Self made. It was all down to me. I did it all by myself. I wanted it bad enough that I went out and made it happen…
How often do we hear the statements like the above when successful people are interviewed? How true are they? Are these people alone responsible for their own success, or is there more to it? Don’t get me wrong, I am not against these comments at all. Narratives like these can provide a fantastic source of motivation and inspiration for others. The message sent is that you don’t have to wait for the right conditions or time for success to come, because the power is in your hands. You control your destiny and have the ability in you to achieve success if you want it badly enough. If doors keep slamming in your face? No problem, just keep banging on more of them until one eventually opens and you get given a chance to prove yourself.
Nobody can achieve success for you. There is no denying this. Others can only teach, advise, guide or assist you to a certain point, after which the rest depends on you. You have to put the work in. The passion, desire and drive needs to come from you. You will be the only one facing the challenges, and in order to overcome them and keep going, sacrifices and compromises will be made. But are you truly going through all of this alone?
No, is the short answer. In the last post, Pay It Forward, we looked at how many of us got to where we are today because somebody took a gamble on us. We were given a chance even though we lacked experience, or another of the key factors which they were looking for. Someone simply saw potential in us and gave us an opportunity, where others would’ve turned us down or shown us the door. So, unless we have been living alone on an island in the middle of nowhere while creating our art or building our business, we have someone to thank for helping us on our journey.
However, it’s not just to the people who gave us a chance and showed faith in us that we have to show our appreciation. While there are some who do manage to go it alone, the majority of us have the love and support of family, friends and communities to support us. These are the people who did everything they could to help us on our journey and asked for nothing in return.
Take credit for your achievements, because they came as a result of your relentless effort and hard work. Be sure to tell the world, as this is a story which could inspire and motivate others. When you do tell your story, though, please give credit to those who helped, supported, influenced or inspired you along the way. Many of these people did all they could to help you and asked for nothing, so please be sure to thank them. “Thank You” is made of just 2 words but when they are said with genuine feeling, they can mean the world to those who helped and believed in you. Mention also your influences too, such as philosophers or businessmen, so that others may read their work and become inspired too.
When success comes, it stands to reason that you should be proud of your achievements and enjoy the accolades. However, telling the world that you are “self made” and alone responsible for your success, is only telling half of the story. Remain humble and grounded during these exciting times and express gratitude for the help, support and inspiration which you received. After all, would you be able to recreate your success if you had to do it all again without the helping hand of family, friends or a mentor?