Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do. – Pele
Author Earl Nightingale defined success as the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. This means that any person who knows what they are doing and where they are going is a success. Any person with a goal towards which they are working is a successful person. Success is personal and subjective hence what I think to be successful might not mean success to you but no matter what your definition of success is, you still need to aim for something. Woody Allen once said that 80 percent of success in life is just showing up. It is the writer who sits down every day to write, the entrepreneur who is always growing his business, the salesman who is always pitching, the artist who is always rehearsing, the sportsman who is always at the gym training, the student at the library studying.
You are either Preparing or Repairing.
To become successful requires a relentless pursuit of your goals, long hours of training and deliberately practicing, continuously believing in yourself, and trusting the process. The reason we love pro-athletes is that they show us what is possible and what we can become. All the people we know by their first name showed up: Jordan, Serena, Pele, Alli, Lebron, Beyonce, Brady, Kobe, Messi, Bolt. They all worked hard for a long time; they trained, prepared, always the first in the gym and the last to leave the gym. They became so good no one could ignore them; they worked so hard their signature became an autograph.
The successful have a great work ethic, they are the hardest workers in the room. Their success was the result of the deliberate and relentless pursuit of their goals and aspirations. They got rewarded in public for what they practiced and refined in private. As James Allen observed in his great book, As a Man Thinketh:
“The thoughtless, the ignorant, and indolent, seeing only the apparent effects of things and not the things themselves, talk of law, of fortune, and chance. Seeing a man grow rich, they say, “How lucky is!” Observing another become intellectual they exclaim, “How highly favored he is!” And noting the saintly character and wide influence of another, they remark, “How chance aids him at every turn!” They don’t see the trials and failures and the struggles which these men have voluntarily encountered in order to gain their experience; have no knowledge of the sacrifices they have made, of the undaunted efforts they have put forth, of the faith they have exercised, that they might overcome the apparently insurmountable, and realize the vision of their heart. They do not know the darkness and the heart aches; they only see the light and the Joy, and they call it “luck”; do not see the longing arduous journey, but only behold the pleasant goal, and call it “good fortune”; do not understand the process, but only perceive the result, and call it “chance”.”
The difference between the successful and the unsuccessful is that the successful persevered, persisted, and resisted the urge to become lazy; they followed through on their commitment to train, read, rehearse, and prepare. When it was time to execute, they were in a state of flow. The successful set themselves up for success; their success was not an accident. As American Businessman and Motivational Speaker Chris Gardner observed, their goals followed the 5C Complex: Clear, Concise, Compelling, Committed, and Consistent.
According to Hungarian-American psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, in his seminal book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. He Writes
Flow is a sense that one’s skills are adequate to cope with the challenges at hand in a goal-directed, rule-bound action system that provides clear clues about how well one is performing. Concentration is so intense that there is no attention left over to think about anything irrelevant or worry about problems. Self-consciousness disappears, and the sense of time becomes distorted. An activity that produces such experiences is so gratifying that people are willing to do it for its own sake, with little concern for what they will get out of it, even when it is difficult or dangerous.
The most successful people are usually in a state of flow, they found what they loved, prepared, trained and they eventual discovered who they are meant to become. They toiled in private and they get rewarded in public with the medal(s), the endorsement deals, the respect and prestige. Their success is not an accident but most of us attribute their success to luck, they worked on themselves because they understand that success is what you attract and not what you pursue.
They created value and they got rewarded with the perks of their hardwork and sacrifice. As Albert Einstein observed: “Do not try to become a person of success but try to become a person of value.”
As Former World Heavyweight Champion, Joe Frazier said:
“You can map out a fight plan or a life plan, but when the action starts, it may not go the way you planned, and you’re down to your reflexes – that means your [preparation:]. That’s where your roadwork shows. If you cheated on that in the dark of the morning, well, you’re going to get found out now, under the bright lights.”
Success is not an accident; it is determined by our choices, daily routine, work habits, and the vision we aim for day in and day out. What you put in is what you get out. Garbage in, garbage out. Suppose you sow the seed of greatness, reap the reward of your persistence and hard work by becoming successful. Luck is what happens when Preparation Meets Opportunity. The successful created their LUCK by Labouring Under Correct Knowledge. They took personal responsibility for their lives, and they became successful eventually. If you can not pay the price, you can not win the prize; greatness cost more; it requires sacrifice, training, and executing your plan.
All the Best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.