Success is one of those magical words that everyone can apply to their lives in one way or another. At the same time it carries a subtler, less impressive and perhaps even fearful aspect, that being failure. In most of the pursuits that we engage in or at least attempt to engage in our life, there are more opportunities for failure than there is for success.
Success only usually comes after spending a great deal of time working on something, pushing through the challenge of whatever it is we are doing, in many cases sacrificing a great deal of personal time and energy in order to achieve it.
Failure though can raise its prominent head at any moment, due to a seemingly infinite amount of unforeseen possibilities, including our own choice to simply give up.
One of the most important things to consider about success is the way in which most successful attainments actually come about. Very, very, very rarely do we achieve our goals overnight, at least not the ones that tend to bring the greatest amount of change or momentum in the direction of developing the kind of long-term success that many of us aim for.
In most, not all, but in most cases, we must trudge through the thick and muddy waters of disappointment, failure, exhaustion, concern and probably a little more failure, before we even begin to experience anything that could remotely be considered a success.
Hindsight is 20/20 – Foresight is Blind
When we look back over our past successes it can be easy to forget exactly how much difficulty we faced, but when we look closely enough we begin to remember all the negative aspects of our journey, all the late night spent working extra hours, all the worries that kept us from sleeping well when we did manage to sleep at all.
Additionally, the constant overhanging threat that we may be putting everything of ourselves into a project that has a very real possibility of amounting to absolutely nothing. It is this very fear that stops many people even beginning to embark on such a journey, let alone the amount of people that get part way into it and turn back, unable to muster the courage to press on.
If those people only paid attention to the very small successes that occurred along the journey, they might just appreciate collective unity of the small successes that go towards contributing to the major one.
It is this kind of self-reflection and awareness that can also help you to make last-second changes to divert yourself from complete failure, into either learning an important lesson to evolve from, or perhaps completely redirect your energy before the succumbing to the danger of falling into such inescapable doom.
Those who have experienced this know of the great value that comes in the form of failure, whether large or small, so as long as we don’t give up and we pay enough attention to learn something, and then we are able to reassess and reattempt to achieve whatever it is that we have been working on.
A Lesson From The Ancients
A valuable lesson can be learned from the tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, it goes as follows.
- In the beginning, I walk down the street and fall into an open manhole. I am unable to get out until someone comes along to help me out.
- Later on, I walk down the street and I still fall into the open manhole. This time, it takes me a long time to get out, but I get out without help from anyone else.
- Even later still, I walk down the same street and I am aware of the manhole. I do my very best to not fall into it, but I do. I get out by myself, quickly this time.
- A long time has passed now, and I walk down the street very carefully. Even though I am extremely careful, I fall into the manhole but jump out immediately.
- Now I have been training for many, many years. I walk down the street completely aware of the manhole and I now know it so well from falling into it so many times. I walk past the manhole. I am so pleased with myself that I forget my concentration, fall backwards, and fall into the manhole once again. This time I get out just as quickly as I fell in.
- Now, I have stopped walking down streets with manholes.
And one more which I have added myself, after a great deal of experience and reflection.
- Now, I am the man who helps other people out of the manhole.
Therefore, as we can see from the above story, the success does not come to us immediately. In fact, the success can only come to us once we have truly understood our failures to the highest possible degree.
Without these small failures, and occasionally a little bit of help from those who are wiser in such matters, we would actually find it very hard to make any progress.
Essentially this could be understood as – Once we have mastered the art of failing, we are able to master the art of success.
The above should be reflected upon very much by anyone who wants to attain true success. Notice that it doesn’t read, ‘Attaining Success Overnight’ – that would be a good title for a book designed to trick people into handing over their money, with little to no real results.
True success does not come so quickly, and just like building a home, or a business, or even a perfect chocolate cake, it requires many different ingredients, introduced in the correct order at the right time.
In addition, it may come to a complete halt, you may even lose your mind a little in the process, however, as long as you are determined enough to not give up, eventually you will realize whatever aim it was that you originally set out to realize. This is the true nature of success.
We are going to need to approach our situation with great wisdom, if we want to avoid falling victim to unconquerable failure, the kind of failure that leads us into a situation that we are unable to escape from.
We can only do this in most cases with the guidance of those who have been there before us. That is why having the right kind of support is crucial to any attempt to realize success, in whatever form that may be.
In the following section, you will find some essential tips that anyone who genuinely wants to attain success in their life can follow. These are very simply strategies and techniques that you can employ.
Again, it doesn’t matter if you are trying to build a multi-million-dollar empire, or a multi-tiered chocolate cake, the recipe is still the same, not literally of course, unless you’re really, really good at making chocolate cakes.
The Tip of The Top
When considering our future successes there are some tried and tested methods of ensuring that we have the best possible chance to realize whatever it is that we are focused on. Some of these may seem like common sense, however, when faced with the pressure of essentially trying to organize and predict the future they can be easily overlooked.
