The illusion of overnight success is why many people aren’t as successful as they want to be. Social media gives the impression that you can enjoy life just by having a lot of followers. People overlooked the fact that before fame, there was hard work.
If you think success is about being rich and famous, that is fine. But you need to understand that it won’t happen unless you put in the work. If you think success is about being happy, that is cool. But stop daydreaming and start working for it.
You will fail, you will suck at first, and you’ll want to quit. But that’s where you make a difference. Buckle up and keep going.
To be successful, you have to define what success is
We often hear people talk about success, but everyone has a different interpretation of success. Some people associate success with money and fame, while some prefer to correlate success with the impact they’ve made. Or maybe to just be “happy.” There is no right or wrong, and you decide on your own.
I recently stumbled upon Daniel Vassallo on Twitter, who shared his point of view of success. Here’s what he said:
It’s not money, fame, or an impact. But to live a life where he could do fewer things that he would rather not be doing. It's a simple dream that is not easy to achieve. That is his purpose.
Your definition of success
So now that you get the idea, it is time to define what success is to you. What is your view on the ideal life? Imagine the perfect scenario, think about it, take your time, and jot it down on paper. You can have more than one version of the ideal life.
This is how you make “success” more valuable to you. It’s not just a vague cloudy idea. It’s not a long, dark tunnel with the hope of seeing light at the end. It is not a lingering emotion that makes you feel like you could have accomplished more. It is a written definition of what you want to achieve.
It gives you purpose.
Find out how to actualize your definition of success
Once you have found the ideal life, narrow it down to steps you can take. Make a mind map. Make a plan for the next few years. Make it a reality.
There's an exercise that I've done in a while that has helped me achieve most of my goals since 2018. Instead of planning your life forward, plan it backward. Here's how you can do it too:
- Start with a long-term goal: what do you want to achieve? when do you wish to achieve it? This is the most important part of the process. Imagine yourself being able to achieve your goal, and set a reasonable "deadline" for that dream. Generally, depending on the goal, I would set a 1-3 years deadline.
- Plan it backward: Now, if you know you need to do it in 3 years. Plan it backward. What do you need to achieve in 2 years? Return to 1 year, 6 months, 3 months, and 1 month.
- Do it consistently: Once you know what to do this month, you'll be able to achieve your dreams with consistency and persistence.
Try it and let me know next year :)
There is a process behind every success story.
Once you realize the value of purpose and consistency, you’ll be at ease when embracing challenges. You no longer see a hurdle as a step back. Instead, you will see it as a means to level up your game. Obstacles are now privileges. Your purpose will be your strength.
This article is based on my conversations with friends and colleagues longing for a purpose in life.
I hope you find this post inspiring. Remember,
It's not going to be easy, but it's not impossible.