Showing posts with label what is success. Show all posts
Showing posts with label what is success. Show all posts

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Only Way To Develop Expert Habits Is To Fail At Developing Them

Just This Once You Should Look To Fail

If you want to make a change in your life, there's only one way to do so.

If you were to go for a hike on the local trails, how'd you get started?

How about losing some weight, get in better shape and become healthier?

What's the first thing you'd do?

How about wanting to make more money?

Would you get a new job, pick up additional shifts at your existing one, or start a business?

In every example you're making a trade-off.

You're making a trade-off of something, it may be time, or money, for the idea that there's a payoff at the end. You're giving up something in order to receive some type of reward.

If you were to make a lifestyle change, such as living healthier or making more money, how would you get started?

What's the first thing you'd do?

No matter what expert habit you hope to develop, no matter what new skill you want to master, and what change you wish to see in your life, there's no fool-proof method.

Regardless of what you want to accomplish, or wish to change, there's only one way to get it accomplished.

Get started.

There's only one way to be successful.

To get started.

Will you fail?

Will you learn?

What you do with your experience(s) after you learn is up to you.

When asked how he persevered to develop the light bulb after almost 10,000 different versions failed, Edison is quoted as saying

"I didn't fail. I just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
If you want to make an effective change in your life, you need to act.

It's only through action that we learn, and through the trials and errors that we experience, is how we succeed or fail.

Another American innovator Henry Ford is quoted as saying, "whether you think you can, or cannot, you're right."

It won't be easy. It probably won't happen when you need it to, but if you try, fail and learn, you're further along than if you didn't get started in the first place.

In other words, the only way you can develop expert habits in your life is to fail at developing them.

But it's by failing that you learn what doesn't work and puts you one step closer to finding what does.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Power Of Habit Over Your Life And What You Can Do About It

The Power of Habit

The little things we do without thinking, and how to change them for the better 

Every morning you get out of bed and probably go about a routine that you have set on automatic.

These little actions are done by rote and without any conscious thought - in other words, they've become habits.

Perhaps you get up, get dressed, lace your shoes and go for a run.

Maybe you grab your water and yoga mat and head off to your studio.

Did you brush your teeth or use mouthwash before you left the house?  How about your hair? Do you shower before you leave, or did you take a shower the night before?

If you did any one of these things and didn't think about it before hand, that's the power of habit.

Every time you catch yourself checking your Facebook or other social media without thinking about it first, that's the power our habits can take on us.

So, if our unconscious actions can dictate our behavior, what then, does it take to change our actions to take on the desired effect?

For example, imagine you have a new goal you want to accomplish.  With summer coming around soon, maybe it's to lose a couple of pounds or get in better cardiovascular shape to be more active this year.

Don't pretend that losing a couple of pounds to look and feel better outdoors isn't on your radar. Most of us have a social pull to fit in, to feel better, to look our best, and losing a couple of pounds can have a profound effect on our self-esteem.

Besides, I need the analogy for my argument.

So how do you create better habits in a safe, constructive way?

Understand the 3 Step Process of the Habit Loop to Build Better Habits

It takes decisive action with attention to the small details that will make lasting change.
In Charles Duhigg's seminal book on habits, he discusses how the power of habit dictates our actions and influences our outcomes. 

Citing research, Duhigg claims there is a process of three steps that form a loop in our behavior.

1) The first is the cue - what are the shortcuts you need to get more done, more easily?

2) The second is the trigger - what causes you to act?

3) The third is the reward - what do you get in return for the action?

This loop of cue, trigger, reward is the basis for building a habit.  And remember, a habit can be an automatic action that is good, or one that is not. 

Over time, this anticipation can develop into a craving for the reward and result in action that is beyond our conscious control.

Think about checking your email.

The cue is that when you open up your computer or smartphone, your inbox automatically updates all of your new emails. It may "ding" or pop-up a notification that you have a new email.

The trigger is the desire to know who emailed you, what about, and how important is it.

