Business Success Tips, in their August 14th podcast told a story that I thought was very appropriate to retell on this site:
There was a man who died and went to the afterlife where he could do no wrong. He always got what he wanted, people never said no to him and he would win every game he played. If he wanted a particular item, woman or anything else, he got it. After a while he got tired of everything and wanted a change. He went over to the angel at the gate and said that he was grateful that he was granted so much but he is tired of heaven and would like to try out hell. The angel responded to him, “Where do you think you are?”
Everybody thinks that they would be happy if they always got what they wanted but the truth is, if you are looking for constant material gratification, you will never be happy. True happiness comes from the entire process of getting what you want. It comes from successfully moving forward, working hard, getting past obstacles in your way and running through the finish line knowing that you got to where you are through your own efforts.
I was recently speaking to a father who was upset that kids these days are nothing like they were when he was growing up. He worked hard his whole life for everything he got and now he is very successful. His son on the other hand has always been given everything because he had a father who didn’t want his kids to suffer like he did. The father didn’t realize that by buying his son a car and the nicest clothes to give his son what he never had growing up, he took away any satisfaction that his son would have had in achieving everything on his own. The fact that his son is lazy is because he never had the chance or the drive to get a rush from doing something on his own.
Michael Phelps is the talk of the 2008 Summer Olympics. He won 8 Gold medals which is unheard of in the Olympics. Michael was not handed the Gold medals for showing up, he earned them by training for years to become the best swimmer in the world. When he won each event and then posed with his Gold medals, you could tell that his joy was not from the single events but from the years of practice finally paying off.
The bottom line is to remember that when you fail, hit a road block or feel like you’re not getting anywhere, continue to push through. If you push for long enough, you will be successful and the longer the journey, the better you feel as you cross the finish line.
I am a typical person more or less that has always tried to get away with doing the absolute minimum to get by. In school, I did my assignments last minute, I barely passes some of my tests, I crammed for everything and didn't care about retaining any information. I always wanted to be successful and get lucky but my problem was that I thought that luck and chance were synonymous. One day, all that changed when i found out that there was more to "Luck". I learned that it was possible to make your own luck and that people that were "lucky", all had very similar characteristics. I made a conscious decision to become one of those lucky people and the world started to open up. It didn't happen overnight and I'm still not there yet but at least I know what to look for and what to do. Recognizing the opportunities to get lucky is only the beginning of the battle. Now I have to train myself to jump on every opportunity and one day be truly "lucky".
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