Personal Development

My Ideas About Success Have Been Completely Wrong

Ever since I started this blog back in December of 2015, the majority of my 315 posts have been centered on personal development and with an emphasis on financial success. Looking back on those posts, I regret to inform you that my ideas about success were all wrong—well, not “all” wrong, but much of what I shared was incomplete.

And here is why.

First, before I divulge where I went wrong, you would do well to remember the following statement. Success is always the cause and never the effect.

So here is where I kinda messed up.

The problem with success

Think for a moment about the words we use to describe success. Stroke of genius. Masterpiece. Blockbuster (definitely not the video store). Megahit. Jackpot.

Let’s also look at some of the words we ascribe to successful people. Lucky. Exceptional. Genius. Superstar. GOAT. Legend. Cream of the crop.

The problem with using those descriptors is that they are focused on the effectthe results and outcomes. And the truth is, no person has ever gone on to become a “legend” or a “superstar” merely by studying success outcomes. Why is this? Well, because…

The effect never tells the entire story

And it was not designed to do so. But we gravitate to the effect [success outcomes] because it reminds us of everything we aspire to be. It is easier to fantasize about success than it is to work toward becoming successful. Too many folks think that having knowledge of success somehow translates into being successful.  

You see, it is not enough to know that Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates are mega-billionaires. It is not enough to know that Simone Biles became the winningest female gymnast at the World Championship level or that Tiger Woods brilliantly captained his team to a President’s Cup victory or that James Cameron makes epic films.

Those examples, for no other reason, serve as the last chapter of a well-written book. And the dual-edge problem with the last chapter is that although it can have a huge impact on the reader, it does not capture the essence of the story.

Start at the beginning

There is always more to a story, and the same is true as it relates to success. So, how do we make the shift from studying success as an effect [outcome, result] to studying success as a cause [process, journey]?

We start by opening the book and reading the first few pages. This is to say that every successful person had to start somewhere. And that “somewhere” is in the mind. Every success story begins in the mind.

Whatever thoughts we continually rehearse in our minds eventually create the experiences that shape us into who we are and what we become.

Visualization creates vivid pictures of possibilities

If I were to sum up the thought rehearsal process relating to success in one word, that word would be visualization. Visualization is the how-tohow to move from the emotions of success to the experiences of success.

Visualization is the cause that produces the intended results in our lives. Visualization is the creative force that sets everything in motion. And once success is set in motion, it tends to remain in motion.

Attend to the cause and the effect will change

So how will any of what I have shared in this post impact my writing going forward? Well, my emphasis will be centered on the process and journey of success rather than the outcomes of success.

My encouragement to you is to spend alone time daily visualizing the lifestyle you desire. Clearly identify and define every single detail of what your life would look like as the best version of you.

Feel the emotions in the present you imagine your future self to be feeling. Create a set of actionable and measurable plans that will get you to the effect (i.e., results) you want. Lastly, live today as the phenomenal person you are and becoming.


Featured image credit: Headspace



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2 thoughts on “My Ideas About Success Have Been Completely Wrong

  1. I’ve learned a lot from this post. I am grateful to found out your blog. Like you, I write mainly on self-improvement and financial success. I am looking forward to learn from you @Josiah Samuel Harry.

    Liked by 1 person

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