By Ezinwanne Onwuka
The dictionary defines success as achieving your aims or what was intended or achieving a good result and being successful. This definition goes to reveal that success has little or nothing to do with wealth, material accumulation or achievement.
Self-discovery and self- manifestation are cardinal to success because success is influenced by who we are and how we think. In the words of Dr. Myles Munroe, “success is not what you have done compared to what others have done, but what you have done compared to what you were supposed to do”
No fewer than a million people fall by the wayside in the quest to achieve success, principally because they lack useful ideas on what to do to be successful. They often apply wrong methods in an attempt to achieve success and expect positive results. But my question is does a builder ignore the principle of laying a good foundation and proper alignment of bricks and still succeed in erecting an edifice? The answer is definitely a capital NO!
Books have been written extensively on how to achieve success in any area of one’s endeavour. However, the following five nuggets stand out eloquently as a guide to aid one in one’s journey to success.
Possess a clear vision – the dictionary meaning of vision is the ability to see. However, in the context of this article, vision is elaborated as an inspired insight and a mental telescope to clearly envisage one’s future.
According to James Allen, “the vision that you glorify in your mind, the idea that you enthrone in your heart, this you will build your life by and this you will become”. Having a good and properly evaluated vision is similar to a child that is going to buy chocolates in a supermarket. The child will keep going until he gets to the supermarket where chocolates can be bought, and no matter how far the supermarket may be, he does not turn to buy a can of water even if he is thirsty. This is because the chocolate is his mission.
Likewise, your mission should be your motive in this world and you ought to focus on achieving it. Where there is a vision, there is a mission and the direction is known. Do not mistake vision for ambition or imagination as a lot of people do. Vision is a focused plan with an accompanying zeal and will power to fulfil it. Therefore, to succeed, you must create a desire for something. Desire (vision) gives direction to success.
Set goals – having a vision or nursing a desire is never enough. You need to devise means to achieve it. Vision can be conceived as a destination, goals are road maps on how to get there. It is imperative that you set smart and practicable goals for what you wish to become in future. It could be on business growth, academic qualification.
Reaching your target at work and so on. It all depends on your personal pursuit. An old saying goes, “brick by brick a house is built”, in those bricks (goals) lies the strength of the edifice (vision). It is foolishness to overlook the bricks that combine to build an edifice; and continue to aspire to build an edifice.
Your vision might be so great that people may be telling you that you are building a castle in the air. Don’t bother about destroying it or think that you are stupid to nurse such s vision. All you need to do is to build a solid foundation underneath it and with time, it would no longer be called a castle in the air but a mansion. Goal(s) is the solid foundation you need. In the words of Bob Gass, “many tasks seem overwhelming when you look at their tasks but when you break them down into small steps and visualize yourself taking the first step, you are amazed at your progress”.
The will to succeed (determination) – my great concern is not who you are, whether you are rich or poor, or how many times you have failed, but whether you have the will to achieve the object of your desires. It is one thing to have the determination to succeed and another thing to succeed in the midst of challenges.
Determination is the will power to succeed and the will to succeed is a resolute determination. It is a burning desire to attain the object of your wishes. W.F Kumuyi once said, “Determination is tenacity of purpose”. Determination, therefore, is stubbornness with a purpose. Among the oft-quoted maxims in our language, there is none finer, or more replete with sterling truth, than that which often falls so lightly from man’s lips: where there is a will, there is a way.
He who resolves upon doing a thing, by that very resolution often scales the barriers through it, and secures its achievement. The fact that mountains so often dwindle into molehills when we once resolutely determine to cross them shows the verity of the axiom that he who intensely wills to do a thing will find a way. An intense desire itself transforms possibility into reality.
When Zig Ziglar maintained that, “when obstacles strikes, change your direction to get to your destination not your decision to get there”, he was talking of determination – the will to succeed against all odds.
Make the right choices – choice is a decision that manipulates our thoughts, shapes our attitude and reveals our actions. The choice you make, then, affects your attitudes and actions. So, if your choice is not one that will impact and sustain your future, then it will destroy you and everything around you, because the choices you make will invariably make you.
Dr. Ben Carson understands this when, from his own life, he opined “we create our own destiny by the way we do things. We have to take advantage of opportunities and be responsible for our choices”. Your life is based on the foundation of your choice and you are the architect of that foundation. Lately, people have gotten so enlightened and informed on the fact that things don’t just happen, our actions and reactions make them happen.
That’s why you will often times hear people, these days, make statements like, “it’s a choice”, “the choice is yours”, “suit yourself”, “whatever…” etc. stressing that things can only be the way we are or choose to be. Choices reveal your destination by influencing your actions. You are the a product of the choices you make.
Work hard and smart – success is not all about planning but working out your plans. The one admonition I have heard and gotten to used to is “work hard”. And I guess your folks or those around you have equally, at one time, told you the same thing. But I want you to understand clearly that there are two types of workers: those who work hard and those who work smart.
The difference? Those who work hard go after money while those who work smart attract money. Nobody ever recorded a huge success by working hard alone. You can work hard without working smart, but you can’t work smart without working hard. To achieve anything meaningful, you must imbibe the workable principle of hard work and smart work because the smarter the work, the higher the pay and the better the position.