The keys to a successful life” By:Michael Bryan
“There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.” I heard this saying when I was a child growing up in Downtown Indianapolis (IN). I’m unsure who to give credit to for the saying- none the less it has stuck with me through these 27 years. I mention this quote because it shows that success is possible no matter what tribulation may come your way- you can still be successful. The stairs reference of the quote I like especially because it implies that success is possible- but it is to be earned and not given. First off, since I fit into the “young adult” category (18-30), I would like to share what success means to me personally. Success to me is simple: achieving your goals and pursuing your dreams. What I mean by that is if as young adults in society we set realistic goals for ourselves, set out to accomplish those goals, embrace our failures and turn them into triumphs, anything is possible. My meaning may not be the same as other “young adults” in my age category and that’s fine because everybody in the world thinks differently. As young adults we think, act, and handle so many different “curve balls” life throws at us, so many different ways. Life is like a book; it has a beginning, middle, and an end. Its full of emotions, ups and downs, twists and turns, but I’m sure most people would agree with me when I say we all hope for one thing when we’re taking that big test, going to that big job interview, becoming a parent, or hoping to make that big sale- and that’s we all want to be successful. We don’t want anything to go wrong. I have came across many different perspectives and ideas throughout my research that has made me come to this realization and belief on success and that’s: If life is lived with passion and motivation, it will lead you to a successful life.
“Passion gives a resiliency that is necessary to achieve great things.” This is a quote from the article “Think like a Champion: In Addition to Business” by Donald Trump. I mention this quote because to me it explains how if a person loves what they are doing than they possess the essential key that can skyrocket them to becoming successful in anything that they choose to pursue in their life. That essential key being: passion. My personal belief, every person has some sort of passion for something in their life; whether it’s a sport, hobby, person, job, or a dream that were trying to pursue- something. You see, passion is equivalent to love through my eyes and love is something I know is something my age group can relate too. It means you have emotion towards something that is going to have some sort of impact on you, even when it doesn’t go in your favor.
At the age of 20, I made one of the biggest decisions of my life and joined the United States Army. I am currently serving my last year of 8 years of required service I agreed too. During my military career I’ve come across many different kinds of individuals; differentiating from race, ethnic background, gender, age, and morals. But, there was one trait we all had in common, the passion and love to protect the United States of America at all cost, some of us at the expense of our own life. Before soldiers go out on a mission, they have briefing’s that consist of the mission plans, route recons, frequency channels- the list goes on. Why do soldiers do this before mission? So they are as well prepared as possible so that they can successfully complete the mission that follows. I give this personal example because success itself is defined as achieving a goal, and that’s what a mission is all about. Whatever someone chooses to do with their life they should want to strive to be successful in what it is that they are doing- love what they are doing, and that passion will lead them to successful life.
During my lifetime I have experienced many different types of failures that have ranged from relationships, exams, fitness tests- the list goes on. Failure is a part of life. In the podcast “41: Jon Taffer: The Concept of Success” by Andrew Ferebee, Jon Taffer mentions that “If you don’t learn to accept failure, you’ll never learn from it and you can’t be successful.” Now if you have never seen the show “Bar Rescue” the host (Taffer) is a hard-nosed, fast paced, strong-minded, and sometimes has a vulgar attitude towards failing bar owners he is attempting to save from their failing business. Why does he have that attitude? To instill Motivation in someone, to help them see what they did wrong and provide the solutions to do it right. If as individuals we learn to embrace our failures, it will ultimately lead us to being successful in anything we strive for in life. Motivation. This is a word that as Americans we have all heard at some point in our lifetime; it is a strong word, an action word. I think we all need to have motivation to be successful in anything that we do. Motivation is about body language, it’s what helps develop a person’s self-confidence, helps someone be confident in their abilities that they will be successful in whatever problem or solution that may come their way. Think about it like this, if a co-worker comes to work late every day, has a negative attitude, and terrible work ethic their more than likely not going to be the person considered for a promotion. The motivated co-worker, the one who comes to work on time, has a positive attitude, and good work ethic is going to get the job over the lackadaisical co-worker. We need motivation in life because it is what someone needs in order to be successful in one’s goals and dreams. Motivation is contagious, it stands out and may cause people to be intimidated or feel uneasy at first, but on the contrary, have you ever seen a successful person intimidated by motivation? Me either.
