So, you want to live an extraordinary life and achieve outstanding personal success? Success can seem like someone being lucky. But if you look closely and you study it, success isn’t about being lucky. It is about doing the right thing at the right time and being the right person.
In other words, success can be engineered.
Yes, no matter what kind of success you want, whether it is to earn a million dollars, to list your company on the stock exchange, or you just want to lose weight and live a happy life, you can have it, but only if you know how to engineer it.
I like this quote from Oscar Wilde about success:
“Success is a science. If you have the conditions, you get the results.”
Hence, what are the conditions you need to nurture the success you want? What are the right resources you need to produce the amazing outcomes you want in life?
And in this article, I’m going to share with you the 10 rules of success that you should follow.
Remember, when you do the right thing, at the right time, by being the right person, you will get the results you want – success!
Just like baking a cake – you need the right recipe, the right ingredient, and have the right skill and condition to bake the cake that you desire.
Thus, follow these 10 rules and engineer your own personal success right now:
1. Believe that you too can be successful
The first rule: believe that you can be successful too. A lot of people don’t believe that they can be successful. When you ask them why they don’t want to work harder or strive to achieve more, they will give you all sorts of excuses.
People who don’t believe they can do it will never bother to do anything to change the situation around. After all, they believe that they can’t change, hence, why try, right?
When you believe that you are just who you are and you can’t be successful, you will never bother reading books about success. You will never want to join other successful people or do something to make a change.
This is because your beliefs determine your thinking. And your thinking will determine your actions. If you want to change your results, you need to change your actions. But to change your actions, you need to change your thinking, which is your belief system.
Successful people are able to produce extraordinary outcomes because they believe that if others can do it, they can do it as well.
They believe that they just need to find the right method. Even if they fail, they will tell themselves that it is because of the wrong timing or their method is incorrect. Therefore, they are willing to try again, and again, until they succeed.
On the other hand, unsuccessful people who don’t believe in themselves will operate in a completely different manner.
First, unsuccessful people don’t bother about taking action because they don’t believe they can do it. Next, even if they did take action, they will only do it with a half-hearted attempt. And when they fail, they will tell themselves, “See? I told you it won’t work.”
As a result, they accepted their defeat and they will never try again.
This is the difference between someone successful and someone who is not. What you need to do then is to switch your belief system.
Choose to believe that you too, can be successful.
Adopt this thinking: If others can do it, so can I.
You just need to do the right thing, at the right time, by being the right person.
2. Understand that success started small
The second rule of success is about starting small. When it comes to success, a lot of people have the wrong perception and believe that it is such a big and audacious goal that is out of their capability.
When people see someone who is doing very well in their business, and they compare those successful people with themselves, they feel dejected.
They feel inferior and that success is so far out of their reach and no matter what they do right now, it will be too late for them to achieve the success they want.
Wrong. Do not think it this way.
The reason is simple, when you see successful people being featured on the news or appear on social media, you only see the good side. You did not see the backstage of how these extraordinary people make it to the top.
You have to understand that every success started small and it is not an overnight result you can achieve.
Every master was once a beginner.
My favorite sport is badminton, but do you know how much time Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei put in to train themselves and become the world-class players?
They were just like everyone else. They started as a normal player, but they have a big dream and they believe that they can do it.
And then they commit to their goals and they work hard to transform themselves to become who they are in the world of badminton today.
The same goes for everything in life. No matter what you want to achieve, you have to understand that it all begins from ground zero. And you need to build the success you want and grow yourself to get there.
Here’s my favorite quote from Lionel Messi:
“I start early, and I stay late, day after day after day, year after year. It took me 17 years and 114 days to become an overnight success.”
Thus, start small and build. You don’t have to compare yourself with others, you just need to work on your own success.
3. Live for yourself, not others
This is one of the most important rules for success because if you don’t follow this rule, nothing will work for you.
The reason is simple, you are living for yourself, your dreams, and the things that you care about, not for others.
Guess what happens when you live for others or if you think or care too much about what others are saying or thinking about you?
You will always be distracted.
When you have a dream, pursue it. There will be people think that your dream is ridiculous. There will be people laughing at your dream. And there will be people want you to fail.
And if you care too much about what others think about you, you will never accomplish your goals and make your dreams a reality.
Extraordinary people live for themselves, not for others. When Elon Musk started Tesla and SpaceX, many people think that he’s going to fail because they believe that electric vehicles will never work and space travel is impossible.
However, Musk pushed on and make the two companies possible.
When Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted to be a champion bodybuilder, people laughed at him and thought that he was crazy. But Arnold lived for himself and his dream. He chose to work hard and eventually realized his dream.
The same goes when Arnold wanted to be an actor. People think his body is too bulky and his name is too difficult to pronounce. And a lot of people think that he is going to fail badly.
Look at where he is right now. He has created tremendous success in his acting career as a Hollywood actor.
So, ignore others and live for yourself. You don’t have to listen to everything about what others have to say.
Instead, choose to follow your heart and pursue the life that you want to live, not others.
