What is success? Who gets to define it? Is failure the end all be all?
These are three questions that were thrown at me in class this week. They seem like simple questions with easy answers, but when you really get into it you find that the answer may not be so clear. Every one of us will respond to them differently because we have individual experiences that shape the way we look at the world.
Personally, I’ve found that there are two ways to answer each question…society’s answer and my own. Here’s what I came up with:
Society says: Success is wealth, power, prestige, fame, and glory. It’s achieving the impossible and getting recognition for it. Everyone around you gets to define what success should mean to you and if you aren’t praised for it, it means absolutely nothing. Oh, and failure isn’t an option. The moment you fail, you’re done for. You better give up and try something new.
I say: Success is achieving a goal I set for myself, no matter how big or small. Success isn’t about recognition or rewards. It’s about the warm feeling inside and giant smile I get when I accomplish something. It’s being able to look back and say, “Yeah, I did that.” Truthfully, other people may try to define what my success should look like, but I know I’m the one who gets to choose. I hate failure, but I also love it because it’s through failure that I can learn, improve, and find success.
The thing is it’s easy to write that down on paper, harder to say out-loud, and even more difficult to do. We’re human. We want to fit in, and going against the grain isn’t exactly something that’s rewarded. So how do we break away from that?
During that same class, we watched a TED Talk by Richard St. John on his 8 traits that lead to great success. I think he hit the nail right on the head. These 8 traits are exactly what I’ve demonstrated in every successful situation. The cool thing about them is they’re all connected. They all work together in a never-ending cycle. Even if you think you’ve mastered one, I urge you to reconsider. There’s always room for improvement! So without further adieu, here are his 8 characteristics:
For me, there are a few that I really resonate with…
Passion. If you aren’t doing what you love, what are you doing? I don’t think there’s any excuse to not chase your passion. Everyone always says money is an issue, but everyone I know that does what they love tells me the same thing: whenever you live your passion, the money comes. Truth is, when you’re doing what you love, other people notice and want to reward you for your hard work.
Work and Persist. These two need no explanation. If you don’t put in the hours, you’ll never get to where you want to be. You can’t just flip a switch and expect everything to work out. But even if you put in the hours, there will still be setbacks. There will still be FAILURE. It takes persistence to power through those moments and keep on fighting. After all, if it were easy everyone would do it.
Serve. I think everyone was put on this earth to serve one another in some way, shape, or form. I also think it’s the most rewarding thing you can do in life because it gives you a feeling unlike any other. The moment you decide to serve others, your whole life changes. Yes, you need to take care of yourself, but when you remove all those selfish desires from your life, the world becomes a beautiful place. As the saying goes, “If you live for yourself, you live in vain.”
So to close, I ask you to answer those three initial questions. I challenge you to write them down or even comment your answers below. I guarantee it’ll be harder than you think 🙂
As always, thank you for reading! Don’t forget to like, comment, and share this post if you enjoyed it…I’ll talk to you on Monday 🙂