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To achieve success in our lives we need dedication, commitment, hard work, and determination. Success only comes to those who look for it and work towards it. People have named me ‘the unstoppable machine’ many times before. I am a person who is always determined to get to where I need to be. Through my experience, I have learned and grown to know that it’s necessary to set your own rules and principles in order to reach the top. Here are some of the guidelines I follow:

1. Find your true purpose in life. Figure out what drives you. What passion brings out the best in you?

2. Self belief, inner will power, and strength are all necessary for a happy life. You have to be confident in your own ability to achieve goals. No matter who doubts you, you should still be able to believe in yourself.

3. Self investment: Investing in oneself is not always about money. It’s about education. The world is evolving very fast and it’s very important for you to have at least a pinch of knowledge about how it all works.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” ? Nelson Mandela

I read quotes of people like Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Will Smith, and Robin Sharma to empower myself everyday. At times I even look for self-help books that will challenge and help me grow. Regardless of what anybody else tells you, there is always something new to learn.

As much as schooling and education are important, self-education is the next level. I recently acquainted with a school mate who is an author and he told me he writes 7,000 words per day. He said it started as fun, then eventually it turned into a hobby, and now he’s a full-time author. I was moved at what self investment can do.

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4. Empowerment – as you learn, empower others with your knowledge and skills. Knowledge shared is knowledge learned. At a place I used to work one of the ladies started as a sweeper but my boss saw great potential in her so she taught her to photocopy, print, and write correspondence letters. Now, she is an administrator.

5. Commitment/determination/dedication. These 3 words are the biggest key to success. There will be lots of challenges when you are focusing on your purpose for life. There will be pressure to meet deadlines and keep up with your speed. You will have to sacrifice many other things. When I was doing my two degrees simultaneously I had to sacrifice many events and celebrations as I had to maintain my focus and remind myself every single day what my longterm goal was. It was to graduate with a double degree.

6. Prioritize – It’s very important to set priorities as the purpose you have set for yourself will usually fall as the first priority. It will naturally take up most of your hours.

7. Keeping up with the world. Knowing what is going on in the world is always a plus. Especially if you can see through the propaganda. It will help in making acquaintances easily, as through my experiences I have noticed that when you catch a person in their area of interest it makes your connection stronger.

8. Developing connections. A friend once told me your networks are your net worth. It takes years to form connections as everyone you meet is resourceful in one way or another. Always be open to meeting new people. You never know what kind of experiences and opportunities that relationship will bring about.

9. Consistency, patience, and perseverance are key ingredients. I have seen many people who chase overnight success. Success is a process you have to consistently work towards. It’s not some button you can press. There will be many frustrating moments along the way, but you should never allow yourself to give up.

10. Risk takers. Richard Branson is successful but he keeps taking risks. Losing money in one business did not stop him from trying another. He does not give up on his ideas or dreams. I’m not advocating taking unnecessary risk, however if you have a good feeling about something you should consider going for it. After all, you only live once.

11. Have a mentor. A mentor with experience can guide you and give you wisdom. I’ve learned that having a mentor is a valuable asset as long as you go to them with real problems and meaningful challenges.

12. Make time for yourself. Solitude brings the best ideas. Most people do not understand that when you’re in solitude you have time to reflect on your life and figure out what you need to do in the future.

13. Constantly reading. Reading expands your thinking and allows you to discover new ideas. Thinking ‘outside the box,’ will allow you to be more creative. Apply every interesting idea that comes your way from reading in the real world. Skip TV and read instead. You’ll thank me for it later.

14. Sincerity/honesty/integrity. Be a person whose principles you would want to follow. Have you ever said, “I want to be like her/him?” Well, try to be the hero of your own story.

15. Always maintain humility and humbleness no matter how successful you become. It will make others respect you more and look up to you.

16. Get out of your comfort zone. There is no room for  adventure and excitement in your comfort zone. I sure do love my comfort zone, but when I’m pushed out of it my confidence grows. It may be scary at first, but when you look back on life you will be quite thankful.

17. Get rid of negativity and obstacles. Make no compromises. For me there has always been more negativity then positivity. My biggest challenge has been to fight the negative things people say while still remaining positive. That’s why #2 is important. No matter what people say you should not take anything personally. There will be many distractions on the way to success, but you’ll have to maintain focus on your goals with your inner strength and willpower.

