Ten Things Successful People Know That You Don't

by Marta Kagan

What do extraordinarily successful people know about life that you don't? Are they just a lot luckier, smarter, or harder working than you? Or is there something inherently different in the way that they approach life that propels them to unimaginable heights?

The following list attempts to answer these questions. It contains the distilled wisdom from many years of trial and error by some of the most successful people modern society has seen. Some of what you'll read might surprise you. Some of it - I hope! - will inspire you. Either way, it just might light that fire under you. ENJOY.


1. You are the CEO of your own life.

You are completely responsible for the level of success that you experience personally and professionally. You are equally responsible for the lack thereof. Your success will be defined by the vision you create and the choices that you make to support it. There may be no such thing as "control" in this world, but there certainly is "responsibility." Take responsibility for your actions, your choices, your future - and watch success unfold.

2. It is next to impossible to exceed your own expectations.

If you want an extraordinary life, you have to set extraordinary expectations. Make extraordinary choices. Do extraordinary things. Henry Ford once said, "If you believe that you can do a thing, or if you believe you cannot, in either case, you are right." Whatever you expect - of yourself, your career, your relationships, your life - sets the limit of what is possible for you.

3. When you believe something is impossible, it becomes invisible.

The truth is that you don't begin to know what's really possible. The list of impossible things proved possible by the will and creativity of the human spirit is ENDLESS. We have walked on the moon. We've broken the sound barrier. We've outrun the 4-minute mile. We've created human babies from single cells in a plastic dish. We've compressed millions of bits of information into something the size of a safety pin. Just because you can't see it with your own eyes doesn't mean it can't happen. Possibility is everywhere.

4. Success has nothing to do with luck.

Extraordinarily successful people don't waste their time wondering IF their dreams will come true someday. They concern themselves rather with HOW they're going to make them happen. Ask yourself the same question. To get what you most want out of life -- how fearless are you willing to be? How creative are you willing to get? How much are you willing to compromise (or sacrifice)? Extraordinarily successful people didn't get that way through prayer or luck or pixie dust. They just wouldn't take no for an answer.

5. Life gets much easier when you have a clear and personal definition of success.

Only you can truly define success for yourself. Your personal definition of success is not subject to the whims of your friends or family, your community or your culture. It's not seduced or distracted by advertising, and it's not confusing, arbitrary or vague. It does not define you or box you in. Your personal definition of success frees you to enjoy life completely by releasing you from priorities that are not relevant or meaningful.

If you don't define success for yourself, rest assured that it will be defined for you. But it probably won't feel quite as good.

6. The things we call 'mistakes' are life's greatest learning opportunities.

The more mistakes you make, the more you learn. Why is it that children have permission to make mistakes, but as adults we are so ashamed of taking a misstep? Wisdom does not come from never erring. It comes from learning, adapting, and growing as a result of the many bumps along life's road. It's one thing to make the same mistake over and over again - but where's the shame in making new mistakes? Was anything extraordinary ever created on the very first try? Successful people are always making mistakes, because they know that without mistakes there are no successes.

7. You reap what you sow.

The successful person's definition of insanity: "Doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results." If something isn't working for you - if it's not delivering the intended result - then STOP DOING IT. Try something new. Change your approach. Get creative.

Stop asking 'why me' and start asking 'how can I approach this in a new way?' You can't expect to plant oats and get barley. So stop the insanity!

8. The only 'wrong' decision is no decision.

Perfection is not your friend. Perfection will keep you spinning your wheels, endlessly 'refining' things until. . . your window of opportunity becomes tightly sealed shut.

WAKE UP! There is no such thing as 'perfection'. Or. . . from another vantage point. . . EVERYTHING is perfect. Either way, make your decision and DO SOMETHING. If the fear of doing something WRONG is what's paralyzing you. . . refer to #6 above.

9. You are what you think.

Notice the internal dialogue that's going on in your head at this very moment. Are you chastising yourself for not being more decisive? For taking the 'safe route' or for making the same mistake twice? YOU ARE WHAT YOU THINK. Your thoughts create your emotions, which in turn impact behavior. Your behavior over time shapes and molds your LIFE.

Successful people develop their ability to monitor and mediate their own thoughts. They are skilled at noticing their own negative self-talk and systematically replacing it with positive affirmation; with a vision of their success. They refuse to accept limits on their potential. They expect the best - from the world and from others. They take full responsibility for the choices they make and the thoughts they think.

So if you want to be extraordinarily successful, start thinking of yourself that way.

10. You already have all the answers (you just don't know it yet).

When was the last time you trusted your instincts? Or followed through on something that was "just a hunch"? Successful people develop an extraordinary capacity for recognizing, trusting and acting on their own intuition. They become highly skilled at tuning in to their inner voice and tuning out the multitude of external and often contradictory influences.

Does this mean they're always right? No. Nobody is ALWAYS right (don't tell my husband that). But with each mistake, that sense of intuition becomes more and more finely tuned.

If you're facing a tough decision or a challenging issue, stop looking to others for advice and answers. Tune into your own inner voice. YOU ALREADY HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS. So listen carefully.

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About the Author

Marta Kagan is an innovative business, career, and life strategist dedicated to helping individuals discover, connect with and realize their unique potential. To sign up for more FREE tips like these, visit her website http://www.lifelinecoaching.com

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