11 High Powered Achievement Principles

personal achievement principle

1) Define your purpose. You can’t experience a greater sense of achievement without direction. That means that the first step toward an increased level of achievement is to define your intention. What is it that you intend to accomplish? It’s important to be as specific and detailed as possible in this step. The more precise your description is, the easier it will be to take action.

2) Design a plan of action. Think before you act. Lay out a strategy to move you decisively in the direction of your goal. You may not understand everything involved, and you will probably need to make adjustments along the way – but you should still have a well thought out achievement plan before you begin.

3) Believe that you will achieve. Confidence can keep you going when you face challenges and delays. Knowing what you intend to achieve and how you plan to achieve it will build your confidence. Having your exact achievement objective clearly in mind makes it very real. The more real it is, the easier it is to feel confident about achieving your goal.

4) Seek to create value. When we are working to create value for others as well as ourselves, something amazing happens. It causes us to think beyond ourselves and changes the overall energy around our pursuits. There is a “giving” aspect that opens the door for “receiving.” It’s a kind of reciprocal energy exchange sometimes called the Law of Compensation.

5) Enjoy the process. Increasing your sense of achievement is a process that takes time and effort. Generally speaking, the greater the achievement the more time and effort involved. Don’t get so hung up on results that you forget to enjoy yourself along the way. Most of life is spent in the process, it makes sense that we should learn to enjoy it.

6) Take consistent action. Raising your personal sense of achievement involves a series of steps taken in a predetermined direction. The results come from the principle of compounding. Lots of small steps add up over time. To illustrate the power of compounding, I invite you to read: Would You Rather Have A Million Dollars or a Penny? This simple chart really makes the point.

7) Keep your focus. Distraction is the enemy of success, and we live in a world full of distractions. Getting sidetracked is the fastest way to derail your achievement efforts. I’m not suggesting that you focus on just one thing all the time. Just make sure that, when you are taking action toward your goals that you are truly focused. Try Using Applied Focus Sessions to Boost Productivity .

8) Review your progress. No one goes directly from point A to Point Z without making adjustments. Even a 747 needs to make constant adjustments to stay on course. The only way to know when adjustments are needed is to review your progress. Experiences teaches us what works and what doesn’t. Use that experience to stay on course.

9) Associate with positive people. The people around you have an influence on how you think and feel. If you make it a practice to surround yourself with positive, encouraging people, it will motivate you to keep going. When the people around you believe in you, it’s much easier to believe in yourself, especially when progress slows.

10) Lighten up. Even when we are working toward an important goal, it’s a good idea not to get too consumed. We want personal achievement to be fun and emotionally rewarding. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in what we are trying to accomplish that the rest of our life gets way out of balance. So, try not to take yourself too seriously or you won’t have any fun.

11) Never violate your personal ethics. We should all be familiar with our own values and standards. In our hearts we know the difference between right and wrong. If you violate your personal ethics you will undermine your own success as person. Even if you achieve your goal, it will be a hollow victory. Stay true to your standards.

How do you feel about these achievement principles?
Have an achievement principle of you own to add?
The lines are open!

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  1. maryann September 20, 2009 Reply

    It isn’t an easy task to even brush up against people with negative beliefs. Moreover, it is a challenge just to safely remove oneself and do it quickly. I find that I need to breathe deeply in order to get a double dose of healing oxygen in order to ward off the negativity’s overall effect on my person as well as my day. The load seems to become heavier when I choose to not violate my personal ethics and even at that, I often find myself on that negative person’s black list because of it, too. But oh well. That decision they’ve made, I believe, is on them and not me. They have the right to chose, too. I just wish they’d choose to make a decision that is healthy, not only for them but with the larger picture in mind.

    Then again, when you’re surrounded with alligators, it is difficult to remember that the overall intent and purpose was to drain the swamp, I hear.

    Make it a good one, Jonathan.

    • Jonathan August 14, 2013 Reply

      Hi Maryann, interesting that you said “oh well” because that can be a perfect mindset in the type of situation you described. It actually honors their right to choose and creates an emotional disconnect so their choice doesn’t weigh you down. It’s not a lack of concern, but rather an acknowledgement that you can’t change the situation and there is no point in stressing over it.

  2. Dragos Roua September 20, 2009 Reply

    Simple and effective, that’s what I like. I think my favorite is number 10: lighten up :-) I know I have this thing with involvement, which basically translates to the fact I don’t really know when to stop. Lightening up gets me off this huge effort and let me see the world in much tender colors.

    Thanks :-)

    • Jonathan September 20, 2009 Reply

      Dragos my friend, great to see you here. Been missing you lately, thanks for stopping by.

