Somebody once told me the definition of hell: "On your last day on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become." —Anonymous
Sometimes, to become successful and get closer to the person you can become, you don't need to add more things — you need to give some of them up.
There are certain things that are universal, which will make you successful if you give up on them, even though each one of us could have a different definition of success.
You can give up on some of them as soon as today, while it might take a bit longer to give up on others.
"Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live." — Jim Rohn
If you want to achieve anything in life, everything starts here. First, you should take care of your health, and there are only three things you need to keep in mind:
Small steps, but you will thank yourself one day.
"You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." — Mae West
Successful people set long-term goals, and they know these aims are merely the result of short-term habits that they need to do every day.
These healthy habits shouldn't be something you do; they should be something you embody.
There is a difference between: "Working out to get a summer body" and "Working out because that's who you are."
"Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone, and as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others." —Marianne Williamson
If you never try and take great opportunities or allow your dreams to become realities, you will never unleash your true potential.
And the world will never benefit from what you could have achieved.
So voice your ideas, don't be afraid to fail, and certainly don't be afraid to succeed.
"It's not about the cards you're dealt, but how you play the hand." ―Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
Successful people know that they are responsible for their life, no matter their starting point, weaknesses, and past failures.
Realising that you are responsible for what happens next in your life is both frightening and exciting.
And when you do, that becomes the only way you can become successful, because excuses limit and prevent us from growing personally and professionally.
Own your life; no one else will.
"The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways." ―Robert Greene, Mastery
People with a fixed mindset think their intelligence or talents are pre-determined traits that cannot be changed. They also believe that talent alone leads to success — without hard work. But they're wrong.
Successful people know this. They invest an immense amount of time on a daily basis to develop a growth mindset, acquire new knowledge, learn new skills and change their perception so that it can benefit their lives.
Who you are today is not who you have to be tomorrow.
"Every day, in every way, I'm getting better and better" ―Émile Coué
Overnight success is a myth.
Successful people know that making small continuous improvement every day will be compounded over time and give them desired results.
That is why you should plan for the future, but focus on the day that's ahead of you, and improve just 1% every day.
"Shipping beats perfection." —Khan Academy's Development Mantra
Nothing will ever be perfect, no matter how much you try.
Fear of failure (or even fear of success) often prevents you from taking action and putting your creation out there in the world. But a lot of opportunities will be lost if you wait for things to be right.
So "ship," and then improve (that 1 percent).
Successful people know this.
That's why they choose one thing and then beat it into submission. No matter what it is — a business idea, a conversation, or a workout.
Being fully present and committed to one task is indispensable.
"Some things are up to us, and some things are not up to us." —Epictetus
Differentiating these two is crucial.
Detach from the things you cannot control, focus on the ones you can, and know that sometimes, the only thing you will be able to control is your attitude towards something.
Remember: nobody can be frustrated while saying "Bubbles" in an angry voice.
"He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much; he who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly." —James Allen
Successful people know that in order to accomplish their goals, they will have to say NO to certain tasks, activities, and demands from their friends, family, and colleagues.
In the short-term, you might sacrifice a bit of instant gratification, but when your goals come to fruition, it will all be worth it.
"Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution." —Albert Einstein
People you spend the most time with add up to who you become.
If you spend time with those who refuse to take responsibility for their life, always find excuses and blame others for the situation they are in, your average will go down, and with it your opportunity to succeed.
However, if you spend time with people who are trying to increase their standard of living, and grow personally and professionally, your average will go up, and you will become more successful.
Take a look at around you, and see if you need to make any changes.
Think of yourself as a market niche.
There will be a lot of people who like that niche, and there will be individuals who don't. And no matter what you do, you won't be able to make the entire market like you.
This is completely natural, and there's no need to justify yourself.
The only thing you can do is to remain authentic, improve and provide value every day, and know that the growing number of "haters" means that you are doing remarkable things.
"The trouble is, you think you have time" ―Jack Kornfield
You only have this one crazy and precious life. That's why you owe it to yourself to see who you can become, and how far you can go.
However, to do that, you need to ditch meaningless time wasters and stop allowing them to be an escape from your most important goals.
To do that, you should learn how to take control over your focus, attention and make the most out of your 24 hours within a day.
Remember that you will die, so never stop creating your legacy and doing the things that will enrich your life.
Zdravko Cvijetic is an educator, and an entrepreneur, with a B.A. in Adult Education & Lifelong Learning. He is the founder of Zero To Skill, a platform which provides useful content on how to become a top-performer in life by mastering your habits and productivity and use it to build a personal brand. If you enjoyed his article, don't forget to get his free e-book: "The Ultimate Productivity Cheat Sheet."
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