Robin Sharma is best known for his best-selling book, “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari”. He formerly was a lawyer but walked away from his legal career and age 25 due to dissatisfaction with his life, and then went on to self-publish a couple of books including Mega Living. His best-selling book, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari was picked up by HarperCollins and this eventually shot him to stardom.
Robin Sharma then became an international speaker and has spoken to multi-national companies including Nike, Microsoft, HP, and more. He is the founder of Sharma Leadership International and today, he is considered one of the most influential leadership gurus in the world.
Sharma’s success and his work are deemed as legendary and he has touched and inspired millions of lives around the globe. In this article, you will learn his top 10 success principles and how you can apply these principles in your life and be successful as well.
1. Execution of Your Ideas
Most people talk about their great ideas, but few execute on them. The first principle of success you are going to learn from Robin Sharma is the execution of your ideas is more important than having the ideas.
No idea is going to work until you first put in the work. The idea itself is just a form of potential knowledge until you act on it, nothing will happen. If you want to be successful, make sure you work on your ideas and your dreams. A lot of people ask why they are not producing the success result they want in life, and even more people wonder why they are not rich. The reason is simple, they did not execute their ideas. They have a dream, whether it is to become rich or be successful in life, but all they do is to dream about their dreams. They are not willing to take the action.
Sharma said one thing that makes successful people great is that they are willing to sacrifice and work on their dreams. They are willing to act and take action. When there is no action, there will be no result. You must be willing to sacrifice and work for what you desire. The word “extraordinary” says it well, you must be willing to do the “extra” in order to become “extraordinary”.
The majority of people dream about what they want out of their life before they go to sleep at night, but only the minority who wakes up the next day and who work on their dreams are the ones who will be successful.
2. Become Legendary
Robin Sharma always said, “Nothing fails like success”. And what this means is that when you are on your road to success, remember that you have to do even better to maintain your results. It is true that becoming successful is difficult, but staying at the top and maintaining your success is even more challenging. And Sharma encourages people to go one step further and never stay comfortable. You have to aim to become legendary.
In today’s world, it is getting easier to become a celebrity. With the presence of numerous platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, anyone from around the world can shoot themselves to instant fame by uploading and sharing something on the internet. The challenge now is whether you can sustain your success and maintain your results. Don’t just aim for short-term success, go for legendary.
While it is true that creating a piece of great art is difficult, but becoming Van Gogh is even more difficult. And you have to play the game to become legendary. Don’t just aim for creating a piece of great art, aim to become like Van Gogh. No matter what industry you are in right now, learn to become a legendary figure in your field.
When you are successful, go one step further. As you become more successful, become even more punctual, work even harder, read even more books, and so on. If you used to wake up at 5am, once you have achieved great results, go one step further and wake up at 4am to become the icon in your field.
3. Create a One-Page Plan
When you fail to plan, you plan to fail. You need to have a plan if you want to produce outstanding results in your life because a plan is what gives you sense clarity and it allows you to focus on what truly matters in life. Unsuccessful people waste too much time on TV, chit-chat, social media, playing games, while successful people use those time working on their dreams and moving forward in life. This is simply because successful people are clear about their goals and what they want because they have a plan and they know what their schedule.
Robin Sharma suggested his students create a one-page plan and then review the plan every morning to get a head start. Write down your top five goals into your one-page plan, write down the sub-goals, and you can also include your top five values in it.
The key is to gain clarity on your life and know what you need to do and accomplish each day, each week, each month, each quarter, and even each year. When you are absolutely clear with what you want to achieve in your life, you will be more productive than most people and you will be able to work on your targets to produce the results you want.
4. Embrace Failure
In life, most people are afraid to fail. One of the reasons is because the society has conditioned people to link failure with something bad. To the majority, when you fail, it simply means that you are doing something wrong and this is not a good thing. However, highly successful people do not look at failure as failure. They look at failure as something that they can learn from. They treat failures as stepping stones to success. And this is what you must do too.
