Success Breeds Success
Gaining Momentum for Long Term Change…
Success breeds success. This is something I often share with my patients. When I ask patients to make changes in their life for the good of their overall health, this can sometimes feel like a huge “ask”. This applies to dietary changes, exercise habits, stress management, relationships or anything in your life that needs a makeover. I never ask more of my patients then they are capable of. My mantra is that small steps lead to big changes and when you start those small steps and find success, it will make the next steps easier. But even when we try to simplify this philosophy in a few sentences, what does this really look like?
In my mind, this is what it feels like…..now, how do we get there?
The following thoughts that I would like to share with you are not my original thoughts or ideas. I've stumbled on the verbiage and quotations in search of my own self-improvement. But, as I reflect on my life successes and conversely, failures; I realize that whether I was intentional about it or not, these are the concepts that led to success in achieving my visions.
First, I believe that it's very important for each person to define their own success. What success means to someone else may not be at all what it means to you. It may be very different than the societal norms that we have been ingrained to believe success looks like. For me, at this time in my life, I define success as freedom. I long for the freedom to spend my time the way I choose and the freedom to not be financially constrained. After you get an idea of what your success may look like, it's important to start with a defined vision. This should be a vision of your future: not just tomorrow, next week, next month or even next year.
Just like your idea of success, your vision is uniquely yours. Choosing a strategy before your vision is a big mistake. For example, jumping on every bandwagon or health trend doesn't make any sense if you don't have a clear goal in mind. There may be different “strategies” to get to your vision but likely only one vision. The how doesn't make sense until you decide where you want to go. I encourage you to spend a lot of time thinking about this. This is likely the most important step in achieving your success. The journey isn't always easy, and if you don't have a clear vision of where you are going, then the road can become very disjointed.
So, after you've spent a good deal of time developing a clear vision for what you want your life to look like, start small. I've said this before, I am not a big fan of New Year's resolutions. Small steps adapted over time…stick. Period.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”
I absolutely love this quote. I wish I could claim it. It is often attributed to Aristotle. But, in actuality it is a phrase that was a restatement of some of Aristotle's thoughts by early 20th century American philosopher, William Durant. Simplified; “success breeds success.”
What comes next?
So, you have developed your vision and you have planned out the small steps you are going to initiate to get there. What comes next is tenacity. This is the value of a vision. When those small steps aren't getting you where you need to go, then you must adapt a new strategy. The vision doesn't change, but you must recognize that you will meet resistance. When your vision is clear, you are more likely to work hard and develop new strategies to get there. This is the “process” or the path. It takes integrity and tenacity to stay on it. The road is not always straight and might be bumpy, but when you have a clear vision, you won't get lost when the path becomes difficult. Then it takes courage. You choose it even though you might be afraid.
Success can be defined so many ways and again, is unique to you. Some ways I love to think about success: Living up to your potential….. Being a better version of yourself than you were yesterday….. Living your life like a model for others. I encourage you to marinate with this for a long time. Be enthusiastic, but don't rush in. Develop your clear, unique vision and then discover the small changes you need to implement to get you there.
Success is not one giant event, but small steps taken in one direction.
What do you do when you reach your success? Envision a new future! Take the journey repeatedly, the view is breathtaking each time…….
All my Best~
Dr. Anne Morgan