Today’s topic on seeds of success brings on vital issues we encounter on a common basis. Fundamentally one might be tempted to believe that if one could avoid failure and all that it stands for then one would be reveling in the realm of success. Since success could be viewed as the opposite of failure it might not be wrong to think in that direction. However, success is not necessarily the absence of failure; as not being a failure does not ultimately declare one a success. You can decide not to be a failure and yet not be a success (strong words huh?). It’s a two way decision process. When the decision not to be a failure is not followed or by the decision to , mediocrity automatically fills the void (nature does not permit vacuum). Things don’t just happen. There is a safe haven between success and failure for anyone who thinks he has arrived. Yes you guessed right – average. Average is the diplomatic way of saying mediocrity. Decision not to be a failure helps you to where you are not a failure but yet not a success. On this ground, many arrive and build mansions rather than tents. However, this is not a surprise. You will push to the goal despite the achievement on the road, if you know what you want. On the other hand, if you don’t expect a thing and eventually get it or something close, it’s only natural that you revere it or probably settle for it. Donald Trump puts it well, “think big… or in my words expect big. Out of the many that are called, few choose to push to the end. Three factors would almost certainly guaranty failure in any venture.
1.Starting with only the now in mind: the statement “now is the best time” is not a general rule. Start with the end in mind. Man is intelligent; he will avoid certain misdeeds If only he pauses to consider the eventual outcome be his act. Anyone would readily take an opportunity that has an appealing now. Latter is a procrastinating word. They usually meet disappointment, those who do things for the present rush alone. If you start small in doing the right thing, you will most certainly grow with persistence, applying the right principles. If you start big, despising the small but necessary things that form your basis for laying the right foundation, you will most definitely end small.
2.Starting with the wrong motivation: your motive determines failure or success, it works In line with nature. Though it’s hidden and might not be lived out, by nature you will attract what you ask or deserve. Good motives often attract the right opportunities, events, and people to achieve its goals. Bad motives no matter how secretive and painted would eventually attract as it deserves. Motive is primary, it forms the basis on which values are created and habits formed. These two are key pillars on which character is created. Your character is who you are. Progress no matter how progressive is only temporal when the motive is wrong.
3.Doubt: doubt is when you can and think you cannot. When you doubt you create a war-zone between two strongly opposing parties within you. When this happens you divide your strength, skill and mind to achieve. You also call two incompatible forces, that of fear and faith. This leaves you handicap in the game of decision choice and focus. Though there be skill and ability doubt kills the strength and will to perform. And most certainly failure would be inevitable when you so much look in the direction of fear than faith.
It’s said that we have the power to attract anything to ourselves. As a man thinketh in his hearth so is he. In order words, you are what you think. Or you become what you think of yourself. You are outwardly, what your internal members concur to. It’s interesting to know that we are of different parts; the outer person and the inner person. So you can’t easily change the outer person without influencing first the inner being, as everything we become outwardly is eventually what we have up inwardly. The inner person could be an entirely different character altogether or could be controlled in a different manner from the outer person.
You live out what is already inbuilt within you. You can’t act out what your internal members have not built up within you. It’s believed that everything, action, words and mood a person displays outwardly is only an outcome of what reclines within him. Out of the abundance of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. Out of the scarcity in the heart the mouth keeps mute.
It takes wisdom and a wonderful personal character to reserve your comments when there is enough in your hearth to speak of. It only takes a little folly and lack of self control to always comment your reserve even when the reserve does not help the solution.
Can we actually attract that which we seek? Ask and it shall be given to you, Seek you shall find, Knock and the door shall be open to you. This is not a conditional statement. We usually get what we ask, whether by words of mouth or by our action. The action part is where people miss it. Whether you know it or not, every act you put has equal capacity to call things, as your words can. We usually attract what we think. However, there are things we deserve that we don’t get and there are things we ask we equally don’t always get. Why it happens that way I can’t tell.
