What is your definition of success?
A few days ago I was involved in blog discussion on the internet on what the meaning of ‘true success’ is and we had this discussion or contribution for a long time and about 30 consultants including yours truly were involved in this discussion and at the end one thing that struck me was that almost 30 of us had 30 different definitions of what our individual definition of success is and what the ingredients of success should be. I also came to conclusion that success is subjective, very personal but quite a few of us agreed or believed that it is associated with prosperity. All of us believed that it has to do with contentment and achievement of set down goals and aspirations. I was discussing with one of my few friends Chris Nzelibe sometime ago and he said, ‘Frank what am I killing myself over, I have what all my friends or age mates have, there is nothing they can boast of right now that I don’t have and for me that means success. I don’t beg for food and I don’t see myself doing so ever, I have all I need and can lay my hands on the basics of life, am ok with that’ I have always known Chris to be very honest and contented. So I believe him. Another friend of mine Paul Igbide said he has an uncle, he worked and toiled to send his children to the best private schools in Lagos then, when private schools were not popular but far more expensive than public Universities, he was above average earner but never had a house of his own, all the 5 children went to university and later went abroad to further their educations, he retired without a house or substantial substance if you like, but some few years ago the children put money together and built him a house in Lagos and in the village, bought him luxurious cars, clothes etc all those things he had deprived himself to send them to school. Today he lives in affluence.
By the way, there is no record in history that can and will not be broken, Bill Gate was one time the richest man on earth, then this Carlos Guy came from Mexico and I hear again that its Bill, today Elon Musk, another day Bezos and so on. Good but Bill himself has said severally that what gives him joy the most is to give to philanthropy, Warren Buffet, one of the world’s richest and greatest giver derives joy in giving away, maybe that is success to them.
Some skeptics have always argued this point, but I have always proved it to them that it is doable. I watch the Tiger Woods saga, and in several of the reports I listened it was said there that this man will not suffer and cannot exhaust his wealth in his life time and I believe them, except if he acts stupidly and goes on a spending spree. I have a client who has one of the biggest printing press in Abuja, at a time he contemplated selling his business for a certain sum and he did the calculation for me on how he intend to leave on a certain amount for the rest of his life. All his kids but one had finished school and working, he has a few houses and some little investments here and there. He would leave on this sum and go about preaching, speaking, attending seminars, and invest some in properties. He is just 55. I believe him because he has started the plan.
How do you define success? Marriage, kids, money and toys? Hmm! Think about this, success must be encompassing and not just these, what do you want out of life, have you thought about it, have you laid down the plans, have you looked at it critically whether it is achievable legally or dubiously? What have you done about it, have you been working towards your success or away from it. What are those things that needs to be done to make you successful, have you considered those your neighbors, those who will help you achieve the success.
I know of a woman in this Abuja, in short she is the mother in-law of a friend, every day she spends 2 hours in the orphanage and she has been doing this in a long while. I was in Spain sometime ago and lodged in a hotel, there was an elderly man of about 65, he helps guests to carry their loads from the parking lot of the Hotel to their rooms he is like a janitor, I stayed in the hotel for 4 days and on the third day we got talking and he said he does this for free and that is his contribution to humanity apart from the exercise (humorously) I later found out he owned the helicopter parked on the roof of the Hotel and that he comes from his farm which is about 75km from the hotel every day, am sure he might be one of if not the owner of the hotel. His definition of success includes helping humanity.
Money is not a general index of success, like I said earlier it is subjective and we give different meanings and definition depending on what will give us the ultimate satisfaction if there is anything like that. To be success we need to have a threshold, we need to have a benchmark, we need to define it, we need to know when we have hit the mark or reach threshold if not we will die without achieving anything in life, we would have allowed the greedy part of life to have taken over our desire to be success and still die miserably pathetic. That is why you see a lot of wealthy people with everything in life but no peace of mind, that is why some of them cannot trust anybody, that is why they still keep working until they drop dead, that is why a lot of them are restless, they don’t have time for anything talk less of themselves, they still keep on as if they are after something beyond the ordinary, but if you have a set goal, contentment, a dream to be achieved, a threshold, a point of stoppage, then realizing that you have reached your success point, success will not be a problem, then you can even devote time for other things more important things in life, devote time to humanity, the needy, less privilege, that is when you can devote time to mentor others who want to be like you. You can devote money time energy and resources in making sure others don’t make the mistake you made. In Nigeria how many people have set up research centers with their personal money, to research into causes, prevention and cure of Cancer, I mean a research center not foundations etc but this is what happens abroad, now that is true success. Make the money (legitimately oh) and invest in humanity as well.
What am I trying to say, define your success, set the goal or benchmark of success for yourself so that when you reach it you will know. Don’t be greedy trying to amass all and not using it well. Try contentment as well, money is not the true definition of success but the mark (indelible) that you have or will leave on the sands of time. I am also saying note that whatever you do to achieve success will not go on forever, but when you consider humanity what you did and the impact it made or makes will live on. I’m also saying that success is subjective, your definition should be different from that of others and don’t use others to measure yours, be different, be dynamic yes but be yourself, define your success, at what point would I say “yes I’m successful? what do I need to do to achieve this success? who can help me to get there and what is in it for the person? Try not to step on toes to get there; when you have arrived don’t discard those or the machinery that have helped you to get there, because these are part of the definition of success. Try to learn about success, what you need to do to get it, might be education, information, philanthropy, service working for others, working for yourself, creating solution to needs etc, whatever it is find it and do it successfully, you can succeed in life and at the end you can beat your chest and say ‘I AM A SUCCESS’. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it so begin NOW!!!
I know a lot of people will have contrary opinion or might have comments please send to firstname.lastname@example.org next week I will be writing on the ingredients of success (the C’s and P’s of success)