Photo by Liber
Success. Growth. Abundance. Results. Excellence.
These are things we set out to achieve in life. Whether it is at work, in our relationships, with our health, in our fitness regime or with our friends, we do our best to achieve peak results. We want to be our best and live our best life.
Like you, I’m a passionate advocate for excellence. I love being the best I can be and being the best at what I do. You know the feeling of satisfaction when you achieve something you set out to accomplish? I feel that as well. It reminds me that as long as we set out to achieve something, we will achieve it.
After years of pursuing and studying excellence, I have learned several key, timeless tips to achieve excellence. These tips have continuously brought in results in whatever goal I seek. For one, they’ve helped successfully develop my passion into a full-time career within a short span of 1.5 years. My blog, The Personal Excellence Blog, is read by thousands of people every day and has been featured on prominent media such as CNN. I’ve founded my training school, The School of Personal Excellence, where I coach and train individuals to achieve excellence in life.
In this article, I’ll share 8 of my timeless tips to achieve excellence:
1. Have a goal
“In life, as in football, you won’t go far unless you know where the goalposts are.” – Arnold H. Glasgow
How true is that? Have you ever seen people play football without knowing where the goalposts are? They’ll be running up and down the field the whole time with the ball and not scoring any goal! Likewise, we need to set our goals for us to move somewhere.
Don’t let your goal be just any goal to. Make it a big, bold and audacious goal – one which will truly excite and inspire you. It’s pointless to have a goal that will automatically be achieved without much of a fight. On the other hand, if you have a goal where you really have to work for it, that’s one worth striving for.
More about goal setting:
2. Do what you love
“You will not do incredible things without an incredible dream.” – John Eliot
If I’ve been doing things I hate all this while, I wouldn’t even have made any headway in them. The reason why I’m continuously inspired to write and bring The Personal Excellence Blog to greater heights day after day is because I’m passionate about what I’m doing. I’m passionate about achieving excellence. I’m passionate about helping others achieve excellence. I can do this day after day, for the rest of my life without even getting paid for it. If I have tried to do something else, say become an accountant or an engineer, I would never have lasted. There’s nothing wrong with those occupations, just that they aren’t what I’m passionate about.
What are you passionate about? What do you love to do? Pursue that, and let the love of what you do drive you to greatness.
How to discover your passion:
3. Have a strategy
Strategy is more than just planning. A plan is simply what you are going to do. Strategy is like your blueprint for success; the secret keys that will guarantee your victory. A more layman term for strategy would be “working smart”.
Every goal has its own set of strategies to guarantee its victory. In all my goals, I’ll always spend proper time to develop a strategy. What are the obstacles I’ll face? How can I overcome these obstacles? What is the best mode of action to achieve this goal? How can I achieve this goal faster and better? How have people who achieved this goal done this? These are some questions I consider. And once I develop my strategy, I set out to achieve my goal. Undoubtedly, strategizing helps me achieve my goals with ease.
More about strategy:
4. Study the successful
There’s no matter way to succeed than to study the successful – those who have been here, done that. When I first started The Personal Excellence Blog, I studied the A-List bloggers, such as Steve Pavlina, Darren Rowse from Problogger, and read a lot of materials by them. I also read other big sites such as Copyblogger and Yaro Starak’s Entrepreneur’s Journey. Because of that I’ve learned a lot on what I need to do to have a successful personal development blog. Even today I continue to study and learn from bigger bloggers so I can grow quickly.
Who are the people who are successful in the goals you want to achieve? What have they done which has enabled them to succeed? What can you learn from them?
5. Overcommit your resources
Goal setting is about getting from point A to point B. When we set goals, we have in mind a set of things we need to do. If we complete these XYZ set of things, we will naturally achieve the goal. Right?
Wrong. When we are creating our plan, we are doing it from the point of view of someone who has never achieved the goal before. So how would we even know these XYZ things are what we need to achieve the goal? They are nothing more than just assumptions of what it takes to achieve the goal. It might be 50%, 60% or even 70% accurate, but we have no way of knowing if it’s 100% accurate. Most likely it’s not, else we would already have achieved the goal long ago, wouldn’t we?
So when you set out for our goals, it’s important you overcommit your resources. Come up with what you think you need to achieve the goal, then double it up, or even triple if possible. That way, you can be almost certain you will achieve it. Even if your original estimations are right and there are no need to up the efforts, then you’ll be exceeding your goal when the results are out, which is more than fantastic.
6. Keep reading
The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them. ~Mark Twain
The more you read, the more knowledge you gain. There is no end to what you can read. Seth Godin, best selling author on Business Week and New York Times, buys 400 new books every year, and probably reads a lot more than that. Lately, I’ve been frequenting the local library to borrow books and enrich myself. The book I’m currently reading is “How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be” by Jack Canfield, and it’s a great read. With the wide availability of information on the internet, there’s even more reason to read now than ever.
Here are some you can start off with:
- The Definitive List of Free Personal Development Ebooks
- A Guide to Free Online Audiobooks
- 100 Sites for Free Audiobooks Online
- 40 Modern Nonfiction Books Everyone Should Read
- 33 Personal Development Blogs To Read in 2010
7. Work hard
There’s working smart (tip #3 – Have a strategy), then there’s working hard. In order to succeed, you have to both work smart and work hard.
And working hard really isn’t all about toiling and sweating and dreading what you are doing. If you are doing what you love (tip #2 – Do what you love), then it really isn’t work at all. I work hard day in day out, writing new articles my blog, coaching others and building my business, but that’s because I love what I’m doing so much that I can’t get enough of it. It doesn’t even feel like work. It feels like I’ve won the lotto, except that it’s a lifetime lotto. :D
Are you working as hard as you could? How can you put in more effort in what you are doing? The more effort you put into your goals, the more results you will see.
8. Ask for feedback
Feedback gives us a different perspective – one which you cannot see because you are looking from your point of view. I’ve learned a tremendous lot from my readers’ and clients’ feedback, which in turn helps me to write better articles and be a better coach day after day. All of us have blind spots we can’t see and these blind spots are exactly what’s preventing us from achieving results. The more feedback you get, the more aware you become, and the better you will become.
Pick 5 people you interact with frequently. Ask them for feedback on how you can improve as a person. They’re probably going to say you are fine and I believe you are too, butthere’s always room for improvement. Press them to name 3 key areas of improvement for you. You might just learn something new in the process.