Personal Development

How Blanket Statements About Success Could be Hurting You

“Everybody needs a personal brand.” “Success begins in the mind” (my personal favorite).  “Work smart, not hard.” “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” “If you believe it, you can achieve it.” 

According to Gary V, blanket statements about success are ludicrous. See the video below for context. Gary insists that what everybody should be doing instead is “deploying self-awareness.” That is, “figuring out who they are, quadruple-down on what they’re good at, and trying to get resources to support the stuff they suck at.”   

After watching the video, the primary takeaway centered on one idea. And that is: Discover what you’re good at, shut the door behind you, and hunker down until you build something phenomenal. 

How do you find out what you’re good at? It’s quite simple actually. Try as many different things as possible. Pay attention to what comes naturally to you. And look for patterns—where do you concentrate your efforts?

The reason why exploring different success initiatives is difficult for so many people, especially those of us over the age of thirty, is that many believe they do not have the time to acquire new skills. Although that is a legitimate excuse, what are the other options? 

Like many people, I spent my twenties counting sand at the beach—I wasted an entire decade. Well, sort of. I did manage to make time for grown-men gifts—so much so that I added four additional humans to the earth.😎 

Empty white room with parquet floor - rendering
Etsy: Empty white room with parquet floor – rendering

But back to the topic. Trust me, if a person takes time to carefully self-assess, regardless of that person’s age or status in life, that individual will be able to identify what he or she is good at and not good at.

I’m reminded of a peer in college who swore by the gods she could sing. Well, one day she sought my advice about her musical ambitions. I told her in the nicest way possible that she should never sing another day in her life—at least not with the mindset of making singing a career. She did not have a good singing voice and sang out of tune. Those were the dead giveaways. Thankfully, she heeded the advice of those within her concentric circle, followed her heart, and now works as a successful biologist. 

One way to discover where your strengths lie is to ask people you trust and respect what they think you’re good at. If those folks are frank with you, together with them, you will quickly learn what success initiatives to abandon and which ones to pursue.

I’ll wrap up by saying, being human makes you phenomenal. So take time to figure out what makes you tick—what turns you on. What is it that gets your juices flowing? And whatever you do, remember to follow your effort. 





8 thoughts on “How Blanket Statements About Success Could be Hurting You

  1. I, too, am fed up of hearing the same old stuff. Thank you for this post.
    Just one point. Recently, I’ve been hearing about how people in their thirties think they’re padt it, and time’s running out. To that, I say ‘complete rubbish.’ I am well past my thirties. In my thirties, after having a career break to bring up my children, I returned to work and gained several promotions. When I retired, i began writing novels. Thirty, or even 40 is nowhere near past it. In fact, I will say no one should believe they are ever past it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right. It’s so easy to box ourselves in these narrow frameworks that ignore the complexity of life and of being a human for that fact. We’re so much more than cute statements, and our lives, our successes should be defined by honoring our own truths.

      Liked by 1 person

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