You can’t be successful without this one thing

personal development success

When you’re aiming for something, you aim for the stars. You also probably think there will be nothing that will get in your way and no one that can stop you. We call it positive thinking or high self-esteem. There’s a plethora of terms for it but at the end of the day, it’s foolish.

We can’t be ANYTHING we want to be

That’s bold to say, but it’s true. I could never play in the NBA no matter how hard I tried or how many hours I practice. I’m just not built for that and no amount of self-esteem or pep-talks will get over that barrier. There are many things I’m good at and even if I’m good at basketball, it doesn’t mean I’ll ever be NBA worthy.

We also can’t be anything we want to be in business. I’m sure this will draw some arguments but hang with me for a few minutes.

My entire life I have struggled to find that thing where I’m successful and I have yet to find it. I have been in and out of business for 20 plus years and I am very unsuccessful when it comes to making money. But as any millionaire will tell you, money is a by-product, not the thing that makes you who you are. The more we focus our efforts on making a dollar, the less likely we are to do so.

So what then does success actually look like?

Success looks different for each person. Some will view it as a certain amount of money for sure. But then when they achieve that, the definition changes to “more.” Some will see it as a having a good family life or one that is rooted in a particular religion. And even some will see it as raising a child that has success in their life.

The most interesting thing about success is that it’s relative to the person who has it. Every single person will see success differently.

If that is the truth, then how can we really know when we are on the road to success? The simple answer is that we often do not. We can plan and strive and work for what we think is our pinnacle point, but at the end of our life, what do we have?

To my knowledge, no one has ever ended up on their death bed wishing they had made more money. I’ve heard stories of people wishing they had more time with their family or friends or that they had given more. I have heard of people saying they would trade all that money they worked so hard for so many years for just a few more days with their wife or kids.

Success is relative as is everything in the world. It is a bully on the playground that steps back and redraws the line every time you get too close.

Refocusing on balance

We can all agree that we need balance in our life and work. There are weeks I work without stopping and weeks I barely work at all. There are times when I write constantly for days on end and months where words elude me.

The way balance works for me is in a given 6 month period. If I have balance in my work and family life over that period of time, then I feel I am balancing my life well. This might look different for you but if there is one thing that can be tied directly to success, this is it.

If we are to have the success we want, we need focus and balance. We need to focus on the things we love to do and feel called to do in life. Then, balance it with the things we know we need to do in order to live that life.

Only then will we know we are living the life we are called to.

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