Success Looks Different For Each Of Us

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Success looks different for each of us. We might want financial success, success in attracting our soul mate or, having a healthy and fit body. We want to improve our lives in some way or form and we wish it was easy.

At some point in our lives, we want success. We want to get from point A to point B in the most effective, efficient, and in the least amount of time.

Most of us have tried everything under the sun to reach our goals and achieve success. We look at the people who claim to be proven successes and adopt their strategies into our lives. More times than not, what happens? We cough up hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars for a successful person’s strategies, only to find they do not work. What’s going on with that?

Forward Steps Latest Personal Development ProgrammeApplying “success strategies” might not work because we are trying to navigate the territory of success without a map.

We try to do the things that successful people do, which is the territory, without a clear understanding of the destination at which we want to arrive.

It is like driving from Boston to Portland without a map. We get lost, floating around like a feather in the wind hoping to land somewhere pleasant and safe.

The last time my family and I took a vacation, we had a clear destination, a date and time of arrival, and a plan of the activities we were going to do and experience while on the vacation.

Imagine deciding to take a vacation without knowing where to go, knowing how to get there, and envisaging some of the things to be experienced while on the vacation? The vacation might never happen. It might be only a “nice idea” that never gets off the ground.

Most of us are good at planning vacations. Yet, when it comes to deciding upon and achieving life goals, we stay stuck in getting what we don’t want or get nowhere near our desired destination.

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6 Rules Of Success - Forward Steps book cover 591pxThe reason is, we put the cart before the horse. We invest in “how-tos” that do not fit in our map. That’s like picking vacation activities such as ocean kayaking, surfing, and laying on the beach – with the vacation happening in Iowa.

The people who become winners in life and achieve their highest desires know the exact destination they want to reach.

That’s the biggest difference between people who continually get what they want in life and those who stay stuck; winners and successful people know where they are and where they want to be.

Often, successful people never know “how” they are going to achieve their goals. The opportunities, resources, people, and “how-tos” come to them as they journey towards their desired outcome.

Our current life circumstances didn’t happen by chance. Click To Tweet

Our circumstances were defined and created from a unique internal map of reality. This map of reality lies in the unconscious mind and consists of ideas, beliefs, values, etc. that navigate us through life. Depending on what kind of map is operating, determines our life circumstances.

Many of us would prefer a different map of reality. We keep trying for financial or relationship success, yet end up back in debt or attracting dysfunctional relationships. That can be very frustrating.

Success Looks Different article image 2Imagine a goal of arriving in New York and ending up in New Jersey. After we complain about how much time wasted, we are pulling out the map and tracing our route, to uncover where the wrong turn happened. Centered and bolded in 16-pt font the map title reads, “New Jersey”. “No wonder I’m here in New Jersey. Wrong map!”

We can now easily put down that old map and pick up the correct map, the one that will take us to New York, our desired destination.

Pick up a new map of reality!

A new map of reality is possible when we “dare to dream big”.

The limitations and reasons we hang onto, for why our dreams cannot happen, are haemorrhaging success.

Who do you want to be, what do you want to do and have?

I recommend writing for five minutes in a journal about the person you have always wanted to become, the things you have always wanted to do, and the possessions you desire to have.

What if, for a moment, anything was possible? Click To Tweet

The following are a few guidelines:

– Write your new map of reality in the present tense, as if it is happening now. For example, “I am an inspiring writer who has helped many people become more conscious. I am a best selling author”.

– Start the first sentence with: “I am happy and excited now that I am ….”

– Include in your new map of reality who you want to be, what you want to do and have; cover all areas of life: financial, relational, spiritual and health

Write for five minutes. Yes, why not right now? Once the task is completed, read your new map of reality out loud. How does it make you feel? Allow the positive emotions to flow – this will fuel your desire and spark motivation. For seven straight days, carry in your pocket that new map of reality. Three times during each day, read out loud your new map of reality. Feel the emotions. Visualize yourself living that map of reality.

