10 Things You Need to Do to Be Successful in Life

Updated on August 23, 2019
Dreamworker profile image

Dreamworker has a lifetime of successful business, relationship, career and financial experiences she enjoys sharing with her readers.

Once you define success, you will know what you need to d o to achieve it.
Once you define success, you will know what you need to d o to achieve it. | Source

Before you can become successful in life, you need to define what that means, because success is a relative term.

Most people think that those who are beautiful, wealthy, famous or some combination of the three are successful, but that is not necessarily true.

I knew a family years ago that lived deep in the mountains of Appalachia. They had little, worked very hard and by the above standards were not successful.

Yet, they were likely the happiest, most satisfied people I have ever met because they were steeped in love and were content with their lot.

You cannot define yourself by other people's perceptions. You have to develop your own. Until you do, you will never find success and happiness.

Choices Have Consequences

Thee quality of one's life is based on his decisions. Therefore it's important for people to understand that they always have options.

The choices you make are yours as are their consequences. Once you accept this fact you realize how important it is to take great care with your decisions because the wrong ones always lead to despair.

Fortunately you can learn easy methods that will help you to do a better job of choosing the paths that are best for you.

The secret is to always look at the pros and cons of any choices you need to make and then make your choices based on the facts, not your emotions.

My mother used to say that you should never throw out your dirty dishwater until you had clean dishwater. That's a very good rule of thumb. You should never

  • quit your job until you have another one lined up.
  • end a relationship unless you're certain there is no saving it or
  • invest money in the stock market that you can't afford to lose!

1. Fight for What You Want

How you deal with the negatives that life throws your way is one of the main determiners of success.

When you lose your job, your marriage fails, you are forced to face a serious illness or you have a financial crisis, you can either crumble under the stress or rise from the ashes and deal with your issues head on.

You do not have to accept defeat if you choose not to do so, but you have to be willing to fight for what you want. I have done that all of my life.

I’ve beaten breast cancer, failed marriages, deaths of a spouse, parents, friends and beloved pets, close calls with my own death, homelessness, job loss and horrible ostracism from others, and you can do the same.

2. Be a Survivor

Every day we see examples of people who have found ways to successfully cope with the problems that have come their way. The secret for all of them has been to take the hits and then come back fighting.

They have learned that if life knocks you down, you can either stay down and be destroyed or get up, dust yourself off and fight for the kind of life you deserve to have. It is both amazing and awe-inspiring to see the heights people can reach once they decide that they are worth the fight.

The above photo reminds me so much of a good friend who passed away from breast cancer after years of doing everything possible to survive. Why does this photo remind me of her? Because one of her last wishes was to go to Alaska and climb to the top of one of the mountains there, despite the fact that she knew the end was coming! Her husband honored her wish, and she made it! She proved to herself that no matter her condition, she was not going to let life ruin her spirit!

Hers is just one of many stories I've learned about such as

  • the man who became a famous tap dancer despite the fact that he lost one of his legs,
  • the woman who smuggled thousands of children out of Nazi Germany during the war and
  • The child with no arms who paints beautiful pictures with his feet.

If these individuals can look their problems right in the eye and tell them they will never give in, so can anybody!

3. Think Logically

Not all problems are as serious as the ones mentioned above, but no matter the issue, people who can set their emotions aside and analyze their situations logically can deal with them much more effectively.

This is what winners do.

They prioritize their problems and analyze the most important ones so that they can determine their causes. Once they understand why something bad is happening, they can address the source and do what they can to correct it.

For example, someone who is having problems paying his bills every month can quickly figure out that he is either spending too much or earning too little. Once he sees this, he can then decide whether he wants to analyze ways to reduce his spending, ask for a raise, find a different job that pays more or find a second job.

Any of these options will resolve his problem, but by setting his emotions aside and thinking logically he has been able to find them and then decide which one is best to use.

Losers waste their time worrying. Winners use their time to find answers and then act on them.

Logical thinking helps many people to overcome life's difficulties.
Logical thinking helps many people to overcome life's difficulties. | Source

4. Know Who Holds the Power

Far too many people fail in life because they don't take the time to figure out who among them holds the most power.

This one thing is the reason that so many people have difficulty in their jobs because the person in charge is not always the boss! Sometimes it is his wife or someone to whom he owes favors or fears for some reason. Thus, if you anger this person, they can make your work day miserable.

Powerful people often hide their allegiances, so observing their relationships and watching what you say can go a long way towards helping you to avoid unwanted problems. This holds true for all relationships.

Dale Carnegie wrote a terrific book called How to Win Friends and Influence People that I have kept at my bedside for years because it emphasizes, better than any other book about creating good relationships, the importance of never saying a bad word about anybody. The lessons it teaches have helped me tremendously in my life and can do the same for you.

5. Ignore the Negatives

It is human nature for people to think negatively when bad things happen, but doing this is a sure way to lose any battle you may need to fight.

For this reason, you should never accept the negative comments that others make to you in the guise of giving you supportive advice.

For example, middle-aged divorcees are often told that for many reasons, they will never find another husband. Women who accept this as fact can easily just give up and spend the rest of their lives alone, but those who ignore such negative statements often go on to marry and build new lives for themselves.

