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  • jennifermerritt1

Success is a feeling not an accolade.

Success is intrinsically linked to our life plans and achieving positive milestones like graduation, marriage, landing a chosen job, buying a home, running a marathon, having children, obtaining financial wealth or at least fiscal stability.


Why then do so many of us, even when we have all of these things and more, not THINK or FEEL we are successful?


I believe success is a feeling, just like love, hope and happiness, you could even argue they are one of the same things. Feelings are transient. They ebb, they flow and are influenced by external events and our internal alignment. We accept this more readily for emotions like happiness but more commonly treat success as an entity we can obtain and maintain. Success is undeniably more than a tangible product, milestone or outcome, yet still so tightly ingrained in us and society as the result of titles, fame, money or objects. I want to reframe this misconception because I think it holds us in a place of deficiency or privation where we compare with others, generating destructive states of envy, vanity, bitterness, low self-esteem, anxiety and many other undesirable consequences on our mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. The paradox being we are even less likely to be able to triumph in our aspirations when we are thinking, acting and feeling from a position of shortcoming. It puts us at a disadvantage before we start.



The Secret to Success?

Clarity

Having absolute unshakable clarity about what is important to you and how and where to apply your efforts and energy is fundamental to success. You can ask yourself these questions about each thing you desire in life to help formulate clarity: 🔷 Why do I want it? 🔷 What value does it create for me? 🔷 Does it align with my core principles? 🔷 How does it make me feel to achieve or obtain it? 🔷 How does it feel to not achieve or obtain it? 🔷 What will motivate and drive me to achieve?

Visualisation

Visualisation is the formation of a mental image of something. The power of deep visualisation is an incredible tool.


You want to create an image or motion picture in your mind of the result you want to achieve. A vision cannot be vague hopes and dreams, it needs to represent real potential. When asking people to imagine what success looks like to them in a detailed and specific manner, nearly everyone will describe something palpable or physical at some point and this is great when you are trying to visualise and bring to life your dreams. I also encourage you to filter in and emphasise the smallest nuances, feelings, experiences into the vision as I believe this is what we are all truly seeking, the things around us contribute and shape each person's unique idea of success. Manifest your vision freely and clearly. Revisit often to keep it fresh and relevant.

When you have finished each vision session and it is still fresh, write it down in as much detail as you can. The commitment to paper reinforces it, as well as assisting you as a reference when you move onto setting your goals.

Drive

There is a fairly well known story of Socrates and his apprentice I will use here to demonstrate why drive is so important and knowing your source of inspiration is key in ensuring you have the motivation to propel you forward to realise your clear vision.


One day, a young man went to the home of Socrates, the great Greek philosopher, and asked, “Sir, I have come to seek your wisdom. Will you help me?” Socrates looked at the boy and replied, “How can I be of assistance?” The boy responded, “I want to be a great success. Will you teach me all I need to know so I can be a great success?” “Certainly, my son,” replied Socrates. “Walk with me.” Socrates began to walk and headed towards the sea. Once on the sand, Socrates continued to walk straight into the water. The young man followed. When both were chest deep in the ocean, Socrates placed his hands on the young man’s head and quickly forced it under the water. After about ten seconds, the young man fought his way to the surface and began to gasp for air. Socrates released the boy’s head, turned and walked away.


The young man was appalled. He had travelled a great distance to meet with this scholar whom he admired and respected and when he asked for his wisdom all he did was put his head under water. Never again, vowed the young man, would he seek the advice of Socrates. However, time as we know, has a way of healing wounds and after a week went by, the young man thought maybe he did something to upset Socrates. So back he went to visit the scholar. Again he beseeched Socrates to teach him all he needed to know so he could be a great success.

Socrates smiled and once again agreed, once again they walked to the ocean and once again Socrates pushed the young man under.

Now the young man was livid. Twice he had approached Socrates for the knowledge he needed to become a great success and twice Socrates took him to the ocean and put his head under water. Never ever again would he be insulted and humiliated like this. Well, thirty days passed and the young man had time to reflect. He truly wanted to be a success. Socrates had the wisdom he needed so he decided to go one final time to see the scholar. Upon arriving at Socrates’ home, he rapped on the door. When Socrates appeared, the young man said, I hope you remember me?” Socrates flashed a big smile and said, “I do. You are the young man who wants to be a great success.” The young man once again asked Socrates, “Will you please teach me all I need to know and all I need to learn to be a success?” Socrates nodded and said, “Absolutely.” Then he started walking toward the ocean with the young man following in step. This time the young man was well prepared. As soon as Socrates grabbed his head, he took a deep swallow of air, relaxed and was able to hold his breath underwater for almost two minutes. When he finally surfaced for air, Socrates had already walked away. Furious, the young man ran after Socrates. When he was a few feet from Socrates he shouted, “Socrates, why is it every time I come to you and ask for your help to gain the wisdom and the knowledge on how to be a great success, all you do is take me out in the water and dunk my head?” Socrates turned around, faced the young man, and said, “Son, I have tried three times now to teach you the secret of being a great success. The secret is simple: When you want to succeed as much as you want to breathe, you will be a great success.


My Why?

I have been there. I have struggled to understand where I fit, what impact and value I can have. I spent years seeking the approval and praise of those around me, feeling anxious I wasn’t achieving enough, that I wasn’t enough. It shaped what I thought I needed and wanted, I chased the titles, bought shiny sports cars and designer goods I couldn't really afford and still didn’t feel successful. I ran in the rat race chasing a dream but not knowing what I was chasing or why, working all the hours I could, neglecting my family and my own health and wellbeing and I still didn’t feel successful. Then I burned out. Then I chose to take responsibility for 'Forging my Future', not following a one size fits all blueprint for success, it doesn't exist by the way!


I found Clarity, shaped my Vision and found the Drive to plan and go after it. The best bit is when you start believing in yourself your dreams get bigger and you become unstoppable. Absolutely everyone can feel confident, fulfilled and become successful if they truly understand exactly what it is they want, and they want it as much as they need oxygen to breathe.

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