12 Steps in Any Quest for Success

Achieving success isn't the result of a random throw of the dice. The way to success is a road paved with mental, emotional, and physical effort.

There are things you can do, steps you can take, to help you in your quest. This post isn't about what you want to achieve. This is about how to achieve. These 12 steps apply whether you want a successful career as a writer, a CPA, or just about anything.

Think about these steps. Think about them so deeply that they seep into your consciousness. Assimilate.

1. Dream.

You have to dream. If you're afraid of dreaming about what you want because you're afraid you won't get it, then you're already lost. Dream about what you want to gain. Make it a dream so rich in sensory detail that it's very nearly a virtual reality experience.

2. Set goals.

You must lay it on the line. Write down what you want to achieve. Then write down what you're going to have to pay to achieve it. We all pay, one way or the other. Maybe the price is working toward the goal when the rest of the family is watching Burn Notice. Maybe the price is getting up an hour early or staying up when everyone else has gone to bed. Then ask yourself: "Are you really willing to pay the price?"

3. Develop work discipline.

Everything worthwhile can only be achieved through focused, consistent work. Establish how often you will work. Make a schedule and keep to it as if you were being paid a salary.

4. Image and behave as if you have already achieved that goal.

Keep regular hours devoted to your goal. Develop professionalism in whatever endeavor to which you aspire. Let others see you are dedicated to the goal. Believe it.

5. Learn your craft.

Whatever it may be, know everything about it. Strive always to improve.

6. Practice your craft.

Practice makes perfect. Start a project and complete it. Then do it again.

7. Expose yourself to the best in your field.

Every field has bright shining stars. Expose yourself to the best examples of your chosen career. Meet those who are successful in that career. Ask for insight and guidance. Learn from them. Find someone who is doing what you want and model your behavior and habits after them.

8. Market your work.

You eventually have to put your work and yourself in the marketplace. No one will ever discover you and what you can do unless you let them see you and your work.

9. Organize your work, your office, your time.

Dedicate a space to your work. Set it up. Keep it workable, not a cluttered mess. Enjoy going to that space because it means it's time for you to work on your goal.

10. Manage your time.

If you dedicate an hour to working on your goal, don't spend that hour emailing, talking on the phone, or playing Free Cell. Use the time to achieve your goal - no matter how small or how large the block of time. Know how long it takes you to accomplish a certain task. Record your time on a calendar or journal.

11. Network.

Join in forums and subscribe to lists where others seeking the same goal congregate. Meet them. Share the joys and sorrows. Learn from them. Give so they can learn from you.

12. Celebrate.

Always celebrate your triumphs no matter how small. Don't wait for those big scores to pop the bubbly. Big scores don't come along too often. Celebrating the small victories helps you mark progress and keeps you from burning out.

Takeaway Truth

Specifically, what do you want? Figure that out and go for it!

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