You must embrace failure and accept it. It is alright to fail because without failure you will never learn. When you look at how a baby learns to walk, you will see that the baby will fail in many attempt to stand up and to balance herself. Will you try to stop the baby from walking because she fails a couple of times? No, you will not do that. Instead, you will encourage the baby and try to teach her the right way to walk. And this is how you should approach failures in every other area in your life too.
Michael Jordan has a great quote, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Elon Musk blew up rockets at launch pad before he succeeds in landing one perfectly. Steve Jobs was fired from the company that he started, but that did not deter his entrepreneurial spirit. Eventually, he got back to Apple and built legendary products that revolutionized the whole industry. So embrace failure and transform it into feedback to go higher in your life.
5. Raise Your Standards
Robin Sharma often uses the term “BIW”, which means “Best In World”. And he said if you want to be the BIW, you must raise your standards. No matter what you do, you must raise your standards in every facet of your life. Raise your standard in your relationship. Raise your standard in the way you work. Raise your standard in your health and exercise more regularly.
The problem comes when people face challenges from other people who are trying to laugh or mock at their dreams. And according to Sharma, when people tell you that your dream is impossible, you should feel proud because it means that you are on the right path to achieving something extraordinary. Even when the people around you did not support you in what you do, you must continue to raise your standards and ignore the naysayer.
When Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted to be a bodybuilder, people laughed at him and told him that it is impossible for him to do. He ignored the naysayer and proved them wrong. When he ventured into the movie industry and wanted to be a movie star, people told him that his name is too difficult to pronounce and his body is too huge, but he ignored the naysayers and worked on his dream. Today, Arnold was a famous Hollywood actor, a successful bodybuilder that won numerous Mr. Olympia titles and also produced great results in his political career.
So ignore what others tell you about your dreams and raise your standards to become the person worthy of success.
6. Boost Your Enthusiasm
When you look at all the highly successful people who appeared on TV, you will notice a big difference between these people and the ordinary people you face in life each day. And the difference is their level of enthusiasm. Extraordinary people are enthusiastic about their lives and with what they do. They are passionate to talk about their visions and their work. On the other hand, unsuccessful people hate talking about their work. They choose to complain rather than feeling passionate about their work.
The founder of Apple, the late Steve Jobs once said that passion is the key to success. This is because without passion, you will give up when you hit with a roadblock or face some difficulties on your path. And this is what separates the successful and the unsuccessful. Successful people are so passionate that they are willing to continue to work on their dreams even when they fail or when they are not producing the results they want. Conversely, people who are not passionate will choose to give up when they face problems or when they don’t get the results they want.
Therefore, boost your level of enthusiasm and become passionate about what you do. Live with passion and make your life spectacular every day when you wake up. Your enthusiasm will determine your level of commitment, and your level of commitment will determine your level of success. Hence, become outrageously enthusiastic about your life and what you do.
7. Learn to Serve
One success principle Robin Sharma always shared is to be an instrument of service. Sharma’s father is a doctor and he still goes to work even at the age of 77. And when Sharma asked his father why he continues to work when he can retire comfortably, he told Sharma, “My patients need me.” And this is what planted the character to serve in Sharma.
If you want to be successful in what you do, you must learn to serve. Most people let their ego-self to take control of their lives. They have been conditioned by the society to think that when they own a Ferrari or when they live in a big castle by the cliff or when they have millions of dollars in the bank, they are considered successful and they will live a life full of joy. This is often not true at all. Sharma said that his deepest sense of satisfaction and greatest joy come not from the outer results he achieved, but it is from his inner power.
This is why becoming an instrument of service is important. When you serve your clients, your colleagues, your team, your parents, your children, your spouse, your friends, and the world better, you will gain the sense of inner power that will give you sustained happiness and energy to go on.
Robin Sharma said these words during an interview, “At the end of the day, we are a bunch of people on a little planet on a huge galaxy and before you know it, we will become a bunch of dust. A great billionaire can be buried next to a taxi driver or a pizza maker and we are not that big a deal. All that really matters is why we are alive and to do your best to serve the world better.”
