Career success doesn't come easy, Chikodi Abani shares 5 things to change for a successful career Click To Tweet

We all want to be successful in our chosen fields –be it as a writer, actor, entrepreneur, fitness trainer, media consultant, or radio presenter. We all strive to be among the top 5. It’s not enough to dream success, you can’t aim for success while you dilly-dally.

You can’t say you’ll lose a few pounds while you keep stuffing yourself up every day. Something’s got to change –be it your thinking or environment. You can’t keep doing the same thing and hope to get a different result. It doesn’t work that way. If you want a different result, do something different.

Success is not something you attain by just dreaming. In the words of Shonda Rimes “Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral, pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change.” In other words, hard work is essential to success.

Attitude/mind-set  

 You are what you think! Ever paid attention to the thoughts running through your mind? Are you filled with so much negativity that you can’t stop to harbor one positive thought? There are no shortcuts to success -it’s tiring and sometimes lonely.

Occasionally you will feel like you’re headed somewhere, other times you’ll feel like you’re on the wrong bus. In the journey of success, attitude matters. Maintaining a positive attitude when your emotions are all jumbled up helps. You won’t always feel upbeat and energetic; you will feel like quitting sometimes.

Ever wondered why lifestyle coaches and motivational speakers stress on positivity. It’s because one small positive affirmation goes a long way.

Get your ass off/leave your comfort zone

A friend told me that he will like to know me. I found it funny because he knows me. He laughed and added, “I know you. And I want to believe it when you set out to do something because you are too relaxed.” That hit me really hard.

Several times I dreamed up an idea out of excitement only to let it go down the drain. Other times, I set out do something only to let procrastination get in my way. How often do we make up our minds to do something only to get stuck in our comfort zone? We say we’ll do this or that but we stop before we even begin. Why?

Because we’re so scared that we’ll rather sit and wait for the ‘right’ time or when the coast is clear before we step out. I love analyzing and thinking through a plan. It’s good. But oftentimes we indulge in so much thinking and analyzing that hesitation begins to creep in. You have got to stop over thinking, over analyzing, second guessing and self-doubting yourself. Just get on the train.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. Click To Tweet

Be resilient

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, resilience is the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens. You can’t be successful if you’re not resilient. Things will not always go your way; you’ll fail, fall and feel miserable.

You have to have an insatiable desire to pursue your dreams despite the obstacles surrounding it. No matter how many times you fail, or how often you make a ‘fool’ of yourself, get back on track. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall, what matters is how many times you get up and get going.

Keep learning

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Most people tend to settle once they get that job or start up that business. They shut the doors to grooming or improving themselves. University days are over, business is flourishing. There’s no need to sharpen your skills, right? Wrong. If you want to stand out, you must be willing to work on yourself at all times.

How do you think people like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Omotola or Oprah got to where they are? It’s because they worked on their craft. Ask renowned medical doctors or award winning writers and actors, they will tell you how much time they invest in learning.

We are surrounded with so many resources to become better people and thanks to technology; you don’t even have to be in a classroom. With your smartphone, you can have access to unlimited knowledge on a wide range of topics. We live in a dynamic world so there’s the need to stay up-to-date.

Do away with distractions

Lack of direction, not lack of time is the problem. We all have twenty-four hours days” – Zig Ziglar

Successful people manage their time wisely. Time management is linked to success. It is difficult to attain success if you spend your time on the wrong people or things. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines distraction as “something that makes it difficult to think or pay attention”.  To be successful in your career, you should be willing to set aside your distractions – TV, gadgets, people, social media…; whatever is diverting your attention from your desired goal.

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