  3. Vin September 21, 2009 Reply

    These are all excellent principles, Jonathan! They are each indeed very powerful. In combination, I think they are somewhat of a blueprint to finding happiness and fulfillment.

    • Jonathan September 22, 2009 Reply

      Hey Vin, thanks for joining in. I really appreciate your participation and input.

  4. Frank J September 21, 2009 Reply

    Vin – Great comment and I agree with you 100%. In combination it builds a stronger foundation.

    • Jonathan September 22, 2009 Reply

      Hi Frank, appreciate your support.

  5. jonathan fgaro September 21, 2009 Reply

    You bring up Brilliant point Jonathan. Definite of purpose provides a crystal clear image for the mind to bring you what you want specifically. The more precise you are about your goal the more clear the faster they appear.

    • Jonathan September 22, 2009 Reply

      Hey Jonathan, nice to hear from you. The mind loves clarity! If we are vague it doesn’t provide the clear direction that leads to rapid results.

  6. Rocket Bunny September 21, 2009 Reply

    I know what makes me happy and these factors have improved my radar.

    Great article !

    • Jonathan September 25, 2009 Reply

      Hi Bunny, you are always so supportive, I really appreciate it!

  7. Steven Aitchison September 21, 2009 Reply

    Jonathan I loved your last point ‘Never violate your personal ethics.’, I love this topic and it’s one I can relate to, however it’s difficult if we don’t know in our minds what our personal ethics are, on the other hand we should instinctively know them and trust our instincts.

    • Jonathan September 22, 2009 Reply

      Hi Steve, it’s a favorite topic of mine also. With so much input and information overload, many are out of touch with their personal ethics. That’s why I addressed in the very beginning 7 Simple Steps. Internal harmony really hinges on our awareness of these principles.

  8. Stephen September 21, 2009 Reply

    Jonathan, I really like your “simple” article. I read another article just a minute ago on 5 simple ways to have inner peace. That makes 16 fantastic ways to have a great life :-) Well done!

    • Jonathan September 22, 2009 Reply

      Thanks Stephen, it’s been a long time since I just posted a simple list. I must admit, it was fun (and quick). So glad you liked it.

  9. Sibyl Chavis September 21, 2009 Reply

    I think this is a very good post and a great list for anyone looking to successfully accomplish something. The key is of course being able to do each of these steps because they really do work together. I thought one of the most important points you made was to acknowledge that certain parts of the plan may have to change. People are sometimes quick to claim something as a failure if everything doesn’t fall into place the way it was planned. I think that is one of the most common reasons why people abandon their goals and determine they are no longer worth pursuing. They have made an assumption that something is a failure, when in actuality, it is just developing along different lines and perhaps slower than they had hoped. There is something to be said about being able to stay motivated and continually work toward a goal, even when you are encountering obstacles.

    • Jonathan September 22, 2009 Reply

      If we get impatient and jump ahead, it can easily short circuit the process and preventing things from unfolding naturally.

  10. sema September 22, 2009 Reply

    A great post on principles to follow for success.
    I would love to add that we must never give up easily but try try again till we achieve success.

  11. Carla Fiscina September 22, 2009 Reply

    Excellent principles and very useful tips! It is really important to implement all these stages consequently, starting from setting up the goal and planning and ending up with checking out your progress and evaluating of the results. Thank you very much for this great article!

    • Jonathan September 24, 2009 Reply

      Hi Carla, thanks so much for joining the conversation and you are most welcome. I’m glad you liked the post.

  12. revivor September 22, 2009 Reply

    loved the principles – read them twice
    may even impact on my effectiveness!! (you never know)

    • Jonathan August 14, 2013 Reply

      Thanks for the positive feedback Revivor. So glad you liked them.

  13. Chris Akins September 22, 2009 Reply

    Great post. In NLP there is a thing called a Well Formed Outcome, which takes into account a number of your points, including:

    -Defining the goal in great detail
    -Stating your goal as a positive
    -Ensure the goal is “ecological,” or fits your personal values and ethical bounds – in short, make sure it’s “you.”
    -Create a detailed plan for achieving your goal: how do you want to achieve it, and with whom, when, where and in what context.

    As well as some others, such as:
    -Ensuring the goal is under your control to achieve, and if not, taking account of who/what you need to influence to achieve it.
    -Understand the costs and consequences of achieving the goal. It may sound like a great idea… until you realize what achieving the goal may actually mean for you. (“Be careful what you wish for…”)

    The idea is to really define the goal, the means to achieving it, and understand the costs and consequences. By doing so, then really visualizing the goal you are more likely to achieve it.

