If you allow it and are open to it, you can learn from everyone you meet. Depending on the encounter, either you can learn how to achieve the results you want, or, as is in the case of undesirable encounters, you can learn what not to do. Both lessons can be valuable.
Over the years I've made a practice of studying people who have achieved something I'd like to accomplish. Whether in health, fitness, business, or even relationships, if I want to achieve a particular result, I can find someone who achieved it and learn to do what they did. This idea, known as modeling, is a simple, powerful way to increase performance in any area of your career or personal life and is a strategy that can be used by anyone.
Learning Techniques, Thought Processes and Beliefs from Role Models
Simply find someone who is a achieving the kind of results you'd like in a given area and learn what she does and how she does it. If possible, meet with her personally and ask for her help. You could interview a top producer in your company, for example, and learn what she did. Then simply follow in her footsteps.
If you were doing this in sales, for example, one of the things you would model is the person's strategy — specifically, what she does and how she does it. You would also elicit her thought processes as best you can.
In business one essential thing you want to model from a successful person is his beliefs. This, by the way, is one reason you want to read and watch biographies of the successful people you want to emulate — it will give you fresh perspectives and help you develop new, more empowering beliefs.
If you're in sales, modeling the beliefs and strategies of top people will give you new ideas about your job. I guarantee that the salesperson in your company who earns ten times the average does not work ten times harder. Rather, he is operating from a different set of beliefs and guiding principles, using different strategies, and taking different actions.
If at all possible, invite the top seller in your company for coffee or to lunch and ask him for suggestions. Most of the successful people I know are only too happy to share ideas, since doing so deepens their own understanding and gives them new insights.
Modeling can be a great boon to your personal and business success. Learning from others who have achieved what you want can cut years off your learning curve and propel you toward your success faster than if you did it on your own. Remember, success is a team sport. No one, and I mean no one, does it alone.
Finding Role Models
When I was a beginning writer, I attended seminars for authors and publishers, and I listened to audio recordings of people who had succeeded in selling their books. Whatever you want to achieve, in any area of your life or business, finding role models to learn from is one of the wisest things you can do for your own success.
Look over your top goals and determine who has achieved success in that area and might be able to help you. If you don't know anyone personally, you can usually find a book written by someone who has done what it is you're working on. You can listen to pod-casts, audiobooks, and webinars. You can watch videos and attend seminars.
You may want to join an industry association in your field. Associations are known for having professional education, and some even offer mentoring programs from more seasoned members.
Doing Your Best Increases Your Happiness
It's an accepted fact that people who do their jobs well are happier overall than those who struggle. It stands to reason that we enjoy what we do well, so by becoming the best you can at what ever you do, you will be increasing your happiness, not to mention improving your standing at work.
By making modeling part of your personal-development strategy you will achieve greater results faster than ever before.
Define Your Success
Some people equate success with having a lot of money. While there's nothing wrong with money, and we all need it (as we'll discuss below), it alone will not make you feel successful. Too many people spend their lives chasing after money, only to find that it isn't making them happy. Some have even lost everything in their obsessive quest for more dollars, yen, rubles, and pesos.
Others believe that having strong family and community connections results in feeling successful. Of course, while these ties are an important component of a successful life, they too are not all there is.
Personal-development legend Earl Nightingale defined success as "the progressive realization of a worthy ideal." Again, though this is an important part of a successful life and is certainly a great compass for deciding where to direct your efforts, it is also not all there is.
Balancing Key Areas in Life
In my opinion, creating and enjoying a successful life is a combination of balancing several key areas. Cultivating a deep spiritual connection to your Creator is, in my opinion, essential for achieving a truly successful life. It is the glue that holds the rest together. Having loving relationships and a strong connection to your friends and community certainly contributes greatly to your feeling more successful. Meaningful work — doing something that you deem worth devoting your time to — is another key.
Whatever you spend your time doing, ask yourself if it's worth the price you're paying, namely, your life. If it is, terrific. Keep doing it. If not, what can you do to change it? How might you spend more of your time doing the things you feel are important and less time doing things that are not?
An obvious key to a successful life is good health, although judging from the way people ignore it, you'd think otherwise. We all need a certain amount of energy to enjoy our life 's pursuits, and we certainly want to remain free of illness and disease.
Developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle — complete with a healthy diet, a reasonable amount of exercise, and regular health checkups — will go a long way to bolstering your well-being. The increased energy you will enjoy as a result will help you in your quest for greater success in all areas of your life.
The last, but no less important, area to consider is financial wellness. In order to feel successful and have a full life, we need money. While most people would agree that money is not all there is, it is necessary for many of life 's pleasures.
Yes, money is important. You can have all the love there is, but your banker is not going to take it as your mortgage payment. And your cable company doesn't want to hear about your fantastic health when the bill is due.
One of the best ways to ensure financial health and security is to develop more than one stream of income, whether you're an employee or you work for yourself. Of course, living within your means and not taking on unnecessary debt is important as well, as is taking the time to learn about investing and paying close attention to your finances.
Creating an Overall Vision and Setting Measurable Goals
Balancing all these different parts of your life can be tricky. This is why I suggest creating an overall vision for the life you want and setting measurable goals based on that vision. It has been said that "what gets measured, gets done."
Taking the time to define what success means to you and then tracking your activities will reward you with a life beyond anything you could have expected.
You deserve a successful life filled with all the joy, love, and happiness you desire. Accepting less is shortchanging yourself.
What simple step will you take today to begin to define and create your amazing success?
©2014 by Jim Donovan. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA.
www.newworldlibrary.com or 800-972-6657 ext. 52.
About the Author
Jim Donovan speaks regularly to employees and executives at small businesses and large corporations. He is a frequent media guest and expert source on personal development, business success, and the spiritual laws that develop both. His previous books include Handbook to a Happier Life and What Are You Waiting For? It’s Your Life. Visit his website at http://www.jimdonovan.com