Even though you probably have a different definition of success than I do, I can still tell you how to get there.
- What we know will form the basis of our decisions. It cannot be otherwise. Thus, we should take pains to ensure that what we know is accurate. We always have the power to increase our knowledge, and to correct inaccuracies in what we think we know. Failing to do this can only be described as stupidity. Ignorance can be cured but stupidity is forever.
- What we feel motivates and governs most (if not all) of our conduct. Who and what we surround ourselves will affect how we feel, so we should choose well. What you should feel is your decision, always. But consider that anger, fear, and hatred make you feel bad. That means you should avoid them. Loving others makes you feel good. That means you should do that. There’s no reason to complicate this.
- Action matters. It’s always easier to light a candle than to curse the darkness. Plans aren’t enough. Desire isn’t enough. We have to act on our desires, to implement what we’ve planned, to do our best. Unused potential is no better than absence of potential. This is why Jerry Rice was a greater football player than Randy Moss. Moss had unused potential. Rice did not. Ideally I will have Moss’s skills plus Rice’s motivation, but if I can only choose one of the two, it’ll be Rice’s motivation. You knew I’d say that.
- Your present situation is the result of your past actions. That’s data you can use to modify your present actions and thus your future situation. To increase your skills and knowledge. To align your desires, your goals, and your plans. Learn from the past, implement that information in the present, and improve your future self. Never stop doing this.
- Live in the now. Use the past for data collection, to learn what does and doesn’t work. Look to the future self you want to be when you plan. But don’t dwell in either of those places. Dwell in the right here, right now.
- Persistence means to continue doing something after the cause that made you start doing it has been removed. This is a good thing. Whenever possible, life’s much easier when you can rely on force of habit. When something works, make it a habit. Occasionally reflect upon your habits, to keep the ones that are moving you toward your current goals, to scrap the rest, and perhaps to add new ones. Get in the habit of persisting.
- It is never too late to be what you might have been. (George Eliot)
However you define success, it isn’t measured by what you have. It’s by what you are.