How to Succeed in Life

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Smiling young business professional on couch.
Smiling young business professional on couch. (Image: Siri Stafford/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Success in life means attaining the goals that you set for yourself, and can be achieved through a combination of preparation, action and determination. While some people may measure success in terms of a career or money, others may hope for a loving family, good friends and acceptance in the community.

Vision for Success

Success in life cannot be measured if it has not been defined. Think about your passions and what success in life means for you. When you are invested in a journey that is taking you toward valued goals, it will be easier to stay motivated and on track, says Dr. Phil McGraw in the article "Formula for Success." Be mindful not to limit what you believe you can achieve, says psychotherapist Joyce Marter, in the Huffpost Healthy Living article, "The Psychology of Success." You may have learned patterns and behaviors from your parents, but that doesn't mean you have to repeat them. Open yourself up to success, and welcome it into your life.

Strategy for Success

Once your vision of success in life has been identified, it is time to put a clear and thoughtful strategy to work. Most successful individuals write down their plan of action, and then take steps that move them consistently toward their goals and avoid alternatives that take them in the opposite direction, writes Dr. McGraw. For example, a goal of completing a college degree might mean sacrificing time spent with friends in favor of handing in a paper on time. Successful people know how to manage priorities and shift their attention as needed.

Practice Persistence

It is not enough to have a vision and a strategy if you crumble at the first sign of failure. People who succeed in life do not give up; they keep striving toward their goals despite being faced with disappointment or rejection, says Dr. Fredric Neuman in the Psychology Today article "The Secret of Success in Life." They are flexible and willing to start over if they find that their original course of action was wrong. Dr. Neuman argues that the trait underlying persistence is character, and that anyone can succeed if they have this trait, no matter their circumstances. If you feel like giving up in the face of failure, consider role models who overcame significant life circumstances, such as Nelson Mandela, Helen Keller and Stephen Hawking, and how you can do the same.

Achieve Balance

Striving for success in life also means ensuring that you have balance. Take care of your mental, physical and emotional health, and surround yourself with people who want you to succeed and can help you do so, suggests Dr. McGraw. Having a support network and taking time to establish balance between work and recreation will ensure that you do not burn out. In addition, pay attention to how you talk to yourself, says Marter. Don't tell yourself why you will fail at a new job – boost your confidence by thinking of all the reasons you will succeed. Be compassionate toward yourself, and you will be more likely to succeed in achieving your goals.

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