How do we succeed? An interesting question with many answers, depending on your life circumstances and how you define success. Is it money, or wonderful kids? Is it a BMW in the garage, or a long marriage? Is it the biggest house on the block, or a life of integrity. Is it the admiration or your peers, or the admiration of your teenager? Is it a relationship with your banker, or the relationship with your pastor? How we succeed, depends on how we define success.
Once you decide on the definition of success, then you can decide how you get there, or what components are the most important. Success used to be defined as achieving a desired goal, but now more often means gaining fame or prosperity.
We keep score, and have sayings like “He who dies with the most stuff, wins” and “Money isn’t the main thing, it’s the only thing.” These sentiments seem to be quite prevalent in our culture today, and it shows in other ways, as well. As one pastor said, “show me your checkbook and I’ll show you what you think is important” and I have to agree with him. However, most of the time, you don’t need the checkbook, just listen to them talk for a few minutes. If everything they talk about revolves around the theme of money, or things they want or are about to get … they are of this ilk.
The poll asked if you thought it was one of four choices, which were; hard work, who you know, what you know, and fate and the results and comments seem to indicate “hard work.”
I think the answer to the question has changed over the centuries. What it took to be successful in the 1700 or 1800s is different than what it takes today. Right? In earlier times, working hard in what you knew was a good formula for success and in fact in the 1859 book “Self Help,” Samuel Smiles said just that. Workers learned a trade by working as journeymen under Masters and successful was the man that fit in the What you know camp, that was willing to work hard.
I thought today, in 21st Century America, we were supposed to work smarter, not harder. Isn’t who you know more important than hard work? The right people will get you the right introductions and invite you to the right events. Of course, this also requires What you know because at the end of the day, you still must deliver the goods.
Well at this point, I am totally confused and seem to have taken all sides on this one. But at least I know one thing, The person that is in the right place at the right time, with the skills, and the recommendation of the right person, that is willing to work hard, will be successful. So maybe it is all four and even more that determines success.
What do you think?
[tags]motivation, leadership, success, hard work, work smarter[/tags]