We all go through major changes at different times in our lives. The old saying about “putting away childish things” can hit you hard, especially when you don’t feel ready to take the next step. However, once you start moving in a positive direction, you’ll find that it’s not only easier than you expected, but it’s also much more worthwhile than you ever imagined. You’re on the path to success if:
1. You know who you are: So many people drift through life without ever really knowing themselves. A lot of us end up working a menial 9-5, come home, eat, sleep, and repeat every day of our lives, only to wake up at 40 and realize we’ve missed out on what we really wanted to do with our lives. Being self-aware at all times will allow you to understand what you want, and will help you start on the path toward actualizing your goals.
2. You know what you want: If you know who you are, you’ll figure out what you want out of life. Take the time when you’re young to really figure out what you want to do with your life. You don’t have to follow in anyone else’s footsteps; make your own path. If you waste your youth thinking that you’ll figure it all out “someday,” you’ll end up putting it off until it’s too late. Once you step out into the “real world,” other obligations will take control of your life, and you might never end up doing what you wanted to do with your time on Earth.
3. You’re in control of your destiny: Successful people aren’t just lucky; they’ve planned out their entire life, and know exactly what they want out of it. This isn’t to say that everything will go according to that plan, but the evolved person understands that life doesn’t happen. Mark Zuckerberg wasn’t destined to become a billionaire; he made it happen. And it wasn’t just a fly-by-night, get-rich-quick scheme, either. Creating a service that literally billions of people use on a daily basis was no accident. There was careful planning involved, and a lot of hard work and time put into creating Facebook. If he spent his early 20’s at a bar with friends, he would never have gotten where he is today.
4. Your life is set up by you, and no one else: You’ve earned everything you have to your name. It doesn’t matter if you don’t make much money; having a fridge stocked with more than just alcohol is an accomplishment if you bought everything in it with a hard-earned paycheck. You don’t accept handouts, because you know they’re meaningless. Even if you’re not in the exact line of work you thought you’d be in, you can still come home and say to yourself: “I earned this. This is all mine.” There may be no greater feeling in the world than to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
5. You set and accomplish goals with ease: “Ease” may not be the right word here. The higher your aspirations will be, the harder it will be to attain your goals. However, this doesn’t mean you set the bar low, and it definitely doesn’t mean you stop trying. On the contrary, every day you push harder than you did the day before. By doing so, it becomes more and more routine for you to keep grinding. You also are never satisfied once you complete a goal; instead, you take a short breather and look at what you can accomplish next. There’s always another way to improve, and the evolved person will keep at it indefinitely.
6. You’ve surrounded yourself with the right people: We all have the friends who we love to hang out with, but who also hold us back from attaining true success. While it’s okay to visit in moderation, hanging out with the same people on a daily basis can severely impede your growth. The saying goes, “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals who are actually more knowledgeable and driven than you are will give you role models to look up to, and will keep you from becoming stagnant.
7. You’re reflective: The evolved person reflects on his or her accomplishments on a daily basis, as well as over the long-term. Evolved people analyze how they handled different situations and navigated different problems, and if there were any better way to go about their day. They also take stock in their life and decide if they are where they thought they would be five years ago, and if anything in their life needs to change in order to keep improving. By being honest with themselves about where they’ve been, where they are, and where they’re headed, evolved people ensure they stay on the fast-track to success.
8. You thrive on change: Some people prefer to stay stagnant, especially when they find a “sweet spot” in life. Of course, if everyone chose to stay in their comfort zone, nothing would ever get accomplished, and the human race would eventually start to falter. It’s incredibly important that humanity continues to evolve, on the small scale as well as large. Do your part by constantly pushing your comfort zone to its limits. Embrace vulnerability; putting yourself “out there” may be risky, but it will also be rewarding in the long run. And you’ll be making a contribution to the evolution of human beings as a species, which is no small feat.
9. You don’t compare yourself to others: If I looked at a list of “accomplishments of famous people by the age of 30,” I’d want to crawl into a hole and die. I might not be the creator of the “next big thing,” and I certainly am not a multimillionaire, but I have accomplished a lot more in my life than many others my age. But I don’t care about that. The only thing I care about is whether or not I’m better than I was yesterday. If the answer to that question is no, then I’ve wasted precious time that I’ll never be able to get back. Don’t look at what others have accomplished; look at what you can do better tomorrow.
10. You want the best for yourself, and for others: Evolved people care deeply about themselves, and for the people around them. They don’t see life as a competition (see above); rather, they want to build themselves up, and push others to do the same. Evolved people let go of jealousy and animosity, and only look toward the future of humanity as a whole. By seeing all 7 billion of us as one enormous community, we can work toward common goals that ensure our species will continue to evolve long after we have left this Earth.
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