Over the last 16 + years, I have studied the components of what makes a person either a success or a failure. I have looked at the way that people work. I have looked at the way that people think. I have studied what the successful people of the past did in their lives. I have even looked at what people who have failed did in order to achieve their results. Throughout the process of learning about success and failure, I have discovered a few themes that drive the results that each of us gets.
The first thing that I learned is that people are not successful and people are not failures. People are simply achieving results based on the formula that they apply to their life in combination with the mindset that they have. Take the idea of making cookies as an example. If you follow the right recipe and follow all of the instructions, you end up with fantastic cookies. But, if you put a cup of salt and a tablespoon of sugar instead of cup of sugar and a tablespoon of salt, you will get a cookie abomination. You will get something that tastes horrible and does not satisfy your sweet tooth after a meal. The thing that I have seen with lots of people that I have worked with is that lots of people will follow part of the recipe for success. Very few people will follow the entire recipe for success. Those who are willing to do ALL that is necessary will find success to be a welcoming friend. After all, each of us just achieves results that are equal to the formula that we use combined with the effort that we give.
S - Set your mind on growth.
The first step in the SUCCESS formula is to Set your mind on growth. Each of us can choose either a mindset that is fixed or a mindset that is growth oriented. Dr. Carol Dwek researched the characteristics of those who succeed versus those who do not, and she found that believing that you can learn and grow was the most important characteristic that successful people have.
U - Understand your definite purpose in life. Napoleon Hill, in the Science of Success, describes the fact that each of us needs, not wants, needs to have a definite chief aim in life. This guiding purpose will be the filter for our decisions that we make. Your purpose is your choice, and it is a reflection of who you are. The reflection side accounts for your personality and your interests. By knowing yourself, the way that you think, the way that you act, what drives you, and what interests you, you can choose a definite purpose that is fitting. I am an extrovert who loves people and loves to write. I would make a horrible accountant, but I make a fantastic trainer and author!
C - Calculate what you are willing to give in return for your desired goal and definite purpose. I don't know anyone that says that they don't want to be successful. I do, however, know lots of people that are unwilling to give the effort, learning, and investment necessary to achieve that success. Until you know exactly what you are willing to give up in order to achieve success, you will never find your success.
C - Create a master-mind group. You create personal accountability when you share your goals and objectives with the world. When you establish a small group of people who will support you, encourage you, build you up, and believe in you, you are establishing a master-mind group. This master-mind group will work in harmony with one another in order to help you achieve your definite chief aim in life. These don't actually have to be people that you know or that you hang out with. They can be anyone from history that you look up to and admire and have a mental conversation with. Each person in the group will get a benefit from being in the group. Each person in the group will work toward your success.
E - Extra Mile effort is required to achieve anything great in life. One of the lessons that I made sure to teach my children is that you are paid for what you have already done, not for what you might do. Your raises, then, are tied to your past work more than to your future work. In everything that you do, you should go the extra mile to ensure that you deliver more work, and better work than you were paid for. People are always subject to the law of compensation. We are never worth more than we are willing to give. But, when we give more than we are paid for, the reward is multiplied in the long run.
S - Self-discipline is the only true form of discipline that exists. I attended a program in Dallas, TX a couple years after I went into business and was told to write out affirmations and say them twice daily out loud. I chose to do that, while a couple of my friends chose not to follow the instructions. At the end of the next year, I had advanced beyond what I even hoped for in business. They had not. Within any formula for success, your decision to do what is necessary is just that... a decision. You have to choose what you want and then choose to do what is necessary to get it. You have to discipline yourself to stay off the internet when you can be learning, or turn off the TV in order to focus. You have to choose whether or not you will manage yourself.
S - Systemize your success. When you look at people who are successful in any given field, you will find that they each have specific habits that they follow. Aristotle said, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not act but a habit." Charles Duhigg, in his book, The Power of Habit, says that everything that we succeed at can be broken down into the right habits. Sales people have the habit of calling on prospects, presenting their goods and services, proposing to do business, implementing the work, and billing for it. If this is done on a daily basis, then it is a natural extension of who you are. People who are out of work can find a job if they are in the habit of professionally applying for five new jobs per day, five days per week. This one habit, instead of the habit of waiting for someone to care for them, is what sets successful job seekers apart for those who are unsuccessful. When a habit is formed, and it becomes a part of who you are, then it becomes easier and easier to do. Duhigg says that your brain goes on "auto-pilot" when the queue, or trigger, for the response pattern kicks in. You respond, and then you are rewarded. When the person begins to crave the reward, and they have the trigger, the response patterned is assured. Figure out what the five or fewer things are that you need to do on a daily basis in order to be successful.
Mindset, model, and mode are the keys to being successful in anything that you desire to do. You have to start with the right mindset, create the model of success by studying others, and put yourself in the right mode every single day in order to win. If you will do this, you will find that success isn't actually that hard, it is just a habit.
To Your Success,
Jody N Holland
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Throughout my life, I have done things that were not in my own best interest. I have been prideful and made choices that ended up being wrong choices in the long run. When I have tried to control my world, I have chosen the wrong world to control.
