The Success Puzzle

Most people you talk to would probably agree to some extent that real success is a puzzle. Why is this?

I would say that it is partly due to the fact that we’ve never really had much training in how to be successful. There is certainly no class in traditional schooling on success that I know of. Our experience has probably reinforced the idea that success is a puzzle especially if we have not experienced success in our lives.

However, I think a bigger reason for this belief is that…most people do not understand what success is. That is, what success is for them. After all, success can be different for everyone. Ask a thousand people and you’ll probably get nine hundred and ninety different answers. With an unknown factor of this size, how can it even be taught, so the thinking goes…why even bother trying?

Well, success can be defined, and a pioneer in the modern day self-improvement movement, Earl Nightingale, put it very well. He put it this way. “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.”

At first reading one may think, “what the heck does that mean?” A learning trick I was taught is, when you are reading a sentence that doesn’t make sense, take all the main words in it and get the dictionary and define them. Write down the definitions and put it all together and see if it doesn’t make more sense.

Lets try this here. We’ll start with “progressive.” It says, going forward or onward, passing successively from one stage to another. I get that okay, now “realization. It says, the act of realizing, to grasp or understand clearly, accomplishment. Now “worthy”. Having adequate or great merit, character or value. Nice, now “ideal”. A conception of something in its perfection or excellence, or an ultimate object or aim or endeavor, an idea you fall in love with.

Now we can go back and put it together so it makes sense to us. I see it as, moving forward consistently to an awareness of accomplishing something of great meaning or value to me. Wow, and I always thought it was having ten million dollars, a Bentley, a mansion and traveling the world.

Now I guess the trick is figuring out what that something of great meaning or value to me is.

And that is the trick, but its not really a trick. Its a decision. A decision to begin to think about things differently. To step out of the day to day, the so called rat race, and actually ponder on what that something or somethings might be.

But of course, who has the time right? We have the time to sit in front of the tv set from after dinner to bedtime, but no time to better our lives. As I said, its a decision. Give up a half hour or an hour a day for a week. If you don’t like it or it doesn’t pay dividends, you can always go back to your old routine but, as the saying goes, “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

Thanks for reading.

To your success,


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