We sometimes aspire to be successful in life but don’t know where to start, or get to a plateau and don’t know what direction to go in. We have a plan, and life gets in the way. We don’t end up with our dream job at the time we wanted it… What next? What road do you take? What move do you make? When it seems like everyone around you is accomplishing so many amazing things, where do you stand? How do you find yourself? Here’s my take on where to get started.
- Believe in yourself. The cornerstone of success is faith in your ability to accomplish the things you want to achieve. If you want to be a millionaire, no matter how much people tell you it’s impossible, don’t lose sight of your dreams. I have a close friend who always wanted to be a rapper. Three years ago, everyone doubted him. No one thought he’d ever make it big. A few weeks ago, he was signed to Atlantic Records and is now affiliated with DJ Khaled. Don’t lose sight of your dreams. Don’t lose your fight.
- Dedication. It seems simple, but many people start doing something and then don’t finish it. The key to success is in following through with the plan, and putting hard work, labor, and effort into your dreams. If you want to be a Nurse, you must apply to college, and go to school, and do all the long nights of homework and studying, and keep pushing forward even when you don’t want to get up for class or clinical. You don’t get anywhere being lazy, so if you don’t have a taste for hard work but want to be successful, you better find it.
- Support. Now this isn’t something that I think everyone must do, but in my experience, it helped to have a few people I could vent my dreams to and they would listen. Sometimes I had seven different plans in a week, and sometimes my friends would doubt my ideas, but it still helped to have to criticism as well as the encouragement. I wanted to be a police officer, I wanted to be a nurse, I wanted to be a writer, I wanted to start a YouTube channel. There were many things I wanted to do. I passed my nursing boards and became a Travel Nurse. (Currently in the Northern Slope of Alaska where I get to see the Northern Lights), I took the Police test as a Plan B in case I didn’t pass my Nursing Boards, and because I’m a female Veteran, I’ve gotten over 20 offers to be recruited into Police Academies over the state. I started my own blog (this one, that I’ve neglected but now have ample time to pay attention to), and I am still working on my YouTube. Success isn’t linear. There isn’t a time stamp on when you should achieve your goals. Just start.
- Foster the bad ideas. One of my favorite Artists, Marina Ambramovic (You might remember her from the viral video her performance in NYC at MoMA where she sat in a chair for three months and spent a minute looking at each member of her audience and her lover Ulay showed up after they had separated decades before on the great wall of China) did an exercise with her students. She asked her students to get sheets of paper, and every day write down two ideas, one they liked, and one that was trash, and every day collect the sheets and throw away the bad ideas into the trash bin. At the end of the period, all the students wanted to show her the ‘good’ ideas, but she wanted nothing to do with them. She only wanted to see the ones in the rubbish, and every one she read, she said was brilliant. She emphasized that it’s the ‘bad’ ideas, the ones that are difficult, impossible, hard to deal with or manifest, those are the good ideas. Those are the ideas that will bring us successes. At the beginning of my Nursing Career, I only wanted to work in a big City Hospital. All the offers I would get to travel abroad or to remote places I ignored because I didn’t think I would enjoy the experience or it seemed impossible to do. I worked in the big city hospital, and it was okay, but that’s all it was. Okay. Ordinary. Typical. I now am a Travel Nurse on my first contract, and since I’ve been here, I’ve seen the Northern Lights, I’ve been provided with amazing accommodations, and I’ve gotten some of the most raw and gratifying experiences I’ve ever had. I’m inspired. And to my surprise, in a state of the Art Hospital where I have the time and resources to care for my patients because I am not forced to take on an unmanageable or dangerous number of patients the way it was in the big city.
- Have a financial Plan. Success does not equate to money; Money is not the “goal.” Experiences and finding yourself are, but with brilliant ideas, money comes. I had a conversation with a Millionaire on a plane once, and he told me whatever you make, pay yourself first. He suggested 20% off the top. He said “if you don’t save money and pay yourself first, you are working for free.” He suggested that with the income I was making at my age, I should have a 401k set up for my retirement, and a Roth IRA fund to save some of my money in. He also recommended some aggressive and moderate investment accounts to save my money in. I’m not a financial expert, but being 25, I am starting to think about money very seriously. Up until now I’ve always just spent my money frivolously, but I want a house of my own and money for my future. I want to be able to support myself and my future children, so YES, part of being successful and enjoying your life requires saving your money for a rainy day. I don’t have a step by step guide on how to manage your funds, just know you need to save some of it!
I hope this blog gave some of you inspiration on what step to take next. Just believe in yourself, work hard, don’t doubt your ideas, have a support system, and once you start being lucrative in your chosen path, PAY YOURSELF FIRST.
Good luck on your journeys.