Some People Say That Personal Success is About Fame & Fortune. But is it?
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Don’t be one of those people who cares about no-one or nothing else other than ‘personal success’ and enlarging the size of your bank balance.
Yes, there are those who will suggest that success is measured by the size of your house, the scale of your business, how large your social following and even by many cars you own. Personal success is none of these things, and if you think about it, when have any of these things ever fulfilled you?
Personal success is one of those things which cannot be measured, in the same way that happiness and love can’t be measured.
Personal success is determined in the eye of the beholder. It means different things to different people, and there are many people out there who will offload their warped definition of success on you for as much money as you’re willing to pay them. Don’t be one of those people.
While there is no sure-fire formula I can off you for success, there is one I can offer you for failure: try to please all people all of the time.
Albert Einstein once said, “Try not to become a person of success. Rather become a person of value.”
If you are trying to apply a metric to your success, you have failed to recognise one of the most important things that we can accomplish as human beings. To create and to be creative.
In the beginning, God spent the first six days creating the earth, the skies, the waters, the birds, the bee’s and then eventually us. Once he’d finished creating, he then put up his feet and cracked open a cold one.
As he (or she) was sitting back ‘chillaxing’, he looked over all that he’d made and said: “This is good.” Fullstop.
So, when God spent the first six days creating absolutely everything, I just spent the first 30 years of my life trying to make a name for myself, earn money and prove to other how important I was. In my first 30 years, I created nothing.
To me, personal success is partially to do with what we create and what we contribute back to the world. Contributing is about how much time and effort we will invest towards creating something that benefits other people – and not just our bank balances.
From the ages of 17 – 24ish, I served in the HM Forces for the purpose of serving Queen and country, serving my self-esteem and primarily my bank balance (mainly my self-esteem and bank balance – even though I would have said Queen and country at the time).
From the ages of 24 – 30ish, I served business owners, millionaires, media groups and bankers as I gave them my time in exchange for the minimum amount of money that I would accept in remuneration.
From the age of 30 – date, I’ve been able to create a range of 17 personal growth video courses, I’ve learned to build a cool looking website that works, I’ve written 100’s of blog articles and have even written two Kindle books and five workbooks. I’ve set up a charity, coached 100’s of ex-forces guys and have attracted over 25,000 students into one or more of my courses.
In short, if I was to drop dead tomorrow, I have created something with my life that can still benefit and an endless number of people once I’ve gone. To be honest, I’m quite happy with this. My legacy is laid.
I’ve lost one woman I loved to cystic fibrosis and have walked down the aisle with another. The lessons I’ve learned along the way are what I do my best to get into the hands of as many other people as possible. Hense my writing this short article. Thanks for reading!
I created a few startup business, helped a few other startup business, starred in a musical, travelled the world, owned a pub, lost a pub and learned a whole load of new things.
None of my pursuits and none of my endeavours were for the purpose of being successful, I just did these things because I couldn’t justify sitting back and doing the same thing, day in, day out, for anything up to a lifetime. In truth, the more I pursued success, the more unsuccessful I became.
What I have grown to recognise in recent years, is that the more time that I commit to doing what I love, money, status, recognition and popularity seem to come as a byproduct. It’s quite ironic really.
I have friends in the world who I know will do anything for me (within reason). I have other friends who aren’t really friends, but regardless, I’m still a friend to them, and they appreciate me for it.
Over the years, the amount of time that I’ve invested into people has had a far greater ROI in comparison to the amount of time I have spent doing all things work.
Today, I understand that the only way the world can move forward is when one generation of people share their ideas and understandings with the next. Most people won’t do this.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate and have it make a difference to someone else. This shows that you have lived and lived well.”
I owned my first house at 19 and had lost it by 24. I made my first £100K by 25 and had lost it all by 28. When I was broke and homeless in 2008, I scrubbed carpets and picked cherries. I’ve had jobs that I despised that paid me well, and jobs that paid me peanuts that I loved (the pub).
Through all the up’s, the downs, the in’s and out’s, I’ve recognised that my fulfilment or contentment in life has never been influenced by the money in my bank account (or by the stuff that I had).
There’s an old Chinese proverb which states, “Money is not the route of all evil. The love of money is the route of all evil.” And it’s true, some of the most miserable men and women I’ve ever met are CEO’s and directors or large corporations who live to make more money.
Yes, money can bring some temporary happiness and instant gratification, but it doesn’t bring fulfilment, and it cannot bring peace. Fulfilment and inner peace, being the results of a genuinely successful life.
The best antidote I know for worry and stress is work. The best cure for loneliness is the challenge of befriending someone who is even more lonely. One of the greatest ironies I’ve found in life is that those who serve others usually always benefit more than those who are served.
The late author, John Bunyan once wrote, “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
So next time you are comparing yourself, your status or your social following to someone else’s, please remember that personal success isn’t something that can be seen or measured.
How successful you are will be determined by those who remember you after you’ve gone. Other people will gauge your success by the generosity of your heart, the strength of your mind and willingness to give.
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