Top 12 Ways to Cultivate Great Success
February 1, 2011 by Peter Loomis
In this tough economy, I am being forced to think differently, to evolve new strategies and new approaches to staying in business and continuing to develop my graphic design business (www.personedesign.com) and continue building my studio as a resource for graphic design, web and mobile development as well as sound design and audio production and related services.
I am feeling incredibly challenged by my own inner demons also...beliefs that maybe I’m not destined to succeed with my own business, that I should capitulate, give up, and sell out, go back to the Man and get a “real job” at an ad agency somewhere.
At present I am at a critical point in this process as I really have to decide what I truly want and I also have to make it happen, so I can keep living in San Francisco and continue to grow as a person, as a leader and as a spirit continuing to strive for enlightenment in my current situation and present circumstances.
Given this all, I have been seeking encouragement and guidance for how I can best succeed and accomplish my dreams and want to share what I am learning, experiencing and collating from various sources, including some venerable Nichiren Buddhist mentors from the SGI-USA and also from within my own life experience:
First, no matter what the problem, or what the obstacle or situation we face, we always have the answer inside of us, inside our own life. We truly determine our lives moment by moment as a result of our expectations and our internal attitudes that impel us to challenge or acquiesce when confronted with beliefs or situations that could either hold us back, or inspire us to rise up, rally, conquer and succeed.
In all situations, we must reveal the knowledge and wisdom that we have inside ourselves...and trust that we can and will succeed. We must trust in what we know, and in what we believe...trust in what we have experienced and what we are. We must trust in our dreams and believe that they are valid and valuable and that they guide us through the experiences we most need in our life. This is, in fact, the truth of the matter, since they invariably do lead us through our lives. Truly they are part of what makes us unique beings and we must trust that our goals and dreams are worthwhile...worth fighting for and worth really living for.
Since we already have what it takes inside of ourselves, what must we do to reveal the answers? Here are some of the top strategies that I have found and am using to stay on top of my challenges.
1) SPIRIT. Chant, pray, meditate or do whatever you do to connect deeply to your Spirit. The main battle is inside us...not outside, and the most fundamental and powerful change comes from the inside out. Believing in ourselves comes from within and affects the outer world fundamentally and immeasurably.
2) STUDY. Get more information and become more prepared, and more exposed and receptive to challenging new ideas... Even if our ways and ideas are hardened, in time they can soften and erode like water on rock.
3) SERVE. We are here as part of a community, no matter how removed we may feel. It is always important to consider this aspect of reality and also how we can most positively help or assist this community. This is especially true if one is experiencing hardship or difficulty with a service-oriented business or product that is made for people to use.
4) GREATNESS. It is of the utmost importance to focus on greatness and uphold high ideals. Parallel to this is not giving into negativity...whether that’s negative impulses from within ourselves, negative influences or pressure from other people or external sources. If we don’t shoot for the stars, how can we hope to escape the same, familiar orbits?
5) OPEN. Bend like a reed in the wind, don’t become too rigid...or you might snap instead of bending. In other words, cultivate yielding and bending gracefully with change. Life is ever-changing. We must always remain open to changing the way things are done, and the way we live our lives. If not, patterns become routine and life can lose its luster. To keep things fresh, we need to experience a variety of enriching, enlivening experiences. Part of what keeps things enriching and enlivening is the fact that these experiences are new...so our brain has to stretch and grow in able to understand it and process what is or has happened. This is vital to keeping oneself learning and active and always developing new pathways in the brain, which expand our mental acuity and brainpower.
6) BELIEVE. TRUST. HAVE FAITH. We already have the answers within ourselves and our lives, it is just a matter of revealing them to the world. It is extremely important to believe. That belief can also come from doing everything in your power to succeed. Consistently challenge obstacles and negativity and do everything possible to be successful and build successful habits. “The cost of freedom is eternal vigilance” or so Thomas Jefferson once said. In this, we must remain eternally vigilant against our own negativity most of all, and of this, the belief that we can succeed and that we are worthy of solving our problems and or achieving our dreams is paramount, as it will assist us most in elevating our mentality and challenging our negativity with the most elevated, enlightened thoughts.
7) NEVER say die. It’s hard to beat someone who never quits. If we quit along the way, it will be impossible to experience the wild successes we could have accomplished if we never stopped trying or achieving. In addition, part of the joy of a truly fulfilling life comes from being challenged and living up to these challenges...confronting and conquering them! Becoming victorious over obstacles brings incredible joy, security in oneself and encouragement to others, so never stop believing or challenging negativity or obstacles!
8) BRAINSTORM. This has always helped me to become aware of things that are already within my grasp. We have to act first within our primary circle of influence...where we already have access and can already affect things physically or contact other people in our network. It is from here that we can reach greater distances and meet more new people from whom we will learn and with whom we will lead the rest of our lives...but we must be present and start where we are now.
9) NETWORK. Our community is our lifeline to the rest of the world and universe...the truth of Life at every moment... These people and connections have the power to feed us with energy and support us in our lifetimes, and it’s important to stay connected. If we serve our community, our community will serve us. Also if we focus on other people (not ourselves or our own problems), we have greater perspective to view our own situation and can generate compassion for others and ourselves as well.
10) Be ACTIVE. It is far better to be doing things, than in-active or just passively thinking things over... Moreover, we often regret less the things we do, than the things we don’t do...and it’s often said that “it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission,” not to mention that we don’t even really have to ask for these things too often, especially not from ourselves when we are acting in the interest of achievement and accomplishing our own innermost and wildest dreams! Also, there’s probably always something more we can do to prepare ourselves for greater success, so do MORE! And, do it even better than before! Go for it!
11) CELEBRATE! It's important to celebrate our victories along the way and all of the conditions in our lives that have helped us to achieve these victorieseven the setbacks! Also, it's important to truly value these things because they are precisely the experienceswhich make up the fabric of our very own livesthat we must live through in order to accomplish our dreams, so we mustn’t disparage LIFE or any of the mysterious obstacles we encounter...without these defining features in the landscape of our lives, we wouldn't be who we are today.
12) REPEAT! PRACTICE! REFRESH. RENEW YOUR DETERMINATION. Life is about the journey. It is a process, and always good to stay fresh and current with goals and motivations to make sure we stay on track with what’s truly important to us in any given moment. It’s okay to change, too...it’s only natural, but the important part is to be aware of our goals, and always keep facing our obstacles with fierce determination!
Mind you this does not imply that we will never be hindered by our negativity or by appearances of failure. Moreover that to truly succeed and be victorious through out our whole lives...we must NEVER say die, NEVER give up, and always rise up with a courageous attitude, one imbued with VICTORY, and promise, supported by faith, experience, trust and by an understanding of our own human psychology, of our true spiritual manifestation and by deconstructing the duality of the Self.
Onwards and upwards my friends! To victory and success!