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What Success Is and What It Isn’t

When people hear the word success, they fear, and I can understand why, because I have been in that position. My opinion of success was a complete aberration of what it actually is, because in my head, success meant being wealthy or making the best grades in the school. And because I neither had money nor made the best grades, I felt miserable due to my assumption that I was a failure. I also thought that because I wasn’t as talented as some of my mates, I wasn’t successful, therefore, I was afraid to talk about success. Even when I started talking about it, when I understood what it meant, I was first worried about what people would say. I felt they would look at my clothes and say, “cheap stuffs – he isn’t even successful.” Or look at how I jump on the public transport or the second-hand car I drive and say, “we can’t even see any success in him.” At first, it took all the boldness I had in the world to use that word success, but the more I understood, the more I grew in confidence.

I have seen that many public or motivation speakers, instead of instilling confidence and belief in people about how successful they are, have taken away their guts because they impressed on the minds of people through their teachings and actions that success is about what you wear, where you work, what you are, where you live, and what you drive – but it is not entirely true because the perception they’ve created is only 1% of success. Everyday, on the streets, many people who see themselves as failures have attained unbelievable heights, unknown to them. An adult who couldn’t read and write, but made a decision to do so, and in one month, started reading the alphabets is a hugely successful person. A parent who got a breakthrough in taking a certain unacceptable habit out of his son is an unbelievable successful person. An obese who set a target to do one hour jogging three days a week, and for the past three months, has kept to her resolution is a class act. So if you’re there calling yourself a failure, look back and see all the wonderful things you’ve done, and you will be inspired to do more. If you celebrate your so called little achievements, the gut to do more will grow within you. To redefine success, I have given below eight things that success either is, or isn’t.

1.These days, the contribution of talent to success is only 10%, the rest is a war. It’s a fight that takes you to where you want to be. Talent is one thing, but the road to its final destination is long. If you want to reach it, you must brace yourself up, and be ready to do the miles – anything other than that, is falsehood, delusion and self deception. If you want to make life easy, you must go working. Whoever tells you otherwise, is lying to you.

2. Success has no relationship with backgrounds. You aren’t successful because your parents are rich – you are successful because you have the mindset. You can be rich and still be a failure – there are many rich kids that can’t put their lives together. They’ve been messed up by drugs and horrible lifestyles – until they fix their lives, they’re failures. Money doesn’t make you wealthy – it is attitude that does.

3. The worst enemy of success is excuses. I have said it a countless number of times – your excuses will take you nowhere but the land of failure, no matter how genuine they may be. Keep blaming your father and mother – it means nothing, and will ever mean nothing. Beat your excuses – don’t give a minute to it and you will succeed in your pursuit, but if you choose to focus on how your family members and friends disappointed you, you will become the biggest disappointment to yourself. The best success mindset is knowing that on your lane, you’re alone, and running without a recourse to public fund. Stop waiting for people to fund you – go ahead and build your life from nothing to something.

4. Success is not an inheritance – it’s an inward determination to make an outward difference. If your father left you a million dollars, and in two years, it’s still a million dollars, you’re not a success. The worst is if after a while, whatever you were left with evaporates and disappears into the thin sky – you aren’t just a failure, an abject one. Inheritance isn’t a success. Yes, I told you. I have seen people who ended up as nothing after squandering what they inherited, because in the first instance, they didn’t have success mindset, so they failed.

5. Success is a lifestyle – how you spend and invest your time, money, and all your resources determine how you end up. Your everyday life expresses how successful or what a failure you are. What you think of first, when money goes into your hands is your real mindset. What you think of first, when freedom is handed over to you shows who your real being is. Where you go, who you relate with, are all part of your lifestyle, and take it, leave it, they all determine your success.

6. Success is an impact. An impact makes a difference in someone’s life, or your own life. Do not live for yourself alone – die for someone. You may not have the ability to die for the world, but die for someone. When you look back at the end of age, you should be able to see instances when you died for someone. They may not appreciate it, they may not even know what it took for you to do what you did, but still die for someone. Success is the ability to die for someone.  A few times, I have died for someone. When I give money out sometimes, not one of the few people I give to realise that sometimes, I am giving my last penny. Recently, I sent money to an elderly man who I was told was hungry – I gave the money meant to fuel my car for the week, and was left with a few pence – no one except my wife knew – she encourages me all the time to give, especially to the elderly and orphans. The people I don’t like giving to are young and agile individuals who can’t use their initiatives, but choose to be beggars – I hate begging – even when I had nothing, I never begged – I fought life. Go ahead and fight for your life – stop begging. When you fight, you’ll be supported, and the evidences that you’re fighting cannot be hidden. Don’t tell me you’re fighting while sitting.

7. Success is the preparation for an unborn generation. If life begins and ends with you, you have failed. Coca Cola didn’t begin and died with Pemberton. Apple didn’t begin and died with Steve Jobs. Ford didn’t begin and died with Ford. Your family house isn’t a preparation for the unborn generation. Your flat screen TV isn’t one either, because just like the black and white TV, it will become obsolete when the next generation comes. Think of something that’ll live forever, and do it – that thing will help the generation next.

8. Never make a conclusive and life changing decision with a village mentality – never let your environment box you. Look at the big pictures, see yourself in the big pictures. Don’t choose a wife based on one beauty queen in a square box. Don’t decide on a husband based on the façade. Look outside the door – look through the windows. Let no one trap you in a cage heading to the bottomless pit. Success is summed up in a broad mindset. Yes, success is summed up in a broad mindset.

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Ken is a leadership Motivation, Strategy and Personal Development Writer, Blogger and Speaker. He writes for a number of magazines and blogs. He is also a mentor and published author of several books.

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