18. Work at your own pace toward your goal. Everyone’s pace is different. Some people climb the ladder of success faster than others. Don’t waste your time comparing yourself to anybody else.

19. Have an open mind. You should always be open to receiving new ideas and open to critiques, even if they come from the lowest person. Do you have to listen to them? Not really. However you should logically evaluate if what somebody else is saying.

Everyone has something to teach in the capacity they are in. I usually spend time with the guard at the door, Askari, as he teaches me gardening which is one of my main passions. Learning is a two ways street. As we teach, we also learn. Sometimes I sit with my niece and nephew just discussing future prospects and goals. More often than not I’m amazed as they come up with the smartest ideas. Every single person has something to offer, even if they’re a child.

20. Dedicate time to the things you love most. Find at least one hour everyday for your passion as it will rejuvenate you towards your goal.

21. Figure out your best working hours. The 9 to 5 doesn’t apply to everybody. For example, my most productive hours are at night between 10pm to 3am. Everyone has a unique preference. Find yours and stick to it.

22. Healthy living is energetic living. Your health is the most important thing to take care of. Without it, you will not be able to chase your dreams and do the things you love. I always emphasize this. You must keep your body healthy and take care of it. Use your free time to read blogs and books about nutrition. Once again, health is the most important investment you can make.

23. Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you fail, keep moving. Failure is the only way to success. The most important thing is not to give up and keep going.

24. Learn from people but do not be influenced by them. Maintain your own originality and purpose. Don’t try to copy somebody else’s ambition. You know what your goals are. Stick to them. Don’t get distracted by somebody else’s life.

“You were born an original. Don’t die a copy.” – John Mason

25. Self-evaluate at each stage you have reached to see your personal growth. Are you happy with what you are doing? Are u experiencing fulfillment? Are u doing things with your full capacity and potential? If the answer is no, then you need to change something.

Many people don’t do this until they’re old. Don’t have any regrets at the end of the road. Constant self evaluate your goals, visions, and dreams.

26. Self-discipline. Are you strong enough to resist the things that waiver you?

27. Always have a long-term vision. Think of a 5 years plan. Where do you see yourself? What have you already accomplished? What are you planning to do next? What do you need to do today to get there? Questions like these should be pondered upon.

28. Motivate yourself everyday towards your goal. Motivation runs dry easily. That’s just the truth. You might be exited one day, and a week from now you’ll probably come up with a mental excuse as to why you can no longer chase that goal. When you are working towards something for a long time, the results will take longer than usual. It’s very easy to get de-motivated, when your goal is far away. Keep working at it, look for motivation each day.

29. Organization. This is one of the first principles. Organizing yourself and making a schedule for each goal will make everything smoother. Once you write something down, think of it as a contract you made with yourself. Do you hate it when people promise something and never deliver? Well, why would you do that to yourself?

30. Intimate contacts. Have a few close people to share your visions and goals with, but make sure these people have positive influence in your life.

31. Be loyal to what you have promised to do. Keep your word, people will always respect you and know you are committed to achieving your goal if you fulfill this. For starters, time management. I usually feel it’s good to arrive at least 5-10 minutes early for a meeting or an appointment.

32. If you can make money doing what you love, you won the game of life. Many people settle for a job they don’t like or enjoy. They simply do it for the paycheck. When the only thing you look forward to is a paycheck, you need to reassess your life immediately! You should feel happy when you work, not miserable.

33. Move past your fear into faith. It has been the hardest thing for me achieve. There’s always an unsettling feeling of “What if?” What if this happens? What if I don’t get the job? What if I can’t do this or that?

Living your life of ‘what ifs’ will mentally destroy you. It takes time to slowly train and convince the mind that there are no ‘what ifs.’ Do you have faith in what you are doing? Do u believe you will succeed? Then stop worrying and start having some faith in yourself.

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Posted by Sapna Shah

Sapna Shah is a charismatic lady born with Muscular Dystrophy. She has observed and overcome  the challenges   life has presented to her at every stage and level. She shows her strength through her smile, humour and unconditional love that she shows to the world around her. Sapna is a fighter, a ‘go-getter’. Unafraid to overcome obstacles and challenges, she fills the environment around her with positivity.

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