EmPulse for Week of August 16, 2010
success for dummies
It is well known to my friends that I have made a lot of mistakes. To me, it feels as if I’ve raised failure to the level of an art form. Nonetheless, I have learned from my mistakes, and my friends, not to make the same mistakes again. Well, er, that isn’t exactly true. One of my other life dictums is— Always make the same mistake at least twice; that way you’ll be able to make it perfectly the third time.
Although I’ve been through all kinds of management regimens (time management, decision making, problem analysis, potential problem analysis, hand-writing analysis, body language reading, etc.), I have always found that understanding HOW to DO something is not the same as actually doing it. Furthermore, success at anything requires not only a vision of what is not-yet and needs-to-be, but also the perspicuity and tenacity to make it happen…, in a team effort, with others who do not share your Achilles’ heels (or clumsy feet), blind-spots, or, yes, stupidities. Working in a vacuum always makes it harder to breathe freely.
Backing up a bit, becoming a “success” first needs prior definition. What is success? Accumulation of $$$? Bling!? Bling!? A Mercedes? Lavish stuff? Or is it something slightly less tangible, yet far more durable? Ending hunger in just one part of the world. Curing AIDS. Turning around a ghetto in NYC or East LA. Saving history accurately. Providing scholarships & grants for those in need. Maintaining a wacked-out, flourishing, loving, Silly-String home. Bringing peace and laughter into a tense workplace. Loving one convoluted teenager. Righting an injustice in your community. It’s simply…, making a difference.
Defining success is prerequisite to being successful. What’s the quote… If you aim at nothing you’re bound to hit it. What might be worse is mindlessly assuming everyone else’s definition of success. Usually money. Rather, ask yourself questions like these—
1. What does it mean for me to be significant?
2. What one thing do I want to accomplish in my life more than anything else?
3. Where is a concrete, actual place on this planet where I can make a difference?
4. What skills do I have to give away?
5. What skills will I need to help me fulfill God’s design on my life? How do I get them?
6. How will I know when I am truly successful?
Make your life count. It’s not so much about how long you live, or how much wealth you accumulate as it is about the legacy, the contribution, you leave behind.
Have a nice week.