6 Truths about Success Many People Misunderstand

Photo Credit: colby schenck // CC0 1.0
Success is one of the most misunderstood concepts in this world.  Some people think that success is making a lot of money. Others think that it comes from luck or inborn talent. There are those who think success can come quickly and without much effort. They couldn't be any more wrong. Here are the truths about success that, unfortunately, many people misunderstand:

1. Success is Subjective

People define success in their own unique way. A person's passions and life experiences factor into her/his definition. To some, it may be graduating from college or earning a MBA or PhD. To others, it might be having financial freedom to not worry about money and bills. Other people might define success as having the freedom to spend an abundant amount of time with their loved ones. 

To me, success is living the life that I deeply dream of. I am fulfilled with my career. My family fills my heart and soul with joy. I have all that I need. Because of all that, I consider myself very successful.

2. Success is More Than Just Making Money

Money is something that is glamorized more and more in society. It's almost to the point where a person's value is closely related to their income or bank account balance. A lot of people see that as their ultimate goal to success.

But I've heard many authors, entrepreneurs, and other successful people talk about how they define success.  It's not just based on wealth. For many, it's having a family, being healthy, or being able to follow their passion (in a career or hobby). Success is being fulfilled and satisfied with the lifestyle they have.

I'm not saying that money isn't important; it is.  Money is needed to pay the bills and support your lifestyle; it's just not the only thing you need to be successful.

3. Inborn Talent is a Very Small Factor in Achieving Success

So many people I see every day don't have a growth mindset. They think they're smart or they're not. They consider themselves talented or untalented. These are self-destructive mindsets because people who think them put limits on themselves. 

I believe that everyone is born with a certain amount of natural talent, but that doesn't limit anyone from learning anything. People still need practice to develop their skills whether they have natural talent or not. 

Practice makes us better. It improves our skills and pushes us past our "personal best." (Our personal best can continuously change, especially if we are getting better.) We all can improve in all of our talents, even if we are much better at a specific skill compared to the rest of the world. 

4. Success Takes Time

I'm sure that there are people who become overnight successes, but I can't think of one.  The reason is because success rarely works that way; it requires time. To achieve any goal, you'll need effort and time to put that effort into.

If you want to be a teacher, you'll have to earn a bachelor's degree, pass a whole bunch of tests (CBEST, CSET, etc), complete a semester of student teaching, and earn your teaching credential just to meet the job requirements. That doesn't include the time it takes to actually apply for openings and go through the interview process. All that doesn't happen overnight; it takes time.

5. Success Takes Discipline

It's not just about working harder, but working both harder and smarter.  Success also takes focus that keeps you on task and on the path toward your goals. 

Writers know that books don't write themselves. They need to have enough discipline to create the time and put in the effort to get their work done. If it never gets done, it never gets published. 

Having discipline means you can manage your time, effort, and emotions to help you accomplish tasks and achieve your goals. 

6. There is No Magic Formula that will Guarantee Your Success

I wish that I could just tell you a sure-fire way to achieve success, you'd do it, and you'd be successful. It would be great if I told you that if you went to college, got a bachelor's and master's degree, then you'd be set for riches beyond your wildest dreams. Unfortunately success doesn't work that way. What works for someone won't work for everyone. 

People have their different personalities, skill sets, and life experiences. That all factors in to how they define success and their road to achieve it. You could copy what other successful people have done and it might increase your chances of succeeding, but that wouldn't guarantee you the same success.

All that I can advise is to keep trying until you find something that works for you. You might find that your own approach to a problem works better than what everyone else does. You might start with a job that you're not passionate about only to find out what your true passions are. It's possible that you might end up in a career that wasn't part of your original plan, and that's perfectly okay. 

You have to find your own path to success. It might be sloppy with some ditches and dead ends, but it's ultimately your path to create.

Roderick Conwi writes at NourishmentNotes.com about lifestyle development. To get helpful insights to enhance your day, join his free newsletter.

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