One Secret of HappinessAuthor: Catherine Pulsifer
Success is one word that many people have difficulty in trying to define. For some, success is measured only in the eyes of someone else whether that be with colleagues working in the same kind of environment, like physicists, or whether that be with someone that you are in a relationship with, like a spouse. However, as many people as you talk to one theme appears to be quite prominent in Western culture and that success theme appears to focus on both money and power.
At the same time, there are other people who view success in a microcosm where success is defined within a small group of associates, friends and family or at the macro level where success is defined as having impact on many people at the same time.
Yet, success, as defined by most people, seems to be an elusive process. It is often viewed as something that other people are destined to have but not applicable to them.
A Look Beyond
In studying successful people, you will find that many of them had an abundance of ideas but that many did not work. Yet, they kept going and didn't get discouraged by unsuccessful attempts.
After many thousands of attempts, in some cases, they found one idea that did work, like Thomas Edison, and that one idea led them to their ultimate success.
Words of Charles Kettering
Consider the wise words of Charles F. Kettering, "Don't be afraid to stumble. Any inventor will tell you that you don't follow a plan far before you strike a snag. If, out of 100 ideas you get one that works, it's enough."
The act of finding that one idea requires an intense desire. Intense desire also empowers you to discover hidden talents.
Not Afraid of Failure
Successful people are not afraid to confront failure when their first idea fails. They do not quit because they know to do so would forever rob them of discovering that one idea that could work. So, what does this say about success? It tells me that success is not just a one-time attempt. It tells me that failure is not the end. It tells me that success is not necessarily about money but the personal accomplishments that have meaning in your life. This meaning in life does not have to be visible to others; it can be visible only to you. After all, who are you trying to be successful for? Is it you or someone else? Isn't it you that does the work, the thinking, the planning and faces setbacks and conquers them through perseverance and dedication?
Elbert Hubbard once said, "There is no failure except in no longer trying."
One of the secrets of success: do not be discouraged by failure.
Many famous people have written about success and the secrets of it. Consider the following wisdom:
Pamela J. Conrad, in her book Balancing Home & Career states, "Many successful individuals claim you can be anything you want to be; have anything you want and do anything you choose; providing you set some goals and prioritize the necessary steps to achieve them."
William Arthur Ward has expressed many thoughts that we feel contain motivation to be successful, "Wise is the person who profits from the mistakes of the past, recognizes the opportunities of the present, and anticipates the challenges of the future."
Ward saw wisdom in the past, present and future. We all know that what was a time success does not make it a practice. In other words, a small success can lead to other successes each with its own set of steps leading onward and forward to more achievements. Take the person who has finished their doctorate degree and written a successful thesis. The success of the past, which is the degree and thesis, does not carry one forward for long. It means that further success is dependent on continuing action with more high quality academic papers written, or teaching that progresses from undergraduate students to graduate students.
And Robert Schuller wrote The Peak to Peek Principle, in which he talks about possibilities, "Every problem is a potential opportunity. You can draw great dividends from your deepest difficulties if you understand the possibility-thinking perspective on life."
It's All Up To You!
All of these people are talking about our attitude - how we see failure, how we look at challenges, how we set goals - so in the end it is a combination of things not just one thing that will contribute to our success! Remember that your success does not have to be what the culture at the time declares as successful. Too much of the definition of success today seems to hinge on money, power or prestige. How about those people who positively influence a person to break away from crime and return to a law abiding life? What about those people who nurse you back to health? What about those who teach a young mind that they possess their own unique talents. What about those people who volunteer to help those who are less fortunate get back on their feet?
Redefinition of Success
All of the above examples show people who are successful but none of the examples speak of fame and fortune. It is the silent majority of successful people who are the mainstay of a well-functioning and contributing society. It is a society comprised of many successes even more significant than any money or fame could give.
Don't allow anyone to tell you that you can't be successful or that you are destined for mediocrity. To label one's contributions to society as mediocre is to not truly appreciate what it means to be a success. To be a success is to not accept someone else's definition. To be successful means that you use what talents you have been given to the best of your ability. It means that a street sweeper who does their job enthusiastically and with dedication is just as successful as some CEO making millions of dollars a year.
Too much emphasis is allowed to infringe on one's mental image of how they see themselves. Part of this responsibility lies with media coverage who designate people to be successful from a very narrow view of life; a view that plays to flamboyance before it plays to societal contributions.
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
"Just as you are bound to fail, you are also bound to succeed, but not without you trying." Sean Clive, How I Made It In My Life
"People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success." Norman Vincent Peale
"Your attitude is either the lock on or key to your door of success." Denis Waitley
"Once a man has made a commitment to a way of life, he puts the greatest strength in the world behind him. It's something we call heart power. Once a man has made this commitment, nothing will stop him short of success." Vince Lombardi
"Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success." Dale Carnegie
"The way you deal with life’s situations changes when you start to think more positively." Alex Uwajeh, The Power of Positive Affirmations
"Every memorable act in the history of the world is a triumph of enthusiasm. Nothing great was ever achieved without it because it gives any challenge or any occupation, no mater how frightening or difficult, a new meaning. Without enthusiasm you are doomed to a life of mediocrity but with it you can accomplish miracles." Og Mandino
"If you study any consistently successful person you will find out that they have failed more than most people could imagine. These successful people do not look at failure as the end but only a step closer to their goal." Milton Stewart, Parental Guidance: The Short, Simple, and Straightforward Guide to Helping Your Child Succeed in School and Life
We are our own coach and team Yet we often sideline our best efforts. We all have unique gifts and talents, yet many pass undiscovered. The world is full of opportunities, yet our view of life can blind us to them. We are all capable of so much, yet limited by so little." Donald S. Neviaser
"To be truly successful, you require the strength of body, positive mentality, and most importantly work hard to fulfil your potential. You also require the right attitude and discipline to a point where you place your goal before some of your needs." Michael Welton, Be Your Best: A guide to Personal Development by the 15 Laws of Success
"Our focus is our future, and what we focus on will multiply in our life." David DeNotaris
"I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen." Frank Lloyd Wright