Most of us develop a picture of success based on what we see in the media and the stories we have heard of others. We define success based on how success looks like from the outside. We all desire success, we are designed for success! But years of looking at success from the outside, we come to believe only the special, or gifted, or rich, or…succeed.
We focus on the end results of success we see in another person’s life and miss on what it took for them to become successful. We spend time fantasizing on being successful, just like them, but cannot or will not see the simple roadmap to success they followed, even when they tell us! This only results in anger, frustration, and many times despair, depression, and hopelessness.
Anyone can succeed, yes even you!
When I was first told by my coach that I could succeed, my mind filled with laughter and thoughts like “You? What can you do well?” “You were born poor and will always be poor.” “The best you can hope for is helping someone else.” or “You screwed up your whole life (I am not young!), so what makes you think you can succeed now?”
I found two simple first steps that MUST happen to begin your journey to success, of living the life of your dreams. They do not require you to do something extraordinary, like leap over all of the circumstances of your life like a super hero. These first two steps are right in front of you.
But before we get to those steps, let’s talk about the main reason why we do not take any steps toward success, and just dream, fantasize, affirm, imagine, build dream boards… I have heard these over and over,
“I can’t start because I am not sure of my purpose.”
“When my purpose becomes clear, I'll do whatever it takes to succeed.”
“What if I head down a road that is not right, not leading to my purpose?”
We want to make sure we are really heading down the right road, the road we have defined as our purpose. Because we want guarantees and security, we take our design or purpose, and turn it into a reason for not starting. We make purpose so grand, so BIG, that it becomes un achievable and we end up using "not knowing our real purpose" as an excuse not to take the next step in front of us, the obvious, unglamorous step – I know, I spent more than 50 years always on the doorstep, always at the beginning, never stepping out, never making the first step.
Probably like many of you, I spent years yearning to find out my purpose, what I was designed for. Fruitless hours of imagining, affirming, making dream boards, and the results were only frustration, disappointment, and anger that others around me could not see what I was designed for and just open the door for me.
Let me be clear, I don’t define success as necessarily making a million dollars, becoming a celebrity, helping others live in harmony with their environment, having a happy home, but it might be.
The dictionary takes the glamour and misconceptions out of the emotional meanings we have put on the words success and purpose.
Success means “an event that accomplishes its intended purpose”.
Purpose is defined as “an anticipated outcome that is intended or that guides your planned actions”.
This makes finding and following our purpose to a successful outcome an ordinary path that can lead to extraordinary results. Laying out the steps to our success moves us from wishful thinking to action – and there is hardly any competition!
Step 1: Decide
Decide to do what is in front of you, with excellence, and most likely without fan-fare. This decision is the start of a journey from where you are to where you want to go. Without this decision, most of us will only fantasize about what we want in life, or spend time wondering what our purpose is so we can start – all behaviors that keep us in inaction.
Most of us make conditional decisions, saying we will only go so far and if we don’t see the grand success in front of us, well, we quit! Decision means to “make up one’s mind; settle conclusively”. When we decide to step out of the door, we extend our foot over the door jam and hold it there; we actually put our foot over the door jam, and place it on the ground. That is how simple a decision is.
We have all heard stories, seen videos, of ordinary people overcoming odds to make a difference in others lives…both now and from history, like Bethany Hamilton, Nick Vujicic, or Thomas Edison. You even know someone in your life that has achieved extraordinary results. The first step was always right in front of them and they decided to succeed.
Step 2: Act
Take action. What does this look like in every day life? For me the step to paying off over a quarter of a million dollars in debt in 31 months was so simple. After deciding I never want to return to debt again, my very first action was to stop spending what I didn’t have. The momentum of action made solely on a decision is incredible!
This will look different for each of us, but will require that we look directly at what it is we need to do in front of us. Today, for me, it was to write, not to fantasize about writing a book – someday – but to write about the simple decision and action steps it takes to succeed.
But this is contrary to the way most of us are taught. We are taught that successful people never struggle with everyday issues, their success was handed to them, they were born that way, and the only way we
These first two steps not only put us on the road to success, but to our purpose! My entire life I have been looking for my purpose. Recently, I found my purpose revealed itself in my life after taking these first two steps, by the simple choice to act on what was right in front of me. As much as I waited for the thunder from heaven to speak and tell me what it was I was designed for, what I was designed for was revealed by what I chose to act on.
I do believe we were designed for success and we all have been given the tools to succeed. The only difference between those who succeed and reach their dream and those who do not is simple – they make the decision to succeed and take action on what is in front of them.
You can follow these simple steps and live your dream, I believe in you!
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