Why Some People Succeed And Some People Don’t

Successful PeopleHow successful are you?

Last week I was eating lunch with a couple of clients when an expensive car pulled up to the curb. A man got out, shook hands with one of my clients, made small talk, and went on to meet his party for lunch.

My client remarked:

“That’s Bill Masters. He’s very successful.”

“How well do you know him?” I asked?

“I don’t really. I just know his company is worth $18 million. He lives in a huge house and, well, look at his car,” my client replied.

On the way home from lunch I thought quite a bit about that exchange. I thought about success. And I thought about why some people are successful while others aren’t.

In fact, I thought about this almost nonstop for 24 hours.

It kept me awake.

It distracted me from my work.

I couldn’t focus on anything.

Then I came to three conclusions about success, and since then, I’ve slept like a baby.

Conclusion number one: Money is a means to an end. It is not the end unto itself.

Everyone needs money. If you have more money, you have more options.   The value and importance of money is significant. Money can help solve problems. Money can relieve some stress. Money can make you more comfortable.

All these things are true, yet I know plenty of people who have money, look successful, and are miserable.

Imagine that. You have all the money you need. Nice house. Nice car. No financial issues. Yet you still cannot find happiness. Is that success?

Conclusion number two: Success is personal.

It is up to me to take stock of my own success. You cannot determine if I am successful or not. Why? We don’t have the same standard. You don’t know what my goal is, was, or will be.

In fact, I may have multiple criteria for measuring my success. The criteria will change from time to time. I may use a cumulative formula to determine my level of success at any given moment.

You are not qualified to determine whether or not I am successful. Only I can do that.

The same is true for you – for each of us.

Conclusion number three: Success is reflected in the moment

We have a finite amount of time. We choose how we spend it. If you waste it, you never get it back. The time you invest right now is either successful or it’s not…. as defined by you.

Spend 10 seconds hugging your kids after returning from a long business trip and you will wish it were an hour. Spend an hour waiting to see a doctor to get test results and you’ll wish it was 10 seconds.

Time and success are inexorably intertwined.

So What Does This Mean For You?

Answer these three questions:

Do you like where you are going?

Are you enjoying the journey?

Do you categorically reject and ignore the judgment of others?

If you answered, “YES” to all three of those questions, you are successful.

Do you want to know why some people are successful and others are not?

I can’t answer that question.

But you can.

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