Success is a concept that often seems far-fetched and sometimes unattainable, whereas it is more of an ambiguous notion; there is not one definition to suit all.
We live in a local and global environment where many people seem to be fixated on metrics and materialism as a measure of achievement rather than things that are a little less superficial. Hence writing about success is strange and awkward because I still do not understand how and why society determines it to be what it is; yet I understand what it means to me, a state of mind.
We live in times where success is defined based on other people’s terms. Many adults now would recall that if they did not follow conventional career paths of medicine, engineering, law or finance, they were deemed failures. Things have evolved beyond what seemed to be a rigid definition of the ideal career path.
However, that mind-set has not necessarily changed. With the evolution of communication and dissemination of information, we now seem to be following standards set by fads. Therefore originality has been watered down: people who do not genuinely have the skills or interest in one thing or the other may pursue that very thing adamantly because it is what social media says is “cool”, or perhaps there is a certain perception that that thing is lucrative. However this is why you would notice that many unoriginal copycats do not last, or are not “successful”.
Success is not a destination as many people may describe it. It is not a matter over which you say, “When I become successful…” It is an ongoing journey of self-awareness, self-evaluation and self-improvement. Whether personally, in relationships or in a career, I view the road to success as a very personal ambiguous road, which we should journey on ensuring that we have a feeling of contentment along the way whilst everyone maintains his or her own lane.
Anyone that we may view as sustainably successful (I use the word sustainable deliberately because there is a lot of fake news around success these days) in anything would tell you that they had to rise up through the ranks, train themselves, be patient, resilient and work diligently
If a person finds himself or herself unhappy through the journey, this person would very likely not be satisfied with whatever he or she has defined the end to be. This is not the way to live life. Despite the struggles and obstacles that we come across, we need to make that decision to be content. That mindset is what would fuel our sense of success.
All of this is not to say that the journey to success is passive in any way. It is extremely important to be deliberate in each and every single step of the way. It all starts from self-awareness: Where and who are you now? After assessing oneself objectively and critically, then if would be easier to define SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound) goals.
Thereafter, we need to identify work tools that would aid attainment of these goals. Some examples include education, reading material, skill building initiatives and networking opportunities. All of these can be cushioned by our support systems: family, spouses, partners, colleagues, friends, and so on.
Along this journey it is also important to review progress through self-appraisal and environmental assessment. The road should not be straightforward, as unexpected twists and turns could come up along the way. These may be setbacks or even ways forward, but they are an inevitable part of the journey that we need to have enough resilience to handle and manage effectively. This sort of flexibility is something that people often do not get right.
When something is not working the way we might expect it to, rather than being stubborn or rigid, we need to take a step back to break up whatever the problem is into its many parts, analyse them critically and then figure out realistic solutions, which could even mean modifying the original plan. This is what people struggle with and why many companies have crumbled…being rigid and fixated on one strategy or method while the environment or even the company itself is evolving.
There is another side to this matter, whereby people attempt to devise short cuts to attain what they view as success. They want to become fantastic at a certain skill, make money quickly et cetera, without realising the complexities of these goals and the level of hard work and resilience required to attain them. They therefore have unrealistic expectations and a sense of entitlement. They often spend a lot of time dwelling on these rather than focusing on their reality.
Anyone that we may view as sustainably successful (I use the word sustainable deliberately because there is a lot of fake news around success these days) in anything would tell you that they had to rise up through the ranks, train themselves, be patient, resilient and work diligently.
Success is not a destination. It’s an ongoing journey. You have to work your way through every stage, acknowledge and be content with your small wins and then you may even get beyond your initial expectations.
This mind-set can be applied to anything in life; personal projects, fitness, relationships, careers, ANYTHING.
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