How to be (and stay) successful

Photo by Renato Abati on

All too often we think the greatest challenge is not to give up. True, but only in part. It is good to be resilient when things don’t go as expected. However, being tenacious is but one side of the coin. The other is to keep a positive attitude when things get really harsh. I am saying this because they usually undermine our self-esteem. If you ask me, this is the secret to real success: not to get discouraged when failing. Having the courage to stand up and keep on trying.

Life is full of twists and turns. This is a given. As a result, it can be very hard to look on the bright side when things start getting really tough. No one on Earth is immune to failure. You can be sure of that. We are all bound to fail from time to time. Be it in an exam, a trial period, the workplace, and so on.

In today’s hi-tech reality, the majority have a low self-esteem. They doubt themselves and their means. Consequently, if a person happens to stumble a few times, they tend to give up completely, or opt for something different, and easier in comparison. If this looks familiar to you, or know someone who does, no worries. This route is very common among people.

It is widely adopted because it usually works. However, we don’t realise that by going down that road, we are bound to make two big mistakes:

  • First, all of our initial efforts are in vain. When giving up, and suddenly stopping risks, loosing what had been built up until that moment. Let’s take the gym as an example. If you suddenly cut off from your routine, you risk loosing all that had been built up until that day. Not really the noblest way to treat weeks of effort and dedication.
  • Second, we settle for less than we want. As said above, when people don’t get what they expect, like an ideal job, or university career, or project, or business, they either give up completely, or browse around to see what else is available (and easier, of course). Deep down, we know the second or third choice will never make up for the first one. Imagine going on an exchange programme (e.g. Erasmus). You usually put down 3 options for 3 different countries. From personal experience, I know the enthusiasm of being chosen for the first one, as it represents your dream one. Meanwhile, I saw the bitterness in students’ eyes while being selected for the second or third options instead. Still good, but emotionally speaking, nowhere near as good as the primary one.

Everyone dreams big from time to time. This is not new. Especially during our prime. Then, as we grow up, we become more and more responsible and realistic. We start facing reality along with all of its difficulties. Likewise, we dismiss our initial dreams and projects as mere fantasies, and put them to bed forever. Unfortunately, this mindset is so widespread that too many give up dreaming and ‘stay with their feet on the ground’, as they usually put it.

Since dreaming seems so out-of-place when getting into adulthood, what can we do at this point?

If you thought that one of the greatest challenges is not to give up, now you know that trying to keep a positive mind all the way through is even harder.  Again, this is a critical factor on your way to success. Because, without this element, your mind and body won’t be incentivised to continue any further. Just thinking about it is not the same as actually taking action to get where you need to go.

To do almost anything in life you need

 to first put your mind and heart into it.

You need a mind that is convinced you can actually make it. As said in the previous articles, the body is just a puppet, taking orders from the mind. So, it is your mind that must be convinced first. The body will simply follow whatever the mind commands. You can be sure of that.

That said, how can you keep a positive attitude, despite failures along the way?

It is not always easy to get over negative experiences. Especially when putting your heart into it. But some who did so, got widely rewarded for it. Just to give you an example. The Wright Brothers spent years before coming up with a solution to aviation. Thomas Edison, the same. He failed thousands of times before inventing the light bulb. Not one or two. Thousands. If they had given up after a few attempts, our lives may be a little different today. What made them succeed was not luck. Rather determination. But determination can only exist when it is nurtured by constant positivity. To have faith in your means and ideas, no matter how crazy or weird they may look to others. As long as they look credible to you, that’s the most important aspect.

Countless are the individuals who give up on a project or an idea because they are influenced by others’ opinions. Now, if it is rather hard for you to remain optimistic, keep in mind that anytime you fail, you become more knowledgeable and experienced in the process. This is how you become a greater version of yourself. By failing. So, rather than crying your eyes out, decide to stand up and give it another go. The masses drop off easily and quickly. By being persistent, you are also differentiating yourself from them. Plus, you get stronger as time goes by. This is a good reason to keep on trying, since you can only gain from it. I am not the kind of person who sugarcoats things. If I am saying this, it is because I went through this myself. I got many NOs and doors closed in my face. But what made me persist, though, was my positive attitude. I knew, deep down, that what I was doing was the right thing, and that ray of optimism gave me the boost to give it another go and another.

The good thing is that this is at the reach of everyone. And no amount of money or good references can buy this. So, next time you have something important lined up, like a plan or goal for the new year, keep in mind that working hard is key, but nothing is more critical than keeping a positive attitude all the way through. That will take you where you need to go.

Take care

Published by Federico

Hi there! Like many of you, I also came to a point where I asked myself, 'What is the Meaning of Life?' I have decided to start off this blog, in order to share ideas, inputs, and posts. In a nutshell, to inspire and be inspired. The world would be such a better place if we all did so. We cannot change others. However, you can always decide to set a good example. In doing so, you can still influence your loved ones in a positive way (and indirectly change them). It is not easy, but in my humble opinion, it is worth trying. After all, in the words of Bertolt Brecht, 'He who fights, can lose. He who doesn't fight, has already lost'.

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