You Don’t Need To Be Successful But…


You probably want to be successful. The key however, is being able to articulate in a way you yourself, what success means to you. It has to meaningful and personal in order for some idea to take root, and to motivate an individual to choose to make decisions and take actions that bring about the opportunities to realize progress toward and eventual achieve, success.

Let’s imagine you have nothing; oh and I mean nothing. You’re on the street, no home, no job, no friends, even the dogs snap and bark at you. You need to eat don’t you? Of course you do. So without any money, without any source of income, your left with a basic choice brought about by need; somehow acquire food and drink or die. Your immediate need for success in obtaining food and drink becomes paramount and over rules any of the rules and codes of conduct the larger society has come to accept. So with limited options, you may steal food, search in garbage dumpsters, beg for it, etc. At that moment, your need may supersede any other thoughts, and only once that immediate goal has been realized, will you then turn to fulfill any other need. So once fed and watered, you may look for shelter, a place to rest, re-energize.

So back to you in your life. I ask you WHY you want to be successful? When was the last time you stopped and really looked at this question? WHY do you want to be successful? Some people are still trying to please mom and dad, others to get the money to buy houses, cars and cottages. Some want to impress the ladies, or show up at their high school reunion and rub their success in the faces of others who ridiculed them throughout a painful 4 or 5 years. Your reasons may seem more altruistic and healthy, but the motivation you have should be clear to you.

When you want to be successful, that definition of success becomes deeply personal. You may opt to share that reason with others or not as you will. The benefit of being in touch with the reason(s) you want to be successful, is that it can and does provide the driving force from within when you are tempted to ease up and stagnate. What I have found is that having someone else impose their wish on you for success is transitory at best, and totally ineffectual at worst. Phrases like, “Make something of yourself”, “Don’t you want to be somebody one day?”, or “You could have all of this one day if you only want it bad enough” are external and someone else’s attempt at transferring that inner motivation to succeed in obtaining THEIR dreams and definition of success onto you. It doesn’t resonate.

One of the great things about growing up is growing out; being exposed to more and more things that are new and different from what you may have known up to that point. Children when they are young may want to be Teachers, Doctor’s or Nurses when they grow up for no other reason than they are the professions they have been exposed to. In highschool, they have learned there are IT Technicians, Radiologists, Servers etc. because they see them on television, they meet them in life, and they gain exposure. Into our twenties, we learn about Cardiologists, Stationery Engineers, and a variety of other professions which our growing exposure to expands our knowledge of and our possibilities as well.

What you have been exposed to, where you grew up, who your parents introduced to you and what your friends and teachers brought to your life has a lot to do with your world view, and the opportunities or lack thereof that exist for you. As you age, your destiny is shaped less and less in each generation with where you started, but by the choices and decisions you make each day. Decide that life is as good or bad as it gets and you’ve decided that your present existence is all you have a right to ask for. Decide that you want something different, and you’ve just decided that success to you means something else than what you presently experience and that seed you just planted has a possibility of becoming a realized ambition.

It isn’t critical that you go from mulling over this blog entry to establishing some life-changing goal and making it happen in the next five minutes. Like the thrust of this post, what you do with the thoughts contained herein is very individualistic.

Your next job application, your interview, your decision to return to school, to look for a Mentor, to speak with a Career Counsellor, to sit down for lunch with someone who might just listen to you speak your mind…all of this and more may be little tiny fragments of changes you are making consciously to become successful in your own eyes. For you personally, it may be to work in a variety of jobs to gain a diversity of experience or to commit to a job in the hope that one day it will transform itself into a life-long career.

Define what success is to you not forever, but in the heare and now. Then if you attain your goal, set another; set several as you wish and as you are able. If perchance your success is only to get through another day without a drink of alcohol for example, and if you succeed, pride yourself in that attainment, but set another goal. Not just another day avoiding your demon, but perhaps a positive goal of obtaining something in addition to your sobriety.

Something to think about I hope. Cheers.

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