It’s great to be back after a while away from blogging. In that time, I went from continuing to battle my patterns of self-sabotage to finally working through them and having my hard work and commitment to improving my life pay off in a big way: I signed a book deal with Rowman & Littlefield Publishing!

My story is a long one, and I’ve studied literally hundreds of successful people over the last fifteen years, so the success I’m now enjoying didn’t happen overnight, as it usually never does.

Today I want to give you three life-changing keys to success that will make a huge difference in your life when you practice them day in and day out, like they have for me (and I’m just getting started as a published author, keynote speaker and entrepreneur with nearly 200,000 Twitter followers and a rapidly-growing online presence):

Clarity Is A Must, Not An Option

Knowing what you want in any area of life is necessary if you’re going to go about working toward it. As I bring you more and more tools, tips and lessons for success in life, you’ll see me put my money where my mouth is to show you that I’ve lived this stuff, going from great times to tragic ones and back again. Here’s a great example with clarity in mind:

Back in 2003, I wanted to be what we call a “motivational speaker,” a person who shares their story of overcoming some harsh challenges and the lessons that drove them to ultimate success. The issue I had, however, was that I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to speak about. I had several ideas racing through my head, but the anxiety over self-doubt and too many ideas at once quickly became exhausting, and I never took the necessary action to make that goal become a reality. That’s a general example, but you get the point: you need to laser-in and write down your exact plan of action, from the idea to the execution of it, leaving no stone un-turned detail-wise.

With that said, none of us ever know exactly how things will work out, which brings us to the next key for success:

Adapt and Be Flexible As You Grow

This is huge. HUGE. I say it (as always) from personal experience. Being too rigid in your approach only causes toxic stress and anxiety that can quickly hinder your efforts. Life doesn’t go exactly how we want it to, so we need to be driven and passionate, but flexible in how we get to our goals along the way. This can be very hard for people to remember, especially if perfectionism is high on your list of personality traits.

The great news is that this can be worked on. You guessed it – I did that, too. I’m still doing it, actually. Life isn’t about some “destination,” after all. It’s all about who we become along the way that counts the most, and any level of progress makes us happy, regardless of where you might be at today.

Just keep going! Keep reading, learning, taking notes and action toward your goals each day, and you’ll see those daily actions add up! Even ten minutes of positive reinforcement at the start of your day can literally change your life. I’ll share some of the best tips on daily patterns that have brought me to success in my own life in a future blog post, so stay tuned.

Your Focus Determines Your Future

I’ll keep this one short and sweet: Science (and tons of human examples) show us that how we feel inside has a massive impact on how we see the world around us, resulting in much of what we experience in life. I’m going to go deep into this subject in the future, showing you exactly why you need to train yourself to focus on empowerment, meaning and purpose that inspires you. It gets easier the more you “build the muscle,” and this single tool has literally changed my life, even preventing me from committing suicide in 2011, not long after my Brother Ryan Emmerson.

If you want to be successful (which you do if you’re reading this), get used to the idea of demanding better thoughts and things to focus on in life. Remember: If you look for reasons to feel sad, angry or depressed, you will. If you want reasons to believe that the world is a beautiful place that’s full of opportunity, you find a ton of them. Which type of thinking do you think brings a deeper sense of fulfillment and success in your career and personal life?

Stay tuned for much more on success, personal happiness and fulfillment!