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When Success is Not an Option

February 15, 2012

One of the greatest turning points in my life occurred when I stopped casually waiting for success, and instead started to approach it as a duty, obligation, and responsibility. I literally began to see success as an ethical issue; a DUTY to my family, company and future, rather than as something that may or may not happen to me. I spent 17 years getting a formal education that was to prepare me for the world -- and not one course was on success. Not once did anyone talk to me about the importance of success, much less what I had to do to get it. Amazing! Years of education, information, hundreds of books, time in class, and money; yet I was still missing the purpose. No wonder I found myself with so many problems; I didn't have attention on one thing but rather just 'false' targets: having fun, pleasure, partying, loafing, and on and on. This casual approach to life led to very serious problems for me at the age of 23: I was broke, had a serious drug problem that almost killed me, suffered destructive relationships, repeatedly losing work and worst of all, had no self-respect. I was fortunate enough, however, to have two distinct experiences in my life that served as major wake up calls, in which case, my existence and survival were being seriously threatened in both cases. The first occurred when I was 25. My life was a pitiful mess, caused by years of approaching life aimlessly, drifting with no real purpose or focus on SUCCESS. I had no money, plenty of uncertainty, no direction, too much free time, and still hadn’t made a commitment to approach success as an obligation. Had I not realized that SUCCESS was a noble target and vital to my future, I don’t think I would be alive today. Most people approach success in the same way that I did when I was 25 years old. They look at it as though it doesn’t matter -- like it’s an option or perhaps just something that only happens to other people. Treating success as an option is one of the major reasons why people don’t create it for themselves -- and why most people don’t even get close to living up to their full potential. Ask yourself how close you are to your full capability—you might not like the answer very much. If you don’t consider it your duty to live up to your potential, then you simply won’t. If it doesn’t become an ethical issue for you, then you won’t feel obligated and driven to fulfill your aptitude. People don’t approach the creation of success as a must-have obligation, do-or-die mission, gotta-have-it, "hungry-dog-on-back-of-meat-truck" mentality, and then spend the rest of their lives making excuses for why they didn’t get it. This is exactly what happens when you consider success to be an alternative rather than anobligation. We consider success in my home to be vital to our family’s future survival. My wife and I are on the same page with this. We meet often to talk about why it is so important, and determine exactly what we have to do to keep secondary issues out of the way. I don’t just mean getting financially rich, but success in every area: marriage, parenting, health, finances, religion, contributions to the community, and creating the future we want—even long after we are gone—what will we be remembered for? You have to approach the notion of success the way a good parent approaches their duty to their children—it’s an honor, an obligation, and a priority. A good parent will do whatever it takes to take care of their children. He or she will get up in the middle of the night to feed a baby, work as hard as they can to clothe and feed them, fight for them, even put their lives at risk to protect them. This is the same way you must envision success. A great person will do WHATEVER it takes to create SUCCESS for themselves, their family, their business, and the world. Tips to making success a priority:
  1. Redefine success as a duty. what are you trying to achieve?
  2. Get the whole family on board. meet weekly. reassess your goals.
  3. Study successful people. steve jobs, bill gates, warren buffett.
  4. Surround yourself with like minded people interested in success.
You have something special to contribute to the world and i assure you that you can get more done when you and the world see your successes and that you are fully committed to them!

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