1. Figure out why you feel the way you do – Many people try to fix a problem without accurately diagnosing it. The first thing you need to do is get to the root of your problems. A doctor doesn’t just give a patient medicine or perform a surgery without first receiving a good deal of background information to act upon. This first step is crucial. It may take you some time to get to the answer. If you have to sit in the dark for hours to figure it out, so be it. You can’t fix something without knowing why it is the way it is. It sounds obvious, but in reality many people jump right to the fixing without knowing what’s actually wrong.
2. Find out what you’re good at – Perhaps you are in the wrong career field and your occupation isn’t suited to your natural talents and strengths. Take a personality assessment like a Meyers-Briggs test. There is a company called Gallup that created a system to identify your innate talents with the main goal being that you take these talents and turn them into strengths. Many people try to work on fixing weaknesses. While it is good to sure up some of your weak spots, you can never truly build upon weakness. You can only build upon what you are already naturally talented at.
3. Exercise – The body and mind are very much intertwined with one another. If you are unhealthy, that unhealthiness is definitely contributing to your mental state; do some form of exercise, even if it’s just getting up and going for a walk. A healthy body contributes to a healthy mind, and you are going to need to think clearly if you want to make improvements in your life.
4. Stay as far away form negative people as possible – This one is crucial. The people you surround yourself with have a gigantic impact on you. Misery loves company, and hanging out with your unhappy friends is going to make you unhappy. There’s no way around this one. Insecure types of people will try to sabotage your success in one way or another, so it’s best to cut ties with them if you can.
5. Read more books – I cannot overstate the importance of reading. I truly believe that everyone should read more. The more you learn the more you can potentially earn. Books can provide you with the raw materials needed to produce a million dollar idea. Read different types of books and become eclectic in your knowledge. A continual learning process is a key factor in getting everything you want out of life.
6. Realize that the fear of losing is worse than the actual losing – Many times people are afraid of potential failure when they try something new. The reality is, however, that the actual losing won’t even be as bad as you imagine. If the move you make turns out to be the wrong one, you’re not going to die, and your life will go on. Go for a big idea; try something crazy, start a new business, if you screw it up you can always go back to working at that dead end job that you hate.
7. If you know what you want to do, see who’s already doing it – People seem to get the idea that in order to be successful you have to make up something totally new. This couldn’t be further from the truth. There is a few times where a completely original and new idea catches on, but usually this is not the case. If nobody is doing what you are thinking of doing, maybe it’s because nobody wants it. If you are trying to start a new venture, look at the people at the top of your chosen industry. Do this because they can be your inspiration, but they also will become your competition.
8. Begin with the end in mind – Start your journey out by thinking of the end of it. A great way to figure out what you want from life is to do what I call a “funeral test”. When you pass away, how many people are going to be at your funeral? What would you want them to say about you? Instead of worrying about the microeconomics of your life, just think about the big picture. Is what you are doing now pointed in the direction that leads to you passing the funeral test?
9. Don’t take advice from people who aren’t qualified to give it to you – Your family and friends mean well, they really do, but sometimes the advice they give you isn’t worth taking. The people closest to you feel like they are protecting you when they say things like “be realistic” and “find a safe secure job”. They may, however, be coming from a place of fear and limitation, and they are subconsciously imposing that on you. On the other hand, your idea could actually be stupid. There is a fine line you have to balance on. When taking advice ask yourself a few things. Is this person successful himself or herself? Is this person in a position that I aspire to be in? Is this person an expert in the field that I’m interested in? If the answer is no, then maybe you shouldn’t be listening to them.
10. Experiment – Use the scientific method. Ask a question. Maybe you want to know how to make more money in your industry, so the question would be, how do I make more money in _______ ? Do background research; figure out how people are doing the thing that you want to do. Formulate a hypothesis. After doing your research, make a statement about the approach that you think will work. Test it. Go out there and give it a shot. Analyze your results. Did it work or did it fail? If it doesn’t pass the test then you need to start over, if it seems plausible then bring it to other smart and successful people and gauge their opinion to see if it’s a solid idea.