Finally then the reward is opening your email inbox and reading an email.

Research indicates that this process is one that tickles the same part of our brains like cocaine - it's exhilarating and releases significant amounts of dopamine, the chemical for pleasure in our brains, and it's why we get a slight thrill every time we open up our inboxes. We begin to anticipate the happiness that we get from the reward.  It's this phase that reinforces the habit loop (more on this phase below).

The anticipation of seeing a new email is a similar experience to expecting the rush from amphetamine. It also helps explain why social media platforms like Facebook are so popular and addicting.

So how do we change negative behaviors and create ones that we want?

Unlock Your Potential While Breaking Old Habits

Duhigg reports that habits are potentially 40% of all our daily actions, meaning that there are unconscious actions we do automatically almost half the time.

Because as we develop habits, our brain creates patterns that it relies on as a shortcut to save time and energy.  So, in effect, the old habits and patterns never disappear, which helps explain why it's so easy to slip back into the negative habits we were trying to change in the first place. 

How then do we rid ourselves of negative habits? The sad part is that we can't.  

So the trick then is to refocus the brain on what part of the habit loop needs to change and be modified.

In other words, you need to create a new habit loop, one that is built around the actions we want over those we don't. 

The primary factor, however, is in developing a craving for a new reward.  

The craving for a reward is what drives our actions, and if unsatiated, will continue to build on an unconscious action - how the scent of food can make you crave that item, even if you just ate. 

If you are trying to build an exercise habit, the key is to set a cue such as putting on your shoes first thing in the morning, and then after a run, have a reward set up.  

As you develop these conscious acts, by reinforcing the rewards, you begin to create the anticipation of reward.  

That anticipation creates a craving for the next reward, and once a craving is established, the roots of habit spread and become unconscious, leading to new habit formation.

So reward yourself to create a new habit. Eat that chocolate, drink that beer, sit on your duff and watch T.V.

If you really want to make a difference in your habits, it's that simple. But only if you operate within a habit loop.

Otherwise you're rewarding nonsense.

If you'd like to read Charles Duhigg's awesome book, click on the picture below.  I do get a small referral fee for each sale, just FYI.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

How Executing These 4 Steps Will Guarantee You Succeed At Anything

It's All About The Execution - The Executioner's Revenge Part One

(To read Part Two Click This Link)

Too often we think about the results of what we want, and get lost in the big picture.  It's often what is difference between our chance for success and the possibility of failure.

What separates the truly successful from those that get-by?

The successful know that the difference between success and failure is minute, but the minute details are what make the difference.

This post is a two-part discussion about the differences between success and failure and what is ultimately, the factor most important.

And that is the execution of a plan.

Bear with me.

This post is going to have plenty of sports metaphors - and will be published in two parts - but the point of the post is that the difference between success and failure is often one of execution.

Success and failure are often separated by mere inches, or seconds, in sports.

In life and business that line is one that is often times subjective.

It's subjective to an opinion of the audience and can shift just as a line is drawn in the sand -which, is why I don't like the term, line in the sand - if the wind blows, what then?

Success and failure are twins often separated by a razor fine line

Sure, if you're keeping score, the one with the highest score at the end is the winner.

Except in golf.  That s#!t's cray-cray.

The lowest score wins the hole, but it's kept track by the honor system.  When I hear people talk about their golf scores, their handicaps and how far they can drive the ball, a couple of thoughts come to mind.

  1. I'm reminded of Mark Twain's quote; "Golf is a good walk ruined."
  2. Regarding scorekeeping I think: "You walk around, often drinking, keeping score with a small pencil on a pad.  You keep your own score, and there isn't a judge or monitor to see you're recording it correctly.  And then I think if accountants were able to be this loose and free while drinking mind you, would you still hire them to do your taxes?
  3. When they talk about their drive game, basically they are telling you they have advanced degrees in surveying.  How else can the professionals drive an average of 280+ yards, but any amateur is driving 285+ yards.  Then I wonder to myself, "wow - all these golfers are experts at determining distances, what did I miss in school that I can't tell 6 inches from half a foot?"
  4. Once again I'm reminded of Mark Twain's quote; "Golf is a good walk ruined."  