Motivation is a part of all of us. Whether we realize it or not when were successful at something, when were rewarded for something, were motivated by the success we experience. During my research I came across an article on Harvard Business Review entitled “Success gets into your head- and changes it” by Scott Berinato where he discusses a study done by Earl Miller and his research team at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory where they underwent a study on monkey’s and how their brains function when there either successful or non-successful at a simple learning task. If the monkeys were successful at the learning task they received an award for doing the task correctly- as opposed to the monkeys who failed at the task who received nothing. As the studies showed, the monkeys who failed at the learning task brain activity showed “little” change in their brain activity which concludes that failure doesn’t impact the brain or mind-state. The studies showed that the monkeys who were successful at the tasks, rewarded for the tasks- brain activity stored what the monkey had done right and when re-tested, showed that the monkeys were motivated by the reward to do the task even better the next time. You see, whether were talking about humans or monkeys everybody in life has the capability to be motivated, have the capability to be passionate for something, to be successful in life.
Now what is my definition of a successful life? Some would say wealth, say power, the ideas are endless. My idea is this: when a person creates stepping stones, follows their life’s path to the best of their abilities, and when there lying on their death bed can say they have lived their life, experienced the joys of the world, and can die knowing they have lived a life of no regrets, just success. Every person that walks this earth wants something out of life- whether it’s materialistic or simple, they want at the very least one thing out of this world. But how do we achieve something? What does it mean to achieve? To achieve means to be successful. It starts from the inside- it starts with your passion. Your passion will steer you into the directions of achieving your goals and the ultimate prize: your dreams. Your passion for something will shine off a person and once that shine starts to glow is when motivation will take hold and you will liftoff into a life full of happiness and successes.
When I started this assignment, my teacher had the class join in a “Q&A” session on our topic and thesis statement. The “Q&A” session consisted of everybody at their desks in a round circle type atmosphere where each person was given the spotlight for 7 minutes for people to ask questions. One comment I took away from it came from a young man in my class where he questioned my thesis statement and circled in on the word motivation that I was using. His comment went along the lines “What if I’m motivated to do nothing with my life? What if doing nothing is what I’m motivated to do?” I, myself have never heard motivation spoke of in such a way. So I decided to do some research on passion and motivation to see if others might think the same way as my classmate did. During my research I came across a blog entitled “The Myth of Passion and Motivation” by James Clear where as the title implies- he believes that passion and motivation is mythical. Clear states in the article that “many people get depressed when they lose focus or motivation because they think successful people have some unstoppable passion and will-power that they seem to be missing.” He goes on to talk about how passion and motivation are all just an essence of the mind and that the real key to success is “whether a person is able to focus on the process and handle the boredom of repetition that comes with life.”
If a person is motivated to live a life with no motivation- doesn’t that mean that person is still focusing their minds on being successful at being non motivated. As hypocritical of an answer I may think my classmates opinion may of sounded, I honestly feel like if a person doesn’t have goals, if a person doesn’t have dreams, or the state of mind to want to be successful in life then what is their purpose? What do they live for? I know for myself, the perception of someone who isn’t motivated, doesn’t have passion for anything life, is the bums sitting on the park benches, street corners, and under the bridges of Downtown Indianapolis holding buckets with signs asking for money. James Clear talked about “focusing on the process” and I can agree with that to an extent because it does take focus, you do need to follow the path that is ahead of you. But to say passion and motivation is a “myth” to a say it’s a state of mind is just nonsense. First off what is a myth? Bigfoot? Loch Ness Monster? That’s what I consider myths. I don’t understand how passion is mythical? Passion is emotion. Passion brings energy throughout your entire body- not just your mind. With that energy comes the motivation and that’s the part nobody ever understands; the part people can misinterpret. Passion and motivation are the most essential keys to have in a person. I ask Mr. Clear one question- has he ever seen one successful person not be passionate about what it is that they do? Not have that energetic motivated energy that shines off of them? I know I haven’t.
I remember a quote I read during one of my English courses I took while attending Ben Davis High School that came from the great German Philosopher Albert Schweitzer that read “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” So find something in life that you are passionate about. Find something in life that motivates you to want more- to want success. Think realistically with your goals- if you are talented enough to be motivated to develop skills with your talent, fearless enough to overcome adversity when it stares you in the face and tries to steer you in the wrong direction- nothing can stop you from being successful in life. Be passionate, be motivated, and success in life you will achieve.
The keys to a successful life” By:Michael Bryan