Success - The first few steps are always the hardest but they don't have to be. After starting my business last year, my definition of success has changed from that of having money to that of having time and money to that of having a core set of qualities which ensure my success in everyday life. I have learnt a lot about myself and how I need to change myself to stay at the top and continue to keep growing. In no particular order I present my learning's.
1) Lead from Within - This is most important, to keep a calm and listen to yourself amidst all the chaos. Feel your decisions, follow you passion, it all comes from within. Start making those difficult decisions. You might not be right the first time but start believing in yourself. Get in touch with yourself and carve your path in life. Write your own script !
2) Work Smarter - Prioritize - Nothing inventive about this but implementing this takes time. Write down all things you want to do and then prioritize it. I find the ABCDE method of prioritization very useful. Once you prioritize then make sure you focus all your energy towards the task at hand until it is complete.
3) Step Up and Push back - Often times you will be surrounded by people/situations which demand your attention on more than one thing at the same time. You have to realize you cannot please everybody. So just step up, prioritize your work and push back the rest without hesitation,fear or guilt. It is what it is !
4) Be Autonomous - self-governing; independent;Not controlled by others or by outside forces;Independent in mind/judgment; self-directed. Your ability to think for yourself is the single most ability which will get you ahead of the herd. So plan and execute with certainty and faith in your autonomous power.
5) Take ownership of task at hand - This is very important for your reputation. Every task you do should speak volumes about you. Do not try to do great things but to do small things greatly and you will become great. If you have been assigned a task then make sure that it is completed and is full proof. What i mean by full proof is test it inside out from every angle. Cover every scenario the solution can be used in and it still is durable and usable and performs well. Do this with every task at hand and you will be an unstoppable force.
6) Get disciplined - This is again something we all know but it takes time. Bring yourself to a state of order and obedience by practicing training and control. Learn to make the will stronger than the brain. Respect your word to yourself. 6:00 AM means 6:00 AM. No snooze. Decide a time and get up. If you make a promise to yourself respect it and then reward yourself for keeping it. You will develop enormous trust in yourself if you practice this.
7) Shut up and Listen - Listen ! Listen ! and then Listen some more !! There is a reason god has given us two ears and one mouth. Read a lot and listen a lot. Listen to your team and people around you but do what you decide. But it is very important to listen to others as it shows you respect them and consider them important. Also it gives you insight into something you did not know or thought that you knew.
8) Develop consistent work ethics and results - This again comes from discipline. If you decide to start working at 8:00AM then stick to it everyday. Consistent hard work will lead to consistent success. You will have more time to enjoy things you want to do and your life output will increase. You will be living more fulfilled in the same amount of time.
9) Have love for things around you but have more courage - This comes from my spiritual roots but it is very practical. Love things and people around you and be a fun person but have the courage and be strong to speak your mind even if people around you do not agree with you. Have the courage to go against the tide if you believe you are doing the right thing.
10) Focus on growth and results - Always focus on the solution. Plan your growth and track your success. Every time you feel down, look at your success tracks and you will be amazed as to how successful and powerful you are ! Be optimistic and strive for a solution !
11)See the reality, not the illusion of desires - Accept and see things for what they are. It is good to think big and dream bigger but you cannot achieve anything unless you happily accept you present situation and your weaknesses for what they are. Only then can you make your dreams real, by slowly aligning them with reality. Ex: If you get an interview for your dream job, do not lose your cool and start dreaming about all the money you will make and all the things you will buy. See it for what it is, an interview. Prepare for it and celebrate when you get the job. Focus on reality !
12) Be Grateful - for everything you have and you are. Each moment and every stressful situation is a blessing to be grateful for as it will make you a stronger person when you are through it. I am grateful for enjoying the sunrise on the lake while taking the morning train to work sometimes, every time I am stuck in traffic i realize it is time to slow down and be thankful for it. Really its the small things that make a big difference.
13) Be Organized - You don't have to be over the top and get the most fancy tool under the sun to be organized. Keep it simple. Pen and paper and a simple schedule. I use G! Calendar and iGoogle as it is the first thing i see every morning.
14) Get centered - Meditate and get in touch with yourself. Every now and then you will get lost and will need to get centered to find happiness and fulfillment. This is very important to stay calm and centered and to lead from within.
15) Clarity is power - Know what you want and then execute with single minded intensity. Focus on doing one thing for 20 days before you start scattering your energies. Power comes from focus. Do not have too many conflicting goals. YOU WILL NOT SUCCEED AT ANY.
16) Be practical - Remember the concept of circle of influence from 7 Habits of Highly effective people. Do not be bothered by outside events beyond your control. Be practical and stay focused.
17) Put yourself first and heckle for what you deserve - be selfish. If you want to be a winner and do good then there will be times when you will need to fight for your right to be first. Remember the small kid on the playground who always used to put a hell of a fight to the bully, after a few times the bully used to pick on other kids as he does not want to go through this trouble every time. Be that fighter who refuses to get pushed around.
18) Be in the present - Awareness of the moment is probably the single most factor which can change your life. Focus on the task at hand and do the best in the moment. You simple awareness of the moment and things around you will make you forget your worries and tension.
19) Feel good - Feeling good is the key to looking younger and living longer. If you are tired of your day then take a break. The key is to make the brain feel great. Train your brain. Change your negative self talk. You are better than you think you are. You are more attractive than you think you are. Go and get what you want, the world is yours.
20) No expectations - Do the best job you can and enjoy the process rather than worrying about the result. No pressure. Great success will come your way if you can live in a state of detachment from the fruit of your action
21)Be non-judge mental - Do not judge things/people around you. The less you judge the less the brain is focused on the negative. In work situations feel free to evaluate a product and give your opinion but refrain from judging people. When you judge you unknowingly focus on negative and I am better than you. Stop it, it will only hurt you.
22) ACT!! ACT !! ACT !! - Action is very important. All the above will be of no use if you do not apply it. Don't be afraid of failure or disappointing others. As Tim Ferris says in the Four Hour Work Week,"Its easier to ask for forgiveness than permission". So go out there and be bold and ACT !! By the time you make a mistake you will have enough people supporting you that they you will not be stopped.
These rules have served me well but every now and then I stray from the path. I would love to hear your comments.