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How To Be Successful In Life (The Way To Success)

By Dean's Team
Dean Graziosi with arms crossed. Text: How to Be Successful in Life (The Way to Success)

Everyone wants to learn how to succeed in life, which can honestly be tough to do these days. I mean, with social media throwing everyone else’s success in your face, sometimes it can feel like you’re the only one without your act together. But a good question to ask yourself is what is your definition of success?

Success is reaching your goals—big or small. For some, success can mean a new job, new skills, a full bank account, or even a great relationship. For others, it can simply mean stability and not having to worry about where your next paycheck is coming from. 

For some, success is a win that they work hard for, but for others not so much. Sometimes successful people come into it naturally. Some people have to try harder to reach success.

Why is success in life so important? Because it’s that bright, shiny thing. It’s what everybody wants. In most people’s minds, success is the same thing as happiness. A lot of people think that they will finally feel satisfied with their life when they get to a certain level of success. But will they?

The 2 Biggest Lies About Success

People believe all kinds of things about becoming successful, but not all of them are true. Is success really the golden ticket to a picture-perfect life? Let’s look at the two biggest myths related to success. Have you fallen victim to believing either of these lies?

1. I Will Be Happy When I Achieve X Level of Success

Most people will always find something to be dissatisfied with, no matter how successful they become. Being content is a personal choice. It is not a factor of social status or success. For example, you could be as rich as Midas, but you would be miserable if you had no one to enjoy that luxury with. Or you could have very little money but you could be wealthy in terms of relationships and be perfectly content. You decide if you’re happy with your life. Period.

2. Working Hard Is the Key to Success

Dean experienced firsthand that working hard does not always equal success. He often tells the story of his parents, who worked incredibly hard yet always struggled for stability. They tried, but they just weren’t able to make it work. This is a perfect example. Working smarter not harder is the real secret to success.

“Success is easier than you think. Figure out what’s not working and do less of it. Figure out what is working… and do more of that.”

Dean Graziosi
Dean Graziosi and employees working at office. Text: "Figure out what's not working and do less of it."

What Successful People Have in Common

Successful people share certain characteristics, habits, and behaviors that have made their professional or personal life prosperous. These include the following:

They Work Smarter Not Harder

As we talked about above, successful people know that working harder can just mean spending a huge amount of time beating a hammer against a wall. You have to work smarter—working step-by-step toward your long-term goals.

They Have Self-Confidence

Confident people are not held back by the fear of failure. They’re not afraid to step out of their comfort zone. And that’s often what it takes to reach big goals.

They Practice Goal Setting

You have to have a starting point, and you must have a clear destination. Otherwise, you’ll keep treading water and never get anywhere. Successful people set short-term goals and long-term goals. They keep moving, taking the next step and the next step until they achieve their dreams.

They Think Positively

Successful people practice positive thinking because they understand how vital it is to their overall well-being. If you wake up and start your day the right way with positive thoughts, you’re going to be able to work toward your goals. Positive thinking allows you to practice personal development on a whole different level. Focusing on the good fills your life with gratitude and success. On the contrary, negative thoughts drag you down, lowering your self-esteem and negatively affecting your energy and mood.

Women with glasses and big smile clearly enjoying herself and conversing with someone while on computer.

40 Tips for How to Be Successful (And Level Up Your Life)

Implementing just one of these success tips per day will change your life in really measurable ways. You can pick and choose, or go down the list tip by tip. Each one will add to your success journey. You’ve got this!

1. Identify One Problem and Focus Until You Solve It

Don’t get caught in analysis paralysis, trying to solve a million problems at once. Find one problem that will really move the needle if you solve it today. Then, hone in on that one problem. Continue with laser focus until you come up with a solution.

2. Dive into Learning and Self-Education

The more you know, the more opportunities that are available to you. Never be satisfied with the knowledge you have. Crave education because it is a doorway to success. Read books, watch educational videos on YouTube, listen to podcasts, and research topics you’re interested in.

Education is a starting point. Let it guide you on your journey to success.

3. Don’t Play Small

Think big. Then, think bigger. Aim for the top level. Don’t be satisfied with small dreams. Stretch yourself so you really have to strive for what you want. That’s the only way to know what you’re truly capable of. You never know how far you can go until you try.

4. Take Massive Action

When you learn something, implement it immediately. Don’t wait. And when you act, act in big, bold strokes. Baby steps are all well and good for some things. Taking the next step is the most important thing. But, to return to the previous tip, don’t play small.

5. Practice Positive Thinking

Positive thinking is a touchstone habit of success. Not only is it crucial for your self-esteem and self-confidence, but it’s also a form of validation. Positive thinking assures you that you are doing well in the present, and it promotes confidence in your future success.

6. Decide When Enough Is Enough and Change Your Life

There comes a point in every person’s life when they just have to stop and say enough. This is especially true for people who have experienced tough times. Have you reached this point yet? It’s at this point when you can really shift and start to change your life. Because when you realize enough is enough, you can break the cycle.

