How does she embrace a high-flying career, manage three small kids and adopt a healthy lifestyle?
How does he keep getting lucky with all the businesses he starts, over and over again?
How did she get to that senior position in that global company just like that? She???s too young, not experienced enough.
You cannot read stories about successful women who have kids without there being mention of the word ???balance??? ??? a word rarely associated with men. Balance is what we strive for when we have so many competing goals and the same 24 hours like everyone else. It is that, a priority list and the sheer determination to say no when needed that enables successful people to move ahead. We cannot be all things to all people and we certainly cannot have our hand in every pie. If we are to make a success of things, we need to make a list, preferably written down somewhere, of what we consider important to us. Having a firm idea of what is important also helps us realise what is not important, at this point of time. Of course, the list of what is important and what isn???t changes over time, and it should. The idea of having it all, however, is a fallacy. We can???t have it all, but we can certainly have what we decide we want to have. The question is whether we are willing to do what it takes to get there. How soon we get there is also dependent on how far away we are from our goal.
Our success is also contingent on the stories we weave for ourselves in our heads. It???s easy to look at someone else in the distance and believe that there is some miracle afoot in their lives, some succession of chance occurrences that makes their lives more lucky as compared to ours. But closer scrutiny will show that it???s a series of choices we make that determine the path we are now on. Things that may appear to be random are always subject to the choices we seem to see or not see before us.
We would like to believe that the serial entrepreneur is always lucky, backed by the hand of fate at every turn. What we don???t like to see is the equally large series of flops he has encountered in his journey. Once you have found a formula for success, it is easy to apply it over and over again. But it doesn???t take away from the determination, passion and work that needs to be done to make an enterprise or project work. To reduce the success of one entrepreneurial journey to the effect of fate playing out, is to downplay the hard work absolutely necessary to make things happen.
Age is a number only. Our experiences are what make us. A young person who has travelled, tried new things at every turn and started working early in life will possess far more in skill and experience than a much older person who has chosen to stay on a particular path, embraced few challenges, asked no questions, while chalking up the miles on a particular rung of the ladder.
If we want success, we have to do what is required to get there. But since each person is on a different path, our job is to find out the best way that we can get there. Invariably, it will involve :
1. defining what success means to us personally.
Success must mean success in your eyes. Chasing another???s dream wont mean as much.
2. having an idea, preferably a list, of what is important on this journey and what will need to take second place.
We put this away because we think we already know it. Actually, we put it away because it???s too much work and we simplify a task that is actually quite difficult to do. Undone work that you put away still remains …undone.
3. knowing what you are willing to give up in your quest to get there.
Be clear that there must necessarily be a choice of what can and cannot be done. Success is also dependent on skill and experience and these take time to build on and develop. They need to happen to the exclusion of the less important things in your life, which you need to define for yourself.
4. being prepared to go on this journey.
Far too often, we set out with bold intent and quit far too early in the game. While we must all know when to quit flogging a dead horse, making an assessment of this at the wrong time only does injustice to the work that???s been put in. If you quit early and are thereafter quite resolute about this, perhaps it is therefore a statement of your true intent.
5. being prepared to defend your position.
To expect a straight path, an uncluttered walkway or even one not fraught by challenge seems unreal, perhaps na??ve. If you believe in what you???re doing, then knowing how to defend the position you take should come easy.
6. being prepared to say no.
Saying yes to one thing, inevitably means saying no to something else. There is a subtle difference between the things you need to say no to and the things you are willing to give up above. Embrace this as a reality you will often be in, take it on as a necessity almost. Believe in the purity of your approach for saying no will clear your path.