What if Sam Walton had stood in front of his first successful store in Rogers, Arkansas, in 1962 and said, “This is exactly what I was hoping for. We’ll just keep this running, because one store is really all we need.” What if Steve Jobs had stopped after the first Apple computer went to market? What if Elon Musk had stopped after he sold his first company in 1999, at the age of 28, for about $340 million?
Think of the staggering opportunity and benefit that would have been lost.
Of course, they didn’t stop. Serial winners like these three keep pushing—and not just because of what they have to offer the world. They are also driven by a basic fact of success. If you’ve been waiting for the big secret, the magic pill, the key to repeat success, here it is:
The ABI Principle.The difference between occasional success and consistent success? Always be improving. Click To Tweet
Every other part of the winning cycle that I mapped in Serial Winner is important, but keep improving—or the ABI Principle—is the difference between serial winners and everybody else. It defines their approach to their careers, their hobbies, their relationships, their life.
It is the root of any successful personal development plan. It’s why we care about personal development at all.
To help you consider how the ABI Principle can transform your life, I’ll share 3 fundamental truths about growth and success. For the rest of this month, I’ll dig in on strategies for improving.
The best life is a life of challenge and growth.
The joy of doing new and bigger and better things never fades, because no matter what you’ve accomplished and no matter how old you are, learning, improving, and new adventures are the key to an exciting life.
Being energized about life, having that sparkle in your eye … it doesn’t happen all by itself. It comes from an attitude of refusing to stagnate, of seeking out new ideas and new experiences, of seeking positive change in your life. What adds value and enjoyment and fulfillment are new relationships, new challenges, new experiences, and new levels of productivity.Serial winners know that the excitement of life is found in the question, “What’s next?” Click To Tweet
Do you lead an enjoyable, fulfilling, satisfying life from minute to minute, week to week, year to year? If not, you aren’t doing enough new things. But to do new things, you have believe you can grow and improve.
Anybody can become great at almost anything.
Want to become a great photographer? You can. Want to become a great salesperson? You can. Want to become a great horseback rider? You can. Want to become a great leader? You can.
You can always improve. Always! No matter what you want to do, no matter how far away you are from a goal (without defying all logic, of course), if you’re willing to work for it, you can do it. The guarantee of the ABI Principle is that you can put it to work in any area of your life and make great progress.
And the more you grow, the more you’re capable of growing. Growth becomes a skill, and it can create exponential change in your life. As soon as you grow in one area, other areas that need attention become obvious. Improvement becomes as much a habit as eating and sleeping. And this is how winners transform themselves in order to achieve success after success.
So, where do you need to grow to get what you want?
All real growth happens by degrees.
Serial winners recognize that improving in any area is like developing muscle. You don’t go to the gym, work out one time with minimal effort or focus, and suddenly have a bodybuilder physique. No. You start, and you’re terrible for a while. But you keep at it.
Eventually, gradually, step by step, you get better. You improve. What seemed hard yesterday doesn’t seem so hard today. You take it to the next level. You get good. Eventually, much of what you had to work to learn is second nature.
But growth is more than just skills and knowledge. The more we work to improve and the more big goals we set, the more experiences we have that improve our judgment. We create mental shortcuts that allow us to recognize patterns and move forward quickly and efficiently—either dodging bullets or pursuing winning opportunities.
The better our judgment, the more losing situations we’ll avoid and the more winning situations we’ll pursue. This is what the progression of judgment and skills looks like:
What should you try to improve? I can’t answer that. Only you are living your life. Only you know the areas of greatest stress, so only you know where the opportunities for improvement exist, or how to shape your own personal development plan. All I can say is find one place to start. Begin working on it now. Plan how you’re going to win faster next time.
Download the free Serial Winner Workbook for some guidance.