Success means something different to every single person on the planet. True success is a culmination of imagination, determination and a little bit of luck and magic along the way. Simply put, success is turning your dreams into reality.
Because we all have different dreams, goals and shifting views of life as we grow up and older and more experienced, the ideas and ideals that form our individual opinions of what success looks like often times changes as we do.
I grew up in a family where we took pride in putting in the hard yards. Mom and Dad always instilled in us the belief that no success was sweeter than one that was made of hard work. We learned to set goals and then set our mind to achieving them. Whether it was being in the starting five on the varsity basketball team or acing the advanced placement history exam, my brother and I always worked harder, longer, better and smarter than we thought we could.
I remember a high school coach of mine who always told us that, in whatever you do, the maximum effort the last time you did the drill should then become the minimum. If you could run a mile in 9 minutes, next time you should aim to beat that time. And the time after that you’d aim to beat your previous best, etc.
Doing this meant that our original idea of how we measured success was always changing and evolving. It also meant that it was up to us to raise the bar – it was up to no one but ourselves to cultivate a belief system that would measure what true success meant in our lives at any given time.
I can’t thank my parents and the inspirational coaches and professors along the way who instilled such a determined ethic in me enough – it is thanks to them and the lessons I learned over years of tuition and practice that I am able to carry my workload and the everyday stressors in life in one compartment in life without ever giving an inch when it comes to chasing my own ideals.
My personal beliefs on success go something like this:
1) Success is hard won.
Many people expect to be handed success on a silver platter. But nothing, and I mean nothing is worth having or doing if you haven’t put in the hard yards. You can only find true contentment in your success when you’re able to see the path you’ve charted to be able to stand where you are today.
2) You have to fight for it.
Tooth and nail. There are plenty of people out there who’ll happily work harder and smarter than you. And, there will always be obstacles and times in life that are completely out of your control. No matter what – stay passionate and fight hard for your success.
3) Have a good idea of what success means to you.
It shouldn’t matter what success means to anyone else. For some it’s money, the mansion and the Bently. For others it’s paying the bills without stress and having balance enough in life to enjoy your work and home life. Whatever your definition of success, believe in it and yourself and measure it on your dreams and goals – not anyone else’s.
So there you go – cultivating success and your own ideas of it are keys to making your life a happy one. Find your passions and strengths and try everything. Fearing failure isn’t an option.
Remember that success is all about value. The value of the effort you put in and the pride in knowing what you’ve achieved at the other end was worth the blood, sweat and tears.
Believe in yourself.
Get out, get moving and get down to the business of being successful.