When one is prepared with confidence in one’s ability he prays thus “oh God I have worked hard for this, give me what I deserve; victory is what I deserve”. The one who has prepared less and is unsure of winning then pray, “God gives me what I want, I want success”. While some people don’t deserve what they get, others simply get what they deserve.
You need skill to be competent and efficient; strength of mind is to anyone what a propeller is to a helicopter. Efficiency is key. Virtually everyone demands efficiency from everyone. As the world grows in population and innovation, the need for efficiency is emphasized in daily operation to solve the human problem.
There is opportunity in every day. There is opportunity where you are. You can create opportunity for achieving that which you desire. But it doesn’t end there. When the opportunity finally comes what do you do with it? What does it take to achieve what you want in the light of opportunity? Opportunity is not always a guaranty to achieve what you want.
One new skill might be the missing link between a person and his goal. Every personal virtue attracts opportunity for it to be demonstrated as every thought would attract the equivalent situation or opportunity for it to manifest whether they are good or bad. Skill is important but not all mighty. Skill can convince you to seize an opportunity, but it may not give you the stuff to go all the way. But by the way, why do people take the initiative to do what they do?
1. Because opportunity is available. Do you do what you do just because you have the chance to do it? Yes a lot of people do; without counting the cost and considering the process, they take opportunity head on without proper thought. And in the middle of the whole thing when the outcome is view or when they meet with any slight opposition it suddenly dawns on them. Learn to take opportunity not because they exist for the taking.
2. Because others are doing it. There should be a better reason for doing what you do. People who do this don’t do it because they don’t have idea of the goal they want to achieve, but because they lack the right plan to achieving what they want. It’s like knowing your destination without the slightest idea of how to get there. Usually the result is that you get to end up in the wrong bus, with the wrong people and at the wrong place. Talk about being moved by what you see than what you are sure of.
3. Because they cant see the end from where they are. A good way to avoid an embarrassing or calamitous outcome is by starting with the end in mind. It’s an issue of concern how people often take opportunity just for the motivations without considering the beneficial good it could bring. Motivation can get you started but doesn’t always keep you moving. It can inspire the will in you but doesn’t always give you the strength to walk the way. A common but powerful motivation here is money. There is a tendency to readily take opportunity to do anything once money meets the willingness at the other end.
4. Because they have not matured enough. Maturity is not growing old. Here maturity can refer to developing character enough in turning down a lot of good opportunities but never missing the best one. The more mature and successful one becomes the more he narrows his engagements and opportunity he chooses to accept though his options of choice be numerous. He no more takes opportunity only for the sake of meeting an end. On the other hand when one is yet maturing one is apt to virtually take every opportunity that comes one’s way.
The ability to perform a task creditably to a prescribed standard require skill. In the face of opposition and challenges where persistence becomes vital, one must have strength of mind to push against the odds of opposition.
Success is a desired achievement. Humility is a great virtue, contrary to what people think of it. But are these two compatible? There is always that temptation to be proud when one finally attains that enviable height of preferment. Even one from humble beginnings could be tempted to forget their roots, cast out every element of humility and become otherwise (humility is not necessarily associated with humble beginnings though). This phenomenon does not take away the truth that true success cannot expunge humility from its prided virtues. Humility is a character issue. Both success and humility share quite similar but different path to attain.
Humility is the ability to recognize that you are human. It’s the ability to be humble when you have opportunity and right to be proud. It is common place that pride is mostly associated with wealth, outstanding talents and the likes. If you noticed, I didn’t use the term success when referring to pride. Why? You may ask. It brings us back to the “all important topic”; WHAT IS SUCCESS? I wrote exclusively about success, if you read it, it will help clear out the misconception between success and riches. Success is definitely not riches however, it‘s an aspect of it that cannot be ignored. Happiness is an important part of success as success means different things to different people at different points in their life.
