Living a Successful Life: What is Your Rule for Success in Life?

By | June 12, 08

Living a Successful Life: What is Your Rule for Success in Life?

“What has to happen for you to feel successful?” – Anthony Robbins

Today I want to share with you a great wisdom I got from Anthony Robbins’ book Awaken The Giant Within, on how some of our rules for success in life may be responsible for making us feel unhappy and less fulfilled in spite of the huge success we may have already achieved in life.

We make rules regarding almost every area of our lives, such as in our relationships, business and health, and we live our lives based on these rules. Consequently, our behaviour is unconsciously directed by the rules we have set. If our rule for a particular aspect of our life is met, we tend to feel happy, fulfilled, and successful, but if not, we are sad and frustrated.

For instance, if one of your rules for love in a relationship is “shouting at the other person means absence of love for that person”, you would therefore be happy if your partner never shouts at you, but if they do you would feel unloved, dejected and alone.

There is certainly nothing wrong in having rules for different areas of our lives. Indeed, rules help to motivate us to accomplishing our desires and living a successful life. For example, if one of your rules for health is ‘I must exercise daily,’ it propels you to keep you body in shape and good working order by exercising daily.

However, the problem comes when we make rules that are difficult to achieve. And when we are unable to meet them, frustration, stress, and dejection set in, resulting in our inability to even recognise and enjoy the successes we have already achieved on our way to meeting the rule.

This may be the singular reason many seemingly successful people in our society are not fulfilled or happy in life – sorry to say, they still live a life of misery even with their huge achievements.

In one of his ‘Date With Destiny’ seminars Mr. Robbins accosted a well known fortune 500 executive, a man who had recorded great feats and contributions to his community; a physically fit man who was well loved by his wife and 5 children. In everyone’s eye this man was an epitome of success. He asked him, “Are you successful?”

But the answer Mr. Robbins got was shocking – the man answered “NO.” Probing further, Mr. Robbins asked, “What has to happen in order for you to feel successful?”

What came out were extremely difficult rules that he had set for himself: he needed to earn a yearly salary of $3 million [he was already earning $1.5 million yearly as straight salary in addition to a bonus of $2 million]; he also needed to reduce his body fat to 8% [his body fact was 9%]; and he never wanted to get frustrated with his five children [five children, each with their peculiar behaviour!].

Obviously, as you can see, this man had wired himself to ensure he never knew success, talk less of enjoying it. Here was somebody who was already profoundly successful in most areas of life, but was unable to enjoy his success and life because of his set rules.

Again Mr. Robbins met another man who exuded lots of zest and was practically bouncing off the wall, appearing to be greatly enjoying the seminar and life. He asked him the same question, “Are you successful?” The man beamed at him and said, “Absolutely!” Really! “What has to happen for you to feel successful?” Mr. Robbins enquired deeper. And with a huge grin the man explained, “It’s so easy. All I have to do is get up, look down, and see that I am above ground! Every day above ground is a great day!”

Can you believe that! This is awesome! With such a simple and achievable rule this other man has made sure he would always feel successful and happy in his life, irrespective of the challenges he may encounter in his daily activities.

The bottom line I want to draw your attention to here is that we should right away begin to reassess our rules and see if they are not stringent to accomplish. If they are, we should replace them immediately with simple and easily achievable ones, so that, like the second man we can begin to live each day feeling successful and happy.

For a full dose on how to live a successful, happy life by making effective rules, the book Awaken The Giant Within by Anthony Robbins is a good read.

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