There are so many great strategies to create success in life. Achievement is a science. If you follow some principles, take action, and commit to the outcome, then you WILL create success – you simply have to.
The challenge many people have is they don’t adhere to the principles, take enough action (or the right action), and they give up before results have started to appear. This then reinforces that success is something they won’t get to experience which I think is incredibly sad!
Being a fan of simplicity, I love the Four R’s Success Strategy. This particular success strategy is very effective in helping move us towards the success we are after and it’s really EASY to follow. Please don’t dismiss it because of its simplicity – this is one of its main advantages!
The Four R’s are:
- Select ROLE MODELS who are achieving the results that you desire and model their behaviour;
- Create and implement DAILY RITUALS that will lead you to the results you’re after;
- Continuously REHEARSE the steps/actions/activities that will bring you success; and
- Decide on your REWARD to link pleasure to what you are trying to achieve.
So I ask you: where do you want more growth and success in your life? In your career? Finances? Health? Relationships? Perhaps in the way you communicate? Pick an area now, grab a pen and paper, and answer these questions as you read the rest of this blog.
Let’s take a deeper look at these four areas…
Robert K Merton, an American sociologist, came up with the term role model. A role model is a person whose behaviour, example, or success is – or can be – emulated by others. It’s basically all about finding people who have created success in the area you want to have the same results in and emulating what they do.
In the world of Neuro-linguistic Programming, ‘modelling’ is the process of re-creating excellence. We can model any human behaviour by mastering the beliefs, physiology and specific strategies that underlie the skill or behaviour.
So, find someone who is achieving exactly what you want to be achieving and study how they have done it. Ask them questions, watch them, read the same books they read, take the action they take, and do it with the same regularity.
The beauty of modelling and having role models is that you get the same results the successful person has – but in half the time. This is because they have already made the mistakes, ironed out the kinks, and learnt the best ways before you even started mimicking them!
This is literally the fast track to success!
The role model I choose to follow will depend on what exactly I am focusing on in my life at the time. I challenge you to muster an entire stable of amazing people who you can learn from and emulate in all areas of your life.
Who is achieving amazing results in the area that you want to have more success with? Get in touch with them. If they have written books, read them. If they have podcasts, listen to them. Learn about what they do, how they do it – and go and DO THAT!
You can tell a lot about a person by the rituals or habits they keep. People who are financially secure have rituals with their money. People who are fit have rituals around their exercise. People who are very knowledgeable have rituals around gathering wisdom.
This one is all about having a system in place of daily or weekly actions that you are committed to doing – without fail – to get the results you want.
Often people make a plan or commit to a ritual but they do it haphazardly: there is no consistency and they only do it when it feels good.
Anything is easy when it feels good, but as Robyn Benincasa–World Champion Adventure Racer – says “commitment starts when the fun stops”.
You will not achieve the success you desire without consistent action and this manifests in the rituals you keep.
So, ask yourself what your daily rituals should be in order to achieve more success in the area you’d like to do better in. If you want to be a powerful communicator, for example, what are you doing each and every day to create that trait in yourself?
- reading a book by a communication expert for 30 minutes a day;
- listening to a podcast by communication experts, coaches, and spiritual teachers whilst in transit to places during your day; and
- committing to speaking up right then and there when you know you’ve got something to say.
Decide now what three rituals or actions you can put into your day or week to move you closer to success in your desired area.
Continually REHEARSE the steps/actions/activities that will bring you success. People who are immensely and consistently successful always rehearse and practise.
There is a great book called Outliers – The Story Of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. Is his book he refers to MASTERY as the achievement of true success in any field. He writes that mastery comes with 10,000 hours of practise – that’s five years of 40-hour weeks – a very LONG period of commitment!
In Outliers, Gladwell tells the story of a team of psychologists in Berlin in the early 1900s. They studied violin students and their practice habits in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. All of the subjects were asked this question: “Over the course of your entire career, ever since you first picked up the violin, how many hours have you practiced?”
All of the violinists had begun playing at roughly five years of age and had similar practice times. But by the age of eight their practice times had begun to diverge. By 20 years of age, the elite performers averaged more than 10,000 hours of practice each, while the less able performers had only 4,000 hours of practice. The elite performers had clocked up more than double the practice hours of the less capable ones.
One fascinating point of the study is that no “naturally gifted” performers emerged. If natural talent had played a role we would expect some of the “naturals” to float to the top of the elite level with fewer practice hours than everyone else. But the data showed otherwise: the psychologists found a simple and direct statistical relationship between hours of practice and achievement. No shortcuts. No naturals.
Success comes with rehearsal and practise of the rituals that you create. Serena Williams wakes up at 6am every day to practise tennis, and has done so since she was a child. That is thousands of hours of accumulated practice.
Ask yourself: what it is that you need to be rehearsing and how often do you need to be rehearsing?
This is about “chunking down” on the rituals you have committed to in the last section. For example, say you want more success in the area of fitness and you’ve committed to the ritual of exercising every morning for 45 minutes.
Now break that down further: what exactly are you going to do – what will you be rehearsing? Will you be doing different disciplines such as running, swimming, or cycling? Will it be power-walking and getting your heart rate up for at least 20 minutes of the walk?
The way we train ourselves to push through and do the hard work is by linking pleasure to the outcome.
Pain is what makes change happen and pleasure is what makes it sustainable. In other words, what tends to move us is the pain of something – like missing out on the promotion, getting fat, or being unable to pay the bills.
What keeps us committed to the actions is the pleasure or reward that we get for doing those actions. If we don’t link pleasure to our achievements and the energy we have put in to achieving them, then we are less likely to stick at it.
All the time I see my clients achieve amazing things but then they fail to celebrate the win and reward themselves. This doesn’t create a good association around achievement.
Reward is a personal thing, so decide what reward you will give yourself when you achieve success in the area of your life? Make it something that really floats your boat!
A client of mine recently started a new business with her husband. It has been going gangbusters and is really exciting for them. They have had a tough few years, financially speaking, and they took a huge risk moving into a new industry – but it has paid off beautifully for them.
We were talking a little while ago and my client told me they’d smashed through their goals for the month and were really excited. I asked her “How are you celebrating, what is the reward you’re giving yourselves?”
She said she was going to buy her husband some new jeans and maybe get a new pair of shoes for herself but wasn’t really sure.
Look, there’s nothing wrong with jeans and new shoes, but the lacklustre approach to celebrating their amazing acomplishments of the last few months really struck me!
I asked her, what would you really love to do to celebrate, if you could do anything at all? She said, “You know what? I would love to have a half day on a Friday with my husband and go out and have lunch together and just talk. Be excited together, make a toast to all we have done, and enjoy some quality time”.
“Excellent” I said, “have a chat with your husband and if you meet all your targets next month make a commitment to go and do that”.
I was so pleased when I received a photo of them at lunch the following month! My client rang me afterwards and said how special that lunch had been and that they’d discussed their goals for the following month. They are currently putting a list together of ways they will celebrate other successes in the future.
Again, humans will traditionally do more to avoid pain than get pleasure, so if success is sitting on the other side of pain, it can take epic amounts of energy to motivate ourselves through. A shortcut to this is to link tonnes of pleasure to the small achievements along the way.
What reward will you give yourself when you achieve success in your chosen area?
I wish you every success and trust you have some good food for thought.