The most successful people rely on themselves first.
Does that sound lonely or egocentric? It isn’t. You’ve got one life, and it’s all yours. Why would you want to turn control of it over to somebody else?
Winners know that nobody will hand you the things you want. It’s your responsibility to go after them. Mentors, coaches, and teams may help you succeed, but they only play a supporting role. You’re the lead, and if you can’t depend on yourself … well, their support won’t matter one bit. If you think you can rely on others to motivate you to succeed, to manage you into action, or to create discipline in your life, you’re fooling yourself.To win, you need these three “self skills” so that you can rely on yourself when it matters most. Click To Tweet
Internal motivation—doing something because we find it interesting, enjoyable, or fulfilling—is the most powerful driver of success.
You are far more likely to achieve goals when you are doing something you want to do because you want to do it, for your own reasons. Internal motivation is intense and rock solid. For decades, psychologists and performance experts have studied it and have found that it delivers all sorts of benefits. When we have it, we’re more engaged. We learn better and learn more. We’re more focused, and we feel a higher sense of purpose.
Winners tap their internal motivation—they self-motivate—by pursuing their natural curiosity, by finding ways to make the things they are doing more enjoyable, and by connecting boring or tedious work to their big picture goals.
Successful people control their emotions, responses, and behaviors. They’ve made the decision to act wisely and not foolishly. They don’t want to become their own worst enemy by creating more problems to solve. Life is too short. That’s what self-management is all about.
We all face challenges or obstacles. While friends or coworkers might be able to talk us off the proverbial ledge sometimes, they won’t be there all of the time. Winners give themselves the gift of guided action by setting goals that help them make progress toward their big vision. When obstacles crop up, they don’t allow themselves to be overwhelmed by emotion.
Only you can say no to the unimportant things cluttering up your life. Only you can say yes to the activities that produce the results you want—whether it’s eating better to lose a few pounds, going to the gym regularly to be healthier, or finding time to put in the extra effort at work to earn your next promotion without sacrificing important family time. Self-discipline is simply recognizing the important tradeoffs we face in life, in time, energy, and opportunities. It’s also making choices based on our highest priorities—saying no to the unproductive and yes to the things that matter most. People who struggle to succeed waste time, energy, and opportunities every day.
When you’re struggling, when you’re down, when you feel yourself wanting to quit, when you aren’t sure if you’re working on the right things, the people around you can help—especially if you’ve built the right support team. Your success will always start and end with you, so start working on the self-motivation, self-management, and self-discipline skills you need.
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