I heard Brian Tracy once say “Your life gets better when you get better.” I took that to heart years ago and came up with these 7 straightforward steps that I personally use to kick my butt into high gear. I have achieved great success following these steps. Everyone will have a different meaning of what success is to them, so make it personal to you. For some, it might be financial, for others it is significance. I have achieved great success in both definitions and I know that you can too. It takes courage and commitment.
1) Don’t Just Rely On Your Brain, Listen To Your Intuition Too – It’s the great voice of your spirit. It will lead you to your “Why”. Once you have listened, then you must follow your “why”. It all starts with a goal and believing in yourself. Believe that you can do it and believe that you are worth it. Give yourself permission right now to make your life matter. So many people don’t believe that they can achieve much in life. Give yourself the gift of goals. I write down my goals so that I can map out the means of getting there. It doesn’t matter if it’s a financial, physical, intellectual, or spiritual goal. Start to imagine what it feels like to have already achieved your goal. Feel it and get into commitment mode. How bad do you want to achieve the goal? What resources will you utilize to go after it? What sacrifices are you willing to make? If I am writing it down on paper, I am also writing it down in my head and imprinting it on my soul. I know I am fully committed. I will do whatever it takes to make the dream a reality.
2) Own It! – Define your goals very clearly and precisely. It helps you map out and anticipate obstacles. It also helps you break the big goal down into smaller goals. Short-range goals are the stepping-stones on the way to achieving big things. Big goals don’t get achieved overnight, but the little goals add up quickly, and when the big victory finally happens, it will feel like it happened overnight. My overnight success took almost sixteen years to accomplish, so I was not surprised when it happened. I’d spent every day of my life working towards it. It took action. I created niches and got in the trenches with the mindset of persistence, determination, integrity, enthusiasm, optimism and having a can win attitude.
3) Just Suck It Up! No Complaining – If you complain, that is the mindset you will remain in…a prisoner of your pain. Your attitude can be your best friend or your worst enemy. You have complete freedom to choose how you will act and react every second of the day. There’s 86,400 seconds in a day. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it. Obstacles will come, oh yes they will. For me, working hard and overcoming struggles is a daily business. I have found that from the birth of a dream to eventual reality has been a marathon and not a sprint. It takes time. “Success is not a result of luck. It is a result of how you spend your free time.” I always have a few different goals, so that when I need a break from one I can focus on another. Very few painters work only on one piece at a time – they work on many. Put passion into all of your actions, and have many actions devoted to different passions.
4) Self Talk is Powerful – Tell yourself that you are going to have a life that counts. You are going to make an effort to never give up. You are full of enthusiasm and determination. You are ready to work hard and play hard. You will be the master of your time. Let go of your mistakes; today is a new day. Don’t let your past infect your future. I believe that your best days are still ahead of you. Optimism is power. Be ground zero for an epidemic of positivity. You are going to be a doer and not a procrastinator. You are going to be a dream activator and not a dream-denier. You are going to hang out with others who lift you up and encourage your self-actualization. Shed your bad habits, and let good habits take root through repetition.
Watch Motivational and Inspirational Keynote Speaker Derek Clark’s Short Video – Greatness is Contagious.
5) Stay Away From Life Suckers – Life is about making progress. People are going to try and talk you out of your dreams. They will suck up your time with nay-saying, or criticize you and pick you apart. But you tell them that Derek said to back off. Stay away from those people who are imprisoned by negativity. They’re not even doing good for themselves, so how can they possibly be doing good for you? Get around high achievers, mirror their good habits because greatness is contagious!
6) Don’t Worry About Failing – Try, try and try! Failure and rejection are absolutely nothing to fear. With each failure, I became one step closer to success. Seriously, after each failure, change your approach. Don’t keep banging your head against the wall over and over again trying the same dang thing. You have to change your approach, period. Look at it through a 360 degree lens. There is always a way. Just look at the technology and medical advances the past 50 years. It is unbelievable. Remember the old Disney cartoons; now look at what Pixar and Disney create. It’s incredible. They have failed many times and yet they kept persevering and trying a different way until it worked. Impossible is not a fact but really an opinion. Keep pushing through.
