Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The True Definition of Success

entrepreneur success
Enter the search phrase true definition of success into Google and you will get over 14 million hits. Everyone wants to know the answer to this question, and there are just as many answers as there are people asking the question. Well, there is only one definition that really matters. To guarantee true success for yourself, pay close attention and internalize this definition.

In Hot Pursuit

Earl Nightingale gave one of the best definitions of success I have ever heard. He defined success as:

"The progressive realization of a worthy ideal." 

The successful person is the one who makes a deliberate, conscious decision to pursue a specific career or life goal because that is what they have always wanted to do. Then, they set out to make it happen. Even though they may not have achieved the goal yet, the simple act of making a conscious choice and knowing where they are headed is enough. For surely, they will eventually get there or some place even better.

Think of the last time you went on vacation or any type of trip. Did you simply get in the car or on the plane and say, "I will know where I'm going when I get there" or "any place will do"? I imagine you decided on the destination, then planned your route. To suggest any other way would sound pretty ridiculous right? The unfortunate truth is many people put more thought into a trip to the museum than they do in their life's pursuits.

To test this statement, ask any number of random people why they go to work each day. How many will say it is to pay the bills or some other uninspiring reason? Most people fall into their jobs. How often have you heard these types of comments:

"I chose such and such career because that's what everyone in my family or town does."
"I work there because my friend said I should."
"Well, they were hiring, so..."

They go on to spend the rest of their days merely existing, not living.

What are you So Happy About?!

Compare this to anyone who is in hot pursuit of a goal or dream. They wake up bursting with infectious enthusiasm. Ask them about their pursuit and you will have a hard time shutting them up. Even if they are broke, the pursuit of the worthy ideal keeps them going. Why? Because they have a destination. They see the end game in their heads. They hear the sounds they will hear when they reach their goal and even feel what it will be like.  As far as they are concerned, they are already there. The world just needs to catch up.

This pursuit also makes it possible to endure the monotony of a so called dead end job. With their ideal in mind and a definite plan for attaining it, they see their current station in life as no more than a pit stop on the journey. This is also the reason they are capable of displaying excitement and enthusiasm while in the presence of people who are miserable. In these settings they are often asked what they are so happy about, as if there is nothing to be happy about. Because I know where I'm going.

Discomfort is a Good Thing

If you feel uneasy or uncomfortable, consider yourself lucky because it means you still have a pulse. This is preferable to blindly imitating others who themselves have no idea where they are going.  Something inside of you realizes you are not on the right track and you need to do something different. Take some time and listen to that voice. This is perhaps the source of what many refer to as mid-life  and identity crises. The solution is a worthy ideal and a definite plan for achieving it. Remember, if you do not know where you are going, just about any place will do.

What about you? Do you have a worthy ideal and are you in hot pursuit of it? Share some of your inspiration with us in the comments below, and link to your website or Facebook fan page so we can share in your enthusiasm.

Godspeed and I look forward to seeing you in The Players Lounge.

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