Humility comes from a great deal of self understanding and self worth. Humility is a wonderful personal virtue that many relegate to the background. These days I seem to talk a lot about the easy things, pride is one of them. It’s a no brainier to be proud once you attain a level of preferment. The easy stuff doesn’t usually stand you out. Beware of effortless attainments, for as much as I know, all worthy accomplishment are not without there fair share of difficulty and uneasiness at their initial stages. If your journey is without effort or opposition, it could be you are going down the hill. Here is something to consider about humility.
1. Humility brings you to terms with who you truly are. Pride on the other hand does the very opposite, it masks you from your true self and sets you aside not just from others but from yourself and you true values; it makes you build confidence around fetish hopes rather than gain it from internalized values. Every need has an ego to feed – Bob Marley. But I say, “Every cruelty or unpleasant character has a weakness it shields”.
2. Humility opens you up to opportunities around you. This is a neglected aspect; I believe that there is opportunity where you are. Pride lifts the head so high that it doesn’t allow one to see the possibilities and danger below.
3. It is easier to gain trust and association, with humility. A proud man is so concerned about only himself; he appreciates his qualities so much he barely has time for the greater good he can do to humanity.
One guaranty about pride is that it will surely lift you up. Who doesn’t want to be lifted up? Everyone wants to, but before you take the lift pride offers consider clause. The only reason why pride lifts you up is to let you down. “A man’s pride shall bring him low….”Prv 29:23
Every success has a level of pride attached to it. But any person of character learns to be humble and human irrespective of achievement. One pivotal key to overcoming pride is service. Service is a key calling in nature. Inasmuch we are born to win we are called to serve. Unfortunately pride can’t serve, should I say it can’t serve effectively. The moment you stop serving, you start losing relevance. The saddest thing that can happen to anyone is to know how irrelevant one has become to loved ones, the society and humanity. Humility creates opportunity for service. Conquer pride with service. The richest companies and people in the world are the ones that provide you service on a regular, consistent and satisfactory basis. There is no reason to be proud when you know you are at service.
It started with change right from the very beginning; man and his environment are governed by one indisputable factor – change. Everyday we see change, it’s very obvious and yet some can’t find out and understand that they are indebted to change.
Nothing is as constant as change. At the long run anybody would realize that at one point in life they must either change or be changed. There is a feeling people show towards change. You know the feeling that usually meets a major reshuffle in the office or the emergence of new competition. The common unpleasant emotion that comes with change is insecurity and uncertainty though they are natural to an extent. The unstable balance is always troubled by change at any attempt on our fundamental needs. Every person has the fundamental need for love, security, recognition, creativity, expression etc. Anything that attempts to alter the status quo is often met with unpleasant emotions.
Can you avoid change? Can you work to a level of utmost security and satisfaction that would guarantee anti-change effects? Of course yes? But only fools imagine thus? Change has a double edge effect. To the one who detest and tries to avoid it, it often spares disaster and unpleasant emotions. To the other who sees it as only a natural phenomenon, and does what he should to flow with it, he will sail safe on the tides of constant change.
Satisfaction and contentment are two feeling everybody wants to experience in their daily life. But these same feelings can be enemy to the positive effects that change brings. No one would seek to improve what he is totally content with. And I think there is that tendency in everyone to want more. If satisfaction where a commodity, it would be very scarce. Contentment is a virtue, a desirable one at that. But if everyone where content with what they are, how they feel, and what they have then there would be a killing air of mediocrity, ineptitude and definitely no need for improvement. I also think there is that tendency in man not to be content. That’s why every forward thinking person always wants more, that extra touch that makes it look better; they want to take it a little bit higher, to step up the status quo.
And for boredom? There is always a positive approach to every thing even this. Give a toddler a toy, soon he gets he gets bored with it; he wants more he wants something better, a little bit exciting and satisfying. And that’s the basics of improvement. Where there is a tendency for more or improvement there would always be progress and development. Where there is utter contentment there is little development. Mans need is insatiable.
