What is Success?
I recently read somewhere that the problem with most self-help programs is the belief that the anyone can succeed, or achieve success if they want it bad enough. Not wanting to take anything at face value or be critical of anyone’s opinion, I decided to search for the truth and discover what is success and if anyone could achieve it. This meant I needed to understand first and foremost what success is. The fundamental issue most people have with achieving success is they don’t understand what it is. This causes most, to lack the confidence necessary to achieve any measure of success. The definition of Success is: the accomplishment of an aim or purpose, the attainment of popularity or profit, a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity. So, any person who sets a goal and achieves that goal is successful. Success is a byproduct of the way we think. When we limit our belief in what we’re capable of achieving we limit the amount of success we can have.
Can anyone achieve success?
To answer this question, I decided to look throughout history and present times to answer this.
Fredrick Douglas- Born into slavery, violence, and separation from his parents; taught himself to read and became the leader of the abolitionist movement and a great orator.
Franklin Roosevelt- the only 4 term President was paralyzed from the waist down by polio before running for office.
We would consider these men successful. There are many others we can point to that have overcome extreme odds Stevie Wonder, Helen Keller, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Joan of Arc, Beethoven, Winston Churchill and many others.
So, what about Talent?
The link below is a news story about a developmentally disabled man who opened a coffee shop and plans to open others. What would we think about his talent? I stated, our thinking will determine our ability to achieve success. Who would think a developmentally challenged individual would be able to raise the money to open a coffee shop? He did, and that’s all that really matters. He believed, pursued his dream and accomplished it.
The truth is we were all created with more talent and ability than we could ever imagine, but we fail to maximize that talent and ability. We don’t realize what we’re capable of because we continue to listen to people that scoff and tell us we can’t. I know 2 men who were convicted of Felonies, served time in prison. Now one of them is in management and the other is in senior management at the Corporate level. We would consider them successful despite their backgrounds. What’s the difference in them, and any others who are released from prison? Their thinking, society has labeled them as outcasts, but despite that, they believed they could still live productive lives and are successful.
I know a Woman who at age 16 had a child graduated from high school with honors, graduated from college and went on to have a successful business. She had this child in the 60’s imagine the negative things she heard. She chose to block those and push towards her goals we would applaud her success.
Here’s the truth about talent, it’s synonymous with potential. Potential energy is that which is a rest, or stands still. This is why whenever someone fails the response from most is, “but he had so much potential. This falls in line with Newton’s 1st Law of Motion. An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. Kinetic energy is energy in motion. So, the person with less talent will achieve more success by moving toward the goal than the person with more potential or talent.
The creator has placed in each one of us a success mechanism. Think about a baby, his/her goal is to walk they will fall many times but they don’t give up until they reach their goal and walk. When we grow up we generally quit after a couple of failures we allow these failures to define our ability to achieve our goal. Failures are correction indicators, to get us to adjust our course. For example, Edison is said to have failed anywhere from 1000 to 10000 times when creating the incandescent light bulb. We see superior thinking involved in his own words. He stated, he hadn’t failed 10000 times but found 10000 ways not to do it. Those failures were path correctors and he continued forward until the goal was achieved.
So, if we look at success as it is defined then anyone can be successful. The real problem with self-help programs are the make the individual believe they can achieve success by themselves. We all need assistance to achieve our goals even if it’s to remain focused and accountable.
The other opportunity we have in understanding success is it has nothing to do with money. We tend to believe money is a symbol of success. If that were the case, we wouldn’t have so many millionaires and celebrities who are depressed or even commit suicide. Money is a by-product of success based on the service we give to others. Did you know there’s a Law of Compensation? To simplify it compensation is based on:
- The need for your service.
- How good you are at what you do.
- The difficulty in replacing you
When working with others I focus on their goals, what is it you really want to accomplish or how do you want the world to view you? What is your dream? Then I give them the quote below.
“No more effort is required to aim high in life to demand abundance and prosperity than is required to accept misery and poverty.”
Success is available for anyone who pursues it.