Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Pain of Success

   Success...what does it really mean? Perhaps a more important question is what does it really mean to you? For a long time I had an image of “success” as living on easy street...but as it turns out, there is nothing easy about achieving success. For me, and perhaps for many others, it is a daily grind paid for with blood, sweat and tears. To be successful, you need to ask yourself one very important question: How bad do you want it?

   It’s tough to get a measure of emotion. How do you accurately measure one person’s feelings against the same feelings in another? There is an old saying, actions speak louder than words...and it’s generally accepted that the person doing something about how they feel is probably more vested in that feeling than the person just sitting around talking about it. I could be wrong though, emotions can run very deep. Desire is a very profound emotion, responsible for many acts, both good and bad. A person with a desire for success...pretty much describes nearly everyone. A person doing something to fill that desire describes someone that has answered the question of how bad they want it.

   How bad do you want it? I keep coming back to this because it’s so important. I was recently in a conversation with my son, and he told me a story he heard from a motivational speaker (I can’t remember whom). The story goes something like this...but probably not exactly:

   An old guru offers to reveal the secret to make millions of dollars. a young man takes the offer and is instructed to meet the guru at the beach early the next morning. The young man arrives, dressed in a suit. He is instructed to walk out into the ocean. As he does so, he begins to question the guru on how this will make him rich. The guru stays firm for him to continue walking into the ocean. The young man questions the guru when the water is at his waist and again when it is at his neck. The guru is adamant in telling the man that if he wants to be rich, if he wants to be successful, then he must continue to walk. Finally the man walks far enough that he falls beneath the surface...and he begins to thrash about wildly. The guru grabs the man and brings him to the surface...and reveals the secret of success. He asks the man what he wanted most when he was thrashing about. The young man replies that all he wanted was to be able to breath. The guru then retorts, when he wants success as badly as he wanted to breath...when it becomes as important as his very next breath, then...and only then, will he achieve his goal.

   Now...success for everyone isn’t being filthy rich (although a good segment of the population wouldn’t mind having that particular problem), but the lesson is a good one. How bad do you want it? The person desiring success while sitting on the couch talking about it isn’t drowning to have it. Speaking about drowning...many may not realize it, but it’s a very painful way to die. It ends in cardiac arrest. So...”drowning” for success comes with a lot of pain.

   Just watch an episode of Shark Tank and catch any one of the “sharks” talking about what they had to go through to become multi-millionaires and billionaires, and it becomes evident that there was a lot of pain involved in the process.

   Let me reiterate...success is different for everyone and you have to define what it means to you. In today’s society, for many,  success is maintaining a roof over your head and food on the table for your children. Your personal measure for success isn’t as important as what you are willing to do to attain it...which isn’t as important as actually doing whatever is necessary.

   The pain of bad do you want it?

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