When I feel I am successful it generally means that I feel I have meet or exceed my expectations for doing something major. To me success falls into two categories: 1) intrinsically private and personal and 2) extrinsically dependent upon how others view my achievement. In reality success is usually a combination of both.
I am a private and introverted individual so success has been largely intrinsic for me. I find intrinsic success far more rewarding because I am more in control and don’t have to depend upon others for confirmation. I can set my own bar for measuring success. As I achieve my goal I may feel encouraged to do more of the same thing such as optimization or go on to something else. I do not need to wait for accolades from someone else. When my success is also extrinsically recognized it is that much sweeter. But I don’t depend upon such extrinsic recognitions so I am less disappointed.
For example my reasons for writing this blog is to keep my aging mind active and to improve my writing skills. But seeing my articles read encourages me to some degree to keep writing frequently. I am passionate writing some article more than others. I can get a little high after writing some that I am very happy with. Articles that are most often read by others like yourself may not be the ones I feel most rewarded writing but I can get a little high from them as well. Those that I feel good about and are frequently read can give me multiple highs that I have indeed written something worthwhile for others as well. So even though I have successfully written every article I have published and a few I chose not to I feel varying degrees of success and satisfaction from them. But as a whole I feel good about maintaining this blog for the last 17 months and going. In that time I have posted 134 articles. That’s a lot of writing for a person who failed English as a student.
The point here really is that I Persevere and have not given up. In all the professional and academic successes I’ve had though life one characteristic stands our and it isn’t being smart, brilliant, or talented. It’s Perseverance. Once I start something I want to finish it and even go another step further. I have mentioned that I have multiple learning impairments, among them a extremely poor memory and dyslexia. I was a very poor student especially in math and science. Yet I got a degree in electrical engineering. To take it up another notch I also got my masters degree. At work I tended to do projects on my own not necessarily related to my assigned job. I took up programming and became a decent programmer. I did other projects to enhance my job beyond what I was assigned. I wasn’t very smart but I had Perseverance in trying to exceed my personal goals and usually did.
So for me the secret to most of my successes in life have been due to my Perseverance in not giving up in spite of all the handicaps I had and excuses I could have made for myself. Too often people give up too early. Perhaps if they kept on going a little longer then perhaps they would have been successful or even very successful. Of course there are always those who don’t know when to give up and never succeed but most of us give up too easily.
The secret to success isn’t luck or being at the right place at the right time or IQ or education or any of the many other thing we attribute to success though a little of each might help. The secret to success is Belief in yourself that you can succeed and the Perseverance to keep on going until you do. It’s that simple yet that difficult.