It’s no secret that the road to success is filled with its fair share of bumps, U-turns, and construction zones. At times, our dreams can feel impossible to achieve, and we might find ourselves wondering how others seem to make their aspirations come true so easily while we feel as though we’re stuck in traffic. Success is a bit of a mystery in that sometimes it just comes down to luck and being in the right place at the right time. However, our habits also come into play. Fortunately, there are learnable behaviors that can make the probability of success higher.
Here are some of the most interesting takeaways from various influential figures who really went for it – and succeeded.
1.”If you’re passionate about something, go for it, because people are great at what they love and that’s when they’re the happiest.” – Jennifer Hyman, CEO and Co-founder, Rent The Runway
We all know the saying, “pick a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” There’s a reason people use this phrase so often. Make sure you actually enjoy what you’re doing and it’s more likely you will be driven to succeed.
2. “A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.” – E.B. White, author of Charlotte’s Web
If you wait for the right time to start a project you’ve been dreaming of, there’s a good chance the time will never come. If there’s something you want to do or achieve, go after it immediately. The right time is now.
3.“Work like there is someone working twenty-four hours a day to take it all away from you.” – Mark Cuban
The world is a highly competitive place, so it’s important to keep doing your best day in and day out. If you aren’t, someone else is.
4.”The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” —Mark Zuckerberg
Risks can be really scary, but what’s even scarier is the possibility of letting an opportunity slip through the cracks. Think of the worst-case scenario, and chances are, it’s not the end of the world if things don’t work out. Have faith in yourself, and learn from every experience to make the next one better.
5. “Find out who you are and be that person. That’s what your soul was put on this Earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth and everything else will come.” —Ellen DeGeneres
If you’re being authentic and true to yourself, you’re not doing anything wrong. Trust your gut and let it guide you on your life path. Remember that everyone is different, and you are special in your own way that can contribute to the greater good of the world.
6. “Looking back on my career and all of the places I’ve been, there have been incredible highs and lows at each point along the way. What I’ve come to learn is that life is cyclical and the best way to stay focused is to ignore the swings and instead focus on the long run.” – Vivian Schiller, Chief Digital Officer at NBC News
When times are bad, remember that they won’t last forever. Life is messy and constantly changing. Learn to go with the flow, stay optimistic, and do not dwell on hard times. It will always get better.
7. “Don’t play games that you don’t understand, even if you see lots of other people making money from them.” – Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos
In other words, you don’t have to follow the crowd. What works for someone else may not work for you, and if you don’t understand what you’re doing then it really isn’t going to work out well. Do what makes sense in your own life, instead of feeling pressured to succumb to the way people around you are operating.
8. Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.” – Drew Houston, Founder and CEO of Dropbox
Life is full of disappointments and failures, but it’s those setbacks that make eventual success all the sweeter. Trial and error is the name of the game, so don’t give up if success doesn’t instantly come to you the first – or even the twentieth – time.
9. “Success begins at that magical moment when you declare to yourself, your friends, and the universe that you believe you can do something different.” –Natalie Massenet, founder of Net-A-Porter
If you have an idea, stand by it. If you don’t believe you can do it, no one else is going to either. Promote yourself and your dreams proudly and others will believe they are going to work out, too.
10. “If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me.” – Naomi Simpson, founder of RedBalloon
In the end, if you set your mind to something, it’s going to be you who makes it happen. No one can create success for you; there will be lots of people who can help you along the way, but ultimately you dictate your own future.