Whatever your personal definition of success, you know when you’re not reaching it. You just feel blah. Uninspired. Unfulfilled.
So how do you go from being mediocre to successful, whatever your definition of that may be?
1. Focus on Quality Instead of Crud
Start making higher-quality choices. A recent CNBC article, Why Most People Will Never Be Successful, asserted that success is continuously improving who you are, how you live, how you serve and how you relate.
That means focusing on “those few things which matter most,” Benjamin Hardy writes in the article. Hardy challenges, “If your daily behaviors are consistently low quality, what do you expect your life’s output to be?”
When you focus on self-improvement, educating yourself and making higher quality choices, you will see your personal success meter pointing away from mediocrity. We all have to indulge once in a while in a little mindless YouTube watching or Facebook scrolling, but start paying more attention to how consistently you’re making choices that feed your brain, body and soul — and your motivation to crave something better in life.
So, before you pick up the sugar- and caffeine-laden energy drink, perhaps pick up a glass of water. Consider turning off The Bachelorette and tuning in to Frontline, and putting down People magazine and picking up the newspaper.
Focus on self-improvement and you will see your personal success meter pointing away from mediocrity.
2. Quit Focusing on Success
While it may seem counter-intuitive, focusing on “being successful” can actually drain you. Because you’re always trying to achieve this goal or that goal, you don’t enjoy the journey. Reframe how you view your work, by focusing on what you enjoy about it, not whether it won an award or even a pat on your back from the boss. By focusing on your craft, you’ll find more fulfillment on a daily basis.
3. Do More Than the Bare Minimum
It’s easy to fall into patterns and just do what your job requires. But those who are willing to go beyond what’s expected are the ones who excel.
Plan ahead to try to anticipate what might be needed, what might be next steps, and what obstacles might arise. Successful people get noticed for thinking ahead.
4. Take Care of Yourself
There’s a reason everyone’s heard the saying, “if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything” — there’s truth to it. If your health suffers, so will your success. According to Fast Company, practicing self-care is one of the six things the most productive people do every day. This can be in the form of a cardio workout, a light lunch-hour stroll or nightly meditation.
And get enough sleep. Arianna Huffington, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos get seven hours of sleep, according to a list of successful people’s sleep habits. Sure, some highly successful people have achieved much on far less sleep, but scientific evidence continues to mount that skipping sleep is actually the most counterproductive decision you can make.
5. Take Time to Think
Some of today’s top entrepreneurs schedule time to think. Why? Because to stay ahead of the competition, you need new ideas. Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, schedules two hours of thinking time every day. And several high-profile CEOs in recent years have rejected the idea of constant busyness, touting the importance of critical thinking in an ever-changing digital economy.
6. Own Your Career
Because everyone’s definition of success can be different, it’s important that you are clear on what success means to you and what you need to do to get there. Then create the infrastructure to stay focused and to keep progressing. One way to do this is to build your own “board of directors,” four or five individuals who can serve as consultants in regard to work matters. When you own your career, you take responsibility for your success.
Tell Us What You Think
How do you challenge yourself to avoid being mediocre? We want to hear from you. Tell us your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.