At the same time though, some of these will most probably be new to you since they are not what one might considered common practice.
Small Actions Yield Big Results
Let’s start with the fundamentals.
- Research – Take your time to ensure that you have done as much research as possible around whatever it is that you are focused on. There is no greater mistake than trying to run before you can walk. Don’t rush things and do your very best to learn as much as you possibly can by yourself.
- Consult – Talk to those who have experience in whatever field you are wanting to explore and develop. Those who have walked the path before you will be better able to advise you on the potential pitfalls of the journey. Just as if you were about to embark on a journey into a remote part of the world, it is wisest to consult the locals first or at least someone who has visited that area before.
- Risk vs Reward – Weigh up the potential risks of any action that you are intending to take. If failure in such a situation would be too detrimental to your ability to continue on, do not proceed. Try to find another way that minimizes the amount of risk so that if you do fail, it won’t completely diminish your ability to press on.
- Be certain – Certainty is almost always uncertain; however, you can certainly make sure that you have the best possible chance of succeeding by doing your utmost to be aware of every potential reason for your project to fail.
- Promise Nothing – This closely links to point four. Be realistic in your aims. Don’t promise things that you can’t absolutely guarantee. This will help alleviate the pressure of trying to live up to something that you may very well be unable to live up to.
- Go slowly – When embarking upon any journey, it is best to take your time and assess the terrain. Sometimes it may be necessary to hold off for a little while until the timing becomes right. A day, a week, a month, even a year could be needed to pass by before the time is right to make your move. It is better to succeed after waiting, than it is to fail from trying to rush.
- Note your accomplishments – When things go right, take note of this, and celebrate. Don’t overindulge and don’t get overconfident, this is another huge danger in any new venture. Remember, sometimes the nicest weather is followed by the biggest storms, so even though the sun is shining always remember to have a backup plan just in case the clouds begin to roll in.
- Remain aware – Don’t allow yourself to take things for granted or fall into unconscious action. This is the sort of thing that happens to people who become too complacent. Even if things appear to be going well, ensure that you keep up the same momentum that has caused these successes to manifest.
- Invest in others – Wherever you can, invest your time and energy into other people who can help you. If you can bring other people in to work on your project, then you will develop a team of individuals who will help offer new perspectives and fresh thought on any given topic. Working in this way to develop a strong team who are focused on your aims is actually priceless when it comes to a time when things become challenging. This kind of support can be the difference between the complete breakdown of a project, and its complete success.
A Few Of The Lesser Considered Techniques
- Meditate – believe it or not, learning how to clear your mind and consciously relax can invoke an immense amount of creativity in you. At the same time, it will help you to de-stress when things have been hectic or running at full pace for a while. Honestly, everyone needs time out and this ties in very much with ensuring that you maintain a manageable pace. The number one priority at this time is to ensure that neither you, nor your team burn out. Think about it, if there is no fuel left, how on earth will you keep the engine running?
- Hypnotize – Hypnosis at its very core, is all about learning to utilize the full capacity of the brain to achieve any specific desired result. No, this isn’t about turning your teammates into human chickens that walk around the office flapping their wings and bobbing their heads. It’s about unlocking the potential creativity and problem-solving ability of the human brain. Not to mention the fact that a master of hypnosis, or in fact someone who is hypnotized, has a much higher ability to remain focused on a specific task than someone who’s thoughts are left to organize themselves.
- Group Mastery – Don’t just apply these techniques to yourself but teach your teammates too. Believe me, I know how draining it is to constantly update and educate everyone else as the only leader of the group. Encourage your teammates to master their own potential too and reward those who show an obvious capacity for leadership and advanced thinking by letting them take some of the pressure off your shoulders and help to run things. This really goes without saying, but acting in this way will help develop a greater bond between yourself and those that you work with, also ensuring that other people become just as invested in the project as you.
- Take time out – Make sure there is a time when not just you, but everyone can detach from what’s going on and enjoy themselves. Although goal setting and aim achievement is obviously of an extremely high priority, life isn’t meant to be spent on so much intensity. This would leave everyone exhausted and feeling limited and restricted. You are working in this way to realize greater levels of freedom remember, so let yourself and your team enjoy the results of their hard work by encouraging them to forget the stress. Think of a team of body-builders who want to become world champions. If they train too hard and don’t rest enough, their muscle mass and strength will actually deteriorate. If they take a few days off though and relax, their muscles have the chance to fully recover and they return to training stronger and more capable than they were before.
Remember we are working in a way that aims to ‘BUILD’ success, not generate it overnight. The key is really in the title.
Stay committed, stay aware, don’t be afraid of failure, learn to recognize the patterns that occur within success and you will eventually understand that success and your capacity to achieve it is actually reflected in the embodiment of who you are and how you deal with what life has to offer.
Constantly work to build upon yourself, your team and your resources and you are guaranteed, even though at times this means things will get very tough, to come out the other end and attain to whatever it is that you have the courage to set your sight on.