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Five life skills to help you focus on success

This article appears in:
Future and Focus

When you first set a goal it’s pretty easy to stay on track. You’ve got a plan, you’re working the plan and your motivation is strong. 

As time goes on, however, it’s not uncommon to start losing your motivation and getting off course. In order to develop the momentum and stamina required to achieve success, there are several life skills you’ll need to focus on. 

5 of my favorite life skills to help you focus on success 

1. Believe you will succeed

For success to become a reality, it is absolutely crucial that you believe in what you’re doing. This is easy at the beginning because you’re focused on what you stand to gain from achieving your goal. As time goes on, you may gradually forget how excited you were and start to lose that inner fire. 

To avoid this possibility, be sure to keep your vision strong and clear in your mind. Visualisation, when done right, is among the most powerful of all life skills. Write it out in full detail, or create a visual reminder like a vision board with drawings, paintings or magazine photos that represent your goals. Revisit and focus on these reminders frequently. 

2. Have confidence in your abilities.

Your confidence may be strong at the start but it can quickly fade when you encounter obstacles or setbacks. If this happens, remember that you once believed that you had the ability to achieve success. Remind yourself why you felt that way. 

In fact, you will find it helpful to write these reasons down when you first set a goal, and then keep reading them back to yourself when you feel your confidence starting to fade. Keep in mind that any obstacles or setbacks are temporary and part of the learning curve. Strong confidence in your abilities is enough to propel you through to success. 

3. Determination

Believing in your eventual success and your ability to achieve it is a great start, but you also have to be determined to make it happen! 

Keep your determination strong by refusing to be held back by obstacles, and reminding yourself daily why your goals are important to you. Determination is like an ember that burns in your belly, refusing to let you give up no matter how rough the going gets. Sometimes determination end up being the key life skill leading to success. 

4. Motivation.

Staying motivated can also be a challenge, especially once the newness and excitement of your goals have worn off and it’s beginning to feel like “work.” 

Nine times out of ten, motivation requires a simple decision to remain optimistic and inspired. Find ways to keep your motivation high if your goal is truly important. Read books by people who have achieved impressive results. Talk to other successful people who have demonstrated tenacity and gone on to achieve amazing results. The more you pump yourself up, the stronger your motivation will stay. Being your own cheerleader is a success life skill. 

5. Awareness

Finally, stay on the lookout for any signs of self-sabotaging behavior or vanishing interest. If you notice that you’re acting in ways that don’t further your goals or support your success, get to the root of the problem quickly so you can get back on track. Be alert to any tendency to undermine your resolve or give up, and deal with it swiftly. 

Trust that you can accomplish amazing things 

You are capable of success in every area of your life. It’s not about talent, circumstances, or luck. It’s about learning and applying certain life skills and then monitoring your results and making little adjustments in your approach. 


Setting goals is something we do naturally. The trouble is, most of us tend to do it almost unconsciously without taking the time to perfect the process. Then, when things don’t turn out the way we had hoped we internalise our disappointment in a way that creates doubt in our own abilities. 

Become an advanced student in the school of life 

Many people think that qualities like confidence, communication, creativity, motivation, focus, courage, and determination are something you are born with. I believe those qualities are learned life skills that anyone can master if they are willing to apply themselves. These are advanced life skills and the better you become at them, the more successful your life will be. 

When we were in school, much of what we learned was difficult to focus on because it had very little practical value. But the kind of life skills we are talking about here have enormous practical value because they can literally transform the quality of your life. 

If you really want to ramp up your level of success, ask yourself this question: Have I made up my mind to become an advanced student in the school of life? If you haven’t yet made that personal commitment then perhaps now would be a good time! 


Written by Jonathon Wells and originally published on Advanced Life Skills Website
Reproduced here with permission from the author.  Spelling has been translated from American to Australian English.

Semester 1 2019

This article appears in:
Future and Focus

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