Success is something we all want, but few of us know how to fully grasp.  It’s one of those words that’s hard to define…like happiness

Yet before we lay hold of success in our lives, it is essential that we have a clear definition of the word.  

Over the past year, I’ve been on a quest for success.  It’s been a year of incredible of growth for me, and every bit of that growth has been the result of defining success as the practice of a handful of habits day in and day out in order to accomplish a purpose.

I’ve carefully learned that success is not at the finish line, but in the journey. 

Success is found in what we do over and over and over again.  It’s the sum of the habits that we practice, and the accumulation of those habits is what gets us to where we want to go.  

So if you’re currently chasing success in whatever path you are on, here are 10 things that you can do on the daily that will bring you success in life.

1. Have the Right Mindset

I love The Magic of Thinking Big.  If you haven’t read it, do yourself a favor and add it to your reading list, pronto.  

In that book, David J. Schwartz talks about the power of our mindset and how it makes or breaks us.  

Three things he encourages readers to do are:

  • Think success, don’t think failure.
  • Remind yourself that you are better than you think you are. 
  • Believe big. The size of your success is determined by the size of your belief.

If you want to be successful, the right mindset is essential.  So start training your mind to think big.

2. Banish Negative Self-Talk

What is your inner dialogue?  Is it full of empowering self-talk or constant criticism?

Which side of the spectrum you fall on will definitely affect your success in life.  This is closely related to your mindset.  

When you have powerful, positive self-talk you train that darling brain of yours to create solutions where you once saw problems and to see opportunities where you once saw roadblocks.  

Here’s what you can do to improve your inner dialogue:

  • Remove can’t, won’t, impossible, etc. from your vocabulary. Those words don’t serve you…they steal from you.
  • Remember, the price tag you put on yourself is the same one the world will put on you, so make sure your self-talk reflects the value you desire to possess.
  • Give yourself compliments.
  • Tell yourself, “I’ll win,” not “I’ll lose.”

3. Start Your Day the Right Way 

Answer this question:  What does my perfect morning look like?

When you answer that question, you will know exactly what you need to do to start your day off right each and every day.  

This is what my ideal morning looks like:

  • Wake up before the kids.
  • Drink my tea in a pretty mug while I read something that inspires me.
  • Get dressed.
  • Review my to-do list for the day.
  • Get the kids to school & then start writing.

Figure out what your ideal morning looks like and manufacture it over and over again.  

4. Make Lists

Lists are magical little things.  There is nothing better than putting something on a list and getting to cross it off when it’s done.  

Every day make a list of what you need to do.  Your list will keep you focused on the things that will move you forward.

5. Don’t Forget You

Speaking of lists…Don’t forget to add YOU to your to-do list.  

When you are chasing success, burnout is often not far behind.  To avoid getting overwhelmed by burnout, make sure you are putting yourself on your to-do list…at the top.  

I write a lot about this at  Over there we call it filling your cup. 

Whether through sleep, nutrition, movement, or activities that refuel you, it is important to keep your cup full.

Remember that when your cup is empty, you can’t pour out of it.  But when you fill your cup daily, you can freely (and happily) pour into everything and everyone else that needs your attention.

You can read more about filling your cup here.

6. Keep Your Environment Tidy

If your surroundings are chaotic, your mood and productivity will reflect that. 

Here are some keys to cutting clutter and keeping your environment set up for success:

  • Make your bed every morning.
  • Keep countertops and tabletops free of clutter.
  • Read this article to see how you can cut clutter for good.

7. Practice Gratitude

This is something that is often overlooked, but the practice of gratitude teaches us to live in joy. It teaches us to look for and recognize the things around us that will lift us up and keep us in the right mindset.

There’s no right or wrong way to make practicing gratitude a habit. You can make a gratitude list, keep a gratitude journal, or meditate on things you’re grateful for right when you wake up or right before going to sleep.

The important thing isn’t how you do it, but that you do it.

8. Learn from Failure & Don’t Blame

To be successful, you have to take responsibility for your choices.  Aside from the rare freak accident, what happens to you and around you is a culmination of choices that you have made.  

Successful people don’t blame themselves, others, or luck for their choices.  Instead, they remember this idea from David J. Schwartz, 

“Often we blame luck for our setbacks.  We say, ‘Well, that’s the way the ball bounces,’ and let it go at that.  But stop and think.  Balls don’t bounce in certain ways for uncertain reasons.  The bounce of the ball is determined by three things:  the ball, the way it is thrown, and the surface it strikes.  Definite physical laws explain the bounce of the ball, not luck.”

If you are growing at all, setbacks and failures are going to happen.  But it’s how you respond to those hardships that determines what happens next.  

Stop and consider who or what you might be blaming.  Then, train your brain to stop seeing the failure and to start seeing the lesson the setback can teach you.  

Soak in these words from Theodore Roosevelt, 

“Far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory or defeat.”

9. Never Stop Learning

Arnold Schwarzenegger says, 

“The worst thing you can ever do is think you know enough.”

If you want to be successful at whatever you do in life, never stop learning.  I can’t think of a better way of summing up this thought than with the words of George Matthew Adams, 

“You are your greatest investment.  The more you store in that mind of yours, the more you enrich your experience, the more people you meet, the more books you read, and the more places you visit, the greater is the investment in all that you are.”

10. Be Willing to Take the Long Way Around

I just shared this thought on social media this week, 

“There are no shortcuts…Not in business, not in parenting, not in life.  To be truly successful, you have to be willing to take the long way around.”

Our culture is obsessed with selling shortcuts. 

Every product developed and sold is to make our lives easier…whether in regard to money, health or any other personal improvement.

But the best thing we can buy into today is the truth that there are no shortcuts. To be truly successful you have to be willing to take the long way around.

Success is about learning to practice small habits that create a beautiful journey.

Happy journeying, my friend. 

This article was originally published here.