The 20 Essential Steps to Success

Since habits shape 45 percent of the choices we make each day, there is a tremendous need to increase the few formal moments of self-appraisal we allow ourselves. By increasing our self-awareness we can then start to work on practicing a specific trait or habit that can help us achieve our goals.

To increase my self-awareness I created and use the Personal Assessment of Traits and Habits (PATH) to Success which list the 20 most common traits and habits found in successful people. To travel down my PATH all I need to do is ask myself each day: how frequently did I practice each trait/habit yesterday or what trait/habit can I rely on today? Doing so has allowed me to substantially increase my self-awareness and achieve one goal after another. I wish you well as you travel down your own PATH to success.

1. Believe you create your own life – The influence of other people and circumstances are all around us, but you need to believe that you can make an impact on them if you want to achieve your goals.

2. Create a vision for your life – Know where you are going, where you need to turn, and what resources you need along the way so you can live with intention.

3. Define a specific goal – It is impossible to work toward something if you do not know exactly what it is you are trying to achieve.

4. Exercise self-discipline – Once you have clearly identified a vision and goals, it requires inner drive and deliberate effort over an extended period of time to achieve them.

5. Deal with change – The world is in constant motion and people that live with intention and work with purpose have to deal with change on a constant basis.

6. Rebound from failure – Nobody is successful all the time with everything they try to do. If we give up after a failure or two we will fall short of achieving the life we envision.

7. Believe in yourself when others do not – Your goals are uniquely yours and may not be shared by anyone else. To achieve them you must retain self confidence in what you are doing despite what others say.

8. Exhibit courageous behavior – Courage is facing situations that scare us but demand our attention if we want to take the required action to achieve a difficult goal.

9. Get comfortable being uncomfortable – Many things in life make us uncomfortable so we must routinely practice getting comfortable in uncomfortable situations, both personally and professionally.

10. Persevere through a difficult situation – Reaching any goal requires you to keep moving forward no matter what the obstacle or how difficult the situation.

11. Be more resourceful – Be aware that other resources or people might exist to help you answer a question, address an issue, or resolve a problem.

12. Prioritize your to-do list – There are many things we have to do, but not all things are necessary for us to meet our timelines and accomplish our goals.

13. Collaborate with others – Working with others can make you more effective by exponentially increasing your capabilities.

14. Differentiate yourself – Examine your traits and skills so you can identify what makes you unique and valuable to others in a specific situation.

15. Communicate your value – Present a compelling story about yourself so that others can better understand how you differentiate and offer value to them.

16. Understand events and people more clearly – Assumptions and misunderstandings block communication, hurt collaboration, and derail action.

17. Respect and discuss new ideas – Growth comes from inviting, processing and implementing new ideas without judging the validity of those ideas before thinking about them. New perspectives can help you become more creative and open opportunities.

18. Take calculated risks – To live with intention is to move forward without a guaranteed outcome because one or more of the variables are unknown or difficult to ascertain.

19. Ask yourself empowering questions – Question what is happening around you to deepen your understanding. Instead of lamenting when something occurs, you can ask 'what is life trying to teach me at this very moment?'

20. Practice self-improvement – The more you intentionally improve your traits and habits the more effective you become in other areas of your life.

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