7. Develop a Morning Routine

Wake up and start your day with an established morning routine. When you do, you’ll be amazed at the peace, stability, and control this positive habit gives you. It really promotes well-being to start each day on the right foot.

8. Take Care of Your Body

You need your body to do everything—and you need it healthy. You need to be healthy  to complete your daily tasks, take care of yourself, and be there for your family. Without good health, life can be a struggle. You also need to preserve your health so that you can enjoy your success for years to come.

9. Learn from Life’s Setbacks

Everyone has setbacks. They are a part of life. No world exists where everything goes your way all the time. The crucial thing is to learn from your setbacks. What lesson can you take from what happened? Would you do anything differently if you could do the whole thing over again?

10. Live in the Moment

YOLO—you only live once, right? So enjoy the moment! Be present and live in the now. Every moment is an opportunity. Will you take advantage of it, or will you let it pass you by?

11. Protect Your Personal Time

To be a successful person, you must protect your personal time. You don’t want to work so hard that you don’t have time for yourself, family, and friends. To live a truly full life, you need to have balance. That means you can’t spend every hour of the day working. So, protect the time you reserve for yourself, and use it to refuel, rest, and refresh.

12. Wake Up Early

Most successful people wake up earlier than everyone else. They want to get the most out of their day. They want to get started on their morning routine. And they have a full day’s agenda on the calendar. Waking up early ensures you make time for your personal development. Start your day with gratitude, meditation, journaling, and planning for the day ahead. Then, get to it!

Woman stretching after waking up and checking out the view from her window.

13. Don’t Fall into the Procrastination Trap

Don’t procrastinate. Procrastination is not something successful people do. Instead of procrastinating, plan. Make a timeline, and execute your plan. Don’t let anyone prevent you from doing what you need to do—especially not yourself.

14. Never Stop Believing in Yourself

You can do anything you set your mind to if you approach it with a smart strategy and a positive attitude. You can make it happen if you work hard and stay curious. So don’t doubt yourself! Mastering your own self-confidence is half the battle.

15. Have a Destination

You have to know where you’re going if you want to get to success. What’s your long-term goal? Don’t make a list and start doing 100 things. Have a strategy, make a plan, and take decisive action toward achieving it.

16. Work Smarter, Not Harder

Rather than working yourself to the bone, be smart about how you apply your energy. Strategize before you start working. Think about how you can accomplish it most efficiently and do that.

17. Ignore the Fear of Failure

The fear of failure is a stumbling block, but it’s one you can overcome. Harness your confidence, and go full steam ahead. Because you’ll never know what’s going to happen until you actually try, and catastrophizing won’t serve you.

​18. Keep a Journal

Make journaling part of your morning routine. That way, you can incorporate several success habits in one place. Put your goals and your daily tasks in your journal. Writing out the list of things you need to do will help you plan for your day. But also, write down anything and everything you need to. Getting your thoughts on paper will maximize your success.

19. Be Relentlessly Resourceful

Resourcefulness is such an underestimated characteristic. If you have resources and everything at your disposal, the temptation to become lazy. But if you’re resourceful, you can make things happen no matter what. So be relentlessly resourceful in your pursuit of success, and watch success flow your way.

20. Have Self-Confidence

As we discussed above, self-confidence is crucial for success. You need to have self-confidence in order to try new things. You’ve got to be confident in yourself to venture out of your comfort zone. So embrace who you are—step outside your comfort zone and into success.

21. Obsess Over Your Success

Obsession is not always bad. If you obsess over something positive, it can catapult you forward. So obsess over your good habits. Obsess over your success and where you want to go. You’ll get there so much faster this way.

22. Be Authentic

One overlooked success habit is to be you. You’re never going to succeed if you’re pretending to be someone else—it takes too much energy to do that. You’ve got to be authentic. You’re a unique individual with a different perspective, and that’s going to contribute to your success.

23. Practice Gratitude

Be grateful for the good things in your life—the people, the roof over your head, the flowers in your garden, the snow on the hill, that cup of delicious coffee—whatever it means to you. When we practice gratitude, we exercise our positive thinking muscles. This allows us to appreciate what we have now, even as we look to what we want in the future.

24. Be Humble

Never let your pursuit of success turn you into someone boastful or conceited. Arrogant people may lose friends on the way to success… and success is hollow without people to share it with. So keep your head on straight! Stay humble and grateful, no matter what level of success you achieve.

Group of young adult friends in sunglasses laughing together by the water.

25. Manage Money Well

In order to experience financial success and wealth, you have to learn how to manage your money. Do you feel you have enough education in this area? If not, look for a class, mastermind, or book to expand your knowledge. Your success could come down to this, so take this tip seriously.

