If you are like most people, you want a more successful life – be that in your career, your recognition from others, your social network, etc. And, for the most part, perhaps you are applying yourself such that you believe your journey of improvement is taking you towards your definition of success. But let’s take a look at yourself from some other angles, you know, those “blind spots” that we also all have, and more than likely despite your not seeing them are often easily seen by others.
Becoming what you want requires seeing what ingredients you need to have to realize your intent and desires. It certainly requires a healthy dose of risk in going beyond your comfort zone. It also requires a willingness to invest – in yourself – to realize gain. And, it also requires a determined commitment on your part without which no amount of success books, inspirational speeches heard, encouragement from others, etc. that in fact in the purest form of commitment doesn’t require any of that at all.
Let’s take a look at three essential components that may help to shine a spotlight on those blind spots. And, don’t allow yourself to ever believe that everything is already working and under control. As the saying goes, even if you’re on the right track you’ll still get run over if you stand still.
Ability – The What
Ability is simply defined as having a natural aptitude, especially physically and/or mentally, in your power to perform. But “having” does not translate necessarily to applying it. If you subscribe to the saying that there is greatness in all of us, the core of that greatness does need to start with the raw material that you must discover and acknowledge from which that greatest will come from.
We often hear the phrase “find your passion.” That certainly is the genesis of becoming what you see. So, assuming that you have a clear grasp on what your passion is, it then has to ultimately be married to an innate ability that with further practice, training, and commitment will solidify the potential within you.
Motivation – The Why
Motivation is simply defined as a force or condition of eagerness such that it causes you to do something. Recognizing and acknowledging your ability now confronts you with turning the engine of your mind on. It might be said that there is no greater personal loss than having ability and doing nothing with it as far as the potential for personal achievement and fulfillment of your purpose here on earth goes.
Herein, though, lay a secret that is so often overlooked. Fundamentally, it will either kill, or enliven, your motivation to grow. The secret is the difference between having a self-serving motivation versus a giving to others one. Your success is inextricably linked to how you see others and more importantly your motives in your encounters with them. Winston Churchill said “We make a living by what we get. But we make a life by what we give.” For motivation to truly blossom it must, by default, be directed toward the purpose of giving rather than getting.
Attitude – The How
Attitude is the Holy Grail that sums up the necessary parts of your ability and motivation. It represents your feelings that determine your behavior, and your behavior, to others, is your brand. Your brand, ultimately, represents your destiny. If birthing motivation begins in your mind, then building your attitude that surrounds it rests in your heart.
There are abundant examples of both celebrities as well as “common” people who made something of themselves that is recognized by others, and all began with these first steps. But even if we recognize them all as “professionals” in the sense of being at the top of their game, you must understand that once you arrive at that level, the intensity of ability, motivation, and attitude actually intensifies.
Putting them all together, ability is what you are capable of doing, motivation determines what you do with it, and most importantly attitude determines how well you (will) do it.
The greatest frontier of opportunity and creativity lays in your mind to achieve success, whatever your definition. To be what you see, there are no shortcuts. Start by examining whether or not there is probably much more in you than what the “output” is of what you are presently doing. As Mark Twain said, “There are a thousand excuses for failure, but never a good reason.”
About Mike Muhney