Some people just seem to be naturally successful. They use their skills and talent in different ways, discovering more about themselves and reaching one peak after another.19-02-2010
The effect is cumulative – as they achieve, they learn and as they learn, they develop their ability so can achieve more, which means they learn more – and so it goes on. As a result they end up accomplishing infinitely more than they ever thought possible. It is an exciting, challenging and very successful approach to life. I call them serial achievers.
In fact, they are not superhuman. They are just people like you and me who have learned how to free themselves from the restraints that hold others back. They have learned that the worst regret is for the things you didn't do, the chances you didn't take. So they have gone with the opportunities that presented themselves - through both tough and exciting times – and made the most of them. As a result, they will never suffer the nagging dissatisfaction that things could have - should have - been better.
Are you willing to be that successful? Making the most of the talent and skills you have? Going from one peak to another in your life?
If you really want to, you can certainly do it.
It will require you to push the boundary of what you presently know to be true. It may result in using your life quite differently, doing work that you had never thought of before or developing your present work way beyond your dreams. As long as you are up for that challenge, then go for it! After all, in our fast moving and dynamic world, staying still is not really an option. The ongoing discovery and development that serial achievers live by is the perfect way to stay ahead of the field.
There is always more to you, so make the most of it
At 80 years old my father believed he’d wasted his life. By most standards he was a successful man. He had a good career, was full of verve and energy and he left a strong legacy in the world. The problem was his belief that he could have done more.
For him the highlight was his years in the Fleet Air Arm during the war – to his mind, this was when he really flowered. It became the ‘the time of his life’ and he held onto it until the end. The constant comparison stopped him taking satisfaction from later achievements – he could only see what might have been. He felt the emptiness of unrealised potential and it haunted him.
Of course, although he only admitted it in his old age, the problem had always been there. Like many of his generation he chose to manage his dissatisfaction and accept his life path, without actively seeking to change. But the clues appeared continually over the years, in subtle feelings of frustration, in longings for something different.
The clues are there for you too – in those moments of clarity, emotion and excitement that make clear you are bigger than you ever thought possible. Ignore them at your peril, because therein lie your own seeds of regret. Of course this doesn’t mean the hints and nudges will always work out as you hope. Sometimes you may try and fail – but at least you tried and you will certainly have learned. And that knowledge will prepare you for your next challenge, your next life chapter.
Are we talking here about the elusive ‘X factor’ that so fascinates us all? Indeed we are, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice yourself on the altar of Saturday night TV or on the front pages of a tabloid newspaper. The popular idea of success has become rooted in fame and money, but there is so much more to it than that.
We are looking for your own personal X factor. The core talent that can take you on a lifelong journey of success and discovery. You definitely have talent – it’s up to you whether you use it or not. And that is what this book is all about - working your core talent so you fulfil your promise and become as successful as you want to be.
The important thing to remember is that your core talent can deliver more than one thing, which is useful since nothing in life is constant. Neither is what we want out of it. This is part of the excitement. The world we live in now is too fast and furious for just one life vision.
This is where the concept of serial achievement comes in. Don’t think about your present vision of success as ‘it’ for life. It is right for now and you will almost certainly change completely in the years to come. I was 50 before I wrote my first book, while at 30 it wasn’t even on my radar. Core talent will offer all sorts of outlets in a lifetime, once you understand what that talent really is.
Start thinking this way and life immediately opens up. You no longer have to know ‘what you want to do when you grow up’. You just have to know what you want to do now. That’s good enough – you can leave the rest until later, by which time you’ll be ready for whatever the next step needs to be.
The test of a life well used
In preparing to write my book, "The Psychology of Successs" I spoke to a lot of people who have achieved great things in their lives. You won’t know most of them because this is not about fame, it’s about doing what matters to them and doing it well.
A common feature was the moment of realisation that they had to take responsibility for their own lives. They couldn’t expect anyone else to do it for them. It was generally a tough time that flicked the switch – interestingly, failing at school was a common one – and they saw in glorious Technicolor that if they didn’t get on and sort themselves out, then nothing was going to happen. So they did – and it did. Some successes, some failures, plenty of learning and always the sense of a lot more to come.
You may have had just such a moment in your own life. If not, then think about it now – try the ‘school reunion test’:
You are getting ready to go back to the old school and wondering what people will have done with their lives so far. Think about your own achievements to date – how does it look? Now think of yourself walking through the door of the school hall:
Do you feel satisfied and proud?
Are you looking forward to telling people about your life and what you do?
Do you have any regrets about things you haven’t yet done?
Think about this time particularly - how does it look? What are you most proud of? What do you still need to do to feel fully satisfied? How is it helping you move forward to an even better future?
If you feel really positive – fantastic! And there is a lot more you can achieve yet.
If you’re not happy with your findings – fantastic! This is a really important moment - take responsibility now and you will really start to move forward.
The Five Fundamentals
Exploring the Five Fundamentals will provide you with essential learning about yourself:
First Fundamental: Know your style - understand your own achiever style and learn how to use this to your best advantage
Second Fundamental: Get a grip of your personal gravity – understand the life patterns that help you move forward as a serial achiever and learn how to address those that hold you back.
Third Fundamental: Harness your Life Alignment Curve - work through the process that underpins each life chapter, discovering where you are now and how to move to the next stage
Fourth Fundamental: Discover your Core Talent - identify your core talent, that essential element of serial achievement that provides opportunities for you to perform and deliver in a wide range of scenarios
Fifth Fundamental: Address your needs - You explore the basic needs of the serial achiever and learn how to get these in place for yourself.
Working your way through the Fundamentals will give you the grounding you need to move forward as a serial achiever. Once you have this knowledge, the Behaviours give you the presence you need in the world.
The Seven Behaviours
The Seven Behaviours will take you into any situation that your core talent demands. Using them on a regular basis will help you deliver this life chapter and get ready for the next:
Behaviour One: Take Responsibility – only you can take the steps to being a serial achiever. The moment you take this on board, then you are on your way.
Behaviour Two: Build Relationships – people are the key to success, so understand the drivers of great interactions and use them to build mutually beneficial connections.
Behaviour Three: Embrace Change – don’t just wait for change to occur, go out and find it! Use this fast changing society to your advantage.
Behaviour Four: Invite Opportunity – understand how to put yourself in the way of opportunity and spot what is right in front of you
Behaviour Five: Be Passionate – use your excitement and enthusiasm to help you move directly towards your next life chapter.
Behaviour Six: Be Conscious – identify your next challenge or project, then clarify the skills you need and set about developing them
Behaviour Seven: Get Focused – choose where to place your energy, so you reach your goals and prepare for the next life chapter
Tracking the process will be part of the adventure. Not only will you hold onto good ideas, the patterns of your life will become clear, making it much easier to take the next steps productively.
So let’s begin – there are only positives out there for you to find!
Judith Leary Joyce is a www.primetimelife.tv Expert - see her details at www.changeexpert.tv and follow her daily tweets at www.twitter.com/changeexperttv
You can buy "The Psychology of Successs" at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Psychology-Success-Secrets-Serial-Achievement/dp/0273720899/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266598528&sr=1-1