We all have our role models and ideals when it comes to success. They drive our ambitions, and motivate us to pursue achievements. Alternatively, seeing someone who lives in an abundance of glamour can also be demoralizing. The first thing that comes to mind after watching an episode of MTV cribs is usually –“Oh, my god, I’ll never be this lucky.”
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Honestly, being as successful as some of the most popular celebrities is definitely not easy, and you might think that in their situation you would be way more humble and not brag about it so much. WRONG! That is the entertainment industry; who knows how much humiliation and exploitation these people had to go through before they became famous. If you had to go through all of it, you would probably resort to rubbing it in other people’s faces too.
Besides, you don’t need to idealize celebrities too much, most of them were just simple folk like you, and yes, they too woke up in a pool of their own vomit after going through a bad break up. They’ve earned their right to stand in the spotlight and be generous every now and then.
Successful people seem above all of us because of the praise they receive from the media, but almost every one of them had a starting point just like you. After all, success would be meaningless if it was just handed to you – it is always better to earn it.
1. They Failed Over And Over Again
We live in a world where people can’t wait for someone to make a strong remark and utterly fail afterwards, I mean there are websites specifically designed for collecting and sharing these events. The bad news is, you are bound to fail at something, and most likely someone will catch it on camera for everyone to see. The good news is, it happens so frequently to everyone around you that you will be forgotten in a matter of days.
I know it sounds cheesy, but every failure is a lesson, and if you learn to fail faster, you will learn at a more rapid pace. In other words, you’ll be able to ascertain if something you are doing has any prospects, and you can either persist or shut it down before it depletes you. Learning how to shut something down before it is too late is a crucial part of any business.
2. They Made Wrong Decisions
You know that feeling when you come up with an incredible idea, but as you present it to friends and family, no one is as hyped about it as you are? However, you are so proud of yourself that you choose to go with it, regardless of what everybody thinks, determined to prove everyone wrong. In 99% of the cases, that is the wrong decision. Why? Because this is real life, not a plot for Disney’s cartoon “The Little Mermaid”.
Of course, we are expected to make some wrong decisions as part of our growing process, or even to go with certain decision, despite the fact we know they are wrong. By the age of 30 there is plenty of room for those, but it would be preferable if they would cease to exist after we enter the third decade of our lives. Much like with failures, use these wrong decisions as part of your learning experience, so that you can guide your future business decisions more accurately.
3. They Hit Rock Bottom
Literally speaking, if you can jump of a tall peak or building and hit the rock bottom, and stay alive, there is a good chance you’ll be able to monetize such a feat. Metaphorically speaking, hitting rock bottom is more or less a defining moment in everyone’s life. Once a series of misfortunate events occur, and you raise yourself up out of it all, many things won’t seem so scary anymore. It would be foolish to assume we come out of those experiences unscathed, but once you experience the worst you become bolder, and due to stress, a lot balder- a lot of successful people share these traits.
4. They Remained Persistent
Whether you start working somewhere, or even start your own job, it won’t be easy. Sure you might be excited at first, but things won’t magically turn you into a successful entrepreneur. Much like The Fellowship of the Ring you’ll face many challenges, your decisions will be questioned, and who knows, you might even battle some orcs, if you work in an office with fun rules, of course.
If you are looking for a job that pays well, but does not exhaust you in the process, you need to wake up. Jobs are usually exhausting either physically, or mentally, and sometimes both, mostly because they require us to do something that we would rather not do at the moment. Even your dream job will do that to you, because sooner or later, you’ll want to try something new, and the ongoing everyday routine will bore you. This is why you need persistence, and an iron will to continue on doing something over and over again.
5. They Stood up for Themselves
If you are waiting for divine intervention, or for an old sage to come out of nowhere and tell you all about your epic destiny, you are delusional. Sure, each one of us would love to be regarded as unique and irreplaceable, which is why I need to quote Dr. Sheldon Cooper: “If someone says you’re "one in a million" they’re telling you that there are 7,038 people just like you. How is this a compliment?” That’s right, none of us is as special as we all like to think we are. It is a good thing though, as it means that the playing field is pretty balanced, and the main difference is mindset. Are you a dreamer, or a doer? Work hard in order to be noticed by superiors, wait for your window of opportunity to shine and don’t hesitate to use it.
6. They Became More Responsible and Mature
We are not implying that you can’t party ever again, or do anything immature. I’m only saying that you will have to find some sort of pleasure in your work, and face the fact that a devil-may-care attitude is no longer welcome. You’ll have vacations and weekends, but get used to the feeling of being constantly tired and annoyed by the fact that most of your year is not what you planned it to be. Until you achieve success, you will have to forsake some aspects of yourself. On the other hand, a sense of achievement and progress are also good mental awards, so look forward to those.
7. They Formed Realistic Goals
Do not make goals you cannot achieve. For example, I will finish my book by the end of the year. It sounds very possible, but then you are not writing for the sake of conveying something amazing, you are writing just to have a book in your CV. The same goes if you want to be successful, or if you want to save money to invest in something bigger. Calculate your expenses, calculate where you can save money, and set a realistic goal that, at the same time, requires you to show more discipline. Furthermore, remember to set goals that resonate with who you are and who you want to be, not only financial goals.
8. They Learned How to Channel Their Ambition
Too much ambition can take you over and make you do crazy things. Goethe wrote about a guy who sold his soul to the Devil, to satisfy his ambitions. Think about it, if you find yourself in front of an entrepreneur with horns and hooves, maybe you took it too far. Of course, ambition is a good thing, as long as you know how to channel it and be patient.
Think about what it means for you to be successful, and where you would like your ambition to take you. Set a goal and divide that goal into milestones, so you’ll have more minor and realistic goals that drive you towards that one ultimate goal. Do not feel bad if you need to readjust those milestones, since you cannot control everything. As long as you keep making progress, stay on course.
9. They Realized They Can’t Succeed on Their Own
Come on, even Batman faced the fact that he can’t handle Gotham alone, it’s why he has Robin, Alfred, Nightwing, Gordon and others. It can be hard to trust someone who has been only working for you, but again it is a better idea than starting or leading business with a close friend or a family member. At least the promoted worker will still see you as an authority figure. Yes, there are risks here as well, but you can’t manage everything on your own, and it is good to get a second opinion on things you are not sure about. Plus, eventually you’ll need to promote some of your devoted employees, as it’s not only you who advances, but your staff as well. In other words, success is a team effort.
10. They Redefined Success
Lastly, you are going to alter your perception of success. We cannot all be rich, it is irrational to think so, and economically impossible at the same time. If you end up with enough revenue to fulfill your needs and the needs of your family, to go on a vacation once or twice a year, and if you have a stable retirement plan, along with some free time to enjoy life every now and then, you should consider yourself a successful individual.
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Remember to set goals that resonate with who you are and who you want to be, not only financial goals. Success is not only measured in money, but also how much money you can get away with while slacking off.