10 Ways To Get The Life You Want

Do you know anyone who was hopeless at school, but went on to become successful? It often happens and you wonder how an underachiever did so well in life.

Take Richard Branson as an example. He left school aged 16, having only passed one exam. I’m not sure how many he took, but most British school kids take about eight exams at that age. Yet even though he was dyslexic, and an academic failure, Branson went on to set up the Virgin Group. His global string of airlines, record companies, music shops and a mobile phone company have netted him an estimated US$2.5 billion dollars so far.

No matter what you think of Richard Branson’s bouffant hairdo and his publicity stunts, as a role model for success he’s hard to beat.

The Key To Achieving Your Goals

So how did Branson succeed? Well, he’s probably got ‘grit’. Psychologists describe ‘grit’ as being able to stick to a job and keep at it for a long period of time despite setbacks. They’ve found that having grit is more useful when it comes to achieving your goals than intelligence.

Angela Duckworth, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, had been studying the importance of grit. Her studies show that the ability to stick with something, and persevere at it, will make a greater contribution to it than having a high IQ.

Quite simply, to get what you want out of life, and achieve your goals, you need to persevere. Persevering isn’t enough by itself though, you also have to keep our long term goals in mind.

10 Ways to Get What You Want Out Of Life

  1. Set your goal and focus on it 100%
    First you need to work out what you really want to get out of life. If you know what your dreams are, then you can set goals and start working towards them. See How To Work Our What Your Dream Is if you’re having trouble with this.
  2. Be ambitious and believe in yourself
    Confidence has been an issue for me. I always knew I wanted to be a writer but was advised not to become one because it’s “too competitive”. In reality, there’s plenty of room for more writers, actors, business people, or whatever you dream of being. If you want something enough, and believe you can achieve it, then you’ll find a niche for yourself in that field.
    Top Tip – If a lack of confidence is holding you back, try picking a short mantra that sums up what you want to be or do. For example, happy mum, successful writer, top entrepreneur. Now make that your password so every time you log onto your computer, or your favorite websites, you reinforce your goals.
  3. Understand that you will need to stay focused for years to achieve your dreams
    I think we all know that success doesn’t happen overnight, but by working towards the same goal consistently over a long period of time you’ll succeed in the long run. Let’s take my goal of writing a book. It’s a long term project. So far, over the course of a year, I’ve spent about three months writing my book and another three months editing it. I know that if I really want it to be published, I’ll have to spend another three months finding an agent, and probably the same amount of time revising the book according to my agent’s recommendations. If I stop focusing on my goal it won”t happen, it’s as simple as that.
  4. Be prepared to work hard
    It’s fun to dream that we’ll win the lottery, or that an agent will discover us at the airport and propel us to a success in a glittering Hollywood career. I’ve spend a fair amount of time fantasizing about this kind of thing, and it never got me anywhere. I’ve noticed that most people whose are described as “overnight successes” deny it and say they spent many long years practicing their art and networking in their field. If you want to achieve your dreams, you’ll have to work hard as well.
  5. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by new ideas that pop up
    If you get bored easily this is something to look out for. Allow yourself time to think and be creative, but keep coming back to your main goals and focus on them first. When you’ve achieved that, you can always concentrate on other things next.
  6. Don’t get discouraged by setbacks: learn a lesson and get back to your goal
    There will always be set backs. I seem to have them most days! But I just moan about it for a few minutes or allow myself to feel angry, annoyed or upset briefly, then I channel that emotion into getting on with achieving my goal. It takes practice to develop a thick skin, and stop taking setbacks personally, but getting over them is vital.
  7. Finish your projects
    Starting new projects is good ~ finishing them is better. You need closure which will then allow you to move on from one project to another. Don’t get stuck in a cycle of starting new things but not finishing them.
  8. Congratulate yourself on your successes along the way
    It’s important to stay motivated and recognizing your successes is vital. Because your goals are long term you need to acknowledge each small success you make on the way to it. To stay motivated try using Twitter, it worked for me, or hook up with a like-minded people and harness the power of co-motivation.
  9. Look forward to having achieved your goals
    Can you imagine what it will be like when you’ve achieved your goals and are living your dream? Start thinking about it, but only if you understand that you’re going to get there because of your own hard work, not because a fairy god-mother waved her wand and made all your wishes come true.
  10. Know what your weaknesses are so that you can be ready to tackle them
    For example, I know I’m easily distracted so I have to focus extra hard on my goals. I’m sensitive too, but I’ve learnt not take set backs personally, to carry on working towards achieving my goals, no matter what. I’m also forcing myself to be more ambitious, even though some part of me thinks it’s selfish. If I’m not ambitious, I’ll lack the drive to follow through on my intentions. Can you see what your weaknesses are and come up with a plan to counter them?

