Success isn’t something that just happens to people — it requires action. And over the course of decades of working in the world of business, I’ve honed in on the four pillars of action: Mindset, vision, plan, and team. With these four pillars firmly in place, you’ll have the tools you need to achieve success in all areas of your life. Let’s discuss each of these pillars.
You’re going to struggle to get anywhere in life if you start out with the wrong mindset. A negative perspective on life, unhealthy views about success, and an overall downtrodden demeanor will make it difficult to find the motivation you need to take action and grow.
You’ve got to give yourself permission to grow, and that means believing in yourself. And if you’re stuck, you’ve got to figure out what’s holding you back. Sometimes it’s an attitude or behavior that was ingrained in you as a child. Maybe you’ve adopted some bad habits in adulthood that have caused you to stagnate.
Step one is recognizing the thought processes that are limiting you and then correcting them. Self-reflection may be enough to get through this stage, or you may want to consider talking to a therapist to really get to the bottom of deeper issues you may have.
Creating a healthy mindset is more difficult than some people may think, especially if it doesn’t come naturally to you, but it’s a significant first step toward personal growth.
How can you reach your goals in life if you don’t know what they are? Some people don’t even allow themselves to create a vision of what they want to achieve, but this is a key part of success. Imagine your ideal life. Be realistic about your goals. Don’t base your ideas of success on other people’s lives. Allow yourself to visualize what success really means to you, and harness that vision to help you stay on track as you move forward in your journey.
Imagining your ideal life can actually be a really fun, positive exercise. Think about where you want to be in your career five, 10, 20 years down the road. Do you want to be in the same position, or to own your own company, or be doing something else entirely? Where do you want to live? What kind of lifestyle do you want to be enjoying? What do you want your personal relationships to look like? In essence, what does success look like to you?
Unfortunately, for many people, envisioning their success is a fruitless exercise, because their action ends here. They spend so much time fantasizing about what they wish their lives were like, they don’t take the next step, which is creating an actionable plan.
That’s right: Vision is meaningless if it’s not accompanied by a plan for how to achieve it. Those who simply wait for their future to fall into their laps will be waiting for a very long time. They’ll get increasingly frustrated, they’ll feel cheated, and the only thing they’re guaranteed to find is unhappiness.
Creating a plan — and taking the steps to put it into motion — is arguably the most important pillar of action. Be specific about your specific goals and what you need to do to reach them. Pick apart your vision, down to its core, and consider how exactly you can get from where you are right now to where you want to be.
Not sure how to create a plan? You may need a mentor to help you find your way. Look to someone you admire, and invite them to sit down with you. Ask them questions about their own path to success, and be open about your own goals. A good mentor will help you create a realistic plan of action to help you achieve your vision.
Write down your plans and your goals. Don’t just let them exist as some vague idea in the back of your mind. Check in with them regularly, revisit them, and modify them when it makes sense to do so. Plans are never set in stone, and the most successful people are ready to pivot and adapt when they need to.
You can go it alone if you really want to. But I wouldn’t recommend it. A mentor is just one person who can help you define your goals and reach them faster. Having a smart, supportive team can go a long way toward helping you achieve success. That could mean a business partner, or an assistant, or an entire company full of supporting staff members. As part of your vision and plan, remember to look outside of yourself to others who can help you move forward. What are your weaknesses, and where could you use some help? This is where your team can step in to make you stronger.
Remember that your team isn’t always related to business. Sometimes your most crucial team member will be a spouse or a close friend. Anyone that makes you stronger and pushes you to achieve your goal is a key member of your team, and you must put in the time and energy to maintain those relationships.
If you’re ready to take action and find success in your life, these four pillars will get you there. With a positive mindset, a clear vision, a realistic plan, and a strong, supportive team, you’re guaranteed to move to keep moving forward. For further reading on how to realize your full potential, check out my book, The Reward of Knowing.