My good friend was making fun of me trying to give him keys to success the other day. The conversation was funny, but I ended up really thinking about it afterwards. So I put together this list, for entertainment purposes only, on the four things I think you can do to be assured of at least a B-minus in life. B-minus ain’t bad. If you’re looking for a higher grade than that, then this isn’t the list for you. I’ve lived a hell of a B-minus life so……I’m just sayin….
1) The sun doesn’t need to be rising too much earlier than you do
Remember that old Army commercial “we do more before 6am than most people do all day?” Let me tell you why they get so much done: because no one is in their way to slow them down before 6am! One of the hardest things about trying to be a productive worker in an office setting is all of the distractions that come around, hanging out at your desk, calling you on the phone, sending you “emergency” emails, planning useless meetings, etc. Even as a househusband, the world being my office, if I don’t get the groceries shopped before 7am then I just wait till the next day. It’s crazy in them stores! It would be too stressful dealing with them folk week after week. Nope, go when no one’s there. Write when no one’s calling, run when no one else is running. Wake up early and do as many of the important things first. Meditate, journal, plan, exercise, whatever your thing may be.
2) Follow Directions Fool
This is really the one though. If I had to choose any of the four to be most important for success in the physical realm, it would be following directions. I think this is my super-power. I’m really good at following directions, almost to a fault really. If you didn’t tell me to do it in your instructions then I’m probably not going to do it, even if it seems like something that’s supposed to get done. We’ll just deal with it at the end. I’m pretty sure this is how I made it through college and graduate school because I honestly never put in the type of effort that is necessary to be successful, but I ALWAYS followed directions. You follow directions and you’re at least going to get a C+…all you need after that is a little intelligence and perseverance. This is how I came to define “success” as “B-minus.” Take note.
3) Never Not Be Thankful
This is specifically worded because everywhere else you’ll hear “always be thankful” or “keep an attitude of gratitude,” but nah. To me, those phrases indicate the ease in which it is to be grateful while experiencing good things. “Never Not Be Thankful” is directed to those moments when you find yourself slipping down the slope of “even this? I need to be thankful for this shit?” Yes! In this life of grace and chaos, you never know what chaos is going to give birth to blessings. But what you do know, what I have learned for myself, is that your attitude, the way you look at things, the way you carry yourself, will have a direct impact on the what happens next. Stay in your thankfulness and be present to your blessings unfolding around you.
One of my favorite ways of practicing this key to success is while playing blackjack. Whenever I bust after taking a hit from the dealer, I always look up at her and say “Thank You.” It’s strange at first, especially for the dealer, but it keeps me in the spirit of accepting the fact that you can’t win every hand. You can’t rock out every meeting. You can’t always score the most goals. Every recipe in the kitchen won’t be a winner in the mouth. Disappointment is inevitable, but thank you for the opportunity.
4) Turn Your Beliefs Into Theories
Now if I had to choose a key that was most important for matters of non-physical and more spiritual nature, this would be the one. I feel like we have to become scientists when it comes to our thoughts and beliefs. Rather than accepting and believing anything to be true, stay in constant experimentation and always be ready to be wrong. As a matter of fact, it’s probably best to just assume you’re wrong about anything you believe, then go about putting the beliefs to the test. Live your life in this experimental way. This is a little different than just “questioning” your beliefs, which is another great practice in of itself. What I am suggesting is that you actively put your beliefs to the test by holding them up in the light of actual experience. Research their origins, determine the impact each one has on your life, confirm their usefulness (and degree of truthfulness)!
Well that’s my list — that’s the experiment I’m working with right now, putting all of these things to the test. What’s on your keys to success list? What am I missing? What Have You Learned?!