How To Be Extraordinary
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Success is habitual, not something gained out of sheer luck or happenstance. Virtually all people who are successful at various things and in various ways consistently make conscious and intentional choices that allow them to be successful. They aren’t just born lucky. They develop, build, and create habits that all align and work together to make them wildly successful. If you want to be wildly successful as well, you need to start building and fostering habits that will ensure you will be.
They learn and develop a sense of boldness to go after what they want.
In order to be successful, you need to have a vision because you cannot go after what you want if you don’t know what you want. And you cannot know what you want don’t know not only who you are, but who you want to become. This is a winner’s mindset. And, from it, stems optimism, positivity, and confidence which are all necessary to take steps in pursuing and acquiring what you want, especially if you never have before.
A lot of what holds and keeps us back is fear. Fear of failing. Fear of uncertainty. And, on some level, even a fear of succeeding. Success brings its own slew of challenges and a lot of us, deep down know this and may unwittingly engage in self-sabotage so we don’t end up being successful and dealing with the potentially negative aspects that accompanies it. Wildly successful people feel fear, as well, but the difference is they develop the habit of not allowing that fear to supersede their curiosity and desire to at least try.
You are practically guaranteed to not be successful at an undertaking if you are pessimistic or cynical. If you believe you have failed before even starting, then you have. As they say, “whether you believe you can or can’t, you’re right.” So, you might as well believe you can and go for it. You only lose when you choose not to go after what you want. Don’t allow self-doubt to stop you, either. It is something that we all will experience at one point or another, especially when venturing into something we never have before and have no certainty about whether or not we will be successful at it.
Do not allow yourself to believe that you are undeserving of success, wealth or fortune simply because you have never had it before or no one else around you has. It’s not enough to think success or even wild success is simply not in the cards for you. You have to take action and consistent action in order to make it happen.
They develop the ability and willingness to learn, unlearn, and relearn and do so relatively quickly.
This is called pivoting. It is important to always be learning, and all wildly successful people are active, lifelong learners and always curious. You have to always curious and want to know more and how to do better than you already do and be better than you already are. Continuous, ongoing growth is part and parcel of success, and certainly wild success. You cannot succeed with stagnation or jogging on the spot. But, sometimes, even more important than the ability to learn new things, is the ability and necessity to unlearn things that no longer serve you or are even damaging. This is especially true for the many limiting beliefs and mental restrictions placed on us as children which compound through our adolescence and well into our adulthood which we in turn place on ourselves and others. Unlearning limiting beliefs is an integral part of wild success and a necessary catalyst in the journey toward it.
In addition to that, relearning things that we learned in the past but may have forgotten and/or not practiced in a long time is extremely understated and underrated. There is often little point in having the knowledge and knowing what to do but not making actual use of it and implementing what you know. The difference comes when you actually do. It’s not enough to think about doing something and nothing will change until you actually do like Nike says and do it. It is also important to learn from both those who are where you want to be and those who are not. This will teach you both what to do and what not to do and, consequently, save you a lot of time, frustration, disappointment, and wasted effort. Learn from the triumphs and mistakes of others so that you can repeat what works and avoid what doesn’t for your specific situation. Remember, others make mistakes so you don’t have to and a huge part of getting things right is weeding out what goes wrong. It is also important to learn from your own mistakes and failures and use them as lessons to propel you into success. As they say, fail forward. It is also important to assess both your strengths and weaknesses periodically as you learn new skills and develop new productive habits in order to focus on what is worth spending more time (your strengths) on and what is not (your weaknesses).
They read. A lot.
And varied. Wildly successful people are not average and it follows that their minds are not average. Not because they are inherently born that way, but because they stimulate their brains far more than the average person does and one of the most efficient ways to stimulate your mind and broaden your mental horizons is to read. Processing text is so different from other formats of media like motion picture/video, images, and sound/music. You have to be far more focused/tuned in as you aren’t receiving external stimuli in a way that is essentially spoon-fed to you the way it is with music and images/video. You have to process each word as well as its relation to the next and it is your brain’s unique analysis of what you’re reading (based on your mindsets, outlooks, experiences, biases, inclinations, fears, hopes, etc.) which renders/produces your interpretation of what you read and the pictures/imagery it paints in your head that make all the difference.
You and a friend can watch a movie and will, for the most part, see the exact same thing because that is what is explicitly depicted to you and all the choices are made for both of you in what you see, hear and so on. But if you both read the same book, you will find that you have substantially different interpretations and depictions of what you read and also different emotions and depths to those emotion because your individual interpretations of what you read are unique to each of your respective experiences, identities, outlooks, and current mentalities. This is also why reading the same book at different stages of your life may elicit different sentiments, feelings and understandings. Wildly successful people understand the power of text (and the necessity of storytelling) and the impact it has on the human mind. They make it a point to make reading an integral lifestyle habit and not just something to dally in every now and again. They schedule time for it intentionally and consistently and is something they find enjoyable.
