What is success?

UsMenTalkBy UsMenTalkMarch 9, 20209 Minutes

Success is an interesting word. Its meaning can be very different from person to person and from culture to culture. Its definition, as we may each personally give it, can affect how we think and feel about ourselves and the rest of the world. I believe we are all heavily influenced by two things while forming our own personal definition for success. The first influence is our parent’s verbal and non-verbal behaviors that cue us in to what’s valued as successful. The second influence is the peers we hang out with and the environment outside our home that we “play” in. By the time we are 18, we have our own definition of success pretty well implanted. If it’s a healthy and balanced one, good for us. If it’s not, life can map out a very bumpy road to travel.

For me, the definition of success was not a balanced one. I grew up in a wealthy area of Hollywood, FL. It was filled with large homes owned by very “financially” successful doctors, lawyers, and business executives. The only problem, my parents had none of these professions. And, they could barely keep their heads above water trying to keep up with all of them. Neither I nor my siblings knew this so we viewed everything we had and saw as normal and expected. Now understand this, everything we were learning was from watching our own parents behaviors! Here’s a perfect example I remember oh so well. My mom had bought herself (with payments of course), a new Cadillac in April of a particular year. Then, when a neighbor, in October of that same year, bought the new “Cadillac Eldorado Biarretz” she went back to the car dealer, traded her 20 week old car in for a nice loss, and drove out with her new “Biarretz”.., and with larger monthly payments too!

Since this was the “backdrop” for my definition of success, you can imagine the rocky road life was building for me to drive down on. By the time I went off to college I was worried and consumed with my financial future. How will I be able to support my accustomed to lifestyle on my own? That was my $64,000 dollar question to answer. Everything I did from that point forward was the guide for all my decisions. And what a lousy guide it was. My motto; “success in life equals lots of money which defines me”. If any of you subscribed to a similar motto, dump it ASAP! There is always someone who will have more of something then you. Plus, what amount of anything equals success? For those of you who are wondering, there is no answer. It took me a good 50 years to get rid of my old definition of success and begin downloading a more appropriate and balanced definition. When you compare yourself to others and their possessions, you crush your own value and self-esteem. Things began to change for me when I took an inventory of what I had created in life for myself in all areas other than financial. When I added those successes to my humble financial successes I was able to see a much better balanced view of myself. Remember this, everything in life is give and take. The more effort I give to one area the less I have to give to another.

Okay, enough said about my screwed up history. Let’s take a look at some better ways and better behaviors as it relates to success.

Here are 13 general recommendations made by some of the most successful people in the world;
1) Think BIG.
2) Find what you love to do.
3) Keep balance in your life.
4) Do not fear failure.
5) Be resolved to succeed.
6) Be a person of action.
7) Avoid conflict.
8) Be open to new ideas.
9) Believe you will succeed!
10) Maintain a positive mental attitude.
11) Push through discouragement.
12) Work hard, Work hard, Work hard.
13) Follow your intuition.

Let’s take a look at some of the habits and behaviors of unsuccessful people. This is probably a good list to avoid. LOL. THEY…,
1) Think they know it all.
2) Act before they think.
3) Fear change.
4) Stop learning.
5) Give up easily.
6) Hold a grudge.
7) Waist their time.
8) Never set goals.
9) Get distracted every day.
10) Are always angry at others.
11) Horde information.
12) Blame others.
13) Secretly hope other fail.
14) Talk more than they listen.
15) Take the easy way out.
16) Think say and do negative things.
17) Try to bring others down.
18) Have a sense of entitlement.
19) Always criticizing others.

Now let’s take a look at some of the habits and behaviors of very successful people. This is probably a good list to strive for. THEY…,
1) Track their progress.
2) Take risks.
3) Make to-do lists.
4) Exude joy.
5) Are humble.
6) Forgive others.
7) Embrace change.
8) Think long term.
9) Talk about ideas.
10) Have a burning desire.
11) Compliment others.
12) Want others to succeed.
13) Handle problems well.
14) Except responsibility for their results.
15) Work with passion and commitment.
16) Strive to learn and improve every day.

An interesting article I read said your “% chance of success” directly correlates to how you think and what you tell yourself. Here’s what they came up with;
100%- I know I will.
90%- I most likely can.
80%- I can.
70%- I think I can.
60%- I might.
50%- I think I might.
40%- I really want to.
30%- I really wish I could.
20%- I don’t know how.
10%- I can’t do it.
0%- I won’t do it (so I’m gonna go home, cry, and blame somebody else) LOL.

Negative behaviors and poor habits are easier to follow and take less work than making changes and following positive behaviors and good habits do. Clearly, successful people in life are committed to the latter. You can too!

Okay guys, whaddaya think?

Have you had a similar experience? Can you relate? Share your thoughts, your stories, your questions and advice so we can all learn from one another and make better decisions. Plus, you’ll get some huge karma points for doing so.

Have a great day and a great life.

Larry Bryan
A regular guy, another opinion.℠