A very long time ago I heard or read something about how the way you think of yourself determines whether you will be successful or not. Now, first let me say that I am of the opinion that you determine the definition of the word “success” and what that means to you. You shouldn’t let anyone else tell you what success is, or convince you that you’re definition is wrong (unless it involves breaking the law-yeah, I would say that’s not really success-unless you are a villain, then by all means do whatever you need to do to be successful-just watch out for those Avengers man. I’ve heard they are bad ass). With that in mind, how do you define success? Do you judge success as being rich, famous, both? Does success mean a happy family all the time, or happy most of the time? Does it mean “keeping up with the Jones’s,” or are you fine with simply having enough? Do you even know what success means to you?
There’s this song by Daft Punk that I think sums up what today’s general definition of success is: Harder Better Faster Stronger. It doesn’t matter if you are successful unless you are prepared now to push that definition further. It’s not enough to be ‘enough’ anymore. You must hit harder, do better, get there faster, be stronger. No wonder stress is so rampant. I’m not going to go into the statistics but go check this link out for more info on it:
Here’s the thing despite the statistics. We ALL want to be successful-whatever that means. Some people give up because they either taste too much defeat or being successful requires too much effort. Maybe they just didn’t have the opportunities others had, or at least that’s what they tell themselves. There are any number of excuses but I think the real reason is that at some point they decided they didn’t want it enough. And so begins the spiral of loss of confidence, self-esteem, self-respect, etc.
It’s ok to want to be successful, but to truly BE successful you have to work for it, and work hard. Don’t give up, don’t lose hope, ♪ Don’t Stop Believin’ ♪ (she sings along with Journey). I know it all sounds cliché but it’s all true. Hard work is a part of being successful. You have to do the time it requires, and yes, that could take a while. That’s why being patient is also key. Determination, too, is required. Do you have what it takes? (Another cliché-I’m on a roll, though I hope it isn’t stale-badum tish!)
One thing I think you need goes back to what I said at the beginning of this post. The way you think about yourself is important. If you think you are going to be successful, then chances are good that you might be. Yes, you still have to put in the effort and work, but it helps to think like successful people do. I found this through Google images and I thought it perfectly fitting:
As a writer, I want to be successful in my writing but what does that mean? For me it means that I want to see a book of mine in the wild (translation=on a shelf in the bookstores). I want to have my words read around the world. In relation to that I’d love to tour the world and meet people who enjoy my writing. I’d love for something I’ve written to change someone’s life. But most of all, I want my kids to be able to hold a book that I wrote in their hands and tell their kids that grandma wrote this. How does the way I think about myself accomplish my success?
Well, firstly, I have to think of myself as a writer. I think, therefore I am, right? Sadly, no. You must actually do the work. I know, I know. You mean it’s not enough to just think you’re a writer? Nope. You really have to do the work, in my case writing. So, I do. I try to write something every day, even if it’s just a blog post, a poem, a journal entry, or work on The Book (that fictitious beast that exists only partially in digital form right now).
Secondly, I try to think as a successful writer might. I know of one successful author but I am definitely not going to think like her. Though, I do pay attention when she gives advice because it sometimes has merit. (Do not ask. Just don’t. I know what you want to know and I’m just not going there. You must trust me, padawan.) I try to think about what I need to do and how to get there. What are my goals, short-term and long-term? Is this ready for beta readers and how many times do I need to have it read? Is this particular poem good enough for the collection or is it perhaps going on the backburner for later? Do I have a cover artist and what about my vision compared to his/hers? How does this thing work anyway? Crap, I need more tea, more caffeine, more time…
Thirdly, you must think of yourself as a business. As a writer, we are technically self-employed, entrepreneurs of ourselves. You MUST consider yourself a business and think like the CEO and President of your company. This means presenting yourself in a professional manner. It means investing in yourself, and why the hell wouldn’t you invest in yourself??? I mean, if not you, who???? You are the most important shareholder in YOU. What will make your business successful? What do you need to do to get your product out there? What is your product? Y.O.U.
I just ordered business cards for myself. That’s something that I’d never thought about before until after I talked to my cover artist. (Oh, yeah. I have a cover artist. I’ll give you more info about that later.) It occurred to me after meeting with him that I own my own business, and I need to market myself as such. So, I had some business cards printed up. (Thank you, Vistaprint!) It made sense to me. I’m working hard on getting my first poetry collection published and I am going to need to have cards to give out so people can contact me for whatever reason. Thinking ahead, I am considering getting a post office box solely for the purpose of being contacted through snail mail. (Yeah, it still exists!) When you see yourself as something like a business you think, and act, accordingly. Do you see what I mean?
How you think about yourself matters. It is important to any success you achieve, and your definition of it.
Hope you have a great weekend!