Pillars of Success
By Eric Adler
A pillar is defined as a firm upright support for a
superstructure. Getting ahead in life is like building a
superstructure and in order for the structure to stand securely it
needs supporting pillars. Three are all you need and here they are:
Pillar #1: Get out
of Your Own Way:
The majority of
people tend to get into a comfortable rut. They know what they will
be doing each day, each week, and each year. Within certain
guidelines, their lives are predicable and stable.
Predictable and stable, however, are not factors that lead to
success. Risk taking and instability are the keys to going from
mediocre to stellar. Most people have a difficult time moving out
of a comfortable situation and into one of insecurity and unknown
turns. But this is exactly what you have to do to become successful
– get out of your own way.
The best way to do this is to take small steps towards a
larger goal. Realize that there are four major areas that make up
our comfort zones: Geographical, personal, activity-related, and
mental. That is:
Where we live, work, and play
friends, family, and co-workers
Activity-Related: Our entertainment and hobbies
and how we think
Now, the trick to expanding one’s comfort zone is to not
change all these areas at once. Try one or maybe two at a time, get
used to that and then move on to the others. Changing any one area
can be stressful. Doing too much, too soon will send you scurrying
back to your comfortable rut.
Understand that expanding doesn’t mean getting rid of what’s
already there. You can make new friends and not abandon the old
ones. You can pick up a second hobby and still enjoy the first.
This is an addition not a subtraction process.
Pillar #2: Know
Where You Want to Go and How to Get There:
It’s easy to say, “Set goals.” It’s not so easy to set ones
that are actually meaningful to you. We sometimes get so
comfortable that we lose sight of what else there is to strive
after. So our list ends up looking like everyone else’s New Year’s
Resolutions: Lose weight, exercise, and spend more time with the
family. We all know how successful these broad, half-hearted goals
are – made on January 1, forgotten by February 1.
There are three factors that need to be put into play when
Set Your Own
Don’t let others decide for you. If a goal isn’t meaningful to
you, you won’t develop the enthusiasm needed to achieve it.
Make Your Goals
Concrete and Specific:
Don’t just say you want to make more money. Set an exact amount
and a firm time frame in which to make the goal.
Effort is Required:
If you don’t
know what you need to do in order to reach a goal, it’s a wish
not a goal. Be very clear about how much energy, time, and
resources are going to be needed to be successful.
Pillar #3: Stop
Talking and Take Action:
Deciding to move out of one’s comfort zone and setting the goals to get
to new levels are the easy parts. These are the planning stages.
Now comes the time for action. Too many times people stop after
setting up the parameters for success and then never take another
Telling others only invites people who will tell you how hard it
will be or why it can’t be done. Keep your goals to yourself to
avoid all the naysayers.
Don’t let setbacks stop you. If things are temporarily going
wrong, don’t use this as an excuse to retreat. Analyze what
went amiss and what is needed to get back on track.
Along the Way:
Break a large goal into many mini-goals. Once you achieve a
mini-goal, reward yourself. This will help keep your enthusiasm
high and give you many small successes leading to the big
success at the end.
Establish these three pillars and you can accomplish anything
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