Every one has the power to be successful. The only thing that may be missing is the inspiration and guidance to success. Charles Marshall, author of The Seven Powers of Success, shares the direction needed to attain true success. You are the only person that can make your dreams a reality, nonetheless you must be willing to challenge yourself. Marshall lets us in on how we must harness in on ourselves, so that we can be successful.
How do you define success?
I think the best way to define success is the process of fulfilling one’s potential. It doesn’t matter what anyone else is accomplishing. The question is, are you using your gifts, talents, and education to your best ability? At the end of your day, can you say to have striven to be your best? When you think of success in these terms, every decision gets much easier. Should I date this person? Should I accept this job offer? Should I go to school? All of these questions become a lot easier to answer if you have the goal of fulfilling your potential in mind.
What is Option X and why is this important to programming your mind?
Option X is the answer that is not readily apparent. In school we were given multiple choice tests that allowed us to select an answer from a few options located just below each question. The answer was usually A, B, C, or D (all of the above). Sometimes, though, the teacher got really tricky and added an E (none of the above) option. Often life treats us the same way. The answer to our dilemma isn’t readily apparent, so if we’re going to become successful problem-solvers, we need to train ourselves to look for Option X solutions.
Every successful problem solver I know has two core postulates programmed in his or her mind.
1] Every problem has a solution. If you don’t believe a solution exists, then you won’t look for it. If you believe there is an answer, then you will keep asking questions, knocking on doors, and looking under rocks until you find the solution.
2] There is always another way to do it. Just because a solution has been tried before, doesn’t mean it can’t be tweaked and reproached from a different angle.
Why do you think so many people fear taking action?
A person usually fears taking action for one or two reasons.
The first reason is that he is comfortable where he is and is reluctant to take a step into the unknown. It’s the classic ‘better the devil you know than the devil you don’t’ syndrome. Someone might be miserable in his present job, relationship, or location, but at least that situation is known to him. Growth by definition is uncomfortable, so if a person’s primary motivation is comfort, then he will always default to complacency.
The second reason people fear taking action is that they don’t want to experience failure. Failure causes us to confront our inadequacies which can reinforce any insecurities we have about ourselves and our abilities. Not taking action allows us to not have to face failure, and thus retain the fragile illusion of safety and control.
What are some practical steps we can take to start taking action when we’re fearful?
If you recognize the need to act but are having trouble moving forward, then you need to either get in touch with the negative consequences of staying where you are or the positive benefits of moving ahead. Ask yourself what your future looks like without the change. Chances are it’ll be more of the same, or the situation will continue to deteriorate, especially if you’re not invested in working on creating growth and change in that environment.
To motivate yourself positively, you need to think hard about where you want to wind up. What will your life look like if you move forward with this change? I like to google images that remind me of where I want to be. I print those pictures and put them in a vision notebook so that I can look at them often. I find that when I do, the motivation to take action is not hard to find.
How does God fit into our pursuit of success?
Being a faith-based person, I don’t ever think of trying to fit God into my plans, success or otherwise. I’m not comfortable with the idea of writing a plan and then asking God to sign off on it. I think a better approach might be to seek God and submit my goals and dreams to his will. For example, I might want to retire and be a beach bum, but it just might be that God has a bigger plan for my life. It might be that he has created me with the ability to do more than seek my own comfort.
I believe that God has created us in his image with an unlimited capacity for creativity and growth. Along with that gift comes the responsibility of using that life. For me, the question every day is, how can I use the gifts I have been given to serve my family, community, and world? By doing so, I believe I am best serving God.