John Maxwell describes the seven steps to success in his book Success: One Day At A Time. I am listing them here.

  1. Make a commitment to grow daily.
  2. Value the process more than events.
  3. Don’t wait for inspiration.
  4. Be willing to sacrifice pleasure for opportunity.
  5. Dream Big.
  6. Plan your priorities.
  7. Give up to go up.

Make a commitment to grow daily

One of the greatest mistakes people make is that they have the wrong focus. Success doesn’t come from acquiring, achieving or advancing. It comes only as a result of growing. If you make it your goal to grow a little every day, it won’t be long before you begin to see positive results in your life. As the poet Robert Browning said, “Why stay on earth except to grow?”

Value the process more than events

Specific life events are good for making decisions, but it’s the process of change and growth that has lasting value. If you want to go to the next level, strive for continual improvement.

Don’t wait for inspiration.

Basketball great Jerry West said, “You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.” The people who go far do so because they motivate themselves and give life their best, regardless of how they feel. To be successful, persevere.

Be willing to sacrifice pleasure for opportunity

One of the greatest lessons my father taught me was the principle of pay now, play later. For everything in life, you pay a price. You choose whether you will pay it on the front end or the back end. If you pay first, then you will enjoy greater rewards in the end – and those rewards taste sweeter.

Dream big

It doesn’t pay to dream small. Robert J. Kriegel and Louis Patler, authors of If It Ain’t Broke, Break It, assert, “We don’t have a clue as to what people’s limits are. All the tests, stopwatches, and finish lines in the world can’t measure human potential. When someone is pursuing their dream, they’ll go far beyond what seems to be their limitations. The potential that exists within us is limitless and largely untapped. When you think of limits, you create them.”

Plan your priorities

One thing that all successful people have in common is that they have mastered the ability to manage their time. First and foremost, they have organized themselves. Henry Kaiser, founder of Kaiser Aluminum and Kaiser Permanente Health Care, says, “Every minute spend in planning will save you two in execution.” You never regain lost time, so make the most of every moment.

Give up to go up

Nothing of value comes without sacrifice. Life is filled with critical moments when you will have the opportunity to trade one thing you value for another. Keep your eyes open for such moments – and always be sure to trade up, not down.

In conclusion …

If you dedicate yourself to these seven steps, then you will keep improving – and you will be successful. Your growth may not be obvious to other all at once, but you will see your progress almost immediately. And though recognition from others may come slowly, don’t lose heart. Keep working at it. You will succeed in the end.