I Can, You Can, Toucan

I hope this article will inspire you to persevere and keep working towards your goals. I’m enjoying learning more about how we can get what we want out of life. It’s great to find scientific proof for things that I already knew instinctively, or have learned by trial and error.

Most of all, I’m happy to share what I’ve learned about how to make life dreams come true with my readers and get your feedback. It’s great to be surrounded by people who also want to make their lives the best they can be, and work towards living my next dream with a team of informed and optimistic people on board.

I wish you lots of luck and even more grit. Let’s agree that we’ll never give up!

Thanks for reading

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More Personal Development Ideas

>> 10 Things To Be Grateful For and Why You Should Be
>> 3 Keys To Living Our Dream
>> Changing Crappiness Into Happiness
>> Follow Your Dream, You Only Live Once

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  1. Jackson Beale August 26, 2009 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    Some people are born great, some become great and others have greatness thrust upon them…….

    Now 30, I’m pretty certain of the category I will fall under. Unless the Magic lotto numbers do appear!

    I went to see Richard Florida talk when he was in Noosa and he said something interesting about the business world. He said, “Nobody takes you seriously until you’ve had at least one failure.” I liked that! Liked it a lot.

  2. Annabel Candy August 26, 2009 at 8:36 pm - Reply

    Good, people might be sitting up and taking notice of me very soon then:) Not sure which category you fall into though. Born great probably!

  3. Walter August 27, 2009 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    Reading this post encourages me once again to pursue my goals. What you have stated above are the formulas for success. It’s not easy though, but for one to achieve, he/she must face the challenges. :-)

    • Annabel Candy August 30, 2009 at 4:59 pm - Reply

      Walter – Thanks for the comment! I like the idea of it being a formula for success. Hopefully if people realize what’s involved they’ll be prepared for the long and twisty journey instead of giving up the first time a problem crops up or when they still haven’t achieved their goals after six months. I love a challenge so that’s a great way to look at it for me.

  4. Hilary August 28, 2009 at 2:02 am - Reply

    Hi Annabel .. be committed, be positive and never give up .. one step at a time – don’t be naysayed, just keep going – follow your dreams.

    Thanks – Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

  5. Annabel Candy August 28, 2009 at 11:20 am - Reply

    Walter – definitely not easy and I write as much for myself as for my readers. I hope that we can all stay on track together. I know it’ll be worth it in the end.
    Hilary – Here here!

  6. Joyce August 29, 2009 at 11:28 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this post. It is just what I needed to read. I have so many goals I want to achieve, that I can’t seem to get a grip on any one thing. My thoughts and ideas on these projects really don’t mean anything unless I follow through. So, starting today, I’m picking one. Focus and getting started. I have no patience and that’s part of my downfall, too. Thanks again!

    • Annabel Candy August 30, 2009 at 4:23 pm - Reply

      Joyce – Great to hear that you have recognized two of your weak spots and worked out ways to deal with them. Please know that you’re not the only one who struggles with these things. I know what you’re going through and I think many other readers will be able to relate to it too. I really hope that the articles I write and being in touch with a group of like-minded people through this website will help. Congratulations on having worked out a strategy for getting what you want. That’s a huge step in the right direction. Thanks for reading and keep up the good work!

  7. CoralM September 3, 2009 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    Thanks for another great post Annabel. Thinking about copying this one too..ha ha! I agree that you must persevere to get the life you want. Stay focused and never, ever give up.

  8. Annabel Candy September 4, 2009 at 10:36 am - Reply

    I’m working on motivating myself and other people at the same time. I researched these points from reading Angela Duckworth’s research and them made them into a list anyone could follow. I hope it works for all of us. Great to know that perseverance will lead to success as it’s something anyone can do it they set their mind to it.

  9. teresa November 12, 2009 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    It’s like you’re trying to tell me something hahaha This IS all for me right? ;)

  10. scheng1 November 13, 2009 at 11:25 pm - Reply

    Sometimes it’s ok to quit halfway, when it’s stupid to continue. That is the lesson i learnt from stock market investment. It’s ok to cut loss rather than hang on when the stock market is clearly going downhill.

  11. Annabel Candy March 15, 2010 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    Scheng1 – You have a great point there. Yes, sometimes we really do have to cut our losses and the sooner the better.

  12. » Free Birthday Gifts From a Fast-Growing Blog  Self Improvement and Personal Development: Get In the Hot Spot March 23, 2010 at 10:51 am - Reply

    […] a writer’s rite of passage) but I took heart from what I’d written about having grit and kept on trying until I succeded. It […]

  13. Summer April 16, 2010 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    Hi Annabell, love reading your blog! Glad things are going well for your family. I’m back in California, surfing cold waves. I remember your children fondly. Tell them their old surf teacher says hi!

