Most people say they want to be successful, but beyond saying the word, they have no clear mental concept of what success is. Getting what you really want is one definition. Attainment. Not some abstract want, like it, would be nice to have this or that, but a real emotionally charged passion for something specific that you know would give you pleasure or satisfaction.
Ask yourself why you want this, list the reasons. Imagine you have what you want, how does it feel? Still, feel convinced, or was it something you just thought you wanted? Success is the attainment of whatever you really want. And true success is attainment without creating negative repercussions through deceit or short-sightedness. But what is the mechanism for bringing about this success?
The secret to achieving success is not actually a secret at all. It is a plan, a realization. Not wishful thinking or even faith, as these may work to some degree eventually over the long term, but are unreliable and imprecise. Most people will give up before actualization using this approach. To facilitate more direct results requires awareness of some basic truths and the formulation and execution of a general plan.
This realization is really the acknowledgment of who you are behind the mask, what it is you are actually about in your heart of hearts, and how you go about presenting your uniqueness to the world. In essence, your weaponry and plan of attack. In its crudest terms, it is salesmanship. What is it that you offer in exchange for love, recognition, respect, results, or remuneration from others? For those employed by someone else it can be skills, education, talent, or willingness…each a kind of value-added asset.
Real and outstanding success in business as in life specifically requires that you have the means to persuade a significant number of people to accept your product, ideas, or point of view. The degree to which you favorably capture the attention and interest of people and the authenticity of the goods presented will determine the extent and duration of your success.
However, for the majority of people, the desire for safety and comfort has a limiting effect on their ability to behold grand perceptions. They prefer the cocoon of the mundane by following and blending in with the crowd. In so doing, they do not distinguish themselves, and by acting, doing, and selling the same things as everyone else, they subject themselves to anonymity and widespread competition.
In the world of competition, it is the no-holds-barred struggle to capture the hill while all others playing that game attempt the same thing at the same time. And if you do manage to reach the top, it is a life of paranoia and reactionary maneuvers to defend the ultimately indefensible as all others seek to topple you.
If you are in competition, there will always be someone who has a bigger smile, deeper pockets, or better connections than you with whom you will be compared and found wanting either in image, service, or price. Most people are motivated by what they want and will seek to suit themselves, at your expense, without giving it a second thought, if a perceived better proposition is available.
Competition has its place, but to be truly successful one needs an alternate approach, a more noble mindset, one without the encumbrances of internal struggle caused by deceptive practices, cutthroat tactics, resentment, or feelings of inferiority. Competition has the benefit of keeping greed in check in an imperfect world, but it is innovation that builds the better mousetrap.
The reason most people choose mediocrity with its attendant petty struggles is that it is easier than overcoming doubts, making and facing mistakes, being vulnerable, or opening oneself to criticism. True success requires thinking outside the box. It requires embracing and exercising the faculties for cooperation, creation, and independent thought.
Cooperation with providers of information and resources, creation of new ideas, approaches or products, and independent thought about what it is that has value and meaning to you and therefore to others as well.
Most so-called authorities professing to assist you by providing self-help or action plans for success are merely profiting by cranking out variations of mundane formulas that are essentially a lot of to-do about nothing. How to gain an unfair advantage or be first with a technique that may or may not work. These are sideshows that often as not lead to blind alleys.
Yes, it is lonely away from the crowd, out there by yourself, deciding to think your own thoughts, being truly different. It is in this place that the mind has the freedom to make new associations, to create something unique by realigning seemingly unrelated things, or looking at old things in a new way.
We all have our unique personalities, talents, interests, and experiences. Once you learn to trust your knowledge and abilities and decide to use these in an innovative way, you are on the road to becoming creative. By developing and internalizing trust in yourself you more easily overcome the negative self-talk and diversions that distract and disable.
By persistence and patience, this creativity can be developed into worthwhile and significant contributions that people can benefit from and that will benefit you. These will be your own unique creations, infused with your talent and values, which sets you apart from the many, distinguishing you and propelling you towards that vision of success.