Jack Higgins, the author of The Eagle Has Landed, once said, “I wish I would have know that when you get to the top, there is nothing there.” If you want to know how to be successful, the first place to start is to know what true success is and what true success is not.
Let’s start with what true success is NOT.
How To Be Successful – What Success Is NOT
Fortune. The acquisition and accumulation of wealth is probably associated with success more than any other factor. But money doesn’t make a person successful any more than any other resource makes a person successful. It might be a status symbol, but a status symbol measures prestige rather than success. In fact, what money usually does is amplify the true character of an individual in the first place.
Fame. In today’s celebrity culture, many people equate success with notoriety. Yet we all know famous people with whom we would never want to switch places. So how can fame equal success?
Force. Being in a position of significant power and influence is seen as the pinnacle of success by many. Yet being in a position of power is similar to having a lot of money. It can be used for good or bad and usually amplifies the true nature of a person.
Feelings. Many people today are on a happiness quest. I have even been bitten by the happiness bug and have read several books on happiness because, like most people, I’d rather be happy than not. Yet happiness is a feeling. It comes and goes. The problem with making happiness or any other feeling our definition of success is it means success can come and go as well.
Feat. When I achieve this particular goal, then I’ll be successful. Have you ever thought this? I certainly have! But when we arrive at our goal most often we discover the goalposts have been moved and true success still eludes us.
How To Be Successful – What Success IS
There is no way to define the essences of success in a single blog post. However, we can identify at least one important aspect of true success.
Knowing your life’s mission is definitely an important feature for experiencing success. In fact, a good mission statement answers three big questions that have a lot to do with true success:
- 1 Thing Question: If you had to boil life down to one idea or one philosophy that makes life valuable, what is it?
- Being Question: How does that 1 Thing impact your being? In other words, how does it shape the core of who you are and your character?
- Doing Question: How does that 1 Thing impact your doing? In other words, how does it shape what you do with your life.
Answer these three questions and you are well on your way to knowing how to be successful because you will have started to define what true success is for you.
Question: How do you define success? What makes your NOT list and what makes your IS list?