If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves. Thomas Edison
For my recent birthday, I received a book, from our daughter Rachel Panton, titled, The Success Principles, How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. It’s author is Jack Canfield. As I thumb through it, just reading the topics covered in Chapter 1, I sense there’s good news and bad news. First the bad news. There’s nothing in it that I haven’t heard before. The good news? It all works, if you work it. Really!
The very first topic of chapter 1, which is titled The Fundamentals of Success, is Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life. And, perhaps you too will find it interesting, as I do, that the first topic of Chapter 2, which is titled Transform Yourself for Success, is Drop Out of the “Ain’t it Awful” Club…and Surround Yourself with Successful People.
Want success? Take 100% responsibility for you own life. That means no excuses, no blaming, no “I had this really bad experience, and now I’m unable to live life as I want,” kind of thinking. It means changing from victim thinking to victor thinking. Take 100% responsibility for your life, means that you and I may not be responsible for everything that happens in our lives, but we are 100% responsible for how we respond to what happens in our lives. We have choices. Always!
If we’re injured, if we lose our job, lose our house, a loved one, we have choices about what we do with these happenings. This does not, in any way, mean we should not grieve our losses, acknowledge our pain, or deny a significant change. It means that when change occurs, grow through the process required, and come out the other side stronger, with more resolve and commitment to live life fully. I like what Les Brown says. “If you get knocked down, look up…because if you can look up, you can get up!”
If we experience set back after set back, rejection after rejection, disappointment after disappointment, we use those experiences to tell us what doesn’t work, and adjust our course. A word of caution here; don’t keep trying harder, over and over again, at what hasn’t worked. Chart a new course of action, then take a step in the new direction for success.
Success, as we each define it, is ours. It’s waiting for us to arrive. I’ve heard it said that from infancy to about five years of age, we learn at the genius level. Think of it – we learn about our body, how we relate to it, we learn to walk, to talk, to say “no” and sometimes to say “yes.” We learn about numbers, colors, animals, Thomas the Tank Engine, American Girl, birthday cakes, Christmas, Yo Gabba Gabba, Oscar the Grouch, Grover, Cookie Monster. We go from knowing nothing of the five-sense world, into which we were born, to great understandings about it. We are amazing successes at five years of age!
However, as some of us age, our rate of learning slows down. Perhaps it’s time to speed it up again. Most all learning, most all success, occurs in the same place. Outside of your comfort zone. I don’t know about you, but as I racked up the birthdays, there were times when my comfort zone began to hold more appeal. Not good! Comfort zones are typically free of challenge, risk, and the unfamiliar. Three essentials to growth. Growth is essential to success. I’ve said it before, “Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of self development.”
Lastly, if we want success in our lives, we need to clearly define what success looks like for us. How can we know when we are successful if we lack a clear picture of how it looks, tastes, feels, smells, and sounds. So your assignment for today, should you choose to accept it, is to be crystal clear about how success would appear in your life. How would the ultimate success experience play out for you? What would it look like? Picture your appearance, your surroundings. Who might share in your success? Take 100% responsibility for your success.
Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally. David Frost
If you need help defining it, contact me at Tom@TheNextStepfor.me. I’ll gladly help you to determine your idea and vision of success. No charge, no obligation, just assistance.