Success Deconstructed


Have you noticed the trend in deconstructed food lately? It is…interesting, to say the least! (Google ‘deconstructed food,’ if you have missed out so far.) Some of you may find this idea rather fun, but I must say that if I order a burger or sushi or a dessert, I’d like it to come fully constructed, completely put together, and ready to eat!

What does it mean to ‘deconstruct’ something, anyway? Basically, it is to take it apart and look at the pieces and parts that make up the whole. So, while I enjoy an apple pie, all put together and topped with ice cream, sometimes I do find it enlightening to look at the various ingredients or the components of an idea. Today, I’d like to look at SUCCESS and let’s deconstruct this idea for a few minutes. When we do, I believe we will have a better understanding of what makes up success and we will know what success looks like to us individually.

What is success?  We hear that word all the time. Books have been written about it in every generation.  Other people have it.  We want it.  But what is it? 

I recently conducted a quick poll in my office to see what my team thought about the definition of success.  I asked them, to give me three indicators of success.  If they had these things in their life, they would know they were successful.  The responses were intriguing, because five themes seemed to be most common.  According to my latest poll, the biggest indicators of success are these:

  • Healthy relationships
  • Legacy
  • Money
  • Purpose
  • Happiness

Although you may have other items to add to this list, I think this is a good start.  The question now becomes, how do you achieve these things?  Where do you start with developing healthy relationships, establishing a positive legacy, creating wealth, fulfilling a purpose and becoming happy? 

Success needs to be simple.  That does not mean it is easy.  But the concepts are not a mystery and they are achievable.  You must first develop a mindset and hone a skill set to position yourself where you are able to recognize and to take advantage of every opportunity. 

Becoming a success is very intentional.  It requires discipline and perseverance and the intentional pursuit of the foundational qualities which set great achievers apart.  Greatness is not based on performance, but rather on character.  It is not what a person does, but rather what a person is and how that person influences the people around him. 

A successful person is anyone who is pursuing a predetermined, worthwhile goal and doing a good job at it because that is the goal he has deliberately set in his sights. But sadly, only about 4 in every 100 people will ever set a goal for their lives and then work intentionally toward it. And they will fail to do this because they are more interested in popularity than success. They are more interested in being accepted than being right. They want to be part of the flock instead of being ahead of the flock, though they would never admit it. They want to play it safe and not take the risks associated with sticking out from the crowd.

This desire to fit in causes people to give up on their dreams and to abandon the goals they have had since childhood. They learn quickly how to think like the people around them and how to settle for the lifestyle and lack of significance that others have gradually adopted. They learn to complain and blame. They learn to envy and compare. But they rarely stop to think that they have the power at any point in their lives to turn things around and to head in a different direction in spite of what other people think and in spite of what other people are doing. They rarely stop to think that they hold the reins of their own lives and that they write the scripts of their own personal history.

If you want to be great, you have to stop being average. If you want to be uncommon, you have to stop being common. If you want to go places where few people have gone, you have to stop following the herd to the places in life that they frequent. If you want to be different, you have to think differently.

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