It was exactly one month ago today that I ventured to Edmonton to spend an inspirational day listening to those who have “been there, done that.” In hindsight, it was one of the last moments of clarity before the world as we know it changed for us the following week. The Power of Success conference featured speakers who, against all odds, still managed to succeed beyond their wildest dreams. I love going to conferences and hearing people tell their stories about where they came from, how they got there, and what they overcame along the way.
I missed a good portion of the afternoon when a migraine turned into nausea, but there was no way I was going to miss headliner Arnold Schwarzenegger give his speech. All I can say is WOW – if you’re looking for a story of going after what you want at all costs and achieving it, then this is the one for you!
I have a newfound respect for the Terminator, who, by the sounds of it, has attained just about everything he ever set out to do. From idolizing Reg Park, a famous bodybuilder at the time, and following in his footsteps to eventually become Mr. Universe just like his idol, to having his mind set on becoming a famous Hollywood actor despite being scoffed at because of his body and accent, to eventually setting out to become Governor of California. Anyway, I won’t get into all the details of his life, I’m sure there’s a biography out there you can read for that, but I will share with you the 4 rules he spoke about for achieving success in your life.
Rule #1 – Have a very clear vision! I can’t agree with this one enough. How do you know when you’ll get there if you don’t know where you’re going? Life passes by so quickly, and many people are spinning their wheels on the day-to-day stuff, never really getting anywhere. If you don’t set goals for yourself or know what you want for your life in 1 year, 3 years, 10 years, etc… then before you know it, that time will be here and life will be the same as it was all those years ago, meanwhile you’re sitting back wondering how time passed you by in the blink of an eye. I’m working with a business coach right now (yes, even a Business Coach needs a Business Coach) who is helping me get really clear on what I want for my coaching practice by the end of 2021 and I can’t tell you how pivotal of a step this is. When you get clear about your vision, then you can work backwards to identify the steps you need to take to get there.
Rule #2 – Don’t listen to the naysayers. In business especially, there will be people telling you time and time again that “you can’t do __________ (fill in the blank).” I remember so vividly when I was 24 years old and an opportunity landed on my doorstep to start my own business, I had a few people saying things like, “What do you know about business? You can’t run a business!” If I’m really honest, sometimes those naysayers are inside your own head too – how many times have we talked ourselves out of something because we didn’t feel good enough, smart enough, educated enough or whatever else? When it comes to those external naysayers though, I’ve always used everyone’s doubts of me to fuel my ambition to succeed and prove them wrong. Nobody knows what you’re capable of, and truth is, you really can do whatever you set out your mind to do, that’s not just a cliché. There will always people who will try to bring you down and keep you living the status quo, but don’t let that stop you! Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
Rule #3 – Work your ass off! Yup, nothing comes without hard work! Funny story – somehow I thought I’d have a lot more freedom being a business owner; setting my own schedule, sleeping in, taking vacation whenever I wanted to. Well, 9 years after starting my first business, I am finally experiencing a little taste of that. I’ve been busting my ass for nearly a decade to make this dream of mine work, and sure there are certain luxuries that come along with that (like ditching work in the middle of the week to attend the Power of Success conference) but it doesn’t come on a silver spoon without any sacrifice. As a business owner, I’ve never worked harder to get to where I am today, but it’s all been totally worth it and if I could choose to go back in time, I’d do it all over again.
Rule #4 – Give something back. The Law of Attraction says that you get what you give, so how can you expect to attain more success if you don’t share the wealth? If you are fortunate enough in life to have a roof over your head, food on your table, and a healthy family, then show gratitude for your wealth by giving something of yourself to someone else. It doesn’t have to cost you a dime either – the most valuable commodity you have is your time and you can make a huge difference just by carving out some of it in your busy schedule to lend a helping hand. Mahatma Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others.” You can have all the riches in the world, but if you don’t have a purpose beyond yourself, then what’s the point?
Everything Arnold said resonated with me and it’s pretty evident based on his own advice why he became so successful. For those of you who have been down the path of self and professional improvement for years now, this is likely a bit of repetition for you. How true is it, though, that even if we know something, knowing and doing are two different things? It’s easy to be consumed with the ins and outs of daily life without giving much conscious thought to our future or how we want to live in the present, so let this just serve as a reminder to stay focused, determined and gracious – whatever you define success as, it can be yours with these ideals and a little hard work!