Is there more to success than just luck and fate?
by Nikhil Sreekandan
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle
A mystery to many of us, success is something we are in pursuit of all our lives. We spend the entirety of life wondering how they did it, the ones who were lucky enough to have won over all adversities and claim life’s ultimate treasure. ‘Certainly, they worked hard for it, but surely, lady luck was working in their favour’, we tell ourselves, not realising that we hold within us everything we need to achieve the success we desire.
Oftentimes, people are completely unaware of how our daily habits affect our pursuit of success. There are many things in life that are beyond our control, but the one thing we do have a say over is the daily habits we adopt every day. As we prepare for yet another year chasing our dreams, hoping to succeed one day, here are five essential habits that we must incorporate into our lives.
1. Make your health a priority
Before you throw your hands up in disgust, making one’s health a priority does not mean one has to spend every waking minute at the gym. It’s about being conscious of your health. Emerson’s health is wealth quote is probably the most cliche thing to say, but it is absolutely true.
Health is the most important thing you have and it is completely dependent on the habits you develop and the way you live. Be it picking up that dusty old badminton racquet once more or getting back to those Zumba classes that you signed up for ages ago, a simple but healthy recreational habit can bring about a world of difference. Something as simple as jogging in the morning can bring discipline and order to your life.
Make a genuine attempt to be conscious of your health in your daily life and you will see a noted difference in everything you do.
2. Plan your day
It’s easy to mock discipline, to say that you are one who lives in the moment, that you don’t care for a plan, that planning is for the paranoids out there. But, it is quite the opposite. It is too easy to get off track when you don’t have a plan. A to-do list to wake up to every morning sets the tone for the day.
And, it effectively breaks down your goals and ambitions into tiny points that you can check off of a to-do list at the end of each day. Yes, life doesn’t always work out as planned. But spend a little of your time each night prepping your to-dos for the upcoming day and you will find yourself being much more efficient.
Pick up an app for your phone, if you find the idea of noting down stuff a little too excessive.
3. Make persistence your middle name
What separates the professionals from the wannabes is the extra will to work even when one doesn’t feel like it. However much you love what you do, it is impossible to always be in the mood for work. And, that is when you need to force yourself to just do it.
There is never an ideal time or condition to work. The next time you feel like not working, try forcing yourself to do it for 15 minutes and it should offer you enough momentum to actually push through and get back in the groove. If that doesn’t work, break down the task into smaller components and do it one at a time until you finish it.
You will eventually get to a point where you can force yourself to work anytime, all the time.
4. Set aside time for introspection
Life is unpredictable and is bound to test you at every turn. You just have to deal with it all, and along the way also manage to get done what you want! Easier said than done, right?
Which is exactly why you should always find the time to just stop, take a breath and process everything that’s going on. It is always good to keep apart some time to reflect on your career, your personal relationships, your life. It not only acts as a way to de-stress but also helps you relax and get your focus back in terms of what your ambitions are.
Something as simple as 5-10 minutes of meditation every day can do wonders.
5. Think positive, think success
As ridiculous as it sounds, the total and utter belief that you can succeed is what matters the most ultimately. There is zero room for doubt or negativity when it comes to winning.
Creating and cultivating a winning attitude is one of the most difficult things to do. However, it is also absolutely necessary to make your success a reality. You may even visualize and feel what success is like and reach a point where you intuitively understand that once you think it, you can actually achieve it.
Think it. Feel it. Live it.
Nikhil Sreekandan is a journalist with a desire to explore life through the stories he chases. An engineer who found recluse in the world of words, he is a journalism post-graduate from Cardiff University. He works as a content editor at Nature inFocus, India’s leading platform for nature and wildlife. When not lost in cinema, contemporary literature or his earphones — there is a genuine attempt at ‘giving chase’, and it is beautiful.