"No man achieves great success who is unwilling to make personal sacrifices" - Napoleon Hill
I am sure during some point in your life you remember making a great sacrifice for a "great" success. Of course YOUR great sacrifice for your great success is subjective to the persons definition of a great success. For example, while Michael Phelps trains 6 days a week, 5-6 hours a day, and burns 12,000 calories while swimming over 80,000 meters (equal to 50+miles) his definition of success is multiple gold medals, every event he competes in he expects to earn a gold. Thats his definition of success. Is this my definition of success, is this your definition of success. While I must admit, to earn a Gold medal in an olympic sport would be awesome, its not my definition of success. Maybe your definition of success is climbing the corporate rungs to earning 6 figures a year. Maybe its to open your own business and be featured in national magazines like Entrepreneur, Inc., Wired, or Bloomberg Business Week. Maybe your definition of success is to have a net worth of over $1M, $10M.... $100M!! Maybe your definition of success is to run an Iron Man race, or win a major sporting event. I can tell you this though, everyone of us has a different definition of success.
So why am I writing this post if everyone's definition of success if different? Because the focus is not the success ... its the sacrifice. THIS is the key. We all, myself included, have had wide eyed visions and day dreams of grandeur. We may dream of being popular, being wealthy, being rich, or being famous (not all famous people are popular, ha!). More than likely this is our definition of success. Yet when the tough times come, we tend to sit on our dreams, we tend to shelve our "visions of grandeur" for another day..... that days never comes. Before long our once driving force and motivation for however, brief a moment in time fades off into the forgotten recess's of our mind. Then one day we wake up, beat down and broken by this world and the continual pounding by circumstance, upon our dreams of success. We never "made it". Success eluded us.
Not to leave on such a dismal note, How can we stay the course and continue to reach out after our definition of success? I would like to leave you with a few key points that helped me go from a high school grad (barely), working two jobs, to having served our great country, earning the coveted Green Beret, and creating my our business of loaning money to real estate investors, while creating the life that my family and myself have wanted. A life of Freedom.
Attitude: "10% of your Attitude is determined by what life hands you and 90% by how you choose to respond"
You see the most common cause of failure is quitting. Just the same as all great athletes, stars, business professionals, and war hero's they all had one common thread. They refused to quit. To succeed you must have "stickability". You must keep showing up. Just as Michael Phelps shows up 6x a week, 5-6 hours a day, we too, should exemplify "stickability". There will be tough times. We will fail, but this does not mean we are failures. That is a huge lesson itself. Just because you failed at a task, a goal, a mission, does not define you as a failure. It is simply an obstacle that you must figure out how to maneuver around. Which brings me naturally to my next point....
Your "Why": "80% of Success is WHY, 20% is how" - Tony Robbins
Tony Robbins and another gentleman Simon Sinek, both preach and rail on this topic. Many individuals, who have attained their definition of success, will attest that your Why has to be more powerful than anything else. ANYTHING. This means it has to be more powerful than your friends ridiculing you, and your family telling you thats your wasting your time, that you are wasting your effort.... that your wasting your money. Your WHY has to supersede the sleepless nights, and the worry of whether you have made the right decision. Your WHY, must be able to carry you through those times when you have failed. Failed yourself, failed a customer, failed a business associate, and possibly the hardest one to push through is when you have failed the trust others have placed in you. Your WHY must be that strong and even stronger. Once you have your WHY nailed down you will need one other huge character trait....
Perseverance: "There are two types of courage. The courage to venture into the unknown, like a soldier pushing through the fog of war. Then there is the courage to persevere, like the POW who longs for his homeland and family. Which is greater?"
Perseverance is one of the greatest attributes to those who find their success. Why? Because perseverance fights against our greatest enemy. Time. It is infinite, and we are but finite. We are only given a numbered amount of days on this earth, and no-one knows how much time they have. Our ability to persevere fights the very innate primal fear, we were born with. The fear of running out of time. I personally believe this is what can make or break you anyone. I have seen it many times in my years with the military, especially when being selected for Special Forces. I knew my why, to attain the famed Green Beret. I was given a location, my point of success. I had my training and all the tools needed to make me successful. the one thing we were never given was a timeline. You cannot begin to understand how many men, all given the exact same benefits I just listed out, would wash out and never reach that success. Why? They failed to have the perseverance for the task at hand.
So as you read this reflect on what you define as success. Think about all the tools and talent that you have to be able to attain your success. Then focus on your target, and never give up, never quit. Run the race all the way to the end. I'll see you at the top.