What should we do when we are not feeling like a superhero, standing on top of the world? Can we fake until we make it? We suggest you practice embodying it, acting it until you become it. What are the characteristics of successful people? They tend to embrace a way of thinking, a way of viewing the world in ways that may seem almost paradoxical, through their own filtered lenses—no matter what their external environment may be dictating to them at the time. Regardless of where you may fall on this scale, here are a few of the qualities that you can begin to practice and embody right away.
Successful people understand that failure is not determined by outcome. It’s the act of doing that is always a success. Remember that you are never assured of a specific outcome by design. Even the need to continue the same action, and repeatedly finding that you net the same result is not a failure. It is only the need to go repeat the lesson. Failure is only in the not doing. Successful people view success as one’s unique ability to look at failure as the next step to growth.
In setting goals, we encourage everyone to dream big! We've all got goals, plans, hopes, and dreams but how are we supposed to make them come true? Maybe you'd like to get in the best shape of your life, or trade out a soul-sucking corporate job for a creative or spiritually rewarding one. Or perhaps you may want to grow old gracefully while facing an illness, or deal with a difficult life transition with brains and sanity intact. Most people are full of fresh ideas for a hopeful future, but become stuck in their thinking and planning. Perhaps you dream of transforming yourself from a self-critical, unorganized being into an efficient, adventurous and powerful being. The power is all yours to take, when you’re ready for change. Successful people dream big, but also understand that excuses will creep up when they are on some deeper level, not ready to embrace what they think they deserve or desire.
We’ve all heard great leaders say that if we haven’t failed enough times in life, we simply haven’t tired hard enough. Successful people challenge their thinking everyday and ask themselves: Have I failed today and how many times? In the world of strength training, it’s been said that failure is an opportunity. In embracing the desired hypertrophy or muscle gain, we grit our teeth and push out that last repetition. Why? So we can create micro-tears in the muscle fibers, which through proper nutritional uptake, we reap the benefits of bigger and better muscle mass. It’s in the same light of struggle, hardship and burn that the path to great success may be realized. Seek out an opportunity for failure and understand that oftentimes, it may be the next needed step to success.
Find Comfort in the Discomfort
While although the antiquated training philosophy of ‘no pain, no gain’ may hold merit wouldn’t it be interesting if we could journey toward success with greater ease and comfort? Thus, one’s ability to find comfort in the discomfort may well become the key ingredient necessary on this road to success. It’s also important to remember that the growth of muscle does not take place in the weight room, rather after the training session. Great gains may not effectively occur unless we nurture the body through adequate sleep and proper nutrition. Choosing to go on a long journey without a map is like training without sleep and nourishment.
Be a Chameleon, Flow like Water
We must have a plan, but must also have the willingness to adapt to change when they arise. No valuable, interesting course is without potholes and inconvenient detours. In nature animals will either adapt, migrate, or die. Be like the chameleon always adapting to its environment and allowing change to occur while practicing non-resistance. Let yourself take on many shapes and colors, blending boldly into the organic process of continued change. You don’t have to adapt or die, but you can choose to go with the flow—like the universal teacher we call water.
Dance the Warrior Dance
Successful people know themselves, thus are better able to laugh at their own imperfections. The Chameleon-Warrior is always mentally equipped in understanding that the process of taking a few steps forward, then a few steps backwards is part of the fun, learning process. They enjoy challenges; they don’t fret or sweat when they fail. While learning the proper steps in any dance of life can be clumsy and awkward, they understand that there are ways to combat this by simply allowing his or her self to occasionally fall. Chameleon-Warriors can walk along the edges, plunge into the unknown, and embrace the idea of possibly falling. In fact, they fall many, many times. Then, they get back up, brush the dirt off, and dance like everyone is watching.
Love Yourself First
Successful people train for life, love their bodies, and are aware of the importance of putting themselves first. They do this without guilt. Not only are they acutely aware of themselves, they notice their environment, no matter where they are. They exercise, practice a moving meditation, and participate in activities that will benefit the greater whole. In so doing, they’re always kind to others as much as they’re kind to themselves. Moreover, they recognize that to most effectively service others, they must make their own health their first priority, because they understand that one cannot give what he or she doesn’t already possess inside.
You Are the Only Obstacle
While practicing and embodying these qualities of success can be a fun lifelong process, it’s important to accept our unique, perhaps quirky imperfections. Remember, perfectionism can be stifling! Indeed, while facing failure can be a great opportunity, obstacles always challenge us to take a closer look at ourselves. While it is easy to attach ourselves to old stories, and to believe in our own limitations, such as ‘I’m too old’ or ‘I’m not smart enough’ or ‘I’m too short or ethnic,’ oftentimes when we take a closer look, it’s really us who are our biggest obstacles.
What Are You Willing to Fight for?
Remember, your power to make the change depends on your power to respond— by choosing to take charge, to train (for life) like a warrior, you’re preparing to go to battle. Always remind yourself: What are my goals and what am I willing to do to get it? What am I willing to fight for? Then let those answers drive your actions! Whether your goal’s timeline is 6 months, a year or 5 years long, remember that the only real failure in life is the inability to do, to act—in a manner that is true to your own personal process.
Remember the motto: You haven’t failed until you’ve quit!
In training like a warrior, the journey of a thousand miles will challenge your patience, grit, perseverance and stamina, but it may also start here-- right beneath your feet. Be open to the unexpected, and let go of your limiting story ‘tales,’ and it won’t be long until you find the excuses fade away and a newly transformed, more powerful self rises to the surfaces. Wherever you are, it’s never too late to dream big and just do. Set your goal and start your journey now!
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