It doesn't matter the strengths and weaknesses of the plan.

There are 4 stages of planning and most important, executing that plan that will dictate the best opportunity for success.

Those stages each feed on the other and if done properly, bring you full circle.

1) The Planning Stage: Think of all things that you want to accomplish.

2) The Doing Stage: Get out there and get started.

3) Evaluation Stage: Mistakes are made.  Things happen.

4) The Success Stage - Execution come full circle - You need to use the data from all three previous stages and get back to work on your path.

1) If You Plan For Success, You Succeed At Planning

Every plan has holes; every day has ups and downs.  In concept, it's the understanding of those fluctuations that make a plan an effective one.

While it's definitely important to make a plan, it's also crucial you act.

Think about everything you want to accomplish. What are some of the larger tasks?  Some of the smaller ones that may be lower hanging fruit - the tasks that may be easier to accomplish in shorter time and with less energy?

By planning ahead and thinking about all the potential hurdles that may get in the way, you have a better, more sure-footed path toward accomplishing your goals.

By acting on a plan, we discover where those pitfalls may be.

2) Get Off Your Butt And Get Doing

Discovering what works and what doesn't is the input you need before the evaluation phase of your plan.

It tells you whether or not your plan is on the right trajectory.

But you need to first do something to enact your plan before you can evaluate the data.

Because after you act on your plan, it's going to look a little, or a lot, different than you first began.

Knowledge is experiential.  That means that we learn by doing, not by thinking, reading and dreaming.  We are kinetic learners on a biological scale, we learn by doing.

It's the meat, the spices and casing of the sausage making process.

Like I wrote before, making sausage is about putting everything together, some things that may or may not appear to work together, but with proper testing and planning, you know are awesome fits.

After you get started, there's bound to be some bumps and bruises.  It's part of the learning process that is called trial and error. By doing, we're gaining data that allows us to properly set up our next course adjustments, which are the most important part of how you adapt your execution of your plan.

Above all else, adapting and recalibrating is the primary difference in determining your success and failure.

Part Two Of The Executioner's Revenge

Thursday, February 25, 2016

How To Process The Stupid Out Of Your Project

How To Overcome Any Obstacle In Your Way

There are many reasons to get serious about anything you care about, your passion projects, from creative writing, to painting, business and entrepreneurship.

But first ask yourself, what is it about theses things that you actually enjoy?

We often get in our own way.

We focus on the outcomes, forgetting about the steps necessary for our own success.

Do you get lost in the moment?

Is it something you can do in your own time, if left to your own devices?

Musicians are a great example of this.

They can practice for hours on songs and scales, perform for a couple hours in front of an audience that ranges from zero to huge, and afterward, sit down and play some more for the sheer joy of music.

How do you think about your passion?

Is it something that like David Foster Wallace wrote in his metaphor about two fish swimming by each other, one fish asks, "How's the water" and the other fish replies "what's water?"

In other words, is it something that you can just do, or do you have a self-limiting belief holding you back?

If you struggle with starting and maintaining your passion projects, you may be putting too much emphasis on the outcome rather than the necessary steps to get there.

Writing is not simple, and every writer - which due to schooling, the Internet and email, we are all writers - has to find a way to overcome the obstacles of momentum, motivation and inertia.

Think Of The Process Like Sailing

You pull out of your slip, cruise through the harbor and set out on the water.

If you constantly stare at the port, it's going to seem like you're never getting anywhere.

The gradual distance between you and the dock seem like it's taking forever to create any real distance.

But, if you look forward, focus on all the little things like wind, setting the jib and steering; enjoy the scenery in front and next to you, once you look back, you'll be amazed how far you've travelled.

Or imagine a cross-country flight.