They read fiction to enrich and invigorate their creativity and imagination, using the produce of other imaginative minds to travel through both space and time. As they say, you can live a thousand different lifetimes in a single one through fiction, and that is so true. They also read nonfiction to learn, understand, and reinforce lessons that will enable them to excel and have the upper hand in the things they pursue and want to be good at. This is so important and fundamental. You must learn how to navigate and be good at what you want to be successful at and, therefore, you must read extensively on the subject matter from various people’s perspectives in those spaces and sectors. The more you know about your subject matter/venture, the more confidence you will gain in knowing what you’re doing and the bolder you will become to go after what you want. Get a dedicated reading device like Amazon’s Kindle and schedule your daily/weekly reading time in your planner and get to it.
They develop the attitude and skillset of being prolific, i.e., producing and producing a lot.
Most of being successful is doing. Taking action. Not thinking about doing. But it’s not enough to take action once. Or twice. Or three times. You have to do it again and again and again. When you feel like it and when you don’t. When you’re successful and when you’re not. You have to produce a lot. Being prolific also means that you may have to outsource certain tasks that you are not good at or may know how to do but will be better served having someone else do them so that you can free up your time to do other, more pressing/higher-profile things. Being prolific also evokes a sense of accomplishment and the built-in optimism that comes along with it which encourages you to continue to do even more. It is a positive loophole that reinforces itself the more you do it. The more prolific you are, the more successful you will be. Sometimes, it truly is just a numbers game, like most things. For instance, the most successful writers have multiple books and series, hardly ever just a single book, like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Toni Morrison, JK Rowling, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, etc. A lot of businesspeople are serial entrepreneurs who have started/built/run several businesses with varying degrees and levels of success.
Producing a lot consistently will take you extremely far and exponentially increase your odds of wild success. It’s important to develop this mindset and habits that align with it as early as possible so that you can do that much more in your lifetime. This also means that you will need to get over perfectionism, as being prolific requires you to continue pushing forward even when things don’t seem, feel or are perfect. Contrary to popular thought, there comes a point where “good enough” has to suffice as there is no such thing as a “flawless” end product. This does not mean that you shouldn’t strive to do the best you can at any given time but it also means that you should not put yourself in a state of limbo because you are trying to get something perfect before taking the next step. This will only ensure a lack of progress or slow progress at best which is demotivating in itself and anti-prolific.
They learn the importance and necessity of being consistent to achieve any success.
Again, success is a culmination of intentional actions repeated again and again. Not once. Not twice. Not three times. An infinite number of times. A lifetime of intentional choices made consistently. Consistency is King and Queen. There is no success you will achieve without being consistent, and certainly not wild success. In order to have sustainable success, you cannot rely on luck or happenstance. Even if you happen to get lucky once or twice, continuous success requires predictability which can only be gotten when you create that predictability. It won’t just happen for you. You have to create that consistency with all the aspects of your life you want to be successful in. If you want to be wildly successful in your cosmetics business, for instance, you have to consistently work at it even when you have achieved levels of success in it you never have before. If you want to continue to scale upward financially, you have to grow mentally, and that means that you have to continue to do what you’ve been doing that works as well as what you have not done or considered before. Consistency has to not only be a habit but an integral part of your lifestyle if you are going to be wildly successful.
A resulting byproduct of consistency wildly successful people greatly benefit from is that they don’t rest on their laurels. It is not enough to attain major success once or even twice. Wildly successful people see success as neither a sprint or a marathon. There is never any “finish line” that you cross and go, “I’ve arrived and so I’m done”. You always keep going, even when you don’t feel like it. Even when you need a break in between. You still keep trailing your success. The pursuit of success is a lifelong endeavor and it is not something you stop doing at any point. This is more of a mindset and one you need to adopt throughout your life if you want to be wildly successful. This is why it is a choice. Resting on past glories is a sure-fire way of falling from grace. This is not to say that every single venture you take on will end in success. Even some of the most successful companies like Google and Amazon experience and endure failures even at their record-breaking levels of commercial accomplishment. It does mean, however, that you continue to strive to do more. Be more. Be better. It is that drive to keep pushing forward and taking action that will set you apart from others who won’t and, as a result, make it that more likely for you to be wildly successful.
They continuously choose to be happy and practice gratitude.
