2 July 2019
We all want to be successful, right? But what success looks like to me may be very different to what it looks like to you. How do you know when you are successful?
Over the years I have learned a hugely valuable lesson about success that changed my whole mindset.
When I was a young man, I thought that wealth meant success. Being wealthy and in charge of my own destiny was my focus; I wanted to support my family and ensure that we could live a comfortable life. I remember being a young boy doing the weekly food shop at KwikSave with my mum. At the till, the cashier cut up my mum’s declined debit card in front of the whole queue of people. I never wanted her to experience that ever again, nor did I want to experience it personally.
However, when we reached the point of what I would have then classed as ‘successful’, when we were comfortable, did I feel like it was a success? The simple, honest answer is no.
Even now, more than 20 years after starting my business journey, my drive to succeed is no different now to what it was back then. Do I feel more successful now than I did at 19 years old? No.
What does that mean?
The Secret of Success
It’s simple. The only thing that makes you successful is the here and now. That feeling inside is the important thing, and that will never go away. Despite achieving my earlier perceptions of what success should look like, I certainly don’t feel more successful. Neither do I feel like I can now sit back and rest on my laurels. Arguably, I am more driven now than ever.
That is the secret of success; never actually feeling completely successful. Imagine if after every achievement you felt that wave of success and it never went away. You believe that you are successful. What do you do? You’d sit back and celebrate, you rest on your laurels.
That is the single fastest way to destroy any success that you might have created so far. You slow down, the fly wheel slows too and, before you even realise, your momentum has gone because you were too busy celebrating being successful. You’re no longer driven to achieve more, you’ve made it.
When you acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, but keep moving forward, you keep the momentum, your fly wheel spins faster, and you have even more to celebrate! You stay driven to do more, to achieve more and to be better.
For me, that’s the real secret of success.
What is your idea of success? When will you know that you’re successful? How do you keep momentum?