You walk down the tunnel, board, stow you carry-on luggage, sit down and buckle in.  Luckily you have a window seat and can look out while you're on your way.

Do you spend the entire flight staring at the clouds and watching the square lots on the ground, wondering if there are people down there?  If so, where are they going? What are they doing? Are they looking at you as you fly at cruising altitude, bouncing around in your seat from a little light turbulence?

It'll seem like the flight lasts a life time if you try to count each lot as you fly overhead.

But if you strap down, watch a movie, read a book, or take a nap and only look out the window after you get up to use the bathroom when you need to, the flight will seem like it's passing in no-time at all.

It's All About The Process Not The Product

3 Authors That Will Help You Overcome Your Adversity To Writing

1) In his book on writing, The Lie That Tells a Truth, John Dufresne opines that when we focus on the end product, it's difficult to see it through. He encourages us in his preface that;
"Remember when you were a child, and you were stuck in the house on a rainy day, and Mom sat you at the kitchen table, gave you a pencil, a sharpener, a box of crayons, and a ream of paper, and you went at it? You drew all day long and never got blocked..."
The idea here is that as kids, we never thought about the outcome of our passion.  We used it to lose ourselves in the moment.  To act as a pastime when we could.  It was about the enjoyment of the process not the end result.

2) Similarly Austin Kleon writes in his books, Steal Like An Artist and Show Your Work, that it's the process that people don't see when they think about creative work.

People enjoy the finished product, but as creatives we should focus on enjoying the process.

He suggests getting out in the world, carrying a notebook and making notes of the sights, sounds, smells, that you experience. You can use them at a later date.

I wrote a post about this process of stealing and borrowing for ideas on a blog post that you can read here: My Kindle Publishing Lesson: Beg, Borrow and Steal Your Way To Becoming A Better Writer.

The point is, you can borrow from people around you and utilize it to make your projects better.

3) Finally author Johnny B. Truant of The Smarter Artist Podcast (as well as the Self-Publishing Podcast and Write, Publish, Repeat) claims in his episode titled "Talking About Writing Is Not Writing" - he mentions the work that a carpenter does.

A carpenter doesn't spend their time talking about carpentry, they're actively working on the craft.

So find a way with your passion project to get deep into the trenches of doing the actual work.

The band Pearl Jam says that when they started, they're rehearsal space was in the basement of a warehouse that other creatives used during the day.

They'd walk past the artists, climbing down the stairs smelling the paint and tincture, and feel inspired to match what was going on around them.

In all of these examples, there is the reinforcement to focus on the process, the daily act of sitting down and writing.

No one is saying that following your passion project is going to be easy.  Or simple, or fun all the time.

There's no guarantee you won't fall on your face, lose your shirt, or fail.

Get Lost To Find Yourself

Set a goal.

Perhaps it's finding a new client.

Or writing 500 words a day.

Perhaps it's running 3 miles at the end of a long work day.

Set a goal that you can realistic do everyday.  Don't worry about the outcome of those goals.

For this exercise focus on small, micro-accomplishments that you can do and maintain daily.

The point is, create the process of doing little things that moves you , step by step, toward your goals.

The act of getting down in the trenches, of digging into the words and what you're trying to say, is one you need to be willing to do.

Teach yourself how to be preoccupied with the act of doing, how to get lost in the moment, knowing that you'll get there some day and some how.

Just don't worry about the outcome. How it'll be received, or whether it'll be any "good."

That's a burden that's too great to carry.

And one that, often, you don't have any control over.

So focus on the necessary steps, and diligently get lost in the process (an oxymoron for sure!).

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The 3 Things You Do To Sabotage Success: How To Stop Limiting Yourself!

How Your Beliefs Determine Your Success

It's that time of year!  

The holidays are here and among us like aliens masked as friends. Not the cute E.T. type aliens, more like Alien vs. Predator type, the kind that want to rip your spine out with your skull as a trophy.  

