7 Ways to be Successful at Anything

Albert Einstein once said “You have to learn the rules of the game.  And then, you have to play better than anyone else.”

We are not born successful.  Whether you have talent in a particular area or not, you have to work hard to become successful.  The truth is, you can become successful at almost anything you set your mind to.

Through the years I’ve learned there are certain things we can do to become successful at almost anything.  Here are 7 that I’ve identified.

1. Find Your Passion

The first rule of success is to find what you love and do it.  Exerting energy in the work of something that you don’t enjoy is not sustainable.  Eventually you will burn out.

I have a teaching degree and am not highly technical, but I’m the President of a company that provides exceptional data center maintenance. My passion is developing leaders who impact our company as well as surrounding myself with the right people who have a passion for their particular area of focus within our company.

2. Surround Yourself with People who Push You

If you want to run better, find a running partner who runs faster than you.  If you want to work better, work with people who are high performers.

Studies have show that one of the biggest predictors of success is relationships.  If you want to see what you look like in 2 years, just look at the people you surround yourself with everyday.  Ask the important questions: are they driven?  Do they complain?  Are they positive?  Do they have a great attitude?  Do they serve others?  Are they honest? Are they high-energy?  Surround yourself with people who will push you past your comfort zone and who inspire you to be better.

3. Do the Important Work First

We have the most energy and are able to accomplish the most in the morning.  Yet many spend their mornings on mundane tasks.  Successful people do the work that matters when their energy level is at its peak.

By the time most have finished their morning routine of answering email, returning phone calls, and responding to the needs of others, their energy level is too depleted to be effective at much else.  Because our energy levels are at their highest in the morning, that’s when we should do the work that will have the greatest impact.  Consider rearranging your schedule so that you put out the little fires the afternoon or evening before and free yourself up to accomplish great things in the morning.

4. Learn More than the Next Guy

Benjamin Franklin said “If a man empties his wallet into his head, no man can take it away from him.  An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”

If you want to be an expert at what you do, learn more than others who are doing it.  Read books and blogs.  Listen to audiobooks.  Attend seminars.  Knowledge is not only power, it is an essential ingredient to a successful life.

5. Seek Feedback, but Not too Much

It’s important to seek feedback and to accept it graciously.  But it’s also important to remember that you have skills and knowledge that others should trust you with.  Invite a handful of trusted individuals into your life who will give you honest feedback.  If you accept feedback from everyone, you will be forever changing.

6. Batch the Mundane

Our brains are attuned to the beeps and buzzes of our cell phones, computers and email.  Emails, phone calls, text messages, instant messages and social media are designed to be disruptive.  We have to be intentional about taming the disruptors.  Schedule times throughout your day when you can tend to those messages.  Then, turn them off when you’re working on the important things that shouldn’t be interrupted.

7. Take Breaks

In their book The Power of Full Engagement, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz say “We must learn to live our lives as a series of sprints – fully engaged for periods of time – and then fully disengaged to renew.”  In order to fully engage, we must reserve time to disengage and renew our energy in order to fully engage once again.  I’ve found that exercise is a great way to do it, but there are many other ways as well.  Find out what works for you.

Charles Schwab said “when we put a limit on what we will do, we put a limit on what we can do.”  Our opportunities are limitless if we’re willing to do the work necessary to build value in ourselves and to become successful.

These are 7 ways that I’ve identified to become successful at anything, what have you found that works?