Failure can sneak in your mind and leave you with negative feelings about your self worth. Don’t let your mind play tricks with you. Don’t let a failure keep you down or allow the voice of other people’s opinions ring inside of your head. When was the last time someone’s opinion paid your bills? Ignore them. Failure is a great teacher and in a way has been my friend all along. Remember Thomas Edison’s quote: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Failure is also a test. Failure might be telling us that we need to change direction and execute a different plan of attack or a new strategy. Your mindset has to have the right perspective in order to push through the negative self talk, the uncertainty, the fear and the discomfort.
7) Stay Creative – Your imagination is powerful. Sometimes you will have to sit quiet for thirty minutes, so you can clear your mind of all the noise and open the doorway to your creativity. To be successful, we must be strategic in taking risks and utilizing our creativity. Creativity is the taxi that will take us to untamed and uncharted territory, it is in these places that we become all we can be. Your creativity has the ability to make a new reality for you. It has done it for me. I earn a great living because of my creativity. You will be amazed at what ideas or revelations come to you when you just put aside all the distractions of modern life and turn off the TV! It wastes your time and all that you are doing is watching others live out their dreams. Here is what I do…I typically will close the door to my home office and get into my zone of working towards my goal whether it was writing one of my books, working on a new song for a viral video or creating a new website. It might be for an hour or for 16 hours in a day. It might have to be in the middle of the night when the kids are asleep or it might be missing a party or hanging out with your friends. I always tell myself… You can sleep when you die. Haha I am a firm believer in investing in your goals. Everyday work on it…Every day!
Now listen… I can shout at you until I am blue in the face, but if you don’t have the inner desire to say “I am doing this for me”, then no amount of motivational speaking will light the spark, but know this… If ever you feel like giving up, just give up your bad habits. If you’ll change your bad habits, you’ll change your life.
Remember that life is all about the little steps in your journey. Don’t skip the little steps and fall for the easy way, it never lasts. You need to exercise your discipline and commitment muscles and pay life’s tuition for a while. People are always looking for the quick way, the quick fix and lose out on the building of their character when life gets tough. If you have been through great adversity, you will be able to make it through almost anything. I have personally gone through the fire of adversity in this life as I was abused and abandoned into the foster care system at age five. I would then spend the rest of my childhood and youth in the foster care system. I went through so much rejection and feeling like a failure that it held me back for a while.
One day a breakthrough happened… I decided to divorce my story of being a victim. I began to look at my negative past with the mindset and emotion that I am a warrior, a victor! With that mindset shift, my life became easier and I had more pride of what I had been through. Also, the obstacles that I faced now would not hold me back or bother me because in my mind, I told myself that I have been through worse and that nothing could destroy me. I went through great pain and sacrifice to get to where I am now. I have learned that what you focus on controls you, so if I focus on the obstacles, they will continue to hold me back…but if I focus not what I am going through but where I am going to, the obstacles fall by the wayside and I continue to keep pushing forward. So keep pushing!
It’s time for you to envision a better future. You must visualize to materialize. Live your life fully and doubt your limits. As long as you still have breath in your lungs, there is time to start over. As long as there is blood running in your veins, you have time to make your dreams happen. We have the rest of our lives from this moment on to realize our ambitions. I am a big believer in dreaming big and taking the big leap in life. You have one life, own it and live it. A lot of people ask me “Derek, what do you think the meaning of life is?” I tell them to give your life meaning. Find your passion and breathe life into it so that your life’s meaning can help transform the world. Once you are confident about your own ability to achieve, you can help create a world of achievers through your example. Always helps others and remember your ABC’s…Always Be Compassionate.
I came up with a simple acronym for H.O.P.E. so that you can easily remember and apply it in your daily life.
H.O.P.E. – Helping One Person Everyday! Be the example.
Never limit your life, and never give up!
To your success,
Inspirational and Motivational Speaker, Conference Keynote Speaker, Trainer and Author of 6 Inspirational Books
P.S. Take a peek at my TEDx motivational speech on The Power of Tenacity: It’s Not About Your IQ, It’s About Your I-WILL