golden rule

9 (Random) Secrets to Success

You want success and you want it quick. What do you do?

original by lululemon athletica

original by lululemon athletica

Here are nine secrets to help in your quest:

1. There are no secrets

Busted my own post straight away. But that’s fine. Because there are no secrets. There are no quick fixes. There is no narrative. Stuff happens. As scary as that seems, it can be a whole bunch of fun too.

2. Numbers are great

I arrived at nine secrets because I quickly wrote down a list with nine points. It could have been eight or ten secrets. In fact, it could have been 100 secrets that I boiled down to nine. Whatever the case, numbers are sexy. Unless, of course, you disagree. I’m willing to be wrong about it…

3. Be Right & Be Wrong

Kathryn Shulz asks people how it feels to get something wrong. It sucks, doesn’t it? Actually, what sucks is finding out that you were wrong. Getting something wrong feels just the same as getting something right. It’s only when you find out that you feel a particular way. So there’s no harm in being wrong. Be wrong, learn from it and move on. If you’re never wrong, how can you learn anything?

4. Do Nothing & Do Everything

Comfort zones are misleading. Why does it feel so cosy when you fail to stretch yourself? How can plodding along the same old path feel nicer than a voyage of discovery? Sometimes it’s good to have fun with what we recognise. That’s where doing ‘nothing’ new is necessary. Other times it’s good to go places we’ve never even imagined. That’s where ‘everything’ else comes in to play. The old saying ‘the world is your oyster’ doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do something more than once. It means you can make good use of everything available to you. So don’t miss the opportunity!

5. Debate and engage, but don’t accuse

We have different opinions on everything. Your closest friends and family may be soulmates, yet there will always be the odd occasion when you don’t see eye to eye. It may be of no consequence, but a difference of opinion – no matter how obvious it is to you – doesn’t mean one of you is right and the other is wrong. Debate and argument is fine, but the moment you accuse someone of personally being wrong, the moment you close doors on yourself…just to be ‘right’. As soon as you start pointing out an individual or a group as ‘wrong’ or ‘stupid’ or anything negative, you’ve gone beyond a debate. Accusations are rarely helpful.

6. Move on

Once you’ve finished something, stop dwelling. You may still use it, refer to it, and have related dealings with it, but when it’s done, it’s done. Worrying about what has already been takes up valuable ‘doing’ time.

7. Make up your own secrets to success

See Point 1. It took me a few moments to jot down these ‘secrets’. I hope they help. In many ways, they help me. That’s why I noted them down. Note down some of yours.

8. Know when to stop

This ties in with Point 6. Before you move on from something, you have to finish. It can be hard to find a natural point to finish. The desire to find that non-existent ‘perfect’ is strong. As you obsess over the work, the more time you spend on less stuff. An hour spent trying to get a single sentence ‘right’ is time you could be spending more productively. When it comes to worrying over minor issues, it’s probably time to stop.

9. See Point 8.

Now you’ve got the nine secrets. That’s everything you need. Or is it?

Of course not. Secrets to success are vague. They aren’t a step-by-step guide to guaranteed brilliance and perfection. They don’t tell you what to do, but they start to outline a bigger picture. Think of it as a scaffold to greatness.

For example, Tweet Smarter’s ‘three-step program to Twitter success‘ is:

  1. Care and listen
  2. Engage and question
  3. Respond and adapt

That advice leaves you pretty open to everything. It’s up to you how to care, how to listen, how to engage, and so on. Realising the importance of these things is a good place to start though. The success will still be entirely yours, and you’ll have earned it.

Similarly, Mr.SelfDevelopment highlights ‘5 Keys to Success‘:

  1. Preparation
  2. Work
  3. Remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”
  4. Confidence
  5. Lead

Again, you’ve hardly been given a detailed plan to conquering the world, but those vague nuggets suggest you have to put in your own effort before success reaches your grasp.

That’s why there are no secrets (my Point 1), making it doubly important to create your own secrets (my Point 7).

What is important to you? What drives you? What spurs you on? What helps you help others? Take responsibility of what comes your way and the secrets of success won’t seem quite as secret as they did before…