Like most Gen Y’s I’ve read my fair share of ‘how to’ books. It’s become a bit of an addiction really, but a shameless one at least. From property investing to business start-ups, reading about the success of determined individuals keeps the inspired juices flowing and for me, it’s just a great way to keep the mind motivated.
What I’ve found is there’s a recurring theme in these books, especially with the entrepreneurial titles. These individuals make the decision to push past the uncertain and challenged the status quo. They decide to move into the unknown and create new and unexpected ways of living as well as doing business. The x-factor they have seems to be their ability to envision in areas that others overlook.
So is having a risk-taking personality or a bold attitude a key contributor to their success? According to Philip Baker, it’s more about a series of smaller decisions made prior to the bigger groundbreaking ones that make all the difference. In his book Decisions of Daring Achievers, he outlines these shared decisions of successful individuals that seem to build a supportive framework for further action in creating their desired futures. And they are a lot simpler than you might think.
Below is his list, as well as a few others I’ve added from my PhD in The Study of Successful People:
They decide to take action even if they are unsure where to start
In other words, they don’t allow their lack of strategy to be an issue. They make the decision to take the first steps and harness the momentum of their inspired idea to develop a more detailed plan along the way. Often the ‘how to’ part can kill a dream before it even gets off the ground. Or the fear of not knowing past the starting point can often completely dictate the outcome of the next few stages.
Martin Luther King Jr. said it best in his famous speech, “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step” Not to decide right now is also a decision and one that usually leads to the passion and drives for an idea dissipating quite quickly.
They make the decision to look for opportunities and answers to problems
Who we are is always part of what we see. Just as the critique will always look for the problem, daring achievers decide to look for the good and the potential pathways that others choose to ignore. Optimism is a choice. And successful individuals understand this. They incorporate certain routines and rituals into their lives to support this choice. The daily use of gratitude journals, vision boards as well as structuring environments with positive, supportive and grateful individuals are all examples of continuously making this choice. As Baker explains, What and how we see plays a massive role in the success of our journey.
They decide to get back up after a knockdown
Barbara Corcoran, founder of the Corcoran Group and judge on Shark Tank explained this well when she said, “The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves”
Daring achievers choose not to allow past situations to dictate their futures. They understand failure is part of the game and don’t allow the behaviours of others to offend or break their beliefs. They don’t hold onto negative emotions or grudges, instead, they choose to let it go and move on. They learn from their mistakes and use this knowledge to arm themselves for the rest of the journey.
They choose to find the joy in each moment
In others words, they learn to appreciate the little things, to savour the moment and celebrate even the small achievements. They choose to enjoy the journey rather than hope for happiness once they reach their destination. They make the decision to celebrate life and nurture their mental health rather than allowing their journey to be circumstance -driven.
Oprah Winfrey once said, “It makes no difference how many peaks you reach if there was no pleasure in the climb.” Choosing to find joy shifts your mindset and creates solutions. It’s another positive side effect of the gratitude mentality, where once the choice is made to be grateful, the discovery of beauty and brilliance is made in everything around you.
They decide to become awesome with money management
They understand that poor financial decisions can be detrimental to even the best-laid plans, and so they make the decision to become great with their cash. Living within their means and getting the best financial advice becomes a priority, especially when in the developmental stages of a business where there is no room for overspending.
They choose to surround themselves with positive people
We’ve all heard the Jim Rohn quote, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Daring achievers take this seriously. They know the attitudes of those around them are contagious and having the right support network is crucial. They choose their company wisely and allow the passion and positivity of their selected people help fuel their success.
A fine example of this is right here. WE members understand the power of having the right people by your side, just look at all the goals they are smashing and dreams they are building!
They make the decision to keep learning
Benjamin Franklin developed a success strategy called the 5-hour rule, where he consistently invested one hour a day from Monday to Friday, in deliberate learning. Like Franklin, the most successful individuals understand the power of constant learning.
They understand that industries are constantly changing and they need to stay sharp to stay ahead. They develop a thirst for improving themselves in all areas and keep asking “How do we make this better?” They understand that asking questions breeds innovation and they use their time wisely to enable constant learning. Be it a podcast on the drive to work or waking early to keep track of industry leaders on social media. They’re on it.
They make the decision to prioritise their health and wellbeing
If you’ve read or listened to any of the brilliant WE case studies you will have noticed that most of these talented and inspiring members talk about the importance of their health and fitness at some point during the interview. They understand that to become successful in any field you need to function at your best and looking after both your physical and mental health is non-negotiable.
Daring achievers decide to fuel their bodies the right way and strengthen their fitness by moving regularly as well as making time to refuel their minds. Be it through meditation, yoga or whatever means helps them reconnect, they develop a practice to help them maintain their fuel levels so they can be the best versions of themselves.
These decisions are surprisingly simple. They have zero to do with personality, education, experience or even wealth. They are choices each and every one of us can make regardless of where we are on our journeys to better ourselves. So as Peter Irvine, the managing director and owner of Gloria Jean’s Coffees once said, “Success is a journey of decisions, not a destination”, which decision are you yet to make?
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Article by Evie Tramer
Disclaimer: all information contained within this article is of a general nature and should not be relied upon when making financial decisions. Please consult a professional financial advisor or planner (like us!) before acting.