“I am just a technician. Being a success is really beyond me”
“As a janitor (cleaner), there is no such thing as success”
These are some of the more common comments I hear during those days when I was conducting Employability Skills training.
Even my fellow trainers and my mentor, received their fair share of such comments.
I remembered my mentor sharing with me on how disheartened he was when he heard those comments. Nevertheless, we do understand the point they were trying to make.
Believe it or not, life is but a test. A test in almost every single aspect of our lives. So when anyone comes forward with one of the reasons above, it’s almost like giving up before you even begin to play the game.
Probably, many people misunderstood or have the wrong perception of the term ‘success’. Of course, there is a generic label to the term but I think, in the words of Optimus Prime, there is more than meets the eye.
One of the most popular pictures painted on success is the view of a man or woman in designer label suit, driving an expensive car, living in a large apartment or house that has a private swimming pools and the list of materialism goes on and on.
I remembered when my youngest brother came up to me, more than 10 years ago, asking for the definition of success for his composition. I explained to him that success is when you achieve a set of predefined goals or targets.
Unsure of my definition, he went over to my younger brother(his older brother). The answer he got was “Success is when you have all the money to spend on anything you want”.
That seemed to make more sense to my youngest brother. Anyway, all the movies and television portray success as having something material.
You don’t believe me? Try googling it.
Almost every result links success with money and material.
I remember asking to myself why success has to be about money and material. When I started working, I got to meet engineers, managers and executives who drove big cars and live in private properties but still don’t see themselves as a success.
When probed further, they gave very diverse answers.
“I am a success if I don’t need to work anymore”
“I am a success only when I can spend more time with my family”
“Success? It will come once I get my PhD”
Interesting. Very interesting answers indeed.
So that actually got me asking what really is success and why it is so important.
For me, personally I think success is what we made it out to be. If we set a financial goal and we achieved it, then i think that is a success. If we want a PhD and we achieved it, that is a success. if we want to have a happy family and we achieve that, i think we can categorized that as a success too.
In 2003, I was introduced to direct selling and they too, drive the concept of success with wealth and they were aggressive about it too.
A few years later, i came across a different definition of success and he shared my definition of success.
That person was Tony Robbins..
I was listening to one of his Audio CDs and he said something like ‘everyone has their own definition of success and it is important that everyone actually defines what they see as success as everyone is different.
So you see, success is not beyond any of us. It is a possibility as long as we define what success is to us and we work our ass off to get there.
Why Is It Important For Me To Be Successful?
Have you heard of the phrase “No Man Is An Island”?
Human are social beings, no matter how we call ourselves a loner or lone ranger. (Even the Lone Ranger is not really alone)
From a couple, comes a family. From a family, comes a community.
We aspire and inspire. We compete and we complete. We find role models and a lot of times, unknowingly, we become role models for others.
Let me bring your attention to the very first two sentences of this post.
You see, I have a theory..
Those who said those ‘negative’ comments did not just have those comments within them. It’s an idea that was planted within them many, many years ago. Over time, it get nurtured in a negative way and they made the conscious decision of not planning and working towards success.
There was a gardener. He has a small plot of land where he grew carrots, potatoes, melons, spinach and brinjal, among others.
Every harvest, he would collect the seeds and select them carefully for the next planting. He chose only the best seeds for replanting and every day, we would water them, treat them and remove weeds and other unwanted plants.
One day, a young man asked him on his secret to successful gardening.
His answer –I plant the best seeds and focus my efforts on them.
When we were young, thoughts and opinions got planted in our mind as ‘an idea’ or a possibility.
Unfortunately, some of those seeds were not the best and it became part of our subconscious mind. As we grow older, the environment will either nurture or challenge those thoughts and ideas, which will have an impact over our decisions in the future.
We need to be a success so that we can influence better ideas and thoughts to those around us, especially the younger generation who don’t really question much of what we do in person.
We may have control over who are our heroes, but we have zero control over those who chose us to be their heroes.
Before we can change the world, we need to change ourselves first. Only when we are a success, will we have a ‘louder’ voice. Only when we are a success, we have bigger influence.