    I like some of the practical steps you include, such as regular reviews, focus and lightening up as well. These are very necessary once you have actually defined the goal in a well formed outcome.

    Thanks for a great post, Chris

    • Jonathan September 23, 2009 Reply

      Hey Chris, thanks for joining the conversation. NLP is part of my foundation in personal development from many years ago. I really appreciate the points you made and your willingness to share.

  14. John Duffield September 24, 2009 Reply

    Hello Jonathan. Having been around now for so many decades I’ve lost track, I’d like to say that your advice is dead on. Most important, and right up front where it should be is “define your purpose”. But I’d like to share something personal with your readers. For the first forty-five years of my life I simply could not “define my purpose”. I had no idea what to do with my life, and couldn’t figure it out. I had a big-figure job at the top of the totem pole, but couldn’t honestly say I had a clue why I was here. Desperately I wanted to “follow my Bliss”….but no amount of analysis or searching helped me find it. In short, I was stalled at item number one on your list. Then luck, fate, or Divine intervention kicked in, and I discovered why my purpose couldn’t “be defined”. Fixing what was wrong I began skyrocketing ahead in a direction that was right….for me….encountering all your other accurate principles for success along the route. Now I’d like to offer a test your readers can use to know if they’ve “defined their purpose”….so they can benefit from your advice. It’s just a few simple questions. Here it is. Are you absolutely passionate about this purpose you’ve defined? Would you work towards that purpose, even without getting paid for it? Does your purpose feel like a Hurricane at your back, pushing you towards your destiny? If so, use Jonathan’s principles to make your dreams come true. Ciao Jonathan. John Duffield

    • Jonathan September 24, 2009 Reply

      Hi John, let me first say that I really appreciate your well thought out comments. In my search for purpose I learned to really focus on the journey and let my purpose be whatever seems most important at any given time. As we learn, grow, and experience life, our perception of purpose changes. For example, right now I’m doing this, but I have no idea where it will ultimately lead and I am fine with that. To grow and learn seems like the real purpose, but I think we just experience it differently according to our current dominate passion.

  15. Flora Morris Brown, Ph.D. September 24, 2009 Reply

    Thanks for this great list.

    #9 is my favorite. Positive people not only help me stay positive, but they expand on my ideas, offer insights and introduce perspectives I hadn’t considered.

    • Jonathan September 24, 2009 Reply

      Hi Flora, I know you from Awake at the Wheel. It’s a pleasure to welcome you to my blog. I agree that #9 is really important. Thanks for joining us.

  16. Steve October 8, 2009 Reply

    Awesome post, Jonathan. I like the illustration of compound interest applied to consistent daily actions. We too often get distracted from our goals based on our inner thoughts, doubts, or succumbing to adversity by adopting an attitude of discouragement versus faith. Great article!

    • Jonathan October 8, 2009 Reply

      Hi Steve, thanks for your support. We can also get distracted just because there is so much to do, in so many different areas of life, that our focus gets interrupted. For me, it’s a constant effort to not allow the “noise” to grab my attention and distract me from my priorities.

  17. Sandra December 11, 2012 Reply

    Every single one of these is incredibly important! I especially resonate with #4: seek to create value. But every single one is important in different moments and phases of change and accomplishment. These would be perfect as a pin board reminder!

    • Jonathan August 14, 2013 Reply

      Hi Sandra, thank you so much for you support and encouragement. Always appreciated!

  18. Hari Shrestha August 20, 2013 Reply

    Thank you so much for your great idea. I really appreciate you Jonathan. I am regular reader of your articles and they inspire me.

    Hari Shrestha

  19. Nasser August 20, 2013 Reply

    This is really really awesome! I can not image thousands of lessons I have got to learn from your inspirational issues. I am Deaf, but when I read any article from you and your friends, I feel as if talking to my elderly grandfather – he has been a fountain of wisdom to me. Jonathan, your constructive insights have really helped my inner growth right from the moment I left university and into adulthood. As an avid reader and some one yearning for personal grow and progress, you have immensely contributed to my life’s journey in spite of hardships that come along with having a disability. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
    Nasser- Uganda

  20. Pallavi August 21, 2013 Reply

    Thank you, Jonathan. I will try to follow these principles from now onwards. And I hope like earlier times, this time also your advice will help me. Thank you again.

  21. Angelica October 24, 2013 Reply

    This is truly an amazing post, I learned a lot and it really inspired me. Although I like all the steps my personal favorite is number 4 – Seek to create value. To do something meaningful and valuable gives meaning and value to our life also and it is a way to be really happy. Great post, very inspirational :)

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