The below pictures are my two of my favourites. The first is in 2017 on the day I graduated with my law degree and the second is in 2019 the day after I found out the law firm I work at had given me a training contract to become a solicitor! They are two of achievements that I am most proud of and in my view, are both showcases of my personal success.
Everyone has a different definition of success, whether that be buying a house, becoming a mother, buying a super cool car or getting a dream job. My definition of success for a number of years since being a teenager has been to become a qualified solicitor. Here are my top tips to be successful in anything you do.
Disclaimer: I am by no means professing that everything listed below will guarantee success in your life but are things I simply think will help you on your way.
Remember that life is made up of a lots of small successes
It is so easy to set a big arse goal and get frustrated when you don’t achieve it straight away or its taking too long to get to. For every big success, make smaller goals that are personally rewarding and act as stepping stones for your big success. In the context of becoming a qualified solicitor (the big success), my stepping stones were (i) going to university, (ii) graduating with a law degree, (iii) getting my first job in a city law firm, (iv) starting the legal practice course and (v) getting my training contract. Every time I achieved those stepping stones, I made sure to get my heels on and go for a big old cocktail and meal out at my favourite restaurants or buy myself a little present. Set yourself clear and realistic goals and make sure to show yourself some appreciation when you achieve them. That will make the long old road seem a little bit easier.
Information is key
One of my favourite sayings that I have been told is “perfect planning prevents piss poor performance”. Gather as much information as you possibly can be setting out on your endeavours or making any big decisions. If you have a job interview, remember you don’t have to commit to anything until you’ve taken the job. If you’re going on a trip abroad, look up the different places to go to and make a plan. If you’re starting a new career path, research research research and know your options. All information is good information as it will help you formulate your ideas and plans and shape those into success.
No pain, no gain
Nothing in this worlds comes for free. You will get out what you put in. I really realised that when sitting my A levels – I really flopped in the first year because I just wasn’t focused and didn’t put in the maximum effort. It wasn’t until I realised that I might not achieve my goal of going to university that I really decided to go for it. That wasn’t easy and I spent months exhausting myself, trying to teach myself new topics, religiously mind mapping textbooks, looking at mark schemes to identify what I needed to do to get the grades I needed. I really believe that if you put your mind to anything and are ready to take the rough with the smooth, you will have a higher chance of being successful.
Negatives can be positive
No one is perfect and there will always be negative parts of whatever journey you’re on. You will fail exams, you won’t pass your driving test the first time, a holiday plan might fall apart or someone might simply tell you no. Rejection, failed exams and negativity can be used as motivation. If you don’t do it the first time, brush yourself off and try again. Practice makes perfect and learn from your mistakes.
Throughout life, you will experience people pulling you in many different directions and their needs and wishes will sometimes appear paramount to yours. It can be as simple as your friends begging you to go out and you have an exam to revise or an essay to write. For me, it was going to university. I was the only one in my friendship group moving away and I had just met my other half. It was a big decision for me to go in the other direction and spend three years doing what I needed to do to get where I wanted to go. Remember, it is not a bad thing to sometimes be selfish and put yourself and your happiness first. If they care about you, they will understand.
I cannot express this enough. In anything you do, there is absolutely no point in pretending to be something you are not. I believe an element of fake it until you make it can be beneficial in order to adapt to your surroundings. We all naturally change to suit necessity but faking it the whole time will be mentally exhausting and hard to maintain in the long term. I think the best way is to identify your personal strengths and emphasise those. Believe in who you are as a person and people will believe in you and if the situation you’re in isn’t working when you’re being yourself, it’s time to reassess.
I hope that has offered some good advice to help you succeed. Do you have any big goals that you want to achieve? I’d love to hear them!