Is there any wisdom in avoiding change? No. is there any reason in having unpleasant emotions about change? Yes. So what’s the deal?
1. Change is only natural. It’s as natural as reaching for water when thirsty. It’s as natural as the seasons in a year.
2. You can work it. You can prepare for it and use it beneficially. Your attitude and character matters here. Build up a character that is not afraid of change effect by being proactive, because you are prepared and positioned for the next; because you are informed and constantly learning (growing).
And for improvement? You can only reach for better when you have known the good; you have an idea of the best and want to get there. We aim above the mark to hit the mark – Ralph Waldo Emerson. The antidote for change and the unpleasant feelings about its effects is consistent discreet improvement. Like I would always say there is always enough room for improvement and everyday brings that that opportunity to achieve that.
They say anything worth doing is worth doing well. But I will not be wrong to add that anything worth doing is worth the risk. It’s commonplace to think of risk as something that must be avoided, but it’s more ridiculous to consider people who do as inept, uncoordinated heads, people who speculate rather than strategize. Well if you think that way, I think you need a second thought; life in itself is a risk. Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. T.S. Eliot.
Some say they don’t take risk but even if they have to, it has to a calculated one. Whether risk is calculated or impulsive will only change its flavor of conception but not the color of its nature. Because man is not God he will now and then need to venture into uncertainties; though man is so gifted and intelligent that he can predict the future to a certain degree of accuracy; he has the ability to contrive what is and decipher the outcome of what I will call the cause consequence effect.
Everyone has that instinct of creativity even though not everyone digs into it it; and anyone who would exploit it would perhaps encounter some sort of uncertainties in his quest to create. The biggest risk is to run from a risk that you must have to face in order to achieve the best. And that’s the why I see risk as necessary. The men who have done big things are those who were not afraid to attempt big things who were not afraid to risk failure in order to gain success – B.C. Forbes. Good is good but better is better. One who has the habit of avoiding risk irrespective of the beneficial good it could have on humanity stands little chance to add any meaningful value to life. `Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness;' Judges 14:14. Some things just wait for the taking.
Why do you beat sleep and wake up each morning, brush up yourself and do what you do? For all obtainable reasons, I would put it in one statement; you want to satisfy your basic human need. The need of love, satisfaction expression, recognition, responsibility, security etc. one would usually take any risk be it calculated or otherwise in order to hold one’s own. Nobody would want to take any extra risk when these needs are conveniently met
Most people tend to exploit their potential the most in an air of freedom and security. In life, risk is always a commonality and a factor, whether you get hard at work in order to avoid them or you face them fare and square to meet the needs or achieve the best.
Everyday day is a seed, it comes with opportunity enough to solve problems, meet needs and improve self. A society is only as improved and developed as its inhabitants are informed and developed. It is like a system, where one person's improvement can influence that of the whole. In the strive to meet daily challenges, amidst much commitments, commitments are miss committed. Like in a football game, the objective of each team is to hit the goal as many times as possible to win (as long as they do this more than their opponent). But some games sadly end barren. And one would wonder a full match could not produce a goal. Your ability to see patterns and understand them determines passage, in the maze of affairs. Like in a football game, each team is strategically structured to stop the other from scoring while they themselves work to score. A team will definitely score when they see the pattern through the other team's opposition. Everything in life has a pattern. That's why success is not always of strength or skill, but working according to the natural laws about anything. There are three simple yet important keys that will help one keep track of one's goal, unfavorable situations not withstanding
1. Focus: when you find purpose, focus on it. This is according to the law of sequence. First things first, you can't focus on what you don't see; you can't take what you have not discovered. It's one thing to have a goal; it's another to have another goal. There will always be goals to achieve. As long as there is progress in any venture there would be new problems and innovative demands. For these to be met, goals sometimes need to be set amidst existing ones thereby increasing commitment and possibility of losing sight on the most important things. When it gets tough in football match, a team might lose focus on goals while trying to handle the surging offense of the other team. The sun will burn out flesh with the help of a convex lens, ordinarily it can't. You must not necessarily abandon every other commitment just to achieve one goal, that's not wise, is it? Focus in concise definition is giving each goal or commitment the justified required attention in its given time.