8. Small Wins Matter
Success is not a revolution, but an evolution. And this means that success is what you do every single day. It is about accomplishing the small tasks that will lead you to a bigger success down the road. It is not about doing the big things. Sharma says, “What you do each day is more important than what you do once in a decade.”
Often times, people neglected the importance of doing the small things. Most people have the wrong perception and thought that success is huge and it is something big that comes once in a while. Of course, this is not true. Success is about doing the small things and building the habits that will lead you to the path of the extraordinary.
Small and steady win the race. What you do right now will determine your success later in your life. And all you need to focus on right now is to do your best and take the right action, and the rest of your life will take care of itself. The little win you achieve by choosing to work on your dream and sacrifice watching TV will set you up for another win the next day. When you choose to wake up early to pursue your goal, this little win will build your momentum and drive you throughout your day. Small wins matter.
Take a look at all the big companies that earn billions of dollars annually, you will discover that these companies do not evolve and become where they are in a single day. People did not achieve great success from making a single decision or taking a single action. People become successful when they build the small wins consistently, day in and day out, and the small results will accumulate and eventually, become enormous. This is how you achieve success in life.
9. Apply the 20/20/20 Formula
Robin Sharma has a powerful technique called the 20/20/20 formula to help unleash your inner greatness to achieve outstanding results each day. Most people get up in the morning, they go into their regular routine and run their day by default. They chase the day, feeling stressed, let life acts on them rather than taking control of their lives, and so on. This is not a great way to success because you are living each day in the reactive mode.
The 20/20/20 formula shared by Sharma can be associated with the quote, “The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in combat.” And this technique suggests you wake up an hour earlier each day. This is what Sharma called the “5am Club”. When you wake up at 5am, you use the first 20 minutes with intense exercise. When you exercise and sweat, your brain will release dopamine that will make you feel good. Besides that, exercise can relieve your stress and make you happy.
After that, you use the next 20 minutes to plan and schedule your day. Remember your one-page plan? You can review it and write down what you need to get done. Clarity is power. As for the next 20 minutes, use it for learning and improving yourself. You can read books, go through audio programs or watch an educational video on YouTube. Whatever you do, you must make sure you are learning and improving yourself each day.
When you apply this technique and use it every day, you will have a jumpstart and get ahead of most ordinary people. So apply the 20/20/20 formula to your life starting from tomorrow onward.
10. Stop Making Excuses
One of the most important success principles one must acquire is to stop making excuses. When you make excuses, you will never be able to produce the results you desire. When Nelson Mandela, the man who brought South Africa to independence was jailed for 27 years, he did not blame the world or make any excuse for the incident. Rather, he learned to use this experience to his advantage and became one of the greatest leaders in the world. Most people will blame their circumstances and give lousy excuses as to why they cannot succeed. Successful people will never do that.
Every adversity, setback, failure, and challenge you face in life can be your greatest opportunity if you choose to stop making the excuse and treat them as stepping stones to success. When you blame or make excuses, you are directly giving away the power to control and to change the situation.
Imagine if you fail your exam in school and you blame the teacher for not teaching you correctly, what can you do to improve the situation? Well, the answer is obvious, nothing, because you are giving excuse and saying that your teacher is the one who causes your failure. In this situation, there is nothing you can do about it because your teacher is in control.
Now, what happens if you choose to stop the blame and instead, take the responsibility and tell yourself that it is because you did not study hard and that is why you fail the exam? Things will be completely different. Here, you put yourself in the position of power by taking the responsibility. So what can you do if you want to pass the exam the next time? Study hard and put in more effort. When you take full responsibility for what happened, you are in control and thus, you have the power to change the situation for the better.
This does not only happen in exams or in school, it is in every area of your life. Therefore, stop making excuses and begin taking full responsibility for your life. And when you do that, you possess the power to change and make things better.
These are the top 10 success principles from Robin Sharma. So which principle do you find the most interesting and life-changing? You do not have to apply all these principles into your life all at once. Try to apply and handle one at a time. Remember, small wins matter.