The Philosophy of Success
- Wednesday, 11 November 2009
There is a companion aspect to the human endeavour along with our innate will to survive.
We begin life with a curious fascination of what is possible in life and what we can become. We all have dreams. We all have hopes and aspirations, passions and thoughts. Some blossom into brilliant reality while others wither and die before ever taking form. Many of us look upon the success of others and lives lived with passion and purpose, success and triumph and wonder why for them and not for me? There is a very real reason. It all stems from the philosophy we take into the process. All dreams and goals begin as a simple thought. Emotion is the next step in the process that takes over and pushes us to take the first step. That first step is what transcends thought into the beginning of physical reality. What truly creates success lies however is the continuation of activity, moving with purpose in the necessary direction to see it through. It is what stops this continuous action that steals away our dreams.
The simple truth to the process is to understand that we don’t get to know. We don’t get to know how it is going to happen. We don’t get to know how and when opportunities will present. We don’t get to know the timeline. When I started my career in radio in 1983, part time at $4.25 per hour I had no way of knowing how it was going to happen or when. All I knew was what I wanted and just kept moving towards it one day at a time. That simple process took me to the number one radio station in the country which eventually led to launching a company and career in personal and professional growth that has allowed me to reach higher and create more than I ever thought possible.
One of the great philosophical examples of what it takes to actually realize the goals we set out to accomplish comes from a prisoner of war during Vietnam. John Stockdale was the highest ranking officer held in the Hanoi Hilton. Over the 8 years he was there he was beaten and starved, tortured and deprived. He survived when almost no one who entered this camp did. When interviewed years later, he was asked why it was that he survived. He said, “That was easy, the others were the optimists”. When pressed for an explanation he said, “The others would say, “Hang in there, we will be out by Christmas” and Christmas would come and go. Then they would state that they believed they would be out by Easter and that day would come and go. Over time it eventually broke their spirit and they died”. John Stockdale said the moment he was captured he made the decision that he didn’t know how and he didn’t know when but he absolutely knew that one day he would be free and that’s what saved his life.
The constant focus on a prediction of a goals arrival is what creates the belief that it is not happening for us and ultimately leads to stopping what would have brought success.
So therein lies the truth. If we can’t predict where our next phone call or opportunity will come from, how could we possibly be able to predict when our goals and dreams will happen? Putting a false estimate of next year or next Thursday makes as much sense as predicting the weather on any random February day in 2011. It is the accepting of this simple truth that will allow for it to happen. Not only for some but for all. Adopt this philosophy “I don’t know how and I don’t get to know when but I absolutely know and believe it will happen”. If you do, one day others will look upon your life and wonder how it was possible for you. I can’t tell you when it will happen, but I do know this. It will. Have an excellent day.