When people think of success, they think of all the good outcomes. They think of the cars, the money, the houses, the fame and they often forget to look at what it actually takes to be successful. Successful people will tell you their struggle if you ask them. There are many that have been broke, homeless, and heartbroken before anything actually happened. Success takes drive, dedication and persistence. Here are some harsh truths about success from eight people who had a vision and did what they could to make it a reality.
1. Success doesn’t always mean being rich
Dr. Martin Luther King’s goal in life was to make sure everyone has equal rights. For anyone, of any color, be able to sit in front of the bus and drink from the same water fountain. It took a lot of protests, preaching and faith for him to work at his goal. He said, “I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.” America has made many strides in the civil rights movement, largely because of Dr. King’s work. His vision of success was not to gain any profit but to gain civil rights.
2. If you get caught up in the failure, you will fail all together
Henry Ford believes that “obstacles are those frightful things that you see when you take your eyes off the goal”. The road to success is lined with thorns that are designed to get you caught up. If you focus on pain or hardships instead of the end result, it’s going to be one tough journey.
3. You will work harder than your peers and in return, you will lose some friends
“The average person puts only 25% of his energy into his work. The world takes off its hat to those who put in more than 50% of their capacity and stands on its head for those few and far between souls who devote 100%,” is something Andrew Carnegie once said. You will have to work harder than most of your peers if you are truly set on being successful. You will start to lose some friends, whether from greed, or losing touch because their goals are not the same as yours. Don’t worry, the ones that stay are in it for the long run.
4. If it is not your passion, you will have a tough time reaching your goal
J.P. Morgan believed that “a man always has two reasons to do anything: a good reason and the real reason.” Make sure what you do is your passion. In the business world, sometimes money is enough and other times, it is not. You will often find yourself bankrupt, scammed and let down. This is where you can find out if that coffee shop is really something you want with all your heart and soul or if you were just trying to find a way to get rich.
5. You will make some enemies climbing the ladder, and you will need to be okay with it.
You are bound to step on some toes on your way up. Cornelius Vanderbilt made it clear to anyone that he would ruin them if they wronged him in anyway. He once said, “If you have undertaken to cheat me, I won’t sue you, for the law is too slow. I’ll ruin you.” In order to be successful you need to take what you want and protect what you have worked hard for and if that means making some enemies, then it’s a step you must take.
6. You will need to make tough decisions
“Don’t be afraid to give up on the good to go for the great,” was said by John D. Rockefeller, and he was right. Sometimes, you will become complacent and be satisfied with where you are at. Though it may not be the end result you wanted, it is comfortable. In order to be successful, you need to have the drive to trade what is easy and good for what you really want.
7. You can never plan for everything, sometimes you need to just jump in and wing it
Planning does not always help you. There are so many different variables that could change your plan of action and you only planned up to back up plan C. “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing,” is some advice from Walt Disney. There cannot be enough planning in the world to make you successful with every little thing life throws at you so just jump on in! You need to be brave and take action instead of wasting time on planning solutions for what ifs.
8. There will always be someone doing better than you
Some words of wisdom from Angela Merkel, the #1 Woman on the Forbes list of 100 Most successful woman: “The question is not whether we are able to change, but whether we are changing fast enough.” There will always be someone doing better than you and in order to reach your goal, you need to be the best. You need to constantly reassess yourself and make sure you are on track because no one else will.
Featured photo credit: Romedalstinden- Johan Kistrand via flickr.com