I am reminded of the story of the young Samurai that wanted to become the greatest warrior that the world had ever seen. Since he was a boy, he had practiced and trained and prepared himself physically. Although he was a great fighter, he was still not the greatest. Even in his practice, he had weaknesses that could be exploited. His instructor sent him to the mountain-top to speak with the tea-master. The instructor told the young warrior that this man could provide the missing piece that would make him the greatest warrior the world had ever seen. So, the young warrior climbed the mountain, which took several days, carrying his sword and wearing his armor. Once the young warrior reached the top, he knocked on the door and waited for the tea master. As the master opened the door, the warrior began to explain his own greatness and how he was on a quest to be greater than all others. The tea master invited him in and they sat across from one another. The warrior continued to explain how much he knew to the tea master. Once he finally paused from speaking, the tea master carefully held back his own sleeve and began to pour the tea into the young man's cup. He poured slowly but continuously until the tea reached the top of the cup. He then kept pouring and the tea spilled over the top of the cup and onto the young man's leg. The warrior jumped up and yelled at the tea master. He asked what the tea master was doing. The tea master sat down the tea and looked at the warrior whose hand was on his sword and said, "Your cup is so full that you are not able to hold any more. When your cup is empty, I may fill it with the wisdom that you seek. Until then, you are too full to gain wisdom." At that, he sent the warrior away and asked him to return with an empty cup.
Just like this story, there have been so many times that I did things that were what my ego wanted, but were not what was right for me or in my best interest. I have wanted to be seen as a great entrepreneur or a great leader or an incredible speaker and have made choices that were directly opposite of what was in my best interest. I have done these things to satisfy my ego instead of walking the path that I should have with an empty cup. It is in the realization that I don't know what is in my best interest on my own that I am open to learning. It is in this giving up of my own ego-driven will that I am able to hear that inner voice that guides me.
Today, I shall walk through life with my cup empty. I shall be open to learning and to guidance. It is in wisdom that I find peace. It is in the truth that lives in me, separate from my ego, that I find what I have always been looking for. Will you be like the young warrior who couldn't learn because he perceived that he knew all that he needed, or will you approach life with an open mind, willing to learn and grow? Today, I lay down my pride and I learn. I realize that I do not perceive what is in my best interest and I am open to learn and to grow. Are you?
To Your Success,
Jody N Holland
When I was young, my parents would warn me to be careful who I hung out because I would end up just like them. When I was young, like most young people do, I questioned that. I though, I will always be my own person and nobody can influence me! The truth is that little by little I became more like the people that I associated with. When I surrounded myself with toxic people, I became toxic. When I surrounded myself with happy and supportive people, I became like them.
People give off a sort of energy when you are around them. If you think about it, you can probably recall a person that seems to steal everyone else’s energy when they are around. I call those people “energy vampires.” They are unhappy and often don’t even know it. They are trying to bring other people down to their level in order make themselves feel better. On the other hand, there are people that are bubbling with life, full of good energy. When you are around one of those people and you are one of those people, you seem to build each other up.
Like knows like. For me, I had to become that right person in order to really start attracting like minded individuals. After all, good knows good and bad knows bad. When a person seeks out ways to be unhappy, then unhappy things are attracted to them. Your “peeps” have to be the right ones. They have to be the kind of people that want to see the best for you. They have to be the kind of people that encourage and support you and push you to make good decisions. If they are anything but that, then they are not right for your life.
The top three qualities of a good influence are…
1. They are other centered. They put others before themselves. They look at life from the angle of the other person as well as from their own vantage point.
2. They push the people around them to be better. They want you to make good grades, good choices, and good on your promises. They want you to improve your life.
3. They are careful who they associate with. They invest in people that are headed in the right direction and they insulate themselves from people who are headed in the wrong direction. It is never safe to allow others to drag you down. They know this and live by it.
So, be careful who your peeps are. Be careful who you allow to have influence over your life and your happiness. You deserve joy and you deserve good. Associate with the kinds of peeps that want you to have just that!
To Your Success,
Jody N Holland
I love the quote from Letters To Juliet – “Dear Claire, "What" and "If" are two words as non-threatening as words can be. But put them together side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life:”
People spend time every day thinking, what if I would have don this, or done that. They wonder what their life would have been like if they had taken a certain job or dated a certain person. They wonder how their life would be different if they would have made the winning shot in high school. They wonder what life would have been like if they would have taken that chance or built that business or forgiven their family.
Spending time wondering what life would be like now if they had only done whatever it is that they didn’t do is like chasing down your joy and punching it in the face. When we chase away our joy with the “what ifs” of life, we are intentionally giving up the “what next” dreams that exist for us. We have made our past choices and they can’t be unmade. We can, however, control our present choices that will create a future victories. You are who you are and where you are because of the choices that you have made. That is awesome! That means that you were and still are in control of those choices. That means that you can make whatever choice you want right now. You can take your life in any direction that you desire.
It does you no good to think about the other path, the one that you didn’t choose or that they didn’t choose to include you on, the other path steals your joy. If you look back for too long, you will miss what is right here, right now, in front of you. Joy comes form letting go of the past and embracing the choice that you get to make now. Joy comes from making a choice and moving forward, letting go of the “what if” and embracing Nike’s philosophy of “Just Do It.” Just make the choice to be happy today. Just embrace the opportunities that exist for you, right here, right now.
To Your Success!
Jody N Holland
Jody is a writer, motivational speaker, consultant, and entrepreneur. He has been the keynote speaker at over 250 events around the world. Jody speaks more than 150 times per year at different programs, and he has given more than 10,000 speeches during his career.