What makes one person successful, and another not? It’s easy to point to education, inherited privilege, and other fairly obvious reasons. But other factors are also at play. There are no big secrets. No hidden legends. It’s not something that you can snap your fingers and achieve. It starts by establishing your goals and taking that first step towards achieving them. It’s about one’s mindset. It’s about taking responsibility for setbacks. It’s about finding solutions instead of dwelling on problems. There is no clear road map, but the following may help a lot of people figure out what they want to do and work on getting there without giving up.
First, figure out what your goals are. Success is defined a lot of different ways by a lot of different people. Some see it as achieving financial wealth. For others, it’s about doing something that they enjoy, no matter the pay. Others are lucky and the thing that they enjoy also earns them financial wealth. Figure out what’s important to you and what your own definition of success is. Once you do, do your homework and figure out what the first step should be in achieving that goal. It may be getting an education. It may be starting a business. It may be finding a new job. It can be lots of things. Whatever it is, go for it.
Once you figure out what you want to do and start down that path, don’t make excuses or blame something or somebody else for any setbacks or failures. Successful people fail. A lot of them fail all of the time. But they are focused on solutions, rather than dwelling on the problem. There’s no harm in thinking about what went wrong, as well as once you figure it out you pick yourself up and try again with that knowledge. Laziness, procrastination, and whining are the enemy. Admit that you made a mistake and move on.
Those who find success in life often do so through hard work that takes them to many different places—physically and metaphorically—and allows them to continue learning well after they complete their formal education. Success can also come from knowing one’s limitations, and learning when to walk away. That is not to say that they give up, but if you strive towards a goal and know that you did everything you could and tried in every conceivable way to get there, but in the end you were unable to, walking away is a lot easier. And that next journey won’t seem so daunting.