  14. Stacyann Forrester April 20, 2010 at 11:39 am - Reply

    Hi Annabel,

    Thank you for sending me this post. It was exactly what I needed to read this weekend.

  15. Funny Search Engine Terms May 16, 2010 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    […] heads must be practically bursting with information on things like how to be grateful, feel happy, get the life you want and meet more people. Now it’s time relax and have a bit of […]

  16. […] Never give up – read my article on the importance of having grit for scientific proof that perseverance pays off. […]

  17. Bangalow Accommodation August 23, 2010 at 6:11 pm - Reply

    A clear and concise blog post, thanks so much Annabel. Love the motivation and support you are so willing to share online. You are an inspiration to me :)

  18. Miss Footloose November 16, 2010 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    One simple, fun tool that has worked for me is making a picure collage on poster board. Use pictures cut from magazine that inspire you about your goal, represent a visual part of your goal, or have anything at all to do with your goal or the journey it takes to get there. You don’t need to be an artist, just have fun with it, use felt tip pens to add words or slogans that inspire you. Frame it in a poster frame and hang it where you see it often.

  19. Riley Harrison January 18, 2011 at 9:30 am - Reply

    Hi Annabel,
    My mantra that I write about, teach and strive to live by is that we ALL have a lot of unrealized potential and key to the to happiness, success, etc is realizing that potential. Your post and more importantly your life exemplifies
    what I’m talking about. Thanks for a great post.


  20. Sam June 4, 2011 at 2:18 am - Reply

    I Agree with you today, I will never give up.
    Thinking about achieving my goals and getting to where I dream of being in the future every day keeps me motivated.
    Thanks for sharing this insight.

  21. prem tolani October 23, 2011 at 3:44 pm - Reply


    Nice stuff !! I appreciate it and very true also.


  22. Raul December 16, 2011 at 1:09 am - Reply

    I am Raul Losoha. I was borned in Africa . And one of the things that hold us back here is the time management issue . We don’t value time . I have many things in mind right now .Many projects ahead. I never take my time and sit down and thing on how to organize myself . I never get to the end while reading even a book. I never rivised it and stay in a quiet place and pick up the message . But today , as an African ,I got to the end of this article ,I revised it and I digested it very well . Grit was the secret word I was looking for . I think I will succeed in any project I will undergo . Bisides I must get to the end of my Btech in Information Technology . I will not stop and i will organize myself and value time .
    I do not have words to say thanks to those words you use here but one thing I am asure of is that you have given sense to my life . I was lost and I have found myself again.
    Raul Losoha

  23. Interview with Annabel Candy March 1, 2012 at 1:01 am - Reply

    […] am very stubborn:) I wrote a great blog post about how to get the life you want (https://www.getinthehotspot.com/10-ways-to-get-the-life-you-want/) after I discovered that tenacity and perseverance are more important than intelligence or innate […]

  24. Janet Bassey July 13, 2012 at 8:30 pm - Reply

    wonderful life-changing words…. Just what i need to read…thanks anna…

  25. Monique Jaquess December 22, 2012 at 1:32 am - Reply

    I’m developing a website site and I was thinking of switching the template.Yours looks pretty decent! You could visit my site and tell me your viewpoint!

  26. jaco March 7, 2013 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    Wow. I came across this page by accident.I have to say, it reinforced me wanting to live my dream as a pshycologist even more, even though, I have let to believe through others telling me otherwise. Thank you, and hope to see another inspirational posting soon.


  27. osho April 2, 2013 at 8:40 pm - Reply

    Thnx a lot anna, need to pass med school exams,and pretty much distracted,I’m 18 dunno wat I wud do…

  28. chris miller July 18, 2013 at 5:46 am - Reply

    Hello there, I believe your website might be having web browser compatibility issues.
    Whenever I take a look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping issues.
    I simply wanted to provide you with a quick heads up!
    Apart from that, great blog!

  29. Martha February 18, 2015 at 4:34 pm - Reply

    thanks alot and may God bless you with abundance of good ideas, this is very much inspiring. .

  30. Hari November 3, 2015 at 3:51 am - Reply

    Annabel, what do you do when you picture a dream everyday and finally when the day comes, it doesn’t come true? I have had many instances where I have dreamt of how I would be after achieving that particular goal, but it has rarely become true and even if it’s true, it’s not always according to plan. For example, I dreamt of how happy I would be after winning a quiz, even before the selections, and I did not get selected. How do I deal with such disappointments?

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