Q: It’s the start of the new year and I’ve already got a lot of anxiety about accomplishing any of my goals, because of all the variables around me. If everything doesn’t align just right for me this year, I’m afraid I’m going to fail. Again. How do other people do it?
A: One of my favorite sayings is “Want to make the universe laugh?: Make plans.” There is no such thing as perfect timing and having your ducks align just so, in their row, in order to succeed. If you succumb to this way of thinking, you’re quite likely going to end up with one of my least favorite maladies (not that any are good): WouldaShouldaCoulda Disease. The outcome of it is that you will sit in repose, looking back on your life and wonder what it all would have, should have and could have been… if only. That’s just terrible and more than a little sad, my friend. It’s certainly not the habit of highly successful people.
You speak of failure, the absolute polar opposite of success, which concerns me – because it sounds like you link a positive outcome to things out of your control. To succeed in/at life isn’t a matter of whether the perfect events/people/funding/(fill-in-the-blank) are or aren’t properly packaged and presented to you. Life isn’t about luck, even if it seems that way (Darn you, social media!). You might also have obstacles to navigate or obligations and/or people to take care of. If you do, that can drain resources, time and emotion and it may feel like you can’t move forward, if everything isn’t perfect.
Spend some time in the Biography section of the library (nicer than scrolling info. on a screen, I think), you’ll see rows of people’s success stories. Folks who rose above their circumstances to do exceptional things, in politics, science, entertainment – whatever it was they felt the drive to excel at. Now, I don’t know what YOU gauge success by, whether it deals with money or power, but I’m so hoping you are building on a solid foundation:
Health – Being wealthy won’t mean much if you’re not healthy. Inside and out. So, manage that to the best of your ability. Make daily healthy choices.
Wisdom – No matter how smart you are, there’s more to learn. Seek out mentors or information on others you consider successful. Educate yourself.
Persist – Try, try again. With a smile. Winston Churchill said, “Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.” Just keep trying.
Ponder – What would you want people to say, if they wrote your story? To the core of your being, what matters most? Integrity matters.
Remember, who you are tomorrow begins with what you do today. When your head hits the pillow at night, ask yourself if you hit all four cornerstones of the above-mentioned foundation. If so, then it was a successful day. Repeat this formula all the days of your life, because success is typically seen… looking back.
xo – t.