4. Focus on the progress, not results
Rule #4 is to focus on your progress, not the results. Do you know why a lot of people fail to achieve their goals? The reason is quite simple, they focus too much on the results rather than their progress.
When it comes to getting results, you must focus on the progress, not the result that you want.
Let me give you an example. If you want to build a successful blog, thinking about having a blog visited by thousands of people are not going to help. Checking your traffic stats every day is not going to help too.
Those are the results that you want, but you need to focus and work on the progress.
Here’s what you need to do to build a successful blog: write, publish, market, and promote.
Remember, if you want results, you need to focus on the progress.
When you focus on the result but you’re not getting any, you will only feel bad and lose your motivation. Think about it, your goal is to build a successful blog that gets thousands of visitors a day. But what if you check your traffic stats and discover that you have zero traffic?
How does that make you feel? Lousy? Not good, right?
Instead, focus on the progress. Write and publish quality content on your blog, market and promote your blog. And when you work on the progress, the result will come automatically.
Like losing weight, you shouldn’t track your weight every day. What you need to track is how much time you spend to exercise and how many calories you take.
Track your progress like how many steps you have taken today. If you haven’t reached your target yet, work on it.
Don’t spend time tracking your results because they are the lag measures that will not help you in producing the outcomes you want.
Choose to measure your progress. In other words, focus on the lead measures where you can influence and act upon.
When you focus and work on your progress, you will get the results. Got it?
5. Accept full responsibility
Successful people are people who take full responsibility for their lives. They believe that they are the ones who created their lives, hence, if they don’t like the results they’re getting, they can make a change and create the lives that they like.
Taking full responsibility for everything that happens to your life may seem like an absurd idea, but hear me out.
When you did something and you failed, you take the responsibility and think that you’re the one that created the failure, you’re in good hand because you believe you created the failure, and hence, you can undo it.
Unsuccessful people, on the contrary, don’t take full responsibility for their lives. They blame and make excuses when things happen.
For example, if you invest in a stock and the stock price plummeted, are you going to blame the economy or the company for not performing? Well, if you do so, you are not taking responsibility.
Who is the one who buys the stock? You did.
When you avoid responsibility, you will play the blame game. You will point fingers at others because you believe that it is NOT your fault. You will make lousy excuses so that you put yourself out of the situation.
Successful people don’t operate this way. They take full responsibility for whatever happens in their lives. And when you believe that you are the one who is responsible, you can then change the situation.
Even if you can’t change the situation, you can still learn the lesson and gain better experience from it.
You are where you are right now because of your own doing. It is your decisions and your actions that lead you to where you are right now.
Therefore, if you want to make a change, start by taking responsibility. Choose to take the responsibility that it is YOU who get you where you are.
And because you are the one who put yourself in your current situation, you can then make wiser decisions and take better actions to get to where you want to be.
6. Maintain your drive by keeping your vision alive
Another rule for success you must follow is to maintain your drive by keeping your vision alive.
As I have mentioned, success is not something that will come overnight. You’re not going to be successful in a day or two, not a week, not a month, and not even in the first year.
It is a long-term process that is going to take at least a few years. Some even take up to a decade.
Do you know PSY, the Korean singer who sings Oppa Gangnam Style? PSY started as a singer for more than 10 years before he released the song that made him famous. Until then, he was just an ordinary singer that tried to make ends meet.
So, what is the secret to maintaining your drive for years? The answer is your vision. You maintain your enthusiasm towards your vision.
A lot of people wanted to achieve extraordinary success in life. They started strong. You can see the drive in almost every fresh graduate. They have big dreams and they wanted to make an impact.
But after a while, when they face difficulties and when they don’t see any significant results after a couple of months, they started to lose their motivation.
First, they started with project A. And when project A did not work out, they jump ship to project B. After a few weeks, if they did not see any result from project B, they will start looking for another project.
It goes on and on and on. It is a never-ending cycle.
Never let this happen to you. Maintain your drive by making your vision alive.
Every day, talk about your vision. Discuss your dreams with people who
support you. Network with others who are also in a similar industry and join
them to keep your dreams alive.
More importantly, take consistent action every day. The only way to keep your vision alive is to keep making progress.
When you stop your progress, you stop pumping life into your vision.
Remember, breath your vision. Dream your vision. Talk and eat with your vision. Never let a day goes without doing something related to your vision and dreams.
7. Be competitive and always over-deliver
There is no way you can produce extraordinary results in life if you’re not being competitive. Think about it, athletes who are not competitive and who don’t over-deliver will be out.
Only those who truly desire to win the game will rise above and beat all the odds.
You must be competitive. You must have the desire to compete and win. No matter what industry you’re in, whether you’re in business or in sports, or even in your employment, you need to be competitive.
If you don’t have the spirit to compete and the desire to win, your competitor will take over and you will have to exit.
In business and sports, if you’re not competitive and not good enough, that means losing. You either lose your money in business, or you lose your medals in sports.
