Success equates to achievement. Whether achievement means attaining a certain disposition, obtaining a prized possession, or conquering a fear–success comes in various forms. However, the meaning of success still remains elusive to some. While there are various definitions of success and equally a long list of inspirational resources to learn about it, here I identify the 10 ways to be successful in life. Eventually, all those may resonate with you if you follow these easy ways. And nope, you don’t have to purchase a thing.

joyful guy wearing a red shirt against a light blue wall - © Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
© Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

1. Define your own metrics of success and own it

The first and most important of the 10 ways to be successful in life is to know your own measure of success. What do you want to achieve? Who are you competing against? If you know the answers to those questions, it would be very easy for you to mind your own business and tread your own path, even if it doesn’t feel like the “right road” to success.

The answer to the 2nd question, however, should be “myself”.

This is reminiscent of one takeaway I had with the recent conference I have attended:

May you take your own measure of suffering, and take it with dignity.

Eileen Tupaz

The moment we set the bar for ourselves and ourselves alone, we find ways on how we can conquer our limiting beliefs. If you pit yourself against others, you are trying to live a life according to their own. Above all, you just opened yourself up to be judged by others, simply because you take their own measure as if it’s your own.

2. Don’t play small

Play small and you’ll receive small. There is no dream too big enough for you. It only becomes too big if you compare it to another. You dream a dream because it is worthy of you. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have thought of it in the first place, right?

When you go big–may this be dream big or speak big–you are operating from a sense of confidence. You feel like you don’t have enough confidence? You may start with working on your vibration. But hey, confidence is not a prerequisite to going big.

girl dancing - photo by Laura Fuhrman from Unsplash
© Laura Fuhrman from Unsplash

Just like in negotiations. You stretch it to the maximum until you discover where to meet halfway, on a win-win basis. Sometimes we are too afraid to express what we think we deserve, just because we play small and we assume that what we want is not even worth expressing. As Vishen Lakhiani elaborates on how to be a badass, assumptions are deadly.

3. Take up space

And don’t apologize for the space you occupy. You are more intelligent than your partner? Do your own thing and let them keep up. You are too forthright for a group of highly sensitive individuals easily triggered by criticisms? Then let them be and find your own tribe.

The moment you find yourself proving your opinion or your intelligence, perhaps it’s about time to double check your ego. Taking up space does not mean overpowering the other, but plainly expressing yourself. If they feel like you’re eating up their own bubble, it’s not your problem. What others think of you is not your business. Now, that’s high vibes. And it spells success.

4. Speak your truth

Don’t fall for the trap of other people’s “who the hell are you?” line. You don’t have to be somebody to speak your truth.

Your truth is not the truth of others. Accept that first, and you’ll never be triggered by any nasty comment. Simply because you know your truth.

I am a firm believer of “truth is never absolute,” because life can be perceived in various lenses. Whether society perceives your truth as ruthless or immoral, if it’s your truth, then it’s the truth. You have your own inner wisdom to guide you whether it’s a truth that needs to be dispelled (because it’s not right). One way or another, the universe will trip you down if it is.

You could believe all you want for your truth, and that’s okay. Speak it, assert it, live by it. If it’s not right, karma will hit you back. But if it is right, karma will hit you too–with rewards. You know what’s right. Trust it.

5. Know your intention

If you speak up your truth, what makes it important to say it in the first place? Is it to prove yourself? Is it to subtly ring a bell that hey you have higher education? Or it comes from joy–not schadenfreude joy, but child-like joy?

Putting the spotlight on others does not take the spotlight away from you. It actually brightens yours.

It wouldn’t make you ugly when you compliment a lady who made your boyfriend’s head turn. What makes you ugly is when you throw shade just to make yourself feel good. Imagine that scenario, and reflect on what you’ll do if that happens to you.

6. Listen only to your intuition

That inner wisdom is your intuition. Intuition is the highest form of intelligence humans overlook. It’s not a Harvard or Stanford degree, it’s your inner wisdom that would tell you what’s right or wrong.

While intelligence can definitely bring you success ala Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, it is how you act on that intelligence that will bring you success. And it’s your intuition that will give your intelligence a nudge to make your vision happen.

Stop listening to other’s truth, because you are just handing yourself a ripoff version of other’s success.

This sounds like a piece of vague advice, but the next point is one specific way you can listen to your intuition.

POV shot - over the edge of bridge with a lake view - photo by Krivec Ales from Pexels
If you are exactly on this image, what would you feel like doing? That’s your intuition talking. © Krivec Ales from Pexels

7. Follow the first task that pops up

Your top-of-the-mind thought is a glimpse of your intuition.

Your intuition is the nudge from the universe. No matter how daunting it is, it wouldn’t cross your mind at all if you don’t have to do it. Cross it out too early on your list, and you create space for yes, new tasks.

Having new tasks–related to the nudge or not– is your baby steps towards something. Next thing you know you have accomplished more than the imaginable. And so, you’ll reach the summit effortlessly.

Once you entertain a thought that “Ugh, I can’t do it. It’s too difficult”–that thought is energy on a step backward. It doesn’t help you move forward, and you’re giving yourself a reason that you are not worthy of your dreams. Moreover, you’re sending the universe that your dreams are not worthy of you.

Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. There’s no way to go but up.

8. Befriend your emotions

You don’t drink your emotion, you invite it for a cup of tea.

If you can’t master your emotions, at least get to know them.

Sometimes we look at other people’s lives and go beyond the appreciation, to a point that we compare it to our own. And nobody will admit that it is envy that starts to knock on the door. There’s nothing wrong to feel envy. What makes it wrong is when you act on it and allow it to consume you.

The more you get to know your emotions, the more you will know how to manage it. And when you know how to manage it, envy and jealousy will just sound foreign to you.

9. Honor your own journey

Comparison is the enemy of success.

Comparing yourself with others is setting up your self to failure. Why? Because you have already dismissed your own capabilities as if you have surrendered your power over someone who does not even care about you.

This is one important life lesson I learned by practicing yoga. The tree pose, for example, is a balancing pose. If you look at the person in front of you, you will immediately lose your balance. But if you focus on your core work, you will be surprised at how you will do it effortlessly.

Tune in to yourself. You will be surprised with how your body and spirit can support you in ways you are not even aware of.

10. Clear your energy at the end of the day

If you don’t like to do a grounding meditation (see video below), write it. Write all your complaints, negative feelings, troubles for the day. You can be the least lucky person for that day–journal it. Remember that there is still one person less lucky than you. But if you can’t see that, help yourself to empty your energy field just by writing it down.

Journaling and grounding meditation equate to making space for something new. Hence, you’re not transmuting your failures into excess baggage.

In the long run, as you constantly clear up your space for energies that no longer serve you, you are setting yourself up to success.

Final thoughts

Success sounds elusive because most of the time we appreciate others’ achievements and use the same lens to compare it to our own.

While it can be addicting to have others’ lives as inspiration for our own, sometimes we get too much attached we forget about honoring our own small wins. And we run the risk of disillusionment.

Inasmuch as success is a subjective experience, one thing is certain: the universe is abundant. That means, it will never run out of things or experiences to gift us. We may encounter the same archetypal hurdles, but the lessons, the karma, and the gifts are entirely our own. Own it. Because it’s part of the journey to success. /highfive!


What’s your story? What are your own ingredients to success? Feel free to share it down below!


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