This is why YOU Will
I had a conversation with a young man who was about 27 years old and had a really tough go of things so far. He did have the potential to succeed. He was getting divorced and was in a custody battle with his soon to be ex-wife. I met him because I needed some landscaping work done in my yard, and I hired him for the project. This project should have been a one-day effort with a team of 2-3 people. He was very polite, seemed to care a great deal about making sure he understood my requirements for the project, and said all the right things to demonstrate he was motivated. We agreed upon a price, which was actually about 30% higher than he initially asked for because I thought this work was very hard, and he deserved more if he did a great job.
How to Fail Before You Begin
Unfortunately, we had a stormy week, and he could not start right away because the area was VERY muddy. So, we agreed he would come on the next sunny day. He did arrive around 3 pm on that first sunny day, but he was alone and without the team. It was a weekday, so it was no big deal – I did not know if he had another job, and maybe his team had other jobs or something like that. I was already starting to think he was not going to succeed at this job.
I decided to go outside and assist him, and we ended up having a long conversation, which is how I found out about his story. He graduated from the same high school as my daughter, but he is about 4 years older than her. He really wanted to succeed. He asked me questions about problems he was having with his phone and his computer, and I explained to him steps he could take to resolve those issues. It did seem like the reason he was doing a hard-labor job right now is that he had been working for a family business with his wife. When they separated, he was let go from that position and is not trying to find other steady employment. In the meantime, as far as I can tell – he is just trying to make money, so he can pay his attorney and try to maintain 50/50 custody of his kids.
He was a really nice kid, and with a few of the attributes I saw in him, he could succeed someday – if he decided to. He said he was interested in getting a job working with computers, something more technologically focused. He asked me how to get started. I gave him a few ideas that were either free or cheap. We have two excellent Community Colleges near us. They send out flyers for adult continuing education classes that are meager cost and not to mention, even enrolling in their classes for college credit is very affordable. These were some of my suggestions for him. I am sure he dreams of a life where he can do something other than digging out yards in the blazing sun for other people. I am sure he is dreaming of a steady job and paycheck to show he is a good, stable parent. I am sure he wants a better life.
Is Wanting to Succeed Enough?
Is it enough to want all of this – money, stability, a better career, to want to make a better life for your children? Is wanting these things all you need to do to succeed? No, because if that is all that was required – almost everyone would be successful. You need to want something, set a goal (mental or written), then create some steps to move toward your goal, then do the work to complete these steps. I am a person who does believe that success is essentially GUARANTEED when you make a plan and deliberately check off the steps to achieve your goal.
So, what do you think? Is this young man going to become successful someday? I am rooting for him – but he will be stuck until he decides to make some changes.
One Failure does not Equal Failure at Life
I will give you the short version of the outcome of my interactions with this young man. I gave him 3 days of opportunities to finish the job. I even told him I’d pay him more if it were done by Saturday. I offered to come out and help him. He never came before 3 pm on any day, he only worked for about two hours when he showed up, he didn’t bring the right tools, and he never brought his team after the first rainy day. He texted me photos of his trailer on its side, saying he needed to get it repaired, he said he forgot he had another job weed-eating for someone’s grandma, which is why he couldn’t come earlier, etc. All of this very well may have been true. I do not know, and honestly, I didn’t spend any time trying to figure it out. I paid him for the work he did each day and gave him several chances because he was a nice kid, and I believe he has gotten himself in a bit of a mess with his personal life that has bled over and impacted his career progression. Needless to say, ultimately — I had to tell this young man not to come anymore, that I was going to find someone else to do this job.
His story may be worse than some and better than others. Now honestly, if you think about what success would look like for you, are you on the path to that success right now? Are you taking the necessary steps to make your success happen? What characteristics and attributes do most successful people have? What changes could you make to guarantee that you will succeed with your plan?
10 Steps to Lead You to Success
- Start seeing your potential — and your life’s outcome — as totally within your control.
- Develop a simple morning routine, one that gets you going early enough to get the things you want to get done, done.
- Keep your commitments, and don’t make a commitment that you cannot or will not keep. Learn to say, “no.”
- Delay gratification and withstand temptation.
- Be Fearless. Successful people push through fear and even become addicted to their euphoric feelings from overcoming their fears.
- First, decide what the most important thing you could do today is. Then, literally, DO the most important thing you could do. Repeat this – every single day. This will result in the perception that you are a person who adds value on a massive scale, without fail.
- Refuse to complain or criticize. Do not spread negativity.
- Go forth with grit and determination, without fail. Be a person who is willing to push through even when the odds are against you. Do not give up.
- Find other successful people to be around and do not be envious; celebrate the success of others.
- Be Curious. Be a constant learner, not only about new ideas and concepts but also about your own self. Become self-aware. Be aware of your strengths, grow them, and be aware of your weaknesses and find others who complement you.
You Are 99% in Control of YOUR Success
You are in control of many or most of the things that happen to you in your life. You can set a plan into motion that practically guarantees your success. No one can succeed FOR you. Only you can decide that you want to succeed, and then you also have to wake up every day for months and years and decide again and again that you will keep going in the direction of success. No, I do not know if this young man will find his way, but if he sets a plan in motion, works on it very diligently, and surrounds himself with other excellent people, he is more than capable of becoming better he ever imagined. I feel the same way about you. Have you decided who you want to be?
Activity for improvement
Today, write down where you want to be one year from today. In your journal or a notebook, write a paragraph about where you want to be in one year. Follow that up with a few steps you know you need to take to make it happen and why you want to achieve this plan. I would love to hear your story!
Send me a recording to use on the podcast
Tell your story to your voice recorder on your phone and e-mail me the file to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will not only share your story on the podcast, but I will communicate with you personally across the next year, and we will periodically see how you are doing and what your outcome is one year from now. You will not only have your own accountability partner, but you’ll also have a life-coach checking in on you. You’ll inspire everyone else listening and have a major impact on thousands of other women. I can’t wait to hear about your plan!