1 January 2010

We are all looking for success in life, be it in your career, in your family, in sport or a blend of all. What defines success? And why do some people become more successful than others? Is there a secret? There are a million questions that need answering on this subject. It is a subject that I am fascinated by and that I have been studying for as long as I can remember.

I have been lucky enough to have met some incredibly successful individuals over the years, particularly in sport, business and music. These are 3 very different areas and you would think they all require very different needs to make the individuals rise to the top of their game.

In reality though, the answer is “not at all.” The people at the top of their game whatever their profession, share common values. This is evident in all successful people. You will hear experts on this matter talk about “passion, determination, motivation, self-belief.” Yes these are all common in high achievers, so they are the obvious ones to get picked up. They all might also eat 3 meals a day and this does not guarantee success. It is also easy to assume that the confidence a successful person has, once they have achieved greatness, was the same at the beginning of the journey, and this is not always the case either. So what is the secret common ingredient?

It is simple when you think about it. What is the most precious commodity known to mankind? The one thing in life that cant be cheated. Time. Successful people all understand the importance of time. By understanding the clock is ticking, just like in a race or a sporting event, every minute is a minute wasted when you are not working towards a greater goal.

Ironically, it is the one ingredient we also have in abundance, so much so, in my opinion this is why we take it for granted.

The only reason I started to become successful was after a near death experience. Once I experienced the possibility that death was just around the corner, I realised that life was to be lived. I made the slightest change in attitude towards time, and this made a massive difference to everything I touched from then on in.

The answer to every question is “do it now.” If someone had asked me before my accident “do you want to go to the gym?” or “do you fancy organising the house?” The answer would have probably been “maybe later” or “tomorrow.” Ask me the same thing now, and if I now say “tomorrow” it will be because I have genuinely crammed so much stuff into today or rather my wife has! My wife grasped this concept at the same time. When Gail arrived in France and found me in a hospital attached to 2 drips covered in wire and hooked to all sorts of contraptions, it was just as real for her on the other side of the fence.

So when you are doing your New Year’s resolutions. Scrap them all and just do one. Make a conscious decision to treat time as leverage to do more. Imagine what would happen if you crammed in a weeks worth of achievements in to a weekend. Pretty soon you will be doing a months worth in a week, and when you get super efficient, there are people who achieve more in a year than most people do in a lifetime. Think about it,  in today’s society, doesn’t that automatically make these people more successful.

So today, and what better day to make a change, New Year’s day; take 3 things that you have been putting off and just go and do them, now, with out hesitation. See how much better you will feel, then tomorrow, just do the same, and so on.

All these small achievements will amount to massive change a year from now. Try it. It is easier than you think. After all what have you got to loose? Only time will tell!

Time is the most underrated commodity in business and life in general. Have no regrets and live life to the full.

Happy New Year and have a great 2010.

Lawrence Jones

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