Living by the seat of your pants is not just fun but important if you want to be an interesting person. Long-term plans will inevitably change as you experience life, but having no plan at all is as good as driving down the freeway with your butt flapping in the wind. Success represents who you are and you should take reign of as much as you can, wherever you can. This article will help you understand the importance of defining and recognizing your path toward success.
The less apparent problem to a spontaneous approach in success is that it’s very difficult for you to reach any real satisfaction. Your success criteria were conceived in a shallow and whimsical fashion. You will feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel because you are more likely to jump from one plan to another without ever finishing anything in particular. This is why you frequently hear successful people being miserable. Everyone around them thinks they’re successful, but they themselves feel mentally overworked and stuck in a rut…because no personally meaningful success criteria were ever met!
Deep Dive: what success is so you can reign over it.
Whether you already have a definition for success, let’s do a quick spot check to make sure we are looking at it the same way:
If I had <fill in the blank>, then I’d feel successful for the rest of my life.
Did you immediately fill out the blank or are you already stumped? Don’t worry if you still don’t know the answer yet. This is equivalent to coming up with your dream house. Not a baby one that you figure you’d live in for awhile. You’re trying to build your ultimate sanctuary! You don’t need to know for certain how many rooms you need or whether there should be a pool, yet. The only two things you need right now are you want to know the big picture of what it should be (keep reading for hints below) and you have to be able to visualize yourself reaching reaching success. If you already think it’s impossible, you’re setting yourself up for failure 100%.
Let’s get introspective for a second here. In many ways, how you view success was shaped as soon as you have self-awareness. Your parents, teachers, or classmates challenging you to do X, Y, and Z. Did you learn or do you now have a lifelong hatred to try/do things? On and on and on till years of these little life-blocks of wins & losses added up to how you view yourself today. It’s very important that you accept who you are and why you are who you are. Recognize that your initial impression success is a reflection of your upbringing and it’s perfectly ok. There are no wrong answers and changes will only come after acceptance.
Back on Track: Passion drives success.
Your own dream house should be personal to you. You should absolutely leverage resources around you for inspiration, but it’s most important that you think objectively (read: truthfully) what success means to you and then ask yourself why. We, the 11ish collective, believe that your pyramid should be built on your passion. Here are some ideas:
- You have a passion for travel, so your pyramid is to travel every part of the world. Since the world is constantly changing, it’ll never get old!
- You have a passion for entrepreneurship, so your pyramid is to spend the rest of your life buying and selling businesses
- You have a passion for food, so your pyramid is to be able to experience every worthwhile restaurant in the world
Gotchas to watch out for.
- If family-value is most important to you, then perhaps being married to a good person and being a good parent is pyramid. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that success criteria. But if you reach that before the age of 40… what are you going to do with the rest of your life?! Your pyramid isn’t grandiose enough.
- If buying a Bugatti is your definition of success, good for you for having great taste! However, if you hypothetically got the car tomorrow, will it REALLY make you feel successful for the rest of your life? Unless you’re a pro racing driver, you’d be in your car what… 5% of your entire life at best? If you still answered yes, leave a comment and explain yourself because I am genuinely curious! If no, then you should redefine your pyramid.
Now that you’ve defined your dream house, let’s move to the next step.
“Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.” ~ Winston Churchill
Break it down.
No one’s dream house is built in a day. It started with somebody important (read: you) coming up with an idea for the house first. Then you draw up the blueprint for what the inside and outside representation is, materials needed, and etc… After doing that little exercise, you will have a clear roadmap of success and most importantly how far you are from your goal!
If you need help breaking it down into an actionable blueprint, check out our article here on How to outline & execute everything you’ve ever wanted.
As always, thank you for reading this article. We appreciate your time and trust in yourself and the 11ish collective. Please leave a comment and share!
Coming Next: Does success equate to happiness?