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What is success? – part 2

My previous post was an attempt to define success in life. By defining what we want from our life, everyday people can be successful. However, life success is very different to career success. It is also very different to “credible” success – that which can be measured. This post attempts to break down the 7 attributes of successful people. You will remember my analogy of Tiger Woods, undoubtably the most successful golfer in history, being less successful in his personal life? The seven attributes of success can all be found in Tiger Woods – the golfer. In fact, by lacking just one of these seven attributes, I believe a person is close to being successful but not quite there. Here they are!

S – “Surpass” the competition. Successful people do not live in a 9 to 5 world. Their drive elevates them above their competitors, ensuring they are always ahead of the pack. In fact it is impossible to be successful if your world revolves around clocking in at 9 and clocking off at 5. You may do that as a requirement of your work for example, but that’s not when you switch on and off. The hours in a day are not to be measured but to be better utilised. Successful people understand this.

U – “Unique”. Some will refer to this as the “X Factor”, others a “point of difference”, but there is something unique about successful people that allows them to shine. Their thoughts are their own and their actions are driven by their own unique thoughts. Sure they can be influenced by others who came before them, but they are able to make it their own.

C – “Create”. If you gave a successful person a blank sheet of paper, they would be able to turn it into anything. They have the ability to not just take dot point notes, but create an entire production. That’s why on shows like “The Apprentice”, tasks always start with a blank piece of paper and a goal. To separate successful people from those who are just in the pursuit of success, Donald Trump wants contestants to “create and deliver”. People who are unable to create are usually the loudest critics. They can only comment on the finished product but have no appreciation for the work required to deliver the finished product, or respect for the fact they couldn’t do it themselves.

C – “Continue”. Successful people don’t fluke success. If you threw a ball into a hoop you had a successful shot. You may be able to do this 5 times out of 10. Successful people hone their skills, develop their attitude and continue to succeed. They can shoot 10 from 10, every time. They understand to continue to be successful they have to adapt and grow. If the angle of the shot is changed, they’re ready for it. They will still get 10 from 10. They will also continue to get back up after they fall. Humans are not perfect. Successful people understand their own flaws and dust themselves off to get back on the ride.

E – “Exceed”. They exceed expectations. Successful people don’t just deliver on a brief, they stretch the brief to its limits and slam dunk – every time. It’s not in their make-up to just deliver.

S – “Score”. Their results are measurable. They have defined numbers that set them apart from others. It can be in awards, published books, income, speeches they have made, tournaments they have won, the list goes on, but they are able to be measured.

S – “Substance”. You can not fake substance. Successful people are not only self-aware, they are also aware of others. The moment arrogance replaces confidence, and greed replaces generosity, this person slips from success to failure. All successful people are grateful for the air they breathe and the space and time they occupy.

That’s it. My little way of trying to define success. Put a name against these seven attributes that literally spell, “SUCCESS”, and ask yourself if they tick off on each one.

what is success?

Honestly, I’ve listened to, witnessed and had conversations with some truly successful people.  I’ve also listened to, witnessed and had conversations with people who perceived themselves to be successful – or who others perceived were successful, who actually – were not.  And it got me thinking…what is success?  I’m not one to generalise, but of the former group, the successful ones, they had a similar trait or two.  And the latter mob, they also had similar traits.  The difference between them came down to just one, single thing.  Success is either an ideal, or a definition.  That’s it.  That’s my explanation.  You see people walk around with an ideal of what success is and others can actually define it.  If you read a book about successful people such as Richard Branson, Russell Crowe and Tiger Woods, the theme would be about the general and common steps to success.  They all had drive.  They all had purpose.  They all had this and that.  But if you were to read specifically, Russell Crowe’s book, or Richard Branson’s book or a book on Tiger Woods, they would be completely different.  That’s because each book about each subject has a different definition of what success is.  Every successful person is able to define success – FOR THEM.  Everybody else just perceives success for what they believe it to be.  Money?  Lifestyle?  Wealth?  Academia?  Awards?  Recognition?  General terms relating to society’s perception of success.  I once watched a guy give a speech on what made him successful.  He went into his hours, minutes, days of work and searching for new business, to the point where he was a wealthy man.  Within the same speech he mentioned his wife leaving him and his kids hating him…and I went…”hang on.  yes you’re successful in your career…but are you really that successful as a human being?”  All of a sudden Tiger’s book looks a little more intriguing.  He can swing a club, but it turns out he has issues in other areas where he’s left in the bunker!  So I looked at the truly successful “all rounders” and came to this conclusion.  They can define “success” in one word.  From that single word, they can describe their own philosophies on life in one word.  For example, if success was “money”, their philosophies may be “extravagant” “women” “parties” “fun”.  If success for another person was defined as “Academia” the philosophy may revolve around words  such as “recognition” “published” “accepted” “respected”.  In other words, your definition does not include words that make you feel guilty, or ashamed.  They also don’t live in another person’s shadow.  Russell Crowe, Marlon Brando and Sean Connery do not believe that they are successful because of the awards they receive or the recognition they acquire – even though some of their peers believe that to be the case.  They believe they are successful because they are able to do what they love, for a living, and they are able to do it for a living!  Their number one priority is not the publicist, the Academy or even for that matter their fans.  It is their family.  The people they hang around and whose company they enjoy.  Russell Crowe would rather spend time with you or I than with the co-star in his latest movie.  He does not define himself as a movie actor even though that is what he does for a living.  He defines himself as a father, husband, son and friend.  And so should you and I.  It’s one thing to have an ideal of what success is, but it’s another to define it.  I challenge you now to think of a single word to define success to you.  For me it is “BALANCE”.  Then, come up with 5 x single words that define your philosophy on life that ties in with your single word.  For me it is “laughter” “family” “equality” “health” “wealth”.  If one of those 5 things are unbalanced, my pursuit for success is unbalanced.  Now doesn’t that make us all, a little more successful?  It’s one thing to have a bank account that reads $1,000,000,000.  It’s another type of bank account that has zero, representing your number of friends!