Perhaps that's just how I feel, but I digress from the point...

A New Year means that it's also time for resolutions and grandiose plans for ourselves and our lives.

(Get The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business from Amazon here)

They could be changes in our behaviors, or changes in our jobs, or perhaps an itch to travel that needs to be scratched.

But like a parasitic worm, there's ONE major problem that will destroy even the best resolution.

It's the danger of self-limiting beliefs.

The problem with changing habits or making any substantial changes in our lives is that we are often sabotaging our chance for success without even knowing it.

While we're busy trying to become Superman, we're often wearing a necklace made of Kryptonite.

If you want to make changes in your life, the hardest part isn't getting started or changing negative habits into the ones you desire most.

No, the most challenging aspect of these changes are the ones that can act as the most harmful to whether you succeed or not is: simply your beliefs.

If you believe you'll succeed or not has a large influence over whether you'll effectively make the changes you want.

I'm not talking about faux concepts like "fake it until you make it" or imagine it and it will come to fruition.

But if you do believe that you can do something, all research points to the fact that you should succeed.

The single most influential factor in psychological research about behavioral change is that it is the positive mindset that differentiates between success and failure.

If you doubt you can; you don't have enough training or the right type of schooling, or you don't know how, so you don't even try to get off the couch - whelp - you guessed it!

You have zero chance to succeed.

That's called the power of self-limiting beliefs.

(In the past, we've discussed what is success in a world that judges your outcomes - this is about stopping our tendencies to limit ourselves).

The Power Of Beliefs And The Dangers Of Self-Doubt 

A recent article I stumbled upon got me thinking about the power our confidence and doubts play on our potential for success or failure.

(You can read the article by clicking here)

If you believe in you can accomplish something, you can.

If you doubt you can do it, you can't.

It's the truth of self-limiting beliefs that we can only accomplish what we believe we can.

(Obviously as much as I want to be Superman, it's not going to happen. Unless I'm sent to a galaxy with a red star perhaps)

But in Henry Ford's own vernacular, if you believe you can do something or believe you can't, either way, you're correct.

When we believe we are capable of something, we find mechanisms to overcome any challenges that present themselves along the way.

Get Off The Couch And Get Moving! 

For example, if you just ate waaaay too much this past holiday and feel you want to lose some weight, you probably feel motivated to get started.

You go out and get new running shoes, a new workout outfit, get ready for bed, set the alarm clock to wake up early and when it goes off?  You end up hitting the snooze button, negotiating with yourself that you'll get started in just a little bit, or later in the day, or tomorrow.

Or perhaps you climb out of bed, lace up your shoes, head outside, and begin to run.

You start to breathe heavy; your legs are plodding into the concrete like they're trying to anchor themselves to the ground, and you slow down to a mere walk.

Somehow you've forgotten just how difficult it is to start a workout regime but being reminded by your body loudly just how out of shape you truly are.

You finish your routine and go about your day.  Slowly, you become sore in places you forgot about, stiff in others.

The next morning, you're not as enthusiastic as you were the day before.  You're sore, tired and it takes a little more momentum to begin.  It's harder to lace your shoes, to get outside and start. It becomes easier to quit earlier than the day before and before you know it, you've walked twice the distance from the day before.

The limiting belief is that it's too difficult to lose weight.

So when obstacles appear, you false-start or quit too early.

But if you reexamine the outcome, and your approach is rethought, motivation and follow through are much easier to maintain.

The main problem in the examples above were in the failure to establish more realistic goals with the by-product (outcome) being losing weight.

You can't believe in the outcome solely and have expectations of being successful. You need small, manageable tasks that add up to the desired benefits and goals.

A Quick 3-Step Process To Guarantee Success From The Outset

If the desired outcome is to lose weight, setting more manageable goals while developing a reward system works much more effectively.

Instead of getting motivated to lose weight, try to focus on exercising in a short, limited amount on an every-other-day basis.