Happiness is a choice, as is success. Being happy exponentially increases your odds of being successful in life. That should come as no surprise but this is scientifically backed. Read “The Happiness Advantage” more context and detail on not only the benefits of being happy but the necessity of it in the pursuit of success. Happiness is medicine for the soul and everything that accompanies it—optimism, positivity, motivation and encouragement—are all sentiments and elements you need in order to be consistent. It is much easier to want to show up and do your best when you feel your best. When you feel supported. When you’re in a good mood. When your energy is high. When your emotions are up. Conversely, it is significantly harder to get much of anything done, let alone consistently when you feel negative, pessimistic, cynical, depressed and downright unhappy. Sorrow and depression take away so much from us, much more than we realize in every aspect of our lives because they affect every aspect of our lives. As logical as we are, emotions lead so much of our lives and decisions so in order to make the best decisions for yourself, it follows that your emotions need to be in a state that is favorable to making those best decisions. It is, therefore, imperative to be proactive about your own happiness and ensure that you are in that state as often as possible.
Practicing gratitude is a fantastic way to tap into the happy state of mind as you focus on the things that you have instead of what you don’t. It is common for a lot of us to focus on what we don’t have in the pursuit of success, to the point that even when we do achieve levels of success we haven’t before, we never give ourselves time to enjoy those successes, especially the small wins, and be grateful for them. This leads to a general sense of discontent or only marginal satisfaction. This frame of mind cannot sustain success. It is necessary to log and journal your gratitude and happiness, especially for the smaller things we often overlook and neglect on a day-to-day. Tapping into happiness in other ways is also fundamental, like practicing fulfilling hobbies, developing and maintaining healthy, heartfelt relationships with like-minded people who are also positive and supportive, practicing self-care which boosts your sense of self-worth and value, and exercising which biochemically and physiologically boosts your mood and vitality through the release of endorphins as well as enhances your blood’s circulation which oxygenates your body and brain. This is probably one of the biggest influences of success. The fact that you can structure your life and your day-to-day such that you create your happiness gives you so much more control and power on your over your own state of being—led by your mental state—and, therefore, your success. Remember, like anything worthwhile, this needs to be done consistently for sustainable and long-term effects. The good thing is, like habits, happiness has a compounding effect, not linear. So, if practiced every day, at the end of a 365-day period, you will be far more than 365 times happier and, consequently, more successful.
They learn to have a great deal of self-awareness and, therefore, learn to be honest with themselves about what they are good at and what they are not.
Self-awareness is not only extremely important but fundamental. You must know who you are and who you want to become. There are no two ways about it. If you are going to be successful at anything and in any way, you need to know what you are working with. Who you are working with. And, at the end of the day, only you have the capacity to know what you are actually capable of. Going to therapy is a great way to learn more about yourself; where you have come from, where you currently are, and where you are going. If you cannot afford professional therapy or counseling, which is highly-recommended at any given stage in life and as an ongoing, integral part of your lifestyle, there are apps like InnerHour that use AI intelligence to help with self-reflection, emotional well-being and overall mental health. It is important to self-reflect from time to time and be candid about the person staring back in the mirror. One of the hardest things to do is be honest with yourself about who exactly you are. Especially when it comes to things about ourselves we do not like or want to change but either cannot or do not know how. But being wildly successful means that you have to act and think in ways that most people don’t or simply won’t. What will set you apart is your willingness to do this because, the truth of the matter is, it is hard to look at yourself in the mirror and acknowledge that you embody not only things that you like but things that might also make you feel disgust, guilt or even downright sadness. It is not easy admitting your faults and weaknesses, let alone accepting them and even embracing them as a part of your identity and who you are, even with the intent of working on them and doing better. This is something extremely difficult for a lot of us, and so you may need help at some stage to push through and past things about yourself that are roadblocks for you that you may not even realize are. Again, therapy is so important and cannot be overstated for this reason. Check out your personal therapy resource page for some good options.
Another practical way of approaching this is, if you are willing to be candid with yourself and have a supportive person in your life (friend, sibling, significant other, parent, child, etc.) who is also willing to be candid with you, ask them to tell you about yourself. Seriously. Seeing yourself through the lens of somebody else allows you to view you in a different light, from a different vantage point, and can nudge you into perceiving yourself differently so that you can acknowledge things about yourself that may need to change, improve or continue to build on, keep working at, or keep the same. Another good way of doing this is making video diaries or personal video logs (vlogs). Writing/voicing out your thoughts in a journal/on your phone’s camera allows you to go back in time and reflect on the person you used to be at any given point and read/look at/listen to what was on your mind then and gives you various reference points in time for the person you are in each of them as you develop, grow and learn into the wild success you’re capable of. Knowing who you are, both objectively and subjectively, in a way that is genuine and candid is one of the best things you can do for yourself and this will spill over into every aspect of your life. It is truly what will allow you to know, without a doubt, who you want to become.
