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A simple guide to achieving success in life

Updated on March 27, 2013

Success in Life

Everybody wants to achieve some measure of respect and success in their life. Some people pursue a career; some bury themselves in academia, and some throw themselves into family life. Whether we like to think of it or not, life here on Earth is of a limited duration, and we have one chance, to make of it what we will. So what do you want to make of your life? Would you like to be good? Or would you like to be great? Either way this article offers some simple, but constructive ways of achieving success in your endeavours, whatever they may be. 

1. Develop your interests

It’s all well and good asking for success. But what do we really mean by success? Success is what exactly? Well, that is up to you. The first step is to discover what your interested in, what captures your attention? What makes you think? What makes you happy? Try writing down a list of all the things you like, and are interested in. Feel free to brainstorm, and add in as much as you can, no matter how outlandish. Maybe you like the idea of snow boarding, well stick it on the list, gourmet cooking, Hollywood, golf, drawing, writing, skiing, watching TV, lush bath products, makeup? Add it to the list!! 

  Develop these interests by practise. If you like writing, well start a diary, make an online blog, and join hubpages! Get a few books out of the library on your interests, do some research. Everyone who is anyone started out first and foremost with a healthy interest in something. Get passionate about it, talk to your friends and family, be open minded and ready to learn new things, and experience new things.  

You will soon find your interest is focused particularly on one or two things (or maybe more!) My personal interests are centred on reading, writing, psychology and animals, in very broad terms. What are yours? How can you develop your interests further?      

2. Apply yourself

The second step is where the difficult part comes in, (but don’t fear, it’s also the exciting part) here you get to really apply yourself to your interests, your causes and your work. Here is life. What are you going to do with it? It has been given to you, on a plate, to be lived, as best as you can. It’s up to you what you make of it. Are you going to settle, or are you going to strive? Are you going to cower or are you courageous? The decision is yours, and only you can make it. Me, I want to be someone. I want to achieve something, because I think it is my duty, to be the best person I can be, to achieve as much as I am capable of achieving.  

This involves hard work, and it will not always be easy. Maybe here you will decide to go to college / university. Take a course in something, change your career, or decide to start a family. Whatever it is you decide to do, do it with passion and do it with vigour and energy. 

  I graduated with a degree in English Literature, and decided that my interest in Psychology was such that I had to study it further, so I applied for another degree, was accepted, and I am now just starting my final term before I graduate again for the second time. Sheer perseverance has got me here. You can achieve it to. (N.B I’m now applying to study for my Masters in English Literature)  

3.Determination and strength

There will be days when it feels like there is no point, that success is unachievable, that life is too difficult, and despondency and despair may set in. Please do not let this discourage you, for I have been there myself. I have suffered from mental health problem for eight years, and I know the burdens of life, though not as well as some. Try to count the ways in which you are lucky, and the strengths you have. Play to these strengths, and keep trying, always keep trying. 

 It is okay to take days out, when you want to hide under the duvet and cry. But after this, you must pick yourself up dust yourself down, and carry on. Whatever it is that keeps you going, think of it often.   

Keep reading, it's this way guys!

crossroads time, what are you going to do?
crossroads time, what are you going to do?

4.Recognition and honesty

It can be difficult sometimes when one is lost in the race of life to recognise the achievements you have already made, especially when you are striving forward reaching out for the next one. Remember to take a step back sometimes and look at your life. Appreciate what you have, and congratulate yourself on your achievements. Do not plead modesty, you deserve recognition for hard work.   Take it in stages, maybe your ultimate goal is to become a University lecturer, well break it down into do-able stages. Work through these one at a time, and your always moving in the right direction. First on the list might be to enquire about courses at your local university, then deciding upon a particular course, and so on… Every long journey begins with one step…

 On the other side of the coin, recognise when you are not trying hard enough. You cannot lie to yourself, and you will know if you are not achieving your potential, you will know if you are settling for second best. Recognising when this is happening is the first step, then you must act upon it. If there are things you don’t like about your life, then start changing them slowly but surely. Maybe you want to loose some weight? Well make a chart for yourself and set small weekly / monthly goals (under supervision of your doctor.) If you would like to read more books, start a reading list and work your way through, maybe set a target of one book a month, or whatever you think you can manage, you can always work your way up. One step at a time you can make a difference.     

5.Paradox of perfection

The final thing I wanted to point out is the obscure paradox of perfection. We can always strive to be perfect and to have achieved our full potential. But how exactly do we know when we have reached absolute perfection? How do we know when we have achieved our full potential? Do we not always think we are capable of a little bit more. Imagine someone painting a masterpiece, it may have taken them years, but how will they ever know when it is truly finished. How can they ever know that one extra stroke of the brush would make it even better?

 Well, of course we don’t know. Perfection is somewhat a paradox, it is unachievable and aloof, yet always appears within reach. It may do to give this some thought.   

Let me know....

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    • profile image

      SMK_MN 7 years ago

      Great hub! I believe if you aim for the moon you will land by the stars :)

    • profile image

      scheng1 8 years ago

      I guess we will never be successful if we want perfection.

    • riotgrrrl profile image

      riotgrrrl 8 years ago from Cheshire, UK

      Sorry, i didn't realise i'd missed out the 'comments' box. So, what do you think? Would you prefer to be 'good' or 'great'? Do you want to chieve your potential in life?