In short, the 3 most important things you can do to make lasting change in your life are the result of these conscious acts:

1) Decide On Change: Make a decision on what it is you want to change about your habits.  It isn't until we decide that something needs to change and we are determined to change it that true action and habit development can begin.

2) Create Manageable Tasks: Once you've decided the action you want to take and the desired outcome you want, work backward from that point.  Create a list of small actions and tasks you can make daily.  Small repetitions and accomplishments over time build up to a monumental change.

3) Evaluate Your Beliefs: What you believe goes along way toward success.  Discover what doubts you have; what self-limiting beliefs are you repeating to yourself that are having the negative effect on your changes? It's only through understanding our motivations and mindsets that we can overcome the barriers we create for ourselves.

By making a decisive choice to make a change, creating daily micro-accomplishments toward the end goal and examining what beliefs may be limiting performance is the best routine for you to make lasting, permanent changes in your habits.

Finally, get enough rest.

Often we limit ourselves by stressing our energy resources.  By placing too much stress on our energy stores, we have very little left over for change or resistance as it comes about in our day.  We become creatures of habit, rather than purpose and that is directly correlated with lack of sleep and energy.

There's only so much time in the day and you have only so much energy.

Prioritize your important tasks after you've had a chance to recharge.  Get a proper amount of sleep, setting the alarm for the same time every morning, and take mental breaks throughout the day.  Exercise or meditation are great ways to recharge your brain.

Stick To Your Routine. 

As you start out on making your habits permanent, one of the most important things is to make them routine. Too often we fail by taking a break just when things are becoming more difficult. But if you're serious about the changes you're trying to make, then stick-to-it-ness is critical for success.

A great trick is to post a calendar and mark it for every day you succeed in moderate exercise. (For more tips, you can read my post 5 Tips To Make A Better You)

After the first week, treat yourself to a movie (avoid the popcorn), a show, or some other activity you enjoy.

After a few weeks, if you meet your exercise goals, treat yourself to something you value a little more, say a new pair of shoes or a nice dinner out for example.

The idea is to make your incremental steps more manageable and believable.

And in the process of taking additional steps, we're able to get much further.

If you'd like to make a positive change in your life, your health or habits, get The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg from Amazon by clicking the link.

Truth is, you'll find the paperback, hardcopy or ebook format you want at an incredible price and I'll receive a small commission for helping you find the book.

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Thursday, November 5, 2015

What To Do When Your Best Isn't Good Enough

How To Be Successful In A World That Judges Your Outcomes

how to define success

Get The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People Below!

In a recent post I discussed the book The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

It got me thinking about what if you try your best but it's not good enough?

Well, it could be a problem of perception.

The Genius of 90%

Have you ever watched a movie that was great up until the ending?

The recent Mad Max comes to mind.

In it, the movie starts at the warlord Immortan Joe's fortress The Citadel, a cruel fortress that Immortan Joe has used to imprison survivors of the apocalypse. To control the survivors, Immortan Joe pumps water from the cliffs of The Citadel with much fanfare.

After his top warrior Imperator Furiosa helps 5 of the warlords'  herom escape, the warlord leads a war party across the wasteland to catch them with stunning cinematography and action.

It's one long car chase across the desert of Australia that thuds at the end.


For one, warlord Immortan Joe is killed about 80% into the movie.

Two, Mad Max and Furiosa return to the Citadel and the enslaved survivors know that they are now free. The water lines are opened once again to the cheering of the survivors as Mad Max disappears into the crowd.

Roll credits.

It just ends, there's no denouement.  It all ends too quickly and feels like the producer was limited by time, money, plot holes or all of the above. There's nothing that wraps the movie in a tidy way or reveals the futures of these survivors.

Judged by the ending, Mad Max: Fury Road sucks.  So why then is it so popular?

Because 90% of it is entertaining and visually stunning.

The End Justifies The Means - Or Not

So how do you define success then?  Mad Max: Fury Road is an awesome fete of cinema. Even with a quickly wrapped ending that falls flat.