  • If you let people make you think you are not worthy, you lose.
  • If you kick them out of your life and fill their slots with positive thinkers who provide you with the kind of emotional support you need, you win.

6. Stay Positive

It’s not easy to smile when life is beating you up, however, keeping a positive attitude is one of the best ways to help yourself survive the difficult times.

  • Those who do this give themselves hope and are happier with their situations.
  • Those who don't, only make things worse for themselves.

Whether it’s an illness, the death of a pet or any other sad situation, nobody likes a whiner or someone who is constantly leaning on them for support.

Giving in to sadness drives people away and only worsens bad situations, but staying strong and working towards resolutions brings people to you as if you were a magnet.

A positive attitude attracts people and enriches your life.
A positive attitude attracts people and enriches your life. | Source

7. Embrace the Bad

No matter how bad things get, it’s important to remember that all we really have in life is the present. There are no guarantees that we’ll be here next week, let alone five minutes or even one minute from now. We are all temporary.

What happens to us is temporary, too, so if what is going wrong in your life now won’t matter in 5 years, why let it upset you?

Why not use unhappy experiences as stepping stones that will help you have a better life in the future?

  • You got fired, but because of that learned what you needed to do to keep your next job.
  • You injured yourself in a fall, but because of that, you learned to be more careful so that you wouldn’t fall again.

Everything that happens to you in life is a lesson that will help you. If you take the time to learn from each lesson, you’ll grow and prosper.

8. Mind Your Own Business

In trying to be helpful and kind we sometimes involve ourselves too much in the lives of other people and take on responsibilities that should be theirs. This is a terrible burden for anybody to carry and can really damage your emotional well being.

If you allow people to handle their problems and take care of your own, you will have the energy you need to fight the battles that come your way.

9. Stop Worrying About What Others Think

Most people spend a good deal of time worrying about what other people think of them. As a result, they spend the majority of their time trying to keep other people happy.

This is a trap that can lead to a damaging and downward emotional spiral because there is no way any human being can please everybody!

The easiest way to overcome this problem is to realize that you don't need people to like you, nor do you need to like all of them.

If you understand this, you can stop worrying about how they perceive you and start enjoying your life!

10. Practice Civility

Behaving in a civil manner means acting in socially acceptable, kind and decent ways.

If you are clean in body, thought, values and lifestyle and if you behave respectfully when in the company of others, people will like and admire you.

They will want to be with you because doing so makes them feel good.

When they feel good, they will reach out to you and help you when the need arises because they know you would do the same for them.

Practicing civility is one of the best ways for people to find peace and happiness. It is more important than being rich or claiming success because it speaks to what is best in all of us, for without goodness of heart, all of those other things mean nothing.

Become a Success

Remember that to become a success in life, you need to find your own definition of success.

You will not do well if you try to follow somebody else's path or live a life that is based on the decisions that others make for you.

The happiest and most successful people in the world are those who are content with the life they have and say thanks every day for the blessings that have been bestowed upon them.

You can become one of them simply by following the advice in this article.

Do you believe that doing some or all of these things will help you to be more successful?

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Sondra Rochelle


Submit a Comment
  • Jay C OBrien profile image

    Jay C OBrien 

    9 months ago from Houston, TX USA

    First, analyze self and self's purposes. Know, study, analyze what is thy ideal – in body, in mind, in spirit. Not as to what ye would like for thy neighbor to be like; not what ye would desire thy friend or thy foe to think; not what ye would like for thy Creator to do – but rather ‘What sort of neighbor am I?’ And ‘Do I live that I would have my neighbor be? Do I think, do I act in a way and manner that I would wish my friend, my foe, to do toward me? Is my ideal indeed in Him, who is the way, the truth, the light?’

    Then, study to show thyself approved unto Him, a workman not ashamed; never condemning, but living that as ye would have others do.

    -- Edgar Cayce reading 2326-1

  • Dreamworker profile imageAUTHOR

    Sondra Rochelle 

    9 months ago from USA

    Natalie Frank: You're correct. Problem is that people are so busy these days that they don't take the time to look at their situations to see what can be done to improve them. It's a downward spiral in many cases that leads to all sorts of problems.

  • Natalie Frank profile image

    Natalie Frank 

    9 months ago from Chicago, IL

    Great advice for any age. We often underestimate the effects our thoughts have on every aspect of our lives. If we can get control of them and make sure we are thinking rationally and positively we can often make meaningful changes in our moods and quality of life.

  • Dreamworker profile imageAUTHOR

    Sondra Rochelle 

    9 months ago from USA

    Carolyn Fields: You certainly are welcome...and I'm glad to hear that things worked out for you.

  • Carolyn M Fields profile image

    Carolyn Fields 

    10 months ago from South Dakota, USA

    I relate to your comment about losing your husband. My first husband died suddenly of a heart attack at age 49. I "could have" let that moment define the rest of my list. Instead, I consciously regrouped, and reinvented my life. I'm now happily remarried, and doing things I love. It's not always sunshine and roses, be I can always find the positive when I look for it. Even if it's only finding the "lesson" from the situation I'm in.

    Great hub. Thanks for posting.


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