How we define success has long been debated. Some believe success comes from within when you learn to love yourself while others may define success by monetary achievements or their social or professional status.
However, whatever it is that drives you to want more, there are 10 universal questions everyone must first ask. They are questions that will test your resolve and make you assess what it is you want in life. Most importantly, they will likely determine whether you are up for the challenge.
Here are ten questions everyone must ask if they wish to be successful.
1. Are you prepared to grow as a person?
Those who view failure as a learning process regularly do better than those who refuse to change anything about themselves. But for anyone wanting to complete a goal, possessing a 'growth mindset' is crucial. If you stay deep-rooted in your ways, then you'll likely always find yourself in the position you are now. Even those at the top of their field, whether that be Bill Gates or Barack Obama continue to educate themselves and improve on things many would believe they already have a strong command of.
2. Can you keep your goals to yourself?
When we've come up with an idea, whether it be an epic novel or an exciting new website, it can be tempting to tell everyone about it. But resist the temptation and only speak about it after it is done. The reason being is that once you tell someone, the brain is swayed into believing you’ve already completed the goal which in turn could decrease your motivation if people are already telling you how impressive it is. So talk less, and do more and then you can truly lap up the praise.
3. Do you have thick skin?
Are you prepared to be knocked down and be on the receiving end of negative feedback telling you you're no good? And that you should quit and try something else?
It certainly takes a significant amount of willpower and confidence to improve and attain successes. The Confidence Code, for instance, a book penned by Authors Katty Kay and Claire Shipman write the same thing and note that while low self-confidence often leads to idleness, those who were equipped with an action plan- no matter how shy or nervous they are- were more likely to succeed.
4. Are you happy with your life?
Before you attempt to embark on a new goal, you must ask yourself: Am I truly happy? It may sound cliched and even a tad corny, but no matter how much success you encounter in life, if you are not happy, then anything else can be a thankless task. Of course, such a truism doesn't mean you should abandon all dreams and not strive for your goals. But your happiness should come above anything else. One psychologist even proved that love conquers all in his book, Heaven and Hell: The Psychology of the Emotions.
The research conducted found that love is the key to a happy life. Or, put bluntly, even if you had tonnes of money, without the platonic companionship of friends or the intimate love of a partner, your life would be no less meaningful than what it was before your dreams came true.
5. Are you obsessed?
Completing a goal is a hard task, which is why those who are obsessive experience the most success. They aren't content with it not being finished and know from the get-go that the wheels need to be put in motion the moment the idea comes to them. They realize that just one day of inconsistency can hamper their progress. If you aren't prepared to think like that, then there's a high chance you'll find it difficult to get your idea off the ground.
6. Can you converse successfully with others?
Having the drive and intelligence to succeed is one thing, but those who are not well-versed in the art of conversation can find it harder to get where they want. And while charm can only get you so far, you have to be prepared to meet people and strike up conversations with people you wouldn't usually encounter. One study from the University of California even found that cognitive ability and social skills go hand-in-hand and form a major component of success.
7. Are you prepared to take risks?
A key ingredient to success is risk. How willing are you to lose it all in the pursuit of everything?
After all, It's quite likely that your dream will be crushed and that all those months and sometimes even years of your life will have been for nothing other than a brief rejection letter. Keep going, however, and you may just find the risk is worth it. But success, no matter how intelligent or determined you are, is never guaranteed. If you don't feel like the risk is worth it, then you'll probably never go for it and find out.
8. Do you believe in yourself?
Self-loathing can get the better of many people, and it's quite easy to tell yourself you're wrong and that you should focus on more pressing issues. If that's the case, then ask yourself this: if you don't believe you're any good, how can you except to carry the weight of an idea and turn it into something tangible?
9. Are you ambitious?
It may be a relatively obvious question considering you have an idea, but contrary to popular belief, a dream alone doesn't make you determined. Everyone can think, but only a few ever follow through. And if you aren't prepared to practice what you preach/ think, you might not be ambitious enough.
10. Am I willing to sacrifice certain parts of my life for this goal?
Ultimately, this is what it all comes down to. We make sacrifices every day, from how long we stay in the shower to how many hours we spend in the gym compared to sitting in front of the sofa watching endless re-runs of Friends. And the same goes for your goals. Are you truly prepared to go out less? And say no to fun and exciting parties in favour of putting in the hard graft needed? These things all add up, and if you aren't willing to make certain amendments, you probably won't get very far.