Three Practical Tips for Success
Recently, I had the rewarding experience of being the guest speaker at a local Houston-area high school where I shared the following three tips with the Graphic Design students. It was not until after my visit when I realized that these three tips can universally apply to everyone who desires to be successful at any level in their career or during any stage in life.
But what exactly is success? Well, Merriam-Webster defines it as “the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame.” However, I believe the late, great poet laureate, Maya Angelou, said it best: “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” So with that definition in mind, here are three practical tips for success that have proven to be tried-and-true.
1. Be You—Best Branding Ever
"The real you is better than the fake somebody else." — Lauryn Hill
In this digital age of social media, everyone has a brand—whether they realize it or not. Your personal brand manifests itself in different ways, including who you are (personality, values, and character), how you present yourself (perceptions), and your interaction with others (communication style). So how do you begin to brand yourself?
First, embrace who you are. There will never be another you—you are the first, the last, and the only version of yourself, so be the best you can be! Second, discover what differentiates you from the rest of the pack: we all have unique strengths, gifts, and talents. Lastly, as you set out on your path of self-discovery, be yourself. Do not try to be the “next somebody else.” You will be much more successful simply being your true, authentic self.
2. Stay Positive—No Failures, Only Lessons Learned
"Your attitude determines your altitude." — Zig Ziglar
One of the key ingredients to overcoming unfavorable situations in life is our attitude. It is easy to become down on ourselves and feel like we have failed. The truth is, not one person is exempt from feeling this way. However, we must recognize that our attitude is a choice, and there is always an opportunity to be either positive or negative. Now don't get me wrong, being positive does not mean you are completely oblivious to reality and refuse to acknowledge pain, hurt, anger, frustration, or regret; nope, not at all. In fact, it is the exact opposite—you should acknowledge, and own, how you feel, but just don’t dwell there.
When you change your attitude, you change your perspective, which in turn affects your speech and your actions. Whether if it is a mistake you made or things just aren't going your way, choose to stay positive. As long as you are learning (and growing) from those unfavorable situations, then there are no failures, only lessons learned.
3. Never Stop Learning—Learn, Grow, Apply, Repeat
"Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today." — Malcolm X
No matter how successful we become—especially when we think we have "arrived"—never stop learning. Let's face it, none of us ever really know it all, and those that think they do are in for a rude awakening. Be like a sponge and soak up all the relevant information you can, continuing to learn and stay abreast of new developments in your respective field(s) of expertise. There is always something new to be learned, whether personally or professionally. Remember, you are never too old to learn! Even 50 years from now, we should all still be learning.
When you learn, you grow; then apply what you have learned, and repeat the process—learn, grow, apply, repeat!
What are you doing to be successful? Feel free to share other tips for success via the comments section below. May the force be with you!