No matter where we are, there are certain principles we can apply to our situation to make the best of it and achieve success. Nonetheless, by success I don’t mean just money. What I mean by that is the holistic success in all important areas of life including business, family, relationships, friendships, adventures, travels, fulfillment and more.
Here are 5 questions that will lead you to success no matter where you are in life:
1. What is the silver lining here?
No matter who you are or where you are in life, you will have problems. That is simply a fact. But every single problem that we have in life, no matter how gloomy it may seem, has a silver lining in it. A silver lining is that hopeful side of looking at the problem which can bring you some benefit. We tend to focus so much on the negative aspects that we completely ignore the lessons we can extract from those problems.
I was a refugee and grew up in a war-torn country. It sucked, but guess what? That made me tough. Maybe your parents didn’t want to pay for your college so you had to work for the tuition since you were 12. Guess what, that made you value money and time better along with making you financially independent from an early age.
For every person who sees the silver lining, there are thousands who only see the grey clouds and nothing else. What are you going to choose to see?
“We are all stars, and we deserve to twinkle.” – Marilyn Monroe
2. What is the alternative?
Your father didn’t teach you a single thing about entrepreneurship, girls, or relationships in general. You have a stutter and are short and chubby. There are guys out there with natural-born charisma, who are tall, good-looking and have had a business since they were 17 because they had an entrepreneur upbringing.
What are you going to do about this? Are you going to hate on the fact that you didn’t have that or are you going to consider the alternative?
Some people will always have more than you such as more talent, more money, better cars, or girlfriends but it’s up to you to ask yourself “what is the alternative?” If you just quit because life dealt you bad cards, then what is the point in it anyway? Ask yourself what the alternative is and then do it.
3. Am I willing to tolerate this?
In life, it’s not about what highs you aim for but what lows you are willing to tolerate. If you want to be a millionaire but tolerate living in abject poverty, then you need to raise your standards. The place where we are in life is mostly from the consequences of the things we are willing to tolerate.
If you want to work in an awesome place but have an abusive boss, then you need to change jobs or change the boss. If you have an impossible family member who always gets the best out of you, then stop hanging around with him. If you want to have a loving relationship but your partner is always jealous and controlling, then it’s time to change the partner. Remember, it’s not how high you aim, but how low you’re willing to go.
4. Where can I spend my energy better?
The older you get, the less spare energy you have. The endless nights of drinking and partying are exchanged for something lower in energy. With energy becoming more scarce, you need to decide where you want to invest it. Is it good to keep “fighting” in the comments with some random trolls for an hour or should you use that time to read a book or write a blog post?
Is it good to tell that person off, entering an argument which would last for 30 minutes and neither one of you will convince the other that you are right? Is it good to complain for hours about how we got poor treatment at the counter at the local administration office?
Whenever you want to jump in something like this, ask yourself “where can I spend my energy better?” and observe how you will remove endless drama from your life, save up your energy, and have time to actually be proactive instead of simply reactive.
5. What is the smallest step forward?
The Internet is a scary place because it allows us to see other people’s success. That forces us to make comparisons between us and them, clearly showing us that we are miles behind them, thus discouraging us from ever even trying so we give up before we even get started. However, the thing is that we are comparing our step number 1 with their step number 74.
Every single millionaire was once broke and every single entrepreneur was once branded as a failure in life. But as the saying would go “You don’t need to be great to start, but you need to start to become great.”
“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” – John Wooden
Stop comparing your starts in life with someone that started years ago. Just ask yourself what the smallest step forward is and take it. I started only writing 500 words a day and after a year, became good enough to write for the world’s biggest personal development publications.
I didn’t do it overnight and neither will you. You will take the smallest step forward and then one more and one more until you make it. When you do, you will look back and realize that this 10,000 step journey started with the simplest – the first one.