Only You can Prepare Yourself for Success By Tony Ogunlowo
For some, success comes easy while for a great many of us we have to toil for it.
The writer Piers Plowright once said that “ great men do not walk easy roads”. To get to where you want to be in life can often be a laborious journey: there are no shortcuts; there are but if you use dubious means to become successful, you really aren’t – you’re just a fake fraudster. A successful person in life is somebody who works honestly – and hard – to become what they are.
Nobody can make you successful; this is something you have to do yourself. To quote the old adage ‘ you can lead a horse to the river..’. People can help you, finance you or even mentor you but if you don’t put in the hard work it’ll be wasted efforts.
We all know that our efforts in life will determine how successful we’ll be. For instance:
- If you’re a Secondary school, Leaver, your job prospects, anywhere in the world, will be limited to the factory or menial work.
- If you hold a Diploma you’re looking at low-level staffing employment.
- If you hold a degree your options to be successful in life open up and by procuring further degrees you stand a very good chance of getting a high-level top paying job.
This has been the path we’ve been treading for more than a 100 years believing that with a good education we’ll be successful in life.
The world is a fast changing place and this rule is no longer applicable. Nowadays you can be a Ph.D. holder and be jobless while a brain-dead premier league footballer can rake in more money in a week than you can earn in your lifetime.
To be seen as successful nowadays people want to see results and not listen to your ‘big talk’ or see your stack of degrees. A successful person, nowadays, is determined by the size of the pay cheque they bring home at the end of the month and nothing else.
As we all know society can’t prepare you for success: your parents can give you a good headstart in life by giving you a good education and then it’s up to you. The way the world is now, there is no guarantee of a top paying job or any job at all at the end of your studies.
To be successful, in life, it’s up to you. To quote Tim Fargo “ .. who you are tomorrow begins with what you do today”. In short, what’s the big dream? Where are you going? At this point, I can hear people thinking “ I want to be Rich and Famous!” Wrong Answer!
If being ‘rich and famous’ is your sole objective and dream then you’re on the wrong journey! All the genuinely rich and famous in the world didn’t have this as their end goal. They did the things they did because of their passion for it and their huge wealth came afterward.
Lesson One: Be committed to what you are doing and have a great passion for it and don’t be solely motivated by the money you hope to make.
To break away from the norm that’s holding you and everybody else back you need an in-depth knowledge of what you’re doing. How many people have great personal or business ideas but don’t have the knowledge to back it up?
Lesson Two: Learn everything pertaining to whatever it is you’re doing. If you’re a Writer, like me, don’t just limit yourself to writing but learn about all the other aspects of writing like editing and proofreading, marketing, PR and social media. Learn more and become a master in your field, that way if any problem pops up you’ll know how to deal with it.
To be successful you are going to have to put in a lot of hard work – lots of it! You’ll have to make a lot of sacrifices ~ no pain, no gain. And you have to enjoy it!
Lesson Three: “ Suffer, suffer for dis world, suffering and smiling” as Fela once sang will have to be your mantra – suffer and enjoy what you’re doing. If you’re not prepared to work hard and suffer to make your dreams come true whilst enjoying every moment of it you’re in the wrong boat! By the Law of Averages there is no guarantee your journey will be stress or problem free so love the whole experience – good or bad – a 100%!
How many people have smartphones? How much time do you waste flicking through your apps? Every 5 seconds you’re checking for updates from Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or you’re busy watching funny cat videos on YouTube( – I’m guilty of this!). In today’s modern digital world there are more than a million things that can distract you from getting anything done. And that’s not even including our social lives and procrastination.
Lesson Four: Maximise your time by cutting down on all distractions: switch off the phone, kick the wife and kids out (- only kidding!) , minimise your social engagements and beat procrastination.
Be careful with who you associate with! There’s lots of toxic people out there who’ll weigh you down by being hangers-on or just plain ‘pain-in-the-arses’! Two heads are better than one and you need to surround yourself with people who can contribute positively towards your growth. I’m not saying don’t have friends ( – as we all have some friends who can be complete jerks!) I’m saying divide your friends into ‘social’ or ‘serious-business’ friends.
Lesson Five: Keep the anti-progress friends at arm’s length!
Don’t work too hard or you’ll have a burnout! This has happened to me a few times and it’s not pleasant! In your eagerness to achieve your goals you work, work , work and work till one day…..Bam! You have a burnout! Your body and mind are not machines and occasionally need a break to rejuvenate. Archive this by doing something different – take a break and go for a walk, meditate or catch up with your social life.
Lesson Six: Remember all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Guard against burnouts by taking a break from whatever you are doing: it wouldn’t be good if you suffered a nervous breakdown or had a heart attack on the eve of your Success.
Who is doing what in your field? What is the competition doing that you aren’t doing? Say you’re trying to be the best footballer in the World, what are the current ‘Best of the Best’ like Messi and Ronaldo doing that you’re not doing? To be successful, in any field, you need to master everything the Best is doing and better it.
Lesson Seven: Keep an eye on the competition and supersede it!
And last but not the least you are going to need a lot of P.M.A – Positive mental Attitude – to ride out whatever storms might lie ahead. Remember that “ great men do not walk easy roads” and to be successful in life is not an easy task but with the right attitude, drive and ideas you’ll make it.