“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston S. Churchill
Where do you currently stand in relation to success? Is it an elusive dream which seems unattainable? Are you the embodiment of success? There are people who attract success like a magnet and others who couldn’t find success if it was sitting on their front door.
In our quest to learn more about success, it’s essential that we define the term ‘success.’ One man’s success may be another man’s failure. People often compare their success to others. John lives in a beautiful home with an expensive car, holidays four times a year and has a gorgeous wife and family. What they fail to see is the underlying, hidden attributes which make up John’s life. It’s easy to look at another man’s riches as better than yours, without appreciating the other hidden factors.
Jim Rohn, an American entrepreneur, author and speaker suggests we should strive for ‘excellence,’ not success. If one aims for success, is become elusive much like trying to find happiness. If you focus on excellence, success is guaranteed since it’s the by-product of great work and deeds.
Reflect on how you define success? Make a list of how success looks to you. What does it mean to be successful? Acquiring materials possessions? Sustaining fulfilling relationships, connection to a universal source? Or any number of the above points? How will you know when you’re successful?
My definition of success has changed immeasurably over the years. If I was asked to define success during my twenties, it meant being rich and wealthy, working twenty days a year and travelling the world.
Success these days embodies a great deal more. The following are features I consider as worthy of success. They are in no particular order:
- Impacting humanity through my work, helping others make their dreams a reality
- Being healthy in mind body and spirit.
- Spiritually aligned to a higher source
- Enjoy lasting and fulfilling relationships with family, friends and loved ones.
- Being financially free to choose my reality i.e. travel, work and buy things I want.
- Give back to humanity through charitable and/or volunteer work
I know when I’m successful in these areas, as I’ve fulfilled my purpose and destiny. Every day is a blessing, not a chore. Getting up in the morning becomes a joy, not a curse. I’m at peace with myself and my surroundings.
I realised over the years that success does not follow a straight line. There are many detours and roads which lead to success. The detours and dead ends are the lessons learnt in order to become successful. They shape and mould you in the person you become.
A Comparative View
I was having a conversation with my business partner about this topic recently. We were discussing the idea of what it takes to make a million dollars. What mind set is required to become healthy and make a million dollars was also an appealing concept. We agreed in order to make a million dollars, we’d need to step out of our comfort zones and challenge our internal beliefs and attitudes toward money, success and wealth. Where we currently stood in terms of those beliefs remained off the mark.
We explored the notion of health as a comparison view. We observed how easy and effortless it was as health professionals to continually maintain a healthy body and mind. We are regularly inundated by accounts from clients and the public, how challenging it is to lose weight and maintain ones health.
We find it simple, often struggling to identify with those experiencing the opposite. I suggested to my business partner that we need to adopt the same thinking in relation to our health, toward making money. We affirmed there are people who correctly apply the same beliefs to making money as we do toward health.
All we need to do is adopt the same belief right? Wrong! Experience shapes your beliefs and thoughts. What we’ve yet to achieve is the same experience and internal growth as those making a million dollars. That was the difference. Experience and internal growth were the two measurable qualities required for success.
Therefore success is a journey, not a destination. Read that again. “Success is a journey, not a destination.” It’s who you become along the way that determines your success. Those who win the lottery are far worse off a year after their win. Albeit, winning the lottery is not a bad problem to have. People winning it had no experience managing that level of wealth. That’s why it slips out of their hands. They have not created an internal shift around the concept of wealth.
Therefore, the key to success lies not in the destination, as much as the person you become. It’s the endless failures, disappointments, highs and lows that mould you into a person worthy of success.
I’ve experienced moments of wanting to give up during my journey. I wondered why I was striving on very little income, while my friends were making a great deal more. They were enjoying success, while I was barely making ends meet. Such moments are defining stages in one’s life. They serve to show how willing you are to turn your dream into reality.
I’ve grown immensely during those moments, having learnt that I desire my goal more than anything. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to achieve it. If that means reading more books than the next person, working later at night to finish a project or seeking out resources that will accelerate my success; I’m willing to make those sacrifices.
Examine your goal/s. What are you willing to do or be in order to achieve them? If life kept showing you otherwise, are you prepared to push through to make it happen regardless? Your answer/s will demonstrate a lot about the person you are and what internal changes you need to make in order to realise them.