Let’s talk about success. What is success? I can ask this to a million different people, and get a million different opinions (or maybe not as many since, as it turns out, people aren’t all that different). And that is what success is: an opinion. An individualized concept, that is personal to each human on this planet. Success to me, is to be happy. To you, is to be well-read. Success to her… to him… to them… is different.
But the tools to success is the same for everyone. And three things that everyone should have when following a dream are purpose, perseverance and patience.
Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When you don’t know what harbor you’re aiming for, no wind is the right wind – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
First step towards success: Purpose
Before you get started, take the time to think about your goals and dreams. Why are you doing this? What will it bring to you? Is this the only thing that can give you what you want?
Another set of questions you need to discuss with yourself (out loud or in your head, that’s up to you…).
- Do I want to change my schedule around to fit in this goal?
- Am I willing to put in the work, including additional hours, deadlines, and constant self-improvement?
- Can I come to terms with feeling uncomfortable, insecure, or out of place, and be able to push my limits?
Lastly, you have to get over your fear of failure. Because it’s easy when you put in the work and get instant (or close enough) gratification and reward. But what happens when you work and work and work but alas, you don’t get the result you wanted? Just like that grade on the assignment or test. What was the point of putting in all these hours of studying if that is the grade you got? Well, whether we are speaking about school success or success in general, sometimes, your work will not pay off. Not immediately anyways.
It’s all in the way you perceive things. For instance, failure. Your work can still be a valuable asset, even if it didn’t give you what you expected. If your work was inefficient, it is still a lesson for improvement. You can take this as an opportunity to pin-point what you did wrong, or too little/too much of, etc. Now, if your work was solid, but didn’t get you that promotion you wanted, or the job, or that grade, it still counts as valuable experience. Experience you can use in the future, either to complement a current project or as the basis of a new and improved project or assignment.
Your shot to success is not a one-time thing, but instead relies on the accumulation of previous experiences. Most importantly, experiences from which you were able to draw valuable insights into yourself, people, and life.
However, in order to be able to fight through the ups and downs, the stresses and obstacles, one must have purpose. And that is why it’s so important for you to know the reason why you are doing what you are doing. And it’s not enough to say “because I want to be rich”, “I want to be famous”, “I want to prove them wrong”. Relate your goals back to you, and the person you want to be.
It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop – Confucius
Perseverance: Every-day-tiny successes
We are all familiar with the expression “hitting a plateau” (mostly heard in the fitness world). But a plateau can hit you in every area of your life. What is a plateau? The part of your journey (whatever it may be) where you feel stagnent, unable to move forward, stuck, maybe even helpless. When you hit a plateau, you have to do 2 things:
- Change your routine. Add some spunk. Take a different approach. Just shock your body (if your goal is fitness-related), your mind, your soul… you.
- (MOST IMPORTANT) KEEP GOING. Be consistent. Persevere. Keep your head in the game. Do NOT retaliate. Just. Keep. Going.
One day, whether it is a week from now, or a month or a year, you will wake up and you will be closer than ever to where and who you want to be. You just got to keep doing the work. Time will pass anyways. So make the most out of this time.
Patience is not simply the ability to wait. It’s how we behave while we’re waiting – Joyce Meyer
Patience: Success comes to those who wait
We’ve all heard “Good things come to those who wait“.
I’ve also seen “Good things come to those who
wait work their a**** off“.
Well, I agree…. with both. Because in reality, waiting and working your a** off aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. Actually, they shouldn’t be. You have to put in the work, but be patient for the return, whether it is monetary, spiritual, emotional…
In this fast-paced world (which can have its perks), we are brainwashed into thinking that we can get anything we want, now. Well, hate to break it to ya (not really, though), that couldn’t be further from the truth. If there is someone successful that you look up to, consider reading their story. How did they get to where they are right now? If it’s someone close to you, ask them.
We tend to idealize success, when in reality it has nothing to do with our fantasies about being rich, famous or super successful in our career choice. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make it your reality.