In your company, even if you are working for someone else, you need to have the desire to improve and to win too. I bet your boss will love to see you working hard for his company, right?
How do you be competitive? Just over-deliver. Do more than expected and deliver better than anticipated.
In short, go the extra mile. When people choose to rest, stop, and call it a day, do one more hour. When people are enjoying over the week, choose to put in the additional hours so that you can win.
Robin Sharma, one of my favorite authors once said, “Sweat more in training, bleed less in war.”
Success is not something easy. If it’s easy, everyone would have done it.
And some people wonder if it is better to work hard or to work smart, my answer is this: Work hard and smart.
There is no way you can succeed without hard work. It is true that you need to work smart, but in today’s world, if you don’t work hard, people will overtake you when they work hard and smart.
This is why you must be competitive and always over-deliver. Don’t just sit there and wait for things to happen. Be proactive and make things happen.
Here’s a good article from Bustle.com:
8. Leverage and use your resources wisely
Another important rule of success you should follow is to leverage and use your resources wisely. A lot of people are not creative enough and they think that they needed a lot of capital in order to succeed.
No, it is not. You just need to be creative to tap into the resources that are available to you.
Here’s a story:
One day, a father asks his 7-year-old boy to lift a boulder right outside of their house. The boy tries again and again, but the boulder isn’t moving one bit. The father then encourages his son to do whatever he can to lift the boulder.
And this round, the boy musters all his strength to lift the boulder, but again, to no avail. The boulder did not move, and the boy gives up and tells his father he has tried everything he could.
The father, looks at his son, and says, “How can you say you’ve tried everything when I’m standing right beside you and you don’t even ask for my help?”
Leverage. Use whatever resources available to you.
If your family is rich and you wanted to start a business but you don’t have enough capital, ask for help!
You don’t have to go through all the tough times or crack your head to come up with capital, you just need to leverage the resources that you have right now.
If you have time but you don’t have money, then use your time to make money. If you have money but you don’t have time, then use the money to hire talent and free up your time.
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
– Arthur Ashe
- Do you have money?
- Do you have time?
- Do you have the specific skills?
- Can you drive?
- Do you have the strengths?
- Do you know something that most people don’t?
- Where is your talent?
Now, leverage what you have and do what you can.
People don’t lack money, ideas, or solutions, what they lack is creativity.
9. Be truly optimistic with your future and what you want
One of the most common reasons people are afraid to take action or follow their dreams is they are pessimistic about their future and the things that they want.
Think about it, what is holding most people back from taking action? Fear. And if they are optimistic and believe that things are going to work out, do you think they will hold themselves back?
I once head a speech from Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba and one of the richest men in China said that successful people are extremely optimistic about the future.
They believe that things are going to better in the future. And that is why they started their project, pursue their dreams, and go all out.
If Mark Zuckerberg is not optimistic, he will never want to take Facebook public. Why? Simple, if he doesn’t believe that Facebook will work out, why do it, right?
Hence, this is the rule of success you must follow – be optimistic.
Always look at things from a positive side. Now, I know you will think that this is BS, but it really is not. Optimistic people are happy people. They are more appreciative and are more grateful than people who are negative.
Plus, people love to be around happy and positive people, right? Thus, when problems arise, help will be on the way. People are more willing to help those who are willing to help themselves.
If you yourself are not helping the situation, nobody will want to help you. Not just that, science has also confirmed that being optimistic helps you in living a better and more successful life:
Therefore, think positive and be optimistic.
10. Never be afraid to fail
The last rule for success that I like to share with you is never be afraid to fail. My friend, failure is inevitable. There is no way you can achieve success without going through failure.
A lot of people get it wrong by thinking that failure is the opposite of success, which it really is not. Failure is on the same side of success. The more you fail, the more experience you will gain. And with a better experience, you can create better success.
Without failure, you will never learn. And if you don’t learn, you can never improve. Without improvement, how can you be successful?
You see, extraordinary people are not people who don’t make failures. In fact, they face more failures than ordinary people. But they choose to persist and bounce back. They learn from their mistakes and failures. And they don’t give up.
You have to be the same. Whenever you face failures in your ventures, don’t give up. Choose to learn the experience and then bounce back.
If you do something and you fail, try again. What if you fail again? Well, try again. How many times should you try? My answer: try until you succeed.
Most people think that they must get it right the first time. No, not at all. There will be many times where you will have to fight the battle more than once to win it.
Did you play sports before? Did you play computer games before? What happens when you lost? Do you give up and stop playing?
No, you try again. Sometimes you lose, and sometimes you win.
When you win, you celebrate, but when you lose, you learn, and you improve yourself to become better. This is how successful people transform themselves from beginners to masters.
Now that you have learned the 10 rules to achieve extraordinary personal success, what you need to do then is to follow and stick to these rules.
Change is not going to happen instantly. But when you operate from these rules, eventually, you will see positive changes in your life real soon.
I hope this article is helpful to you. Let me know which rule you like the most. And let me know what you think about this article. Cheers.