We've all gone through it.  We've worked our tails off to prepare for success at something important only to fail.

You've spent hours developing an idea, going through all the necessary edits and cuts only to find out that in the end, it just wasn't good enough.

Sitting in your room at night spending hours writing a song that you're sure is the best thing you could do.

You wrote it specifically for one person in mind, that special someone.

They'll swoon with your melodies; their dreams are replays of your metaphors in their imagination.

You tell them it's unfinished but that they are the inspiration for it.

In your mind, you imagine how they'll act when you play it for them.

They'll fall in love with you (all over again).

And then you play it for them.

And their reaction is underwhelming.

"Um, that was good," they say.

"Can you play Taylor Swift?  Led Zeppelin?" they ask afterwards.

How do you react?

Are you the type of person that throws your hands up to the sky as if to say "what else can I do?"

Are you the type that allows the disappointment to consume you and paralyze you from ever taking a risk that success requires, from doing that task again?

Are you crestfallen?

Maybe.  Nobody would blame you for feeling that way.

But by spending the time to learn the chords and melodies, as well as memorize the lyrics, you're already a success.

By putting yourself out there, you're already a success.

The process has taught you things that are invaluable to how the song is received.

What if you're on a team, and you dream of winning a game, a championship, and you lose the final game you play.

Is the season a failure in your mind?

All those hours you've spent training and learning from your teammates and coaches.

All the time you've sacrificed for the team when you could have been with friends and family doing other things, is that wasted?

Yes and no.

It's true that the experience is wasted if you judge the outcome of the season as the only metric of success.

And most of the time the pressure felt immediately after the big loss is one of perception.  It's how we imagine our success is perceived by others. Friends, family, boyfriends, girlfriends, players from other teams - these are who we imagine we're being judged by.

But why do we allow the perception of others to dictate our concepts of success?

Why is it that the people who didn't engage in all the hours of dedication, of learning, sculpting and rehearsing are the ones we shy away from after we fall short of our goals?

Look, we all set goals.  Some we meet and with many we fall short.  Why let other people, especially ones not invested in the process, in the hours of work you dedicated to determine your opinion of your success.

Is it something you're taught?

The Failure Of Your Education

How Your Success Is Pre-Determined By Your Approach To Learning

Habit formation and definition of success
In school, the emphasis is often on studying for the tests.

Preparing on material that you'll be tested on rather than the comprehension of the material.

Studying and the last-minute cramming of all that material just before an exam is a short-term solution.  It's like a crash diet before a day at the beach.  It may help you fit into a new bathing suit but won't make a major difference in the long run.

We too often focus on the outcomes of what we do and not on how we prepare.  In school we focus on our grade on the exam versus the long term benefits of comprehension.  It's the opinion of others that matters, by way of our grade on the exam, rather than what we've gained in understanding.

While grades are an obviously important metric for reflection, for us to gain insight on how well we grasp the material, it shouldn't be the primary point.

The point of education should be in comprehension.

Instead, it should focus on the understanding of the material.

This is how real gains are made in knowledge, not in the rote memorization of dates and facts, but in the analysis of the information.

And when doing something of value we should have the same goal in mind.

In The Eye Of The Beholder A Rose Is Still A Rose

A painter shouldn't be judged by how well they recreate a lifelike image.

But they should be judged on the nuance of their respective skills.  How well do they mix textures, lighting and shades?  How is their grasp and analysis of the subject?

If we judged painters, writers, musicians and other creatives as we do athletes and students, we'd have a much less beautiful world.

So we shouldn't let others determine that the outcome justifies the means.

How we do something and what we learn along the way is 1000 times more valuable to our well-being than the outcome of one game or how one song is received.

So when you do your best, but it's not good enough, ask yourself how you're evaluating what's "good enough."

Success shouldn't be defined by other peoples judgments of your outcomes.  If you do your best and you fall short, it's still a success.

Trust yourself and trust your process.

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