26. Give Back

An important part of financial health is giving back to your community and those in need. Giving back can give your success a bigger purpose and really give you a reason for why you do what you do beyond yourself. Make that part of your budget, and you will feel the reward in your soul.

27. Set Achievable But Big Goals

The goals you set matter. They need to be achievable, but they need to stretch you as well. You work hard to achieve your goals. Make sure they are the right ones. What goals are you reaching for right now? Are they challenging enough? Are they realistic? Think through them today, and see how you can incorporate more big goals into your life.

28. Be Committed in Everything

Don’t do things halfway. If you’re going to go for something, go all in and commit to it. This is true for your relationships, friendships, goals, work, and everything else. Commit to doing your best in all that you do.

29. Have Fun

Even with all this talk of big goals, hard work, and commitment, don’t forget to have fun. Successful people live lives that they enjoy. So laugh and live a little.

30. Use Your Imagination

Dream big. Use that brain of yours to imagine the best for yourself. Read books and expand your horizons. It will only help your journey to success.

31. Rid Yourself of Distractions

Ditch time-wasting activities and things that pull your attention away from your goals. Don’t get rid of all of the fun stuff. But time-sucks like binge-watching and Facebook-scrolling have got to go.

32. Play to Your Strengths

Do more of what you’re good at and less of what you’re bad at. As you become more successful, you can delegate out tasks you’re not good at. Focus on your strengths, and you will do well.

33. Find a Mentor

Mentors are incredibly helpful on the road to success. Someone who has been where you are can be a huge asset. A mentor can point out the next step and warn you about potential roadblocks. Having an experienced teacher is like an ace in the hole. 

34. Learn When to Say No

Successful people understand that their time is limited. They have a certain number of quality yeses that they can give. So, successful people learn when to say no. Say no to opportunities that you really don’t have time for and won’t move the needle in the direction you’re going. Don’t overstretch yourself to the point where you won’t be able to show up in peak state for every yes.

35. Don’t Give Up

To be a successful person, you have to be persistent and not quit. Find a way to make it happen with problem solving, creative thinking, and hard work. It’s the easiest thing in the world to throw in the towel. But if you truly want success, you have to be stronger than that. You have to work for it. You have to keep going even when the going gets rough.

36. Keep Your Word

Successful people are reliable. If they give their word, they stick to it. This is why it’s so important to learn when to say yes and when to say no. Keeping your word also protects your reputation, which can grow to matter as you become more successful.

Two people of color shaking hands wearing dress shirts.

37. Track Your Progress

Make sure you mark your progress toward your goals in a journal or on an app. If you don’t measure it, you probably won’t make it. You need to know where you are in order to know how far you have to go.

38. Turn Your Stress into Your Superpower

Negative thoughts have energy of their own, especially stressful thoughts. To turn your stress into a superpower, follow these five steps: 

1. Decide whether the thought is true. 

2. If it’s not true, prove it wrong. 

3. Either way, acknowledge the energy and power of that thought.

4. Define what you want to happen.

5. Harness the power of that thought to make what you want to happen real.

39. Discover Your Underdog Advantage

We’re all underdogs in some way, and underdogs have a huge advantage. That’s because they don’t have to worry what other people think about them. They have so much room to grow, and they can easily build momentum. No one expects the underdog to succeed, so they can sneak up on their competitors. That’s why being an underdog is actually one of your greatest secret weapons.

40. Surround Yourself with Support

Whether it be a spouse, family members, or friends, try to build a community of people who are rooting for your success. This support network is necessary for days when you might need encouragement as well as days when you have something to celebrate. You can also offer them the same support, so they benefit from you too.

Want More Tips on How to Become Successful in Daily Life?

In Dean’s bestselling book Millionaire Success Habits, he shares tons of simple tools to help you formulate daily routines. He will help you go from where you are to where you want to be. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, an executive, an employee, a stay-at-home mom, or a new grad, these strategies will help you achieve your goals. Some of the best exercises included are:

A. How to Find Your Why

If you want to change your life, you’ve got to figure out what drives you—what you’re fighting for and working for. This will supercharge your progress toward success.

B. Unlock the Biggest Secret to Productivity

Everyone has the same number of hours in a day. So some people must be more efficient than others. It’s up to you to figure out how to do more with the same amount of time.

C. Overcome the Greatest Obstacle Holding You Back

This may surprise you, but it’s probably you. There is a villain inside all of us, and it sabotages our success—unless we learn how to silence it.

The thing about Millionaire Success Habits is that millionaires do the same things that ordinary people do. They just do them more efficiently. This book teaches how to become more efficient and, in turn, more successful.

Have You Found Your Next Step for Success?

The way to success is simple, but it isn’t easy. Remember that the definition of success is different for each person, so figure out how you define your success. Once you do that, it’s time to work hard, implement these tips, and start moving the needle. 

Which tip are you going to try first?

To learn about a common roadblock to success, read this

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