Another example. My goal is to write best-selling novels. I attend workshops, classes, conferences, write every day and read everything I can in the time I have left. Yet still, the chances of reaching that goal are very, very slim. There is too much competition from others also doing all those things—others who may be more talented, lucky, or connected.
So how does one achieve success? That is, personal success—the feeling that you have reached your own objectives. Here are the steps:
1. Define success in your own terms. Not what your mother, spouse or best friend thinks will make you a success, but what fulfills you.
2. Decide what is/are your overall, pie-in-the-sky objective(s). I’ve already mentioned mine. Maybe you want to raise four happy, healthy and successful children. Perhaps you want to beat cancer.
3. Establish short and long term goals that are achievable, will lead you toward your objective, and will give you a sense of accomplishment along the way. Be unselfish, you will accomplish the most by helping others. If necessary, break down each goal into smaller steps. The key is, the goal must be achievable by your own actions, for you cannot control anyone else’s. For example, I will help other writers by sharing my knowledge and time with them, not I will help another writer to obtain a literary agent. Or, I will share with my support group what works for me in limiting the side effects of chemo, not I will lessen someone else’s pain.
4. Define actions that will move you towards those goals. Example, I joined several writing groups and have obtained critique partners (C.P.’s).
5. Perform those actions on a daily basis. Example, I read my C.P.’s work and write critiques, pointing out the weak and strong points.
6. Learn to relish the positive results along the way. Example, my C.P. acquires representation from a literary agent for me. Celebrate! This step is critical to a happy life. Learn to recognize and appreciate these moments.
7. When you reach your objective, or decide to abandon or revise it, review your actions. Have you done the work, and achieved those goals? Congratulations, you are a success. Have you not reached the goals? Failure is a great teacher. Strike that. There are successes and learning opportunities. Go back to step one, and figure out what went wrong. Were the goals not achievable? Not the right goals? Did you fail in the execution?
8. Rinse and repeat.
© 2014 Tracey Enerson Wood. All rights reserved.