They learn how to be extremely resourceful and see opportunity where others don’t and also how to create opportunity where there was previously little/none.
Being resourceful does not mean having a whole lot of resources at your disposal. It means being able to use what little you have as far as it can stretch—and then some. For black women, in particular, the resources available are often limited and intentionally restricted. In some ways, this can turn out to be a good thing if you see the opportunity in it. Having a limited number or amount of resources forces you to think outside the box and in ways that those who have those resources in abundance generally don’t have to. Resourcefulness is most definitely a skill set and one that you should keep with you and continue to harness even as you achieve financial success and gain the resources that you previously did not have. This will keep you creative, innovative, and distinguished. This allows you to see things others don’t and, therefore, solve problems others may not even acknowledge—and get paid for doing so. Believe it or not, too much privilege can be a bad thing and while being underprivileged absolutely sucks, it is something that you can absolutely use to your utmost advantage if you find yourself in that position. Because you have to think about things those not in your position simply don’t, you will also be creative, productive and imaginative in ways that they won’t. You will connect dots and even create them in full-blown constellations that they cannot fathom because those things are not on their mental radar.
Being resourceful will take you so far in life at whatever stage you are in it, whether you are just starting out in your career, still in school or in your latter years. And, sometimes, being intentionally disadvantaged, marginalized or excluded from and within resources, spaces and opportunities for what you look like—a part of who you are and who you will become—will eventually get you fed up enough to where you have no option but to create your own. Not just for you but for those like you. Youniqorn is a fantastic (ha!) example of this. Seek to create opportunity where you have none, for yourself as well as others like you. Wildly successful people have mastered the art of doing this and are often trailblazers and “Purple Cows” in their various sectors and niches because they were the first/among the first to do something nobody else chose to do or could not do because they did not have to think about that thing. Or they do something someone already has but execute it so well and in a way that solves issues for particular groups of people who didn’t have/were denied access to those solutions (or variations of them) before.
They position themselves to get lucky.
Luck cannot be discounted as a factor in success. Some things are out of your control. But that is not something to fret over. Instead, it is something to not only accept but actually embrace, knowing that you can increase your odds of being stricken with that luck. There’s no point in getting lucky or coming upon an opportunity for success if you are ill-prepared or not at all prepared to receive and use it. You will simply end up squandering or blowing that opportunity and, therefore, your luck will amount to little or naught. Instead, wildly successful people work diligently, not waiting for luck to show up, but instead, themselves choose to show up and show out consistently, every single day so that when luck does eventually show its pretty face, they are primed and prepared to not only receive it but expound on it and ride it for all its worth. Getting a stroke of luck when you are at level 1 will have far less influence and longevity than if that same luck comes upon when you have chosen to bring yourself to level 10. The impact will be that much bigger and lasting. You also find that the pursuit of success itself causes you to make choices that often align with good things happening to you. Whether that is meeting people who can take you to the next stage or help you get there, or learning things and implementing them that will increase your odds of luck and being successful. In order to skyrocket your net worth, you still have to make the concerted effort to increase who and what you know. That is what wildly successful people do and they are wildly rewarded for it.
They stay physically active.
As previously mentioned, being physically active leads to the release of endorphins and an increase in blood circulation and oxygenation which allows your body to be optimized. Optimized to imagine, optimized to analyze, optimized to brainstorm, optimized for problem-solving, creativity, and production—which is ultimately what will lead you to success. An active body is connected to an active mind. Likewise, a sluggish mind droops within a sluggish body. If you find yourself in a mental rut, one of the best things you can do is physically move. Sometimes, when you are mentally stuck, you need to literally jump in order to jumpstart your mind. Connecting/coupling your physical activity with something that makes you happy (like dancing to music or swimming in a lake surrounded by nature) offers an even greater compounding effect because it places you in a state of happiness (positive emotional vibration) in addition to the physiological benefits.
In addition to solo exercise, you’re encouraged to engage in communal physical activity like group dance/yoga or team sports where you can participate with others in an environment and space that offers healthy, fun competition and motivation (as well as accountability), and do so consistently. You will find that this is an integral aspect of your success and one that will continue to sustain heightened success throughout your life. Exercise is not something that any living creature meant to move can do without and this is particularly true for humans who have, over time, become more and more sedentary. Go for a walk in nature, practice yoga at home with a yoga mat and a mirror, spin cycle until your head spins with glee, or take a dive in a pool and to immerse yourself in the substance that literally holds life itself. Incorporate some physical activity that brings you peace and happiness as a part of your weekly routine and you will see its compounding benefits in pretty much every aspect of your life.
Combine these ten steps and practice them consistently. Make them your lifestyle and you will be wildly successful.