So be that hero. Be a success. If you don’t want to do it for yourself, do it for your family, do it for your community.
If That’s The Case, How Do I Get Started To Be Successful
I view success as a building built on two foundations. Without any one of these foundation, success is definitely beyond reach.
Basic Foundation of Success
The first foundation is Education. Now, I know some of you might raise an eyebrow or two, but do hear me out.
Education is not just about degree or paper qualification. Education here is about learning. Learning from books, learning from mentors, colleagues etc. Learning can not happen without the will to seek new information with a very open mind.
The second foundation is Hustle. Meaning you need to really work the ground fast, sweat it out and put in a lot of effort to make your work.. work.
Why Education and Hustle? Why isn’t Hardwork part of the equation?
I have seen many people from different professions, most of them are hardworkers. However, I realized something.. What separates them from the over-achievers is the drive to, not just to work hard, but to push through fast.
Speak to any successful people, even successful parents, their recipe for success will definitely be based on Education and Hustle.
Have you been extremely successful at anything? Maybe baking or cooking or even sports? Do you disagree that for you to get there, you basically need Education and Hustle?
If Education & Hustle is the Foundation, what else is there?
Pillars of Success
In building our own success story, apart from the foundation, we will also need pillars.
In this model, there are 2 pillars. The first one is Goal Setting. Surprise Surprise..
Why is Goal Setting isn’t the basic foundation of success? Let me ask you something..
Do you know anyone who is an achiever who reaches his goals?
Do you know anyone who sets goals only to recycle them the following year?
Both did goal setting but what is missing in one but not the other?
Some of you are going to throw rocks at me but I will say this.. Goal setting is a waste of time if you are not willing to learn and work your ass off… PERIOD!
Some of you might say, hey! But I work real hard. I am a workaholic! If that’s the case, Goal Setting might be something you need to give you that focus.
So what is the other pillar?
That other pillar is Network.
The phrase “You network determines your nett worth” has never been more applicable in this new economy.
In this new economy, collaboration is an important growth element. And for collaboration to occur, you need to build your network. For you to build a high nett worth network, you need to have trust, rapport and respect.
Almost all my businesses are attained through a network. When I started my first business, Metropolitan FM Solutions, I’ve partnered with an ex-colleague and 2 ex-bosses.
From the network of that ex-colleague, we were invited to a project bidding that led to our first business for the company.
Through the network on one of my ex-bosses, we got our second project.
When I left the company to start a training company, I was linked up with an old friend, by chance, who offered me to join his company. Why did I join him? Because of trust.
I remembered a quote from the Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones that went something like this; “Who you know is important. But it matters more that people knows you and what they think of you”.
Without those network, I don’t think I would be able to experience all that.
The Roof Of Success
All buildings need a roof to provide shelters for those who need them. To complete this ‘building’ of success, you need that ‘roof’ and that roof is called “Giving Back”.
The world is huge and created with abundance. However, that abundance is hoarded by a few that deprived many. This is where the successful ‘you’ can come in and make a huge different, no matter how small you feel your contribution might be.
With all that you’ve gained, you can help those unfortunate, regardless of where they are. You can provide subsidies for families struggling to pay their bills or you can sponsor kids for their education without expecting any return at all.
Some companies have some form of CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility program which I think is good but if you wish for true success, then give it out from your heart, with no strings attached, with no marketing intent and expect nothing in return but that sense of satisfaction.
Listen to me, the joy that you get giving while no one else is looking versus giving and letting everyone know is very very different and it gives you this unique feeling of satisfaction.
There are also other ways that you can give back. You can build wells for a water-deprived villages, you can buy food for families who need or invest your time volunteering in a home, hospital or school.
So there you go, I’ve given you the entire layout. Success is not beyond you as long as you are aware of what you are lacking and willing to make up for it. Abundance is not beyond you.
If you asked 100 different people on the models of success, each one may give you a different one. Nevertheless, the essence of it is there, has always been there and will always be there.
The question that remains is; do you truly want success?