Success is a Journey not a Destination
Updated: Jan 19
My dear granddad turned 90 on Sunday 9th December. 90 years old....he's seen World War II growing up in London, he was enrolled in mandatory service to the RAF, he's flown on Concorde and been around the world. He's been married 65 years of the 90 years he's been alive. He has 2 amazing children and 5 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren. I mean it makes me think at 90 years old what would have I seen.
Made me think of the term good innings, for my non-British readers this term is used for someone that's lived a long and successful life. Then that got me thinking even more what does a successful life look like? How do we measure a successful life? Some people want children, others want fame and fortune and some just doing what makes them happy.
Before social media we used to compare our lives to our friends or family, do we have, what they have? Now we can also compare our lives to the celebs on Instagram or some old school friends and their accomplishments. So I'm here to tell you how do you know that your successful and not just using a benchmark of people that are not you.
IF YOU FALL 9 TIMES, YOU GET UP 10 TIMES
"Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts."
-- Winston S. Churchill
One way to know you've been successful is to not give up on your dreams. Having a goal is to have the momentum towards achieving it, some people meranda through life just reacting to the way life happens. That's fine but being successful is knowing what you want and not stopping, no matter what set back you have.
Now I may be quoting a Bee Gees song, but you are alive, healthy and kicking. Life is a roller-coaster, when your down, your down and when things are up, they are up. Sometimes the roller coaster loses momentum and your run out of power. We all have those moments in your life where depression leads and it takes hold. You manually crank up the momentum and you come through and continue the ride. Hats off to you. It's tough and the fact you continue doing your everyday things while plagued with sadness or unhappiness but then eventually see the light at the end of the tunnel. then it's a cause for celebration. If you've sought out help and not too proud to say I can't do this on my own. You have someone/people behind you pushing/guiding you through the tunnel to the jump on the right and enjoy life through your good times and bad. If that's a professional or just a loved one.
JUST KEEP SWIMMING, JUST KEEP SWIMMING
If you've watched Finding Nemo, you'll know Dorey's catchphrase is, "just keep swimming, just keep swimming", look at Nemos Dad, he hit so many things that tried to pull him away from his goal of finding his son (if you've not watched it skip this section), sharks, turtles, seagulls and fisherman, you name it. But did he stop, did he give up? No, he kept swimming.
While a kids film is an easy reference, if you truly want something in life you can't stop at the first hurdle. One thing my grandfather used to say "If it was all so easy, you really wouldn't enjoy the outcomes or achievements", don't think he's far wrong.
So if you want that promotion, have a baby, buy a house or whatever it might be and something has happened to delay you. don't panic, yell "plot twist" and move on. When you reach your goal imagine the achievement and how you adapted and what you learnt about yourself along the way.
The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same."
-- Colin R. Davis
That's right, I say bring it on. Covered in the above, you have to "just keep swimming", but I found out watching a random documentary on Netflix that EVERY STORY ever told has a theme, from the fables to Disney to Die Hard.
It starts with a call to adventure: were a hero (you) goes on an adventure (life) and in a decisive crisis wins a victory (maybe not stabbing people that anger you lol) and then comes home a changed or transformed person. Think about it, every Disney story and film you ever watched does it not have the same theme. Plus I bet you can put this methodology to a part of your life you've had some journey to travel on. I'm going to break it down in segments.
Call to adventure
So you are on your journey of life, a call to adventure, the hero (you) is reluctant to go on this quest, but you are supported by a helper or mentor.
Let's pause here, every journey in life requires you to have support. You can't do everything, you may not have the knowledge or skill set. So in comes your helper to provide you with that.
Threshold (beginning of transformation) - with a helper or mentor in tow
This is where you go into the unknown or the special world and you will face tasks, situations and trials that will test your skills, resilience and strength (mentally or physically).
N.B Does this not sound like everyone's life at one point or another - nuts
Abyss - death or rebirth (more known as the revelation)
Ahhhh those moments when your down, you've hit rock bottom, you're sad, depressed, angry or your going through an ordeal. In the mythology, it says defeating an enemy, that fire breathing Dragon (your mum, boss or nasty neighbour lol). I have these moments - it's like fuck it, what's the worst that could happen.
Go through some more transformation
Self-reflection, I don't think we do this enough, to be honest, when do you stop and think, wow, I've made it through, I'm in 2019 and all what happened last year and what could have broken me, didn't!
Return (Gift of goodness)
The hero must return to the ordinary world with their reward. This hero can use the wisdom and spiritual power (remember we are talking mythology here lol) and may use this for the benefit of the fellow man.
So what "story" have you been through, you're a hero, like the movies Wonder Woman, Marvin (Nemo's Dad), Cinderella, Luke Skywalker (or if you don't like the crushing over your sister thing be Han Solo lol). But remember this journey and the adversity, you have to go through to reap the rewards.
PATS ON THE BACK, WHO NEEDS THEM
Seeking praise from loved ones and colleagues is something we should grow out of in our teens. It's something that shouldn't be, the be all, and end all. If you are not loitering for a pat on the back or a biscuit as praise, then it's a strong sign that you have mental security and confidence in what you are achieving without having the kudos (but I understand it's nice if we get it ;) ).
This also goes hand in hand with you mutually respecting others, how you treat others and understand people value/influence in your life and life in general. Think of them as your helper or mentor in the story of your life, respecting their skills and support on your call to action and making you a hero.
EVERYBODY NEEDS A LITTLE HELP FROM THEIR FRIENDS
We talked above about you having a helper or mentor on your quest, what about you being there for someone else when they have to fight the fire breathing Dragon (physically or metaphorically). Being successful is knowing you have to pay it forward sometimes and be there for your friends sacrifice your time and energy to help someone move or take them for a coffee when they need to talk. Time is equally as precious as money, putting in minutes or hours to text and call a friend means you thinking of other people and making an effort. Knowing this you'd be pretty successful and have a solid support group.
So remember 2019 is just getting started...
"People who succeed have momentum. The more they succeed, the more they want to succeed, and the more they find a way to succeed. Similarly, when someone is failing, the tendency is to get on a downward spiral that can even become a self-fulfilling prophecy."
-- Tony Robbins
If you need help in know your quest or journey, how to achieve and get that momentum started, please get in touch with Mission You (www.mission-you.co.uk/myservices) for a few sessions of life coaching, I could be your mentor or helper on the story of your life, imagine if you achieved your successful life.
Good luck with your quest and remember not all that wander are lost.