2. Consistency: with consistent heat, a stone will dissolve in boiling water. There is no progress in inconsistency. You will be a pioneer in what you initiated, but if you start a thing and show consistent improvement over time you will perfect in it. Consistency is not mediocrity. Mediocrity is maintaining the status quo (even when the status quo is below standard). Consistence is continual progress no matter how slow or gradual.
3. Persistence: consistency is not always possible without persistence. Consistent progress is not without obstacles and failures but it's in the ability to rise and still improve. With persistence, consistent heat will dissolve a stone in boiling water; that's a proverb anyway. One cardinal virtue and common factor in every worthy achievement is you guessed right, determination. As much as I know it is not always an inborn virtue, it's developed like many other virtues. The world will wait for a determined man.
He is not in haste
Time is not always against him
Usually he is against time
With consistent determination he focus on the goal
To achieve it
The world will wait for him
Because he rides on the back of three
Three cardinal virtues that nature respects.
Have you ever heard the term emotionally induced illnesses (E.I.I)? If you have what do you think of it? if you haven’t heard about it, well you know about emotions because we all tend to have a good doss of them each day. It will interest you to know that your emotions mean more than mere feelings. A colleague of mine automatically fell ill, few hours after he bought a pair of shoes. The price he paid for the shoe was grossly disproportionate to its quality. Emotion is a state of mind that manifests itself by sensible changes in the body – William James. It all boils down to the mind again, everything begins from within. It would never be easy to maintain pleasant emotions always especially in times like these, with disasters, economic crisis and personal hurricanes. We are apt to react with an emotion at certain circumstance and every emotion has an equivalent effect, whether positively or negatively. Over 50 percent of those seeking medical aid today have E.I.I. Emotions like fear, anger, happiness, unsatisfactory attitude or emotion, sadness, disgust etc we call common are by no measure common in their effects. It is not criminal to respond with bad emotions at unpleasant situations but on the other hand it doesn’t help your health. This is what I mean.
1. Anger: when one shows the emotion of anger, the blood cells circulating in the blood increases by half a million per cubic millimeter, the outlet of the stomach muscles tightens, blood pressure rises by over 75% etc
2. Fear: here there is a squeezing down of blood vessels supplying the brain.
3. Dissatisfaction: anyone who is aggressively dissatisfied is a candidate of ulcer.
Now here are some recommendations for keeping pleasant emotions.
a. Learn to laugh: there is no better medicine than a good laugh. Some people are blessed with such cheerful temperament that they seem not to get upset by anything. But not to worry if you are not such. Learn not to always backlash yourself at every mistake. There are some things so serious you have to laugh at them.- Niels Bohr. it actually takes less effort and muscles to laugh than keep a sad emotion. A smile does more good to your soul. To make mistakes is human; to stumble is commonplace; to be able to laugh at yourself is maturity.
- William Arthur Ward
b. Treat every blunder at the point: this will reduce regrets later on as well as self backlash. A manager I know does not waste any time to reprove his workers at any misdid, in doing this he is usually get unpleasantly emotional but the next moment after that scene, he becomes jovial again. That way he makes his point without making enemies as well as ensure his healthy emotion.
c. Respond with pleasant emotions at unpleasant actions. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be realistic with your emotions, doing this at times might also look really ridiculous but you still have to consider the benefits.
Negative action + negative emotion = increase the chances of E.I .I
Negative action + pleasant emotion = cancels and reduces the chance of E.I.I
Good emotions are your best medicine. Can you control your emotions? If you can you, you have a hold on your health.