Success is something we all talk about; it’s this very elusive idea that many of us can’t seem to grasp. Why is that? Why is success so hard to achieve? What does success even mean? How do you know if you’re on the right track to success?
My twenties were spent like the average person’s are. Partying in my early twenties, and falling into a job that somehow became a career that I never really wanted in the first place. I went through the same everyday rigmarole; get up early, go to work, work hard, come home, have a few beers, eat dinner, and then go to bed, only to repeat the same thing again the next day. My common Monday saying was “is it Friday yet?” I was working a job I didn’t like but it was a job, it paid the bills (barely), but I couldn’t wait for the weekend.
I did the job to the best of my ability and learned all I could, and I had what many people would consider success there. I moved from warehouseman through every position in the company and eventually landed my goal title “territory manager”. I made pretty good money that afforded a house bigger than any I grew up in, a new truck, a beautiful woman, and a newborn baby and I was 23 years old. I was doing all the things I was “supposed to do,” so why wasn’t I happy? I mean, I was “successful” but something was missing, I had no purpose. I found myself asking the proverbial question “what is the meaning of life?”
My achievements were success by society’s standards, but it wasn’t by my own. I’ve always felt a desire to help other people. Life is about the legacy you leave behind, and what was mine? I played by the rules; I went to the job, did the work, but I wasn’t living my life. Life was guiding me, and I was just along for the ride, “doing the best I could in the situation I was in.”
It wasn’t until I reached my 30’s that I began to take over the reins in my life. I became the captain of my ship, but it didn’t happen overnight. Success is not one big event; success is the culmination of all the small things finally adding up to that achievement. We say things like “I want to be this,” or “I want to do that,” but what are we doing to ensure that we achieve those things?
Whatever it is that you want to do or be later in life starts today. You have to believe tomorrow you can be more than what you are today. Don’t let the fear of what you can’t do today rob you of what you can do tomorrow. Robert Collier said, “Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.” It’s not just about your job; it’s in the way you carry yourself, how you handle the small things in life. If you give your all to everything you do, because your name is attached to it, because there is no other option than the right way, you will be successful.
Forget about the money, do what makes you happy, do what you love, care about people, don’t just look to the destination, enjoy the journey, the money will work itself out. You’re on your way to your future; it’s up to you what that future will be. Trust your intuition, and believe in yourself, you have the ability to do the thing you know you want to do. Success means something a little bit different to each of us, but when you reach it, nobody has to tell you that you’ve succeeded, you know!