Has something ever happened in your life that startled you back to reality? Something that made you realize you need to take affirmative action if you want to change the focus or direction in your life?

Wake-up calls are an uncomfortable way to get you on track, by reminding you what it is you want in a given situation. Like achieving success, for example.

Here are ten wake-up calls that may help motivate, perhaps even shock you, into becoming the successful person you want to be.

1. Getting bad advice. You’re probably looking for that hidden gem of wisdom from someone famous, that will propel you to success. Good advice is great, but what should you do when it’s bad? Well, you should listen to it. You don’t have to follow it, but lousy advice may be what propels you to greatness. If someone tells you it can’t be done, that may be all you need to prove that it can.

2. Reading  a book. You could spend your life reading self-help books, which might make you smarter but won’t always help you reach your goals. By all means read, but not always what the experts tell you to read. A few words of wisdom from a profound writer like Dr. Seuss will carry you a long way down the road to success.

3. Finding a willing mentor. Who would want to mentor someone like you? Is that what you’re thinking? Actually, there are many successful people in every area of life, who would be willing to mentor an ambitious soul like you. Problem is;, few are ever asked. Be bold, step out, find someone you admire and ask them to mentor you. Take them out for breakfast or lunch every few weeks, have a list of prepared questions and keep the conversation positive.

4. Changing your viewpoint. Your mind is made up, you know what you want to do and you move recklessly forward. What would happen though, if you put your plans on pause for a moment and looked at the situation from a different angle? Or from a different person’s perspective? You just might have an aha moment, that could change your entire strategy.

5. Embracing the Pareto Principle. The old 80/20 rule has been around forever. It says that 20 percent of your time produces 80 percent of the results. But what exactly does that mean? Are you getting most of your work done in 20% of your day, then squandering the rest of the time on busywork? The point is that most things in life are not divided equally. Allocate your time, energy and resources accordingly.

6. Networking. Attending social gatherings of like-minded people is either a waste of time, or it’s an opportunity to discard more important tasks in favor of socializing in the name of marketing. If that’s what you’re thinking, you may need to adjust your attitude a little bit. Yes, networking can cut into productive work-time, but it allows you the opportunity to meet competitors and suppliers in your industry, or troll for prospective customers. When you have a networking strategy, and then follow it, these events provide the perfect environment.

7. Being an underdog. You may already be a lap behind the leaders in your particular rat race, but that’s not a bad thing. When you’re the underdog, you may not have high expectations for success. Why not? The only way to go is up. Those people in the lead can’t stay there forever, so you may as well be the one to gain ground and eventually take the lead. Don’t count yourself out. It’s never over until the Rubenesque lady croons the last verse.

8. Getting out more. Diligence and dedication pay off and will soon lead to success beyond your wildest dreams, right? Probably not. Working all hours does not guarantee success. Put in an honest and productive day and then go have some fun. Get together with family and friends, pursue a hobby, or experience a little culture. Oddly enough, some of your best ideas will come to you in these moments of relaxation.

9. Identifying with minorities. Does this mean that, by putting yourself in the shoes of an immigrant or refugee, you’ll somehow become a better person? Hardly. But when you experience the plight of someone who may be less comfortable than you, even vicariously, you begin to understand your neighbors a little bit better, and can become empathetic to their challenging circumstances.

10. Becoming vulnerable. Have you noticed how many people say they are more connected than ever before? They’re texting or tweeting or linking up with friends and strangers all day every day. The problem with communicating screen-to-screen is that there is no emotion. Try getting back to dialoguing face-to-face. Chances are, the conversation will be more intimate and vulnerable.

11. Staying uncomfortable. It’s nice to be in a place where everything is going well and life is good. The only problem is that you can become overly complacent in all that tranquility. Enjoy the peace, but only for a moment. Start thinking about the challenges looming over the horizon and prepare yourself to meet them head-on.

We are constantly bombarded with distractions. It’s hard to stay focused and keep your eyes on the prize. Fortunately, these disturbances in the force often lead to a moment of clarity. There’s your wake-up call.

Don’t ever ignore these light-bulb moments. Determine what they mean and how they can help you become successful in achieving your biggest dreams and goals.

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