This seemingly simple question is actually quite elusive. For some, financial success will be the pinnacle of their dreams. Others may define the meaning of success as raising a loving and healthy family. Motivational speaker Earl Nightingale was once quoted as stating that “Success is the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal.” While this is truly an eloquent statement, how can we apply this notion to ourselves. Is success merely an idea or can it become a reality? This is an important question to address, for it is only after we define success can we begin down the path to achieving it. So, let’s take a quick look at how we can quantify this rather ethereal concept.
One of the habits that we all have is to define things by their outcome. This is particularly true when begin to look at how to achieve success. For instance, one who works in the business world may define success as the achievement of bringing home a great deal of money at the end of the year. A writer may view success as the publication of a novel. Note how these two words represent an action that is already completed; somewhat of an afterthought. By looking at achievement in this way, success will naturally be different for everybody. However, these are actually not true definitions of success. They are the results of a successful approach to something. The point here is that success has as much to do with the approach as it does with the final result.
Progress Through Dedication
Looking back at Earl Nightingale’s quotation from earlier, we see the word “progressive” mentioned. This is perhaps the most important aspect of success; it is an ongoing action. It is never static nor will it end if we continue down the correct path. Success is an approach. It is a constantly adapting mindset that can change to suit varying situations. Success is the belief that regardless of what we are confronted with, we will triumph. This is has been a constant feature in individuals from Alexander the Great to Alexander Graham Bell. They understood that success is the approach and the end result is merely the undeniable conclusion to their actions.
A Balance of Ego and Humility
Another way to look at success is through ego. Yes, this word is absolutely essentially in developing a successful approach. There is nothing wrong with ego. In fact, it is one of the few gifts that were were all given at birth. Our egos will allow us to have the faith that we can accomplish great things. They will drive us forward fuelled by an unrelenting passion to achieve our dreams. However, this must be imbued with a sense of humility, for it is only through humility that we can admit that we have made a mistake and learn from it. The purely egotistical individual will butt his or her head against an unyielding brick wall while the humble person will find a way around it.
Habits of Excellence
So, success is just as much of a habit as it is an attribute. The meaning of success has much to do with what we can term a “paradigm of thought”. Those who are desperate to understand how to achieve success need to appreciate that these “actionable thoughts” must be nurtured and cared for over time. Whether one is interested in financial success or wishes to find the perfect relationship, this principle is the same. These paradigms need to be adhered to and much like any other habit, a successful attitude will soon be part of one’s very personality.