In the current economic state, many people in South Africa are not enjoying life to the ultimate. People are in survival mode; they go through a daily routine broadly constituted by the following: wake up in the morning, go to work, complete mundane work-related tasks to get a wage or salary, go home, eat and sleep, and repeat. The routine may differ to include the occasional bouts of excitement, but generally, that is how it is for most. People simply exist.
In my interaction with individuals of all ages from various walks of life, I have noted that most people on the lower end of the economic spectrum, often resort to mediocre complacency in their lives, quite simply because they think they cannot achieve greatness . More specifically, they believe they cannot achieve greatness because they earn an inadequate wage or salary.
We live in a society where money is everything. Many people are under the impression that having a lot of money is the definition of success; rich people are successful people. However, by definition, success is “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose” (Oxford Dictionary, 2016). If it is your goal to get a lot of money, and then you get the amount of money you aimed for, then you are successful. If it is your goal to complete a task in 15 minutes, and you complete that task in 14 minutes, then you are successful. Several misinformed individuals believe that they are not successful and cannot be successful because they do not have money. Additionally, a lot of people focus so much on their lack of money, that it completely holds them back from keeping the money they have, and importantly, earning more money. During my mentorship sessions with youth, I have emphasised the importance of saving money. I have often received this response: “We don’t even have money. How can we save money if we have no money to save?” With this perception, they destructively impact their self-confidence in their pursuit of success of any kind.
Furthermore, many youth have said to me that they would like to be successful, but they do not have the resources or the knowledge to do so. A prevalent question many people ponder on is: “How do I get from where I am to where I want to be if there is nothing to build on in the first place?” For example, you want to start a business but you have no experience in entrepreneurship, or you want to change your career path, but you lack essential knowledge in your preferred field. This question is perceived by many to be a huge challenge and a great hindrance to achieving success.
Celestine Chua (2016) explains in her personal excellence blog that everyone starts from nothing. She says, “Rich people, poor people, successful people, non-successful people, top achievers, non-achievers – all these people start from a place where they had nothing. Forget about family background, because these are not determinants of success – there are as many successful people in this world from poor families as from rich families. People start life in different places and from different dispensations, but this does not mean they are destined to end life the same place they started life. Just as poor people can become rich, rich people can become poor.”
Focusing on your lack of money, or rather your lack of resources to achieve success is holding you back from accomplishing greatness. Your current state is not a determinant of who you can be or what you can have. If we always base our decisions on what we have or what we do not have in this moment, we are never going to get far because we are limiting ourselves based on our history. “You do not remain where you started in life; things change, and this change happens in accordance with the decisions people make,” says Chua (2016).
It’s all about your mindset. In her blog, Sherrie Campbell (2016) says, “To achieve enduring success, adopt the mindset that success is determined by how much you grow and develop.” You have to believe that the more you learn, the opportunity to become successful becomes greater.
Success is not solely determined by the attainment of money. Success is built upon your ability to learn. Many young people underestimate the importance of internships and volunteering, and discard the opportunity because they do not receive sufficient monetary compensation for their services during their internship. Many people are easily persuaded to change jobs when someone offers them more money. However, Robert Kiyosaki, who is a very successful man, has this advice for young people, “When you are young, work to learn, not to earn.” Robert understands, along with many other successful people, that working is not about the money, especially in the early years of adulthood. It’s about developing the skills and traits you need to develop to become successful.
Always continue learning and growing. If you are open to learning, you will approach all life’s situations searching for the growth you can get out them for your benefit and advancement. If you are in a job where you think you cannot advance, change your mindset and start actively looking for the opportunities for growth. If you are still at school, volunteering, completing practical requirements for a formal course or completing an internship, embrace the challenges which are given to you. Many individuals constantly feel thrown in the deep end, but you must see the opportunity for growth in all challenges. Set your mind to viewing your teachers, coaches, colleagues, and bosses as mentors. They are resources for you to be open to. If you go into any situation believing you already have it figured out, you stunt your ability to become more successful.
Furthermore, surround yourself with other success-minded people because they immediately add value to your life through their friendship, expertise and contacts. Robert Kiyosaki says, “The richest people in the world look for and build networks; everyone else looks for work.” In addition, Warren Buffet, the third richest man in the world (Kroll, 2016), has said, “It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behaviour is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.” When you surround yourself with successful people, your own success will follow. It’s all about aligning your mindset.
Focus on what you want. Set goals. Bo Jackson has said, “Set your goals high, and don’t stop until you get there.” Average people set goals that are easily attainable, while rich people set goals that seem impossible or crazy. When you’re setting your goals, ask yourself if they could be bigger. Ask yourself if that is really all you can do or if you can do more. Identify what you want, figure out your strategy, and then get there. Anything is possible and the more you want something the more you will get it.
When you are inspired by a vision that drives you, you reach that goal no matter what. Open your mind to the challenge; welcome it. Sherrie Campbell (2016) clarifies, “Challenge is not something to avoid, and it is the catalyst to success you must thrive upon. Challenge does not just foster the growth of your skills or knowledge, it helps grow the belief deep within yourself that you can do it. The more you challenge yourself, and succeed, the greater your confidence in your ability becomes to do it again and next time.”
It all comes back to having the proper mindset. Pick the skills, learn them, put in your 10,000 hours and much more. If you want to reach your goal, you are going to spend every waking minute thinking about it, you will have to be obsessed. Forget relaxing, forget taking a break, and just give in to the obsession. “Believe wholeheartedly that if you put the effort in, you will get the result you want. Be willing to do the things others may view as unnecessary, too time consuming or meaningless, as these details are often the game changers which determine who succeeds and who does not” (Campbell, 2016). Hard work pays off.
Kalen Bruce (2016) strongly suggests that you step out of your comfort zone. You will have to be a little uncomfortable if you want to become successful. Peter McWilliams said, “Be willing to be uncomfortable. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. It may get tough, but it’s a small price to pay for living the dream.” Everyone starts from somewhere. We have the choice to change our lives if we want.
27 May 2016
Bruce, Kalen. 10 Differences between middle class and rich people. http://www.realsuccess.net/10-differences-middle-class-rich-people-2/
Campbell, Sherrie. 7 mindsets that guarantee enduring success. http://www.entrepreneurmag.co.za/advice/personal-improvement/self-development/7-mindsets-that-guarantee-enduring-success.
Chua, Celestine. (2016) Personalexcellence.co/blog/start-from-nothing/
Oxford Dictionary. (2016) http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/success
Kroll, Luisa. (2016) Forbes 2016 World’s Billionaires: Meet the richest people on the planet. http://www.forbes.com/sites/luisakroll/2016/03/01/forbes-2016-worlds-billionaires-meet-the-richest-people-on-the-planet/2#ccoa8a541cb
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