“I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor, and I choose rich every time.” – Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan of exchanging paper for status and power. But actively choosing to make bank instead of staying poor is why I enjoy the quote. I’m not saying everyone has to become the next billionaire and start sniffing cocaine from people’s butts (though I won’t judge if you do).
Success’s possible when we push our limits, when we go the extra mile and achieve what we thought wasn’t possible. Who wouldn’t want to be someone memorable and inspiring? From the successful people on T.V. and on the cover of magazines to the people around me on their way to greatness, here are what I perceive to be the steps to success.
1. Get started. You gotta get the ball rolling before expecting any bounce back. Expecting anything when you’ve done nothing is called daydreaming.
You know you’re stuck in this phase when you keep giving excuses (to yourself, others or both). Wanna lose that weight and shape up? Go to the gym and change your diet. I don’t care if you’re too busy, too tired or not in the mood to workout. You think Prince Charming or Ms. Perfect were born with that Booty shaped so perfectly? Please.
Read more, gain knowledge. Satisfy your own curiosity instead of always wondering. Feeling discouraged after doing your best and feeling discouraged after not doing what you should’ve done are two very different things. One pushes you towards the path to success and the other a dead end.
The fact is no one’s going to make you commit to anything. If I tell you to pierce your hand with a stake, you think you’d do it? Naw, you’d probably think I was some deranged psycho (or you’re oddly intrigued?). You gotta step up for yourself, ask yourself what you want and do what it takes to accomplish your goal. You’re worth it and deserve only the best out of yourself.
2. The Hell Hole. Okay, so you got off your butt and you’re going for it. Is it gonna be easy? Hell no, nothing’s easy. So what do you gotta do? Endure it.
Bear the dark flames of Hell and never lose sight of Your Light, whatever dream or goal you’re pursuing. Inevitably at times you’ll feel worn out and frustrated, maybe even pushed to the brink of giving up… but you get to that top and you look down, you’ll realize the epic beauty of whole process and the insignificance in everything that once bothered you. You always have to imagine yourself in a brighter place.
Keep in mind that some people pick up new things quickly and others take a bit longer. Don’t let others’ progress intimidate or discourage you. I like to think about it this way– those who are quick learners tend to easily forget, and those who learn something inside and out are likely to remember forever. Having patience for yourself creates a new space away from everyone else, a necessity for a deeper understanding of how you work as an individual. What can you do to bring yourself closer to your own happiness?
Tip: Friends really help during this phase.
3. Sharpen & Refine. You’ve put in the hours, work and dedication towards what you want. Have you made some sort of progress? Definitely. Are you guaranteed to get what you want? No, but good news, everyone! You are the reaper that claims your own sweat and tears.
It doesn’t matter what aspect you decide to pursue in your life– whether that’s social, physical appearance or whatever else. The sheer amount of repetition, study and experience will have trained you from an apprentice to a master. Perfection’s deemed impossible, but hey. Who’s to say you can’t try? Not to mention, you’ve got one more skill/look/product to show off. My dad always told me only geniuses are truly talented; those born with a natural inclination; a gift; an ability to exceed all expectations that goes beyond just hard work. As for the rest of us, there are those that practice while you sleep and those who work before play.
It’s always good to reward yourself, but not too much. If you settle and get comfortable, it’s easy to get too comfortable and lose sight of what could be. Always strive for improvement. If sky’s the limit and you’re at the peak, aim for another universe. At this stage, only the best continue to become legends.
Never let your inner fire burn out– but if it does, don’t freak out. You have to realize that you hold all the matches. Sometimes you meet people that will help spark that fire too.
Believe in what you’re doing and one day it’ll shine through.