(This is an especially long post, but I will save you the trouble of reading this monstrosity in these first few paragraphs.)
This essay is for anyone and everyone LOOKING for success and feeling like they haven’t found it yet.
It’s for those who want to be liberated forever from the rat race, and especially for those who feel that success is eluding them.
It’s time to finally learn the truth about success.
Your parents and teachers had it wrong. Your mentors didn’t understand this. And those motivational speakers talking about how to succeed in life are way off.
You ready?? Here it is…..
You are successful. You already are. Right here, right now.
You don’t need to look for success, wish for it, or want anymore. You already HAVE IT.
Success is not something that is just outside your reach, and if you do just a little bit more, put a little more effort into it, you’ll have it.
No, no, no.
Listen to me. You’re already successful.
If you get this, really get this idea, it will free you. It will liberate you from pursuing illusions and ghosts.
No more chasing some abstract term called success or wondering when your time will finally come.
Your success is RIGHT NOW. It’s RIGHT HERE. And here’s why….
You have successfully produced whatever outcome or result you have in your life.
Living like a bum? Success. Earning $34,000 a year? Success. Fat and overweight? Success. Poor relationships? Success.
Conversely, living like a king/queen? Success. $1,000,000 a month in income? Success. Fit, in shape, and vibrantly healthy? Success. Strong, meaningful relationships? Success.
Everything in the universe works PERFECTLY. It just does. Including YOU.
“But what about this cool invention I just made. It doesn’t work…”
Guess what? You’re successful at building machines that don’t work.
If this still doesn’t make sense to you, read on…
Once upon a time…
Working one on one with hundreds of people has taught me a few things. Ok, more than a few things.
Some of those lessons led me to profound personal insights, some broadened my overall perspective of life, and many taught me a better way to teach something.
As I learned from others in my different roles as counselor, life coach, and teacher, I began to see every interaction with others as mutually beneficial instead of perhaps the mindset of, “I’m here to teach you something…”
The thing that struck me over the years was how most people wanted to succeed so badly. But if I asked, “What do you want?”, the common answer was “I want to be successful.”
What I observed was that hardly anyone could be specific about what success meant to them. They were very vague about it with common responses including money, power, relationships, etc.
And this got me to thinking. What is success and why do we want it so bad? And what will it look or feel like when we finally got it? And why is it so difficult for people to have it?
Of course this caused me to reflect on my own experience regarding success. And, as most people do where I come from, I associated having money with success. So money became my number one goal, or so I thought.
So I pursued making money. Lots of it. And the journey had very many twists and turns, and frustrations along the way.
And my journey brought me to a startling conclusion about the concept of success.
And here’s why. Because I still wasn’t making a ton of money.
Where’s my money?!
After a few years of NOT making the kind of money that I had originally set out to achieve, I had to figure out why.
I did try things. I put effort into making money, but my results didn’t show.
Well, I decided I wasn’t going to continue doing stuff, and NOT understand why I kept getting the same results.
So, from that point forward, whatever money I earned at work was immediately invested into some information (really anything) that could explain what was going on with me.
My journey first started with how to make money, then to why I wasn’t making enough money. Then I thought, I have to understand business and marketing.
The floodgates opened from there. I studied what success is, to how to get anything you want, to how to use and train your mind, and to anything and everything in between.
Whew! Basically, I studied everything around the area of personal and professional development.
A funny thing starts happening when you’re studying like mad around a specific topic, such as success. You begin to see patterns, and you begin to draw connections between seemingly unrelated stuff.
You learn the fundamentals, the basics, unifying principles, and best practices.
After building a solid foundation and establishing the basics in any particular area, your eyes and ears perk up when something radically different comes along, because it stands in stark contrast to everything you’ve been taught.
And I got good at finding those key distinctions that really do make all the difference in the world.
And one of those key distinctions changed my view of what success is forever.
What is success anyway?
