an idea of our weaknesses is advantageous in order to find ways to compensate for them, but to beat ourselves up over not being able to do everything we attempt every single time we try is a waste of energy.

When we give ourselves a break, it makes our efforts easier and strengthens our resolve to keep heading towards our dreams. And that’s encouraging.

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Ways to find encouragement: Don’t be afraid of mistakes

Ways to find encouragement series:

Don’t be afraid of mistakes.

No one gets through life without making mistakes. Only some people make a bigger deal/show out of them than others. Some of the most successful people in the world fail all the time, but they don’t sit around announcing it to everyone. Instead, they simply learn from it and move on.

When you treat your mistakes like learning experiences, you turn what some people consider to be a negative thing into a positive one. And that’s encouraging.

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Ways to find encouragement: Focus on the present

Ways to find encouragement series:

Focus on the present.

Every day is a new beginning. You are not your failures. The past is gone. You can’t change it. Get over it. Today, right now, is the only thing that truly makes a difference in your life.

It’s always NOW. Now is the only time you can do anything that will have a bearing on your future. Like I said, remember to ask yourself “What can I do right now that is the most valuable use of my time?” and then DO THAT.

When you let go of what you can’t control and direct yourself to controlling the things you can, you become more of an architect of your life. And that’s encouraging.

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Ways to find encouragement: Positive thinking

Positive thinking.

I’ve talked about the power of positive thinking before — specifically in 9 of the What I’ve learned about achieving personal goals.

The thing about successful people (achievers) and “unsuccessful” people (non-achievers) is that they think differently from each other. Successful people ultimately end up creating their own success through their habitual way of thinking (and then acting on those thoughts). They think they can, so they do.

If you were successful all the time, would you think differently about achieving goals than someone who is habitually down on themselves? Of course you would.

The main thought process that distinguishes “achievers” from “non-achievers” is OPTIMISM.

So if you want to be an achiever, become an optimist.

Optimists don’t always succeed at everything they do, but they are so confident in their overall success, that they don’t let their failures or shortcoming be anything but a temporary setback. Instead, they just chalk these up as learning experiences and resolve to keep trying things until they succeed.

Now, I’m not suggesting to just become blind to doing something poorly, or failing, or that blind optimism is a good thing. Thinking positive only gets you so far. Thinking positive can help provide the fuel necessary to accomplish difficult tasks, but it doesn’t mean mistakes or failures don’t happen.

The trick is to be persistent and to keep trying different things until you reach your goal. You can’t keep doing the same things and expect to get different results.

One thing that might be somewhat encouraging is realizing this:

Successful people fail a lot.

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” — Michael Jordan

When one feels optimistic about their life and dreams, that’s encouraging.

Achieving personal goals: Comparison is the thief of joy

Achieving personal goals: Comparison is the thief of joy

We are often unaware of the struggles that others must face in order to achieve success. As Lee Honda put it, “Success is 99{c6f8bcce09fa93f9e224a421551caa447514b3108dc88f48a0d3c68e1a538278} failure.”

Know that whatever it is you wish to accomplish, no two people, businesses, or ventures are exactly the same. You can’t help but bring a unique perspective to your endeavors and a unique combination of talents and skills.

So even if the field is crowded, understand that you can succeed, too, but in order to do so, it is essential that you put in the effort and take action to achieve your goals.

Getting discouraged at others’ accomplishments and giving up because you feel you can’t compete gets you nowhere.

Constantly comparing yourself to others is waste of energy. There will always be someone better at something than you are.

A wise person once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Don’t let the success of others discourage you from your own endeavors or make you bitter. If someone has done or is doing something you would like to do, let it inspire you and be an indicator that you, too, can achieve great things.

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Achieving personal goals series:

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Achieving personal goals: No excuses!

Achieving personal goals: No excuses!

Everyone has weaknesses and limitations. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone faces failure and unfairness in life at one time or another. You are not alone. By focusing on your strengths and making the most of what you DO have, you can do great things. What are the things keeping you from achieving your goal? Are they truly things you cannot work around if you truly wanted to? No one is going to hand you your results. You have to work for them. Be stronger than your excuses.

Achieving personal goals series:

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Life is hard enough already

Life is hard enough already without blaming yourself for things that are beyond your control. And even when things are within your control, we all make mistakes — it is an essential part of being human — it’s how we learn.

Mistakes happen and there’s no stopping them. “Live and learn” is the best we can do. You can’t change the past, you can only affect the future by resolving to do better next time.

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Life is hard enough already.

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