Got to do With Success?
By Della Menechella
I love to hear stories about people who have achieved great success in their lives. These individuals are great role models for others and they give hope to people that their own dreams can come true. Then why do these stories also disturb me? Because they often do not paint the whole picture. These successful individuals are frequently portrayed as incredibly talented people who came up with a good idea, took action on it, and then they automatically achieved major success. While this may be the plot of movies and bestsellers, it is usually not the way life works. Most people typically achieve success after dealing with many disappointments, struggles, and obstacles.
When successful people are depicted as individuals who easily achieve their goals, it sets them apart from the rest of us mere mortals. These super achievers seem like a special breed who just decide what they want, go get it, and that is the end of the story. They seem to be significantly more gifted, intelligent, and capable than most people. So we put them up on a pedestal and then tell ourselves that they are special and that we couldn’t possibly achieve similar successes in our own lives.
Often when we try to achieve something that we want, the road is rough and sprinkled with potholes. When we hit one of these potholes and almost sink to the bottom, we begin to think that maybe we don’t have what it takes to be successful and we should just give up. When we recognize that most successful people have traveled a rocky road and were often one step away from throwing in the towel, we can more easily identify with them and persevere when we encounter our own challenging times.
My husband Michael and I recently dealt with some very challenging times when it looked as if achieving success was nothing more than a far-fetched dream. Michael was a vice president at a brokerage firm when, like many others, his position was downsized as the result of a merger. Initially we thought he would obtain a similar job in a short period of time. What foolish optimism! Except for working on two consulting assignments, he was unemployed for two years. He finally obtained a full time job, but it was in a position that was two levels below the one that he had previously held. He felt frustrated but he worked hard and learned new skills. The skills that he learned allowed him to obtain a better position with another organization; however, it was still at a significantly lower level than the one that he had lost. Michael wasn’t happy at that job either, but he again learned new skills.
He is now a vice president for a major brokerage firm in a job that he loves. Has he achieved success? Yes. Was it easy? No. He had to endure two jobs that he disliked intensely in order to learn the skills that allowed him to be hired in his current position. It also took five years from the time that he was downsized to achieve the success that he sought.
So what do Michael and other successful people do that allows them to persevere when they are struggling to achieve their goals and everything seems to indicate that they will never realize their dreams? They apply the technique of FAITH.
F – Focus - They know where they are going. They have a clear-cut goal toward which they are moving and they are willing to take whatever steps are required which will bring them closer to achieving it.
A – Attitude – They have a positive attitude. Their current circumstances look pretty dismal, but they don’t allow this state of affairs to get them down. They concentrate on positive aspects of their situation because they know that where they are is leading them to where they want to go.
I – Intention – They intend to reach their goals. They don’t hope or wish they will achieve them, they intend to achieve them. They recognize that they have control over their destinies and they will do whatever it takes to finally achieve success.
T – Trust – They trust that they have the ability to make their dreams a reality. They know there is something inside of them that has the talent, skills, and courage to realize their dreams and they depend on this inner strength to help them persevere.
H – Hold (the vision) – They hold the vision of their dream. They see themselves achieving the success that they want. They play this picture over and over in their minds, and they know that one day, it will be their reality.
When you hear about successful people, realize that they are often no different than you or me. The reason they have achieved such great success is because they have FAITH. You can also use the technique of FAITH as you move forward in your life. You have what it takes to be successful; you just need to have FAITH.
Della Menechella is a speaker and trainer who helps organizations achieve greater success by improving the performance of their people. She is a contributing author to Thriving in the Midst of Change and the author of the videotape The Twelve Commandments of Goal Setting. She can be reached at 732-985-1919 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscribe to free Peak Performance Pointers e-zine - send blank e-mail to mailto:email@example.com.
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