Thursday, November 25, 2010

And On The Eighth Day...He Said, "Invent Yourself"

Over the last number of days, I have been listening to a lot of opinions in the areas of Sales and the Marketing of oneself (aka branding). Everyone has a valid argument on how you can succeed and where you could fail…..The lists are endless.  All the points could be considered relevant depending on your situtation at any given time.
This brings me to today’s rant: Who is REALLY responsible for your success or failure.
The answer is real simple: YOU ARE!!!
From a real early age you learned how to communicate, both verbally and non-verbally, using both words and body-language and understanding which method is most effective and when.  Reputations are formed the first minute we are introduced to the world, as are opinions by others on our potential for success and how they have “Big Plans” for our future.  At this stage we don’t understand what is going on, just that we are being liked for ourselves.
Flash-forward a few years to the playground.  Here we learn we aren’t really as special as we have been led to believe.  It is here we learn that those with all the cool toys get the attention, and those without, don’t.  We also meet our first “bully”, that person who has made a negative decision about you based on no information, and has already made his/her opinion of you known to all he/she “controls”.
We all want to be liked and we want to be successful on the playground; yet everytime we think we know all the right answers and etiquette to handle the situation, THE RULES CHANGE!  This is something we have to get used to, as it will be one of, if not, the major hurdle we will have in life.  Fast-forward again, this time to “The School Years”- This is where alot of our self-worth or ambition for the future will be formed.  This is where we find out how good we really are, and learn to stand on our own merit.
Are we good at sports, at music, at drama, or at studies? Do we spend the time necessary to prepare for the inevitable future, or do we try and take as many short cuts as possible?  Again, perception is everything, and again, not everyone will be liked for everything they do.  Keeping a positive attitude is tough during these years; as we really didn’t get a clear set of rules on how to act or treat others.  Adaptation is key at this stage, as is Improvisation on life skills.  The people who get a handle on those skills usually find some tasks easier than others, and find that “Growing Up” and preparing for the future rests on their own goals and aspirations.  The more education (school or street) we receive, then the better we are prepared to face the unknown.  Those individuals who feel they are not as fortunate, discover new skill sets to take the place of “the golden ring” (or the Silver Spoon).  Yes, they too do have the potential to be successful but in order to do so, they have to take a different path to the top.
Which now brings us back to the original question: Who is Responsible for Your Success?  All successful people have a different vision of where that magic comes from, and success becomes measured by different standards.  To truly be successful, I feel you have to be happy with yourself as you are, not trying to change to fit the crowd.  Being that individual is what will make you feel good about you and what you choose to do, as you are the captain of your own ship named “Success”. It can be daunting at times, trying to live to everyones expectations, but, and that is a major” But”, if you disregard all opinions of you except your own, you will find the trip easier to manage.
Every minute of the day brings us in contact with new choices, new people and new challenges which can either assist or torpedo our goals.  The important thing is to keep pressing forward, and measure your success by the achievements we make that put a smile on our face, and give us peace…
Something to think about…When was the last time you looked in the mirror and smiled at yourself?  You may find the answer harder than you think.

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