5 Principles of Success

Listen to this story. Andrew started a few years ago as a farm worker, fresh out of school (passing grade 10). But something was different in him. And his team mates and leaders noticed that. His bright eyes, open face, energetic presence, and positive involvement. But there was more. He did not dress, walk and talk like a farm worker. He acted and communicated as a leader, although he did not have the position.

When the harvest season started, he was elected as a team leader. The idea was that after the picking time is over he would return to his normal role as farm worker. But he and his particular team outperformed the others, so much so that he was appointed as one of five supervisors. The owner of the farming company invested in his training. He suffered a few serious set-backs in terms of health and family issues, and at one stage he struggled with a bit of inferiority because of a lack of qualifications. But today, Andrew is a farm manager on one of the company’s other farms!

In a coaching session I asked Andrew about his very unusual progress. His answer struck me: “My late grandfather taught me: ‘See your future, then align your behaviour accordingly. Life will take care of the rest’ and that’s what I did. I never really saw myself as a farm worker, although I worked really hard when I was one. I saw myself as a leader and decided intentionally to act as one.” When I asked him how he sees his future, he said: “I am a farm owner. The process is already in progress.” And you know what, I will not be even slightly surprised the day that happens.

This story is very unusual. Most of us limit ourselves with serious self-limiting beliefs. The facts are

We do not see life as it is; we see life as we are.

We project our “truths” and beliefs on life and our future.

Then we feel and act accordingly, repeatedly…

And that determines and becomes your reality and destiny.

Andrew, somehow, applied the basic principles that produces success. There are many recipes to a successful life, and they all overlap somehow.  But let me share a pragmatic and neuro-linguistic approach that will help you to create a great future. I lean heavily on Matthew Barnett. He is a NLP coach and trainer and teaches the following as the 5 principles of success. Here it is:

  1. See the Future Proactively: Formulate your future intent – what do you want, how will it look like, how will it smell and feel? Only the What and perhaps the Why, but not the How (road map).
  2. Step into the future NOW: Put yourself in that future as if it is a place you are already experiencing. Embody it. Start feeling and operating so physically. Step into it, feel it, experience the beauty of it NOW.
  3. Massive, brave and immediate Action: Take “massive” action that can take you closer to your goals. Do the first thing you know you can do immediately and then do the following thing. Do not wait until you have the whole roadmap or when you “feel” ready. Face the fears that hold you back, push through, and be gutsy. And keep going.
  4. Acuity (sharp observation): Observe and assess your progress, how others react, what results are achieved, notice what is happening. This is important so that you can be aware of where you are relative to where you want to be. Put the focus on progress, not perfection.
  5. Agility and Flexibility: Be adaptable and make the necessary adjustments in your approach as you progress. Re-route when there is a road-block. Find a way. As you proceed new plans, routes, doors and ideas will open up. Adapt and use them. And one day you will look back and celebrate.

These principles are of course not rocket science. You know they are true. This is also how you build your dream house or prepare for a challenging race. The “recipe” is also applicable to your health (or recovery), career, sport, business, marriage and all relationships. And it had been proven to work over and over. May you use it, be truly blessed, and be a blessing!