Earl Nightingale, probably the most influential person next to Napoleon Hill in the self-development field, stated that the definition of success is “the realization of a worthy goal.”
You define the goal. We’ll just assume that it’s worthy, or of value, otherwise, why would you set it?
And when you accomplish that goal, whatever it is, you have success.
Seems simple enough, right? Right.
So to recap. You set a goal that’s worthy, or of value to you. You act or move toward it. You accomplish it. You are successful.
We set a goal that means something to us.
We act and behave in a way that moves us closer and closer to the goal.
We accomplish it.
How often do we go through this process EVERY DAY?
In the 90’s, I ran across the work of Maxwell Maltz. Maltz was a plastic surgeon in the 50’s and 60’s and he realized something very intriguing.
Despite changing a person’s physical appearance through cosmetic surgery, like a nose job or removing a scar, some people would still ACT like the scar was still there.
They would still ‘feel’ the scar’s presence, despite what other people close to them said or even if they were staring at themselves face to face in a mirror.
This result was so commonplace that Maltz decided to understand this phenomenon so he could effectively address it.
No matter what physical changes a person makes to their exterior or physical appearance, until they changed their INNER world, then the real change they wanted COULD NOT take place in that person’s life, regardless of the ‘hard’ evidence or social proof.
Maltz determined that the critical factor in all of this was the self-image. In his eyes, the self-image was the missing ingredient as to why his patients could not experience the changes on the INSIDE.
If someone could bring their self-image into alignment with the desired outer change, then they could experience the total change.
A short parable in the bible illustrates this point. Jesus was explaining that you CANNOT put new wine in old wineskins because the old wineskins will eventually crack and burst, spilling the wine and losing it completely.
In the example we used earlier, if someone has surgery (new wine) and they keep their old wineskin (self-image), then eventually there will be a crack in the foundation, so to speak. And all the good effort and external changes will be lost.
The old wineskin (self-image) is just used to a certain type of wine because it’s been holding it for so long. It can only hold that particular wine, and no other.
Think about this
You can change your clothes, cut your hair, do your toes, say affirmations, and even win the lottery, but if your old wineskin remains the same, then eventually all that new wine would leak through the cracks and disappear.
The old “wineskin” (self-image) wants the wine it’s comfortable with. And it will remain that way until you change those old wineskins.
Here’s why that is: the self-image IS YOUR GOAL. It is your target. Your mind/body will do everything it can to be aligned with it, to work towards however you SEE YOURSELF.
If your self-image is “fat” or “healthy” then it will work to accomplish that. If your self-image is earning $34k a year or a million dollars a month, then it will work to achieve that.
The airplane has a goal to get to Atlanta. The plane takes off, moves toward it’s target, and eventually lands at its destination.
But the interesting stuff happens in between the take off and the landing.
You see that the plane is “off course” probably 90% of the time. Maybe it’s higher than that. The plane is constantly correcting itself from the feedback it receives from its navigation controls.
Because the plane maintains its goal of Atlanta, it has to constantly correct itself due to air resistance, turbulence, or what have you.
Same with the thermostat. It has a goal to keep the room temperature at 72 degrees. Regardless if it gets hot or cold, the thermostat will either turn on the heat or the air conditioning.
The thermostat keeps its goal. It doesn’t change. Same with the plane.
What if the plane took off and it decided to change it’s goal every 30 minutes?
What if the plane really wanted to go to New York, but never changed its programmed goal of Atlanta?
How often do you change goals in mid-flight?
I finally realized why I wasn’t making a whole lot of money. I kept changing my goals BACK just to fit how I saw myself.
I just didn’t realize it.
I saw myself as an employee. I saw myself as earning a certain amount of money every year. Everything I did was congruent with my self-image, and so every result was a successful outcome. And I mean EVERY ONE.
If I had just made a decision to “change” my self-image to fit my new goals, I would have avoided years of frustration.
In the past, as you moved towards your new goal, what happened when you met turbulence or resistance? How did you deal with it?
