Gain pleasure. Avoid pain. That’s pretty much what we’re wired for. But is there more to life? Will Edwards considered the question and realized that there is. He realized that we need to wake up to our life purpose and dedicate ourselves to fulfilling it. That’s the only way we’ll live to the full. In 7 Keys to Success, he discusses what it takes to do just that:
Most of us simply exist from one day to the next instead of really living. “To succeed, you must have a dream… and you must completely commit yourself to its ultimate fulfillment,” Edwards writes. The dream can be as big as you want as long as it’s your dream and not someone else’s.
2. An Open Mind
Once you’ve committed yourself to achieving your dream, the world will start helping you achieve it. But this only happens if your mind is open to see and experience this: “When you carry your own dream within, you too will be able to touch the hearts and minds of the people around you in much the same way; and it is a truly wonderful and uplifting experience when you find out for yourself that the universe does indeed help you to achieve your goal.”
We can achieve even the biggest goals as long as we keep the end in mind and keep taking action to get there. No matter how tough things were in the past or our much we struggle in the present, persistence gives us power: “When you meet an obstacle, as you inevitably will, persistence determines what you will do; whether you will give up or keep going. Persistence is what gets you back on your feet, dusted down and ready to go again.”
If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve got. The only way to get different results is to change the approach from what isn’t working to what is. That’s where flexibility comes in: “Whilst persistence is an important quality, persistence without flexibility can indeed be futile because, without some flexibility in your approach, you could end up trying to move an immovable object for the rest of your life.”
Instead of pursuing their big dreams, most people settle for less. Somewhere along the line they were convinced by the world that following their passion wasn’t possible. And now they’re on a mission to discourage you too: “That’s why you need faith – a deep-down belief that, regardless of the evidence, you are going to make it! You are going to achieve what you have set out to accomplish. You are going to make a difference in this life.”
“Thankfulness is fundamentally related to positivity and negativity,” Edwards explains. “It is so much easier to be positive about your life and the things that are going on in it right now when you are grateful.” If you’re reading this, you’ve definitely got a number of things to be thankful for. By constantly reflecting on them (perhaps in a gratitude journal), you become a more cheerful person, which makes other people more likely to support you and your efforts.
In the past, many people were too busy making a living to spend much time pursuing ‘higher needs’. But with all the opportunities of modern life, we can and should go further: “Deep within your heart, there is a desire, the pursuit of which will bring you all the happiness, success and fulfillment you really want. To find your passion is to identify your own unique purpose in life… You can achieve whatever you want. You can be the person you were meant to be; and you can really live the life of your dreams. Those are bold statements but they are true; and more and more people are discovering this wonderful truth for themselves.” Isn’t it about time you discovered it too?
The principles in this book are not remarkably new and the dictionary definitions at the start of every section seem a little out of place. The tendency for the points to spill into each other was also a little distracting. But the inspiring stories in every section were a nice touch.
In any case, it’s always good to be reminded that life can be whatever we want it to be: “Do not make the mistake of believing that life holds no purpose for you. Remember that you are here only once. This is your life – right now! So make sure you live the life you were born to live.”
Eugene Yiga is a personal development writer and consultant. He’s on a quest to read the 100 greatest books of all time before he turns 30 and shares his love for reading by publishing book reviews every week at eugeneyiga.com. He also gives away free stuff without making you join his mailing list. Follow Eugene on Twitter for instant updates and alerts.