The thought behind this post was to highlight the two main sayings I try to live by:
Be Purposeful, Act With Integrity, and Build Your Character
Success isn’t about being perfect. It’s about being better than you were yesterday.
How many times have we set goals or attempted something only to fall short and as a result…quit?
So how do we set our minds to accept the idea that we will encounter challenges and failures, but are only able to realize success by facing rather than running from difficulty?
Here are my three main ideas for helping adjust this mindset.
Don’t just set the goal. Think about what it will take to achieve it and then decide if you really want it. Many people want big houses, money, fame, or big cars only to struggle with sacrificing time with their family to achieve it. Only people who make that decision can tell you if it is worth it to them. Or on the other side of the coin; having a family takes commitment and sacrifice as well. If you want to be healthier you have to carve out time to exercise and turn away from poor eating habits. What are you willing to do to get there? If you want to get better grades you need to do a few things differently. Are you willing to give up going out with friends to study?
Goals are great, but you have to look at yourself and be honest about your current status. Only you can decide how bad you want that goal. If you aren’t willing to sacrifice, then you will not achieve the goal.
1. Learn From Failure
If you want to be successful, you need to get comfortable with the idea of failing. The faster you can admit you lost that round, failed that class, and need to get better; you will. Accept the responsibility necessary to achieve at a high level and soon you will reach any height you want. The responsibility to look at every failure as an opportunity to improve is essential to move forward and fail less. What did you do wrong? How can that be fixed so it doesn’t happen again? What can be done better?
We all like to talk about not accepting defeat and learning from failure, but how many of us model that behavior to others? Too often many of us get caught in a rut and continually complain about our problems rather than work to fix them. Failure is nothing but failure unless we accept the responsibility for it and learn from it.
2. Mental Toughness
Goal setting and failure can be two of the most tedious and spirit crushing things in a person’s life unless they practice and exhibit mental toughness. This is a trait that must be learned and can only be done so through experience. This is one of the hardest things to do. How often when things get hard do we want someone to step in and make it all good again? Too often we try to do that for other people. I am not advocating not helping people; just adjusting our perception and thinking about what actually helps for the long term. If individuals never learn how to fight through and solve their own problems, they will never truly be successful. Somewhere along the line, everyone runs into a hardship where there is no one to help. Those who have never been allowed or taught to accept responsibility and solve problems for themselves will crumble. Those who have dealt with difficulty, struggled, and learned to move forward will be successful in the face of hardship.
I cannot help but remember an awards ceremony my son was at after tough season of football. He received a shirt that was adorned with the team’s logo on the front. Excited to wear it and show his solidarity to the program, he quickly threw it on over his other shirt. I smiled with pride knowing how hard he had worked all season, but smiled even broader when he walked by and I read the back. There was a picture of an empty road and it said…
“There is no traffic on the extra mile”
I thought to myself…indeed
Listen…if it were easy, everyone would do it and be successful. Set that goal, be honest with yourself, sacrifice, accept hardship, and be mentally tough.
Build your character and succeed.