Take an action now (even if seemingly small) Click To Tweet

Possessing a new map of reality doesn’t magically guarantee the accomplishments of our dreams. Referring back to our example of mistakenly landing in New Jersey, we had the wrong map, hence the reason for being where we didn’t want to be. To correct the problem, we picked up the map of New York. Yet, simply “having” a map of New York doesn’t do anything unless we take action by physically moving towards New York. I know it is blatantly obvious that movement needs to happen in order to arrive in New York. As obvious as it may be, it is surprising how often we believe our dreams might magically manifest without any effort on our part.

Success Looks Different article image 4Having our new map of reality might start us already wondering about how to get there. Often, this can be our reason for not taking any action. Get moving forward, regardless! Many of us start without knowing “how”. If we knew exactly how our goals were going to be accomplished, they would not feel worth pursuing. The fun and adventure would be missing!

The truth is, hardly any of us know exactly “how”, or all the facts, until we set out on the journey. The secret to success is focusing and visualizing ourselves already at our intended destination, then taking any available action right now.

By focusing on the desired destination, the resources, people, and opportunities will become available because our unconscious mind is being directed to notice the path towards the destination. The “key” is to take action, no matter how small or clumsy it may be.

For example, the destination is to become an inspiring author. An idea comes to mind and it says to write in a journal. Okay, makes sense, doesn’t it? We have to write to become an author. So we write in our journal everyday, work on developing a style, and brush up on grammar. After a few months, our writing becomes pretty darn good. Our friends seem to like it, so do our family. With that surge of confidence, we have a new idea for creating and writing in a blog. Everyday we write a blog post and express our creativity. Turns out, thousands of people love the topic and our style of writing. A publisher makes contact and asks you to write a book. Goal complete.

If action is not taken, then nothing will ever happen Click To Tweet

The goal will remain a thought. Take any available action right now, evaluate the accuracy of the action, and repeat the action if it contributes to reaching the destination. If the action step results in taking you off course, the positive outcome is learning “what not to do next time”.

Success Looks Different article image 1Decide on another action step and get started. Wobbling towards our goals, in a zig zag pattern, can be expected. Not many, if any of us, reach our goals in a straight line. Those who do reach their goals and become successful are the people who persevere, right to the end.

Take a moment and write five possible action steps that will move you towards one desired destination, not necessarily in order.

Do one action step at a time. Once each action is complete, evaluate the results.

Did the action contribute towards the destination? What worked? What didn’t work? What can you do better next time?

If the action contributed towards the destination, the next best action step will become visible. That’s how the process works: do one action step and the next action step reveals itself in the appropriate moment.

Successful people reach their goals because they have an ideal destination mapped out. They know exactly where they are (point A) and where they want to be (point B). Successful people become, well, successful because they write the numerous outcomes they desire to experience in life. The outcomes are written on paper and vividly held in their imagination.

Success Looks Different article image 5Successful people have already completed the goal in their imagination before the actual reality of the goal has manifested.

Successful people take any, small action available, right now. They take the action, see what worked or didn’t, evaluate their plan, and take more action.

Successful people and goal achievers never quit moving towards their intended target. They persevere and mostly develop their skills along the journey.

This article was generously contributed by Nick Pfennigwerth, who used to help small business owners connect with their heart and larger vision so that they can make a difference and a healthy profit. At Big Heart Small Business, Nick applied his buddhist, spiritual, zen teachings into growing an authentic, heart centered business without the hype and strong arm tactics. Nick has now moved on to other things.

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Hi, I'm Thea Westra at Forward Steps (

Hi, I'm Thea Westra at Forward Steps (

Since March 2003, I've been sharing practical, positive, thought provoking and inspiring self improvement content online. My aim is simple - to offer tips and resources that help us enhance our daily experience of life and to keep stepping forward. Perth, Western Australia is the place I call home and I'm the author of "Time For My Life: 365 Stepping Stones". You might also know me from the Forward Steps personal development blog and the daily series of "365 Forward Steps Notes", all designed to add wings to our unique life journeys.

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