what makes people successful? in a world of millions of voices, clambering to be heard, what makes some stand-out above the rest?
once when i was in a room at the library – you know the kind where they give you tutorials about how to have better study habits or how to use the dewy decimal system? – there was a poster on the wall and it said “80% of success is showing up. the other 10% is talent.”
i’m sure you’ve seen a similar one in the peer-mentoring centre or dentist office.
so maybe success is all about perseverance. showing up. putting the time in.
malcom gladwell has made his millions telling people they they only need to put the 10,000 hours in; that’s the recipe for success.
but….. when you’re this person, when your life only exists to succeed, how successful can you really be?
so maybe you show up at 6 am for practice when you could stay tucked in bed next to the person who loves you, or you decide there’s no time to read a book for pleasure when there’s work to be done, or you miss the entire point of an assignment because you are so consumed with knowing every single detail on the marking rubric.
if that’s the kind of attitude that buys you success, i’m not so sure i’m convinced. sure maybe this will make you successful …..(maybe)… but when you’re awarded the “most successful prize”, is there anything left to the person you thought you were? does anyone even exist underneath this sort of drive?
It’s why people like Andre Agassi or Michael Phelps can’t handle success – why pop stars crumble with fame or the money that comes with it… there needs to be a life behind what drives you.
what about the people who just are successful by the life they lead? happy. content. maybe even a little average.
why do we have such a high standard and definition for success? why is it related to pay-checks, notoriety or fame?
do you know who you are – beyond a certain hobby or activity? do you have love for the people around you? do you ever just stop for a moment and think – “the world will keep turning.”
after 28 years, i’m beginning to see my life more as an arrangement of the eclectic things that make me, me, and less of a huge need to have you look at me and say, “you’re successful.”
i don’t think i ever really thought that deliberately or consciously when i set out to do something – but i think it’s easy to be led from one life decision to the next without even questioning why – but rather, “just because.”