If you are like I was, you will go back to doing what’s comfortable for you.
It’s great that a machine like an autopilot navigation system on an airplane adjusts, adapts, and responds quickly and efficiently to air resistance, turbulence, and bad weather.
It doesn’t think about anything else, because it CAN’T.
But you can. And therein lies the problem and solution.
Because you have the ability to imagine and have thoughts, you can keep the old going on and on OR transform into something totally different.
And if you decide on bringing in a new reality (setting a new goal) then….
How will you NOW respond to the turbulence, obstacles and barriers?
When barriers and frustrations are present, what will you do? When resistance meets you, how will you deal with it?
How you see yourself is YOUR PRIMARY GOAL. You are already SUCCEEDING in accomplishing your self-image EVERY DAY.
You are SUCCESSFUL. All day long.
So, the obvious next question is:
How do I change my self-image??
And here’s the paradox.
Don’t try to change it. There’s no need to deal with the past, which is the essence of your self-image. It’s of the past.
Sure, it shows up now, because you happen to operate off of it, but it can only change in the present. Your self-image is dynamic, it has a great ability to shift and shape itself at a moment’s notice.
And you don’t need to “reprogram” yourself. Saying things like, “Oh, I act this way because of my conditioning”, is another way of saying that you’re not responsible.
Remember this: If you transform yourself NOW, your past and future will simultaneously change.
I observed this phenomenon in my own life. Let’s say I got a new insight, or new perspective of something that affected me on a deep level. I would immediately look at past events/memories with a totally new perspective.
Old enemies became hurt and afraid, instead of terrible/horrible people.
The “bad” things I’ve done to others would reveal my own insecurities and deep fears, instead of the usual “they deserved it”.
You can affect the past and the future RIGHT NOW, because it’s the only time you CAN.
You don’t need to go into the inner recesses of the mind to uncover a gajillion limiting beliefs. You don’t need years of psycho-therapy to figure it all out.
Every clue is right in front of you. It’s tangible. It’s real.
Look at your bank statement. Look at your relationships. Look at your home situation.
Look at your car, your friends, your way of life.
Look at your language, listen to your words.
Check how you feel. Strong and powerful or anxious and depressed?
And just remember when you’re looking at all that stuff…
“This is how I see myself… this is MY current level of SUCCESS.”
And the greatest news is that you can change it all because you were successful in creating ALL of it in the first place.
Feel the power of that. You created your current form of success.
What to do NOW
The Truth is moving, it is NOW. What was true yesterday may not be true the next. The same goes for your self-image. That’s why people can change dramatically.
From abuser to advocate, from atheist to believer, from victim to perpetrator, from poverty to abundance, there are living, breathing examples every day around us.
If the content of your mind was the truth, change wouldn’t be possible. But you can change the content of your mind. Right now.
How? Here’s how:
Pick a goal, any goal. Make sure it’s a challenging goal.
Now, ask yourself, what’s the first step in accomplishing this goal?
Then take action and do it, until that first step is accomplished.
Your actions may look like that plane to Atlanta. Move toward goal, off course, get feedback, correct behavior, move toward goal, off course, get feedback, correct behavior, etc.
Because it’s our experiencing that transforms.
Do this until you get to your main destination.
And if for some reason you stopped moving, or revert back to your ‘old’ ways, then see that, get up and do it again.
Clarify that step. Make it detailed. Ask others for help. Do whatever you can to get it done. Because it’s our experiencing that transforms.
Obstacles and resistance have to be overcome, and they can only be overcome with action/experiencING. Otherwise, you will experience the same level of success you currently occupy. If you don’t mind that, I don’t.
But whatever you decide to do, remember that you couldn’t avoid success if you tried. You experience success everyday, even if you don’t like it or want it.
So, remember to ask yourself…
What do I choose to be successful at NOW?
And if none of this makes sense to you, then think about this: I was successful at not reaching you successfully with my essay on success.
And if you can understand that, then you get it.