How To Identify Your Personal Success Factors
How do you recognize success? You might think this is an easy question but believe me, everyone sees this in different ways.
The activities below are designed to help you to nail down the kind of experiences, feelings and results that should act as your personal action plan, driving your choices and motivating you to make the changes that you need.
You could choose one activity and use that to make your choices – however the more you try, the more you will stretch your imagination and the more convincing and long-lasting your outcomes will be!
Activity 1: Your Perfect Day
Grab a sheet of paper, open a blank Word page or turn on a recorder – whichever way you find easiest to express yourself freely.
Now picture yourself waking up at the start of your ideal day. I want you to see, feel, smell and experience everything associated with your perfect day, step by step, from awakening until going to sleep again at the end of the day.
Record everything! Let your pen flow, your fingers run over the keyboard, or describe it all in as much detail as you can, from start to finish. Take as long as you like.
Now - what does all of this tell you about what success means to you?
What kind of themes emerge? For example, is the setting important? Are you alone or with others, and is this significant? Or is the kind of activity relevant? Or is it just the way you feel that day, and this could be anywhere, with anyone, doing anything?
Highlight or note down whatever seems important to you and keep these notes for later – you will need them!
Activity 2: Choose Your Key Values
There are a number of ways to pick out values that are particularly important to you, so I’m going to ask you a series of questions designed to elicit this kind of information.
Note everything that you think of. If you don't get any ideas or inspiration from one question, go on to the next! And if that still doesn’t help I will help you out with a big list of options to choose from.
Are there material things (such as money, house, car, jewellery, art) that would tell you that you are successful if you had them? If so, what are they?
What do you admire in other people?
What are the things that you would like to do or try, but somehow you never seem to get round to it?
What hidden talents do you have that have not been brought out or developed?
Many, many years in the future ;-) when you are in your twilight years, and you have had a highly successful life, what would significant other people say about you? Your family? Work/professional colleagues? Friends? Clients? Your adoring public, or anyone else who knew you?
When you review your ideas so far in this section, which of them seem most inspiring, significant and lifelong to you?
Extending your choices: If you are still finding it difficult to come up with insights, or if you would like to take this thinking process further, I have a big list of potential values that you can choose from. Download Values List and choose up to 10 that are the most important to you.
Activity 3: Boiling It Down To The Best Of The Best
One way or another you now have a lot of significant information. If you are anything like me you will love the insights but there is simply too much to use in guiding ourselves in our practical, day to day existence.
So the next step involves a vital life skill: prioritising. It’s easy to choose between right and wrong, or between important and unnecessary. The real test comes when we have to choose between two or more things that are both right and/or important! So I’m going to ask you to cream off the best of the best from everything you have done so far.
Materials to take you through the process, step by step, are in the following downloadable word document "Values Prioritising"
Activity 4: Your Personal Action Plan
The choices you have made could be highly significant. Or they could be forgotten by next week because you go back to your routine of daily pressures. This final activity is designed to help you to make the time you have spent valuable – to make a genuine difference.
When you think about your ‘best of the best’ values, what do you need to stop doing as these things do not match your top values? What needs to be minimised? What needs to be maintained? What should you increase? And what do you need to start? The next downloadable form will provide a grid for you to use in answering these questions. "5 Essentials For Success"
I strongly suggest that you plan to begin implementing your decisions immediately, or at least within the next two weeks – after that you will be less motivated as the ideas are less fresh. Before you forget, make a note to review your intentions a month from now.