Most of us have a definition of success. It can include any or all of the following:
- Doing what we love
- Making lots of money
- Being comfortable with who we are
- Working and playing hard
- Being the best that we can be no matter what we choose to be
- Having freedom to do what we want when we want
- Being financially and personally independent
- Having good relationships
- Being mentally and physically fit
Thus, we can say that Malala Yousafzei is a success as the youngest to ever win the Nobel Peace Prize; thus, we can say that Richard Branson is a success because he has a bunch of corporations and is a billionaire; thus we can say that Martin Luther King was a success because he changed America forever; thus we can say that the school teacher whose students do well and love learning is a success; thus the garbage collector who never spills trash on the street and completes his route perfectly every day is a success.
All of these people had to forget about things that might have limited them or blocked their success. And here are the 8 things that you, too, must forget about.
Forget About Other People’s Definitions of Success
Only you can define for yourself what success “looks” like. So stop reading books an listening to others. Decide what you want to do and how to get there. You will know that it is correct for you if the passion and the motivation are strong and consistent.
Forget About Competition
When you decide that success means someone else’s failure, you are on a very dangerous path. People who feel they must compete will engage in some pretty negative thoughts and behaviors. They will come to gauge their success in terms of other people; worse, they will “step over” others on their way to their success. The only one you have to compete against is the person you were yesterday. Are you farther along on your journey to success today?
Forget About the Opinions of Others
A relative of mine was just an outstanding political science student in college years ago. To her, success was defined as becoming a lawyer. This was a time, however, when there were very few female lawyers, and, in fact, law schools had much higher admissions requirements for women just to keep them out. Her parents discouraged her and encouraged her to become a teacher instead; a family friend who was a judge told her that female lawyers were just considered a “nuisance” in the courtroom. Eventually she succumbed to the opinions of others and gave up her goal. She has not been unhappy in her life – she has had a great career as an extraordinary teacher. But as she often says, she will always wonder what kind of a lawyer she might have been.
Forget About Failure
It will happen – maybe many times. If you have the mindset that failure is bad and shameful, then you will become stuck and settle for the security and comfort of a small success, rather than going for the BIG one. Your failures do not define you – your passions and your perseverance do. Embrace your failures as great teachers an move on.
Forget About Fear
No one is successful without taking risks, and they come in all sizes. People risk their life savings to pursue an idea for a business; people risk their personal safety by going into dangerous parts of cities to tutor or mentor poverty-stricken kids; Malala risked being killed in order to advocate for female education. Fear will paralyze you.
Forget About Your Crummy Background
Maybe you don’t have enough education; maybe you grew up in a poor dysfunctional family and never had the advantages that other successful people have. So what? You probably have survival skills that they don’t. You probably know how to live without a checking account, how to find the best food banks, etc. So, if you do have a failure or two, you know how to exist while you re-group and begin again.
Forget About Money
Successful people don’t look for money first. It may very well come with their eventual success, but what drives them right now is their passion for what they want to accomplish. Bill Gates, Steven Hawking, and Paul McCartney were never “in it” for the money – that came later. If money is your only measure of success, you might as well rob banks.
Forget About Dependence Upon Others
You are the only one responsible for your success ultimately. Yes, others may be supportive and encouraging. They may even invest in your business. But you are the only one who can make that business a success – through your actions and your accountability. When we become too dependent upon others, we “crash” when those “others” remove themselves or are removed. You have to be able to stand all by yourself.
Can you forget?
Ethan Dunwill is young entrepreneur from Hong Kong, his main goal in life is to inspire and motivate others, so people can make themselves a little happier. Connect with Ethan at Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or visit his blog at Medium.