Deliberate Success: How to Evolve Gracefully
by Caitlin Morris
Achieving success is not a short term spark or a lucky break. It is derived from a disciplined process of sharpening your mind and body to fully anticipate, visualize, and achieve scary goals despite ongoing challenges and temptations. Great achievers show up on their bad days and put in the difficult work because they know grit leads to breakthroughs. Below are three principles to help guide you on this valuable journey to Know Yourself. Through this development, achievement will be more meaningful and impactful.
Be coachable: Many times we set challenging goals and say that we are willing to do what it takes to achieve them, but we quickly fall off the wagon or let a small hurdle derail the entire goal. Instead of being reactive and focusing on the smallest stressor, be proactive and focus on the potential for growth and development. Being reactive to emotions robs us of the energy needed to manifest new habits, so coachable people seek out and concentrate on only positive actions, habits, and lessons. Care enough about yourself to evolve and master new skills, and be humble enough to realize your weaknesses can be improved. Work with a coach or mentor that understands the importance of harnessing happiness and positive energy to constantly build up and improve (e.g. get rid of bullies, critics, and idlers). Use each step in achieving your goals as a chance to learn something new, to meet inspiring people, and to challenge those stubborn negative thought patterns.
Be perceptive: Achieving goals and breaking through career plateaus does not just involve mental tenacity and mindful thinking. The physical aspect of body language is crucial to creating a successful atmosphere and stronger relational bonds among coworkers and teammates. Be highly aware of your body and how you are presenting it to others. Are you crouched over at your desk, too timid to ask for more challenging projects? Are you lounging in your chair, arms crossed, sighing deeply with an apathetic expression? Not only do others pick up your negative energy, your physical movements can shape thoughts and actions. Take time each morning to stretch, fully extending your limbs and rolling your tense neck and back. Learn and practice great posture and breathing techniques to fully utilize your body so that you project a physical language of confidence, power, and hopefulness.
Be deliberate: Never halfway do anything. Ever. Small, seemingly one-off actions of quickly stringing a project together or lowering the priority of a deliverable for a customer have a lasting impact on your core behavior and habits. Successful people treat each day as an exciting fresh start. They eagerly anticipate what lies ahead of them, and they stay present throughout their long days. Autopilot and boredom lead to mistakes, negativity, and despair. Instead of going into a haze of normalcy because each day’s activities seem exactly the same, focus on the novelty and tremendous gift of the present moment. What can you do today that you’ve never done before? When is the last time you did something (no matter how small) for the first time to break up normalcy and mediocrity? Being deliberate leads to significant jumps in achievement because of the energy, dedication, and discipline you take to focus on the joy of the present.
Caitlin Morris, MBA, is an analyst at Scripps Networks Interactive.