How to Be Successful in Life and Get What You Want

If you want to know how to win friends, influence people and get whatever you want from life, you will find that the answer is easier than you might think.

How to Get What You Want

The Rolling Stones once sang that ‘you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might just find…you get what you need.’ But what if you don’t want to settle for ‘what you need?’ Why shouldn’t we be ambitious and try to get more from life? What’s stopping us from getting whatever we want?

The problem is that good advice on this topic is hard to come by. Motivational books and posters are full of tired old clichés that don’t really help us that much. Simply urging people to ‘just do it!’ is not particularly helpful. We all need a solid plan to follow, to give us the best chance of achieving success.

Of course, there is no ‘one-size fits all’ answer to this question. But after many years in several different careers, here is my take on what you need to do to achieve success:


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#1. Believe in Yourself

Achieving great success in life is not easy. You are going to experience knockbacks, problems and intense competition on the way to accomplishing your goals. So your starting point on the road to success is discovering belief in your own ability.

Do you truly believe that you have what it takes to succeed? If not, find out what is holding you back and fix it. Prepare yourself mentally for the challenges ahead. If you don’t believe in yourself, no-one else will believe in you, either.

#2. Be the Best Version of You

You don’t have to be amazingly intelligent or good looking to be successful. But you should make every effort to make the most of the assets that you have. You may not be able to change your face into a more attractive one – but you can quit eating chocolate and start working out, to improve your fitness and your appearance.

Do whatever is in your power to create the very best version of you. For one thing, you will feel better about yourself and your abilities. For another, people will respect you more if you are clearly making the most of what nature gave you.

If you want to know how to win friends, influence people and get whatever you want from life, you will find that the answer is easier than you might think.

#3. Set Clear Goals

If you don’t know where you are going, how are you ever going to plan a course to get there? If you want to achieve true success, then life should not be a mystery tour. You need to know what goals you wish to accomplish.

That means setting very specific goals. You need to write down exactly what you want to achieve, and specify in what timeframe this will happen. Your goals should be ambitious, but realistic. Saying that you want to be a billionaire three years from now is not a goal – it’s just a wish. A specific, realistic, time-bound goal might be:

“Three years from now, I will have quit my job, started by own business and achieved an income of over $100,000 per year.”

#4. Follow Your Passion

You are going to be chasing your goals for many years to come, so you should ensure that you love every minute of what you do. We are lucky to live in an age where following your passion is entirely possible. You don’t have to stay stuck in a career you hate for forty years anymore. There are real options to create the life you truly want to lead.

Following your passion is one of the biggest secrets of success. Steve Jobs had no engineering qualifications or technical knowledge of computing. But he had a passion for creating new and innovative products, and that passion turned Apple into one of the world’s biggest and most successful companies.

#5. Play to Your Strengths

There’s no point in planning to become an astronaut if you are hopeless at math and afraid of flying. It ain’t gonna happen. We need to play to our strengths when making plans for the future, making the most of every advantage we have in life, while downplaying the disadvantages.

True Wealth is Having One Dollar More Than You Need

If you can find the point where your passions and your strengths intersect, you are truly on the path to success. If you love music and have a natural talent for the piano, then perhaps you can be a concert pianist, a keyboard player in a rock band or a successful songwriter. Anything that gives you an extra edge will make all the difference.

#6. Invest in Yourself

Relying on natural talent is not enough, however. You must be prepared to invest in yourself to make the most of your talents and abilities. Many successful people spend thousands of dollars a year on training courses, seminars, private lessons and other forms of coaching. They are also often avid readers, soaking up knowledge and information wherever they can get it.

Money invested in yourself is never wasted. You may find that the investment is repaid many thousands of times over. This is all related to being the ‘best version of you’ – take every opportunity you can to make yourself better in every way.

#7. Go the Extra Mile

Most successful people are hard workers. They are the musicians who practice musical scales into the midnight hours, or the sports players who are still on the training track long after everyone else has gone home.

Practice may not make perfect, but it certainly gets you much closer to perfection. And that can make all the difference in trying to achieve success in your life. Those who go the extra mile find that they reach their destination before anyone else.

#8. Overcome Failure

Few people achieve the success they dream of at the first attempt. The reality is that failure and rejection comes with the territory. You need to be prepared to overcome such difficulties and accept them as part of your journey. When you get knocked off your horse, you must get up and jump back on again right away.

The Pursuit of Happiness: How to Live a Truly Fulfilling Life

Salesmen are often taught that each ‘no’ they receive from prospective customers is a step towards the next ‘yes.’ That is a great way of turning a negative into a positive. Even when you are getting knocked back, you are still making progress towards your ultimate goal.

#9. Help Other People

The great salesman Zig Ziglar said: ‘you can have anything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.’

This is great advice to live by…and will do a great deal to help you achieve your goals. If you are running a business, your goal should be to offer products and services that are so good, they can hardly be refused. Once again, Apple is a great example of this philosophy. The company creates amazing products that help people get exactly what they want – better tools to run their lives. And the result is a huge rush to buy every new product the company announces.

#10. Break New Ground

Don’t let anyone tell you that your dreams are impossible. The great bodybuilder, movie start and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger said:

“How many times have you heard that you can’t do this and you can’t do that and it’s never been done before? I love it when someone says that no one has ever done this before, because then when I do it, that means that I’m the first one that has done it. So pay no attention to the people that say it can’t be done. I never listen to, ‘You can’t.’ I always listen to myself and say, ‘Yes, you can.’”

Make it Happen

So now that you know what to do, there is nothing stopping you from achieving incredible success. It won’t be easy, and there will be setbacks along the way. But now you know that you are unstoppable if you have the right approach and self-belief.

If you want to be truly successful in life and get what you want, then you need to make a start. That’s the mistake that most people make…they don’t even get off the starting grid. So memorize these ten principles, then take your first steps along the road to fantastically-awesome success in life.


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