How Do You Achieve a Successful Life?
Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston S. Churchill
Do you know what a successful life looks like? Not for me or someone else, but for you. What does a good life look like for you? Each of us is different. We must each determine what we want in life in order to find true happiness. Although we might share some ideas with others, our life is and should always be unique. I can’t tell you what your life should look like any more than I can tell you what food, clothing, or car you might like or dislike. If anyone ever tries to to tell us what we should do in life, we should listen politely and consider what they say, but not follow their advice blindly. We must determine what is right for us.
When I was in my last year of high school, I decided to go to university. My teachers and guidance counselors told me that I was wasting my time and would be a “Christmas graduate” (someone who fails out before the first Christmas break). They based their opinions on how I had performed in high school when I was unhappy and had a terrible attitude. However, these were a reflection of my home life that was not very rosy and had nothing to do with my potential or personal desire to succeed.
My only goal in going to college was to leave my unhappy home. I went to college and almost proved them right, but I got by and received my degree in three years. My attitude had not improved a whole lot, but it was getting better. Then in my late twenties, I got a divorce, and I was forced to really look at my life for the first time. That is when I really started to take responsibility for my own life.
Don’t let others discourage you…
We must not be discouraged by anything that people say to us or about us. I proved I wasn’t a Christmas graduate. My teachers could only see part of me, the exterior part that was heavily influenced by my dysfunctional family. They couldn’t see what was inside me, what would drive me to do better than I had done in high school. My teenage years were the worst years of my life, so my teachers saw me at my worst.
What are the elements of a good life? The following are some ideas. We must each determine what is best for ourselves. All the bullet points below are, to a large extent, interdependent. In other words, we won’t be successful in life if we just have some elements and not the others. We must have a healthy balance.
Elements of a successful life…
- Relationship with God
- Relationship with self
- Relationships with people
- Fulfilling career
- Balanced personal finances
- Satisfying hobbies
- A role in our community
These will change as we go through life. Today, health may mean one thing, but in five or ten years, it may mean something different. A relationship with God will mean one thing in our twenties and something different in our fifties. When we are young, we can’t conceive of ever being old. Life expectancies are rising all the time, and most of us will live into our seventies and eighties, and some will reach our nineties and even over one hundred. The foundation we set today is not just for today. It is for a long time into the future.
We must be sure that we understand what “successful life” means. This does not mean that we become a millionaire or climb Mount Everest. A successful life means that we achieved what we were designed to do. Maybe we were meant to be a truck driver and travel the country; then that is a successful life. Maybe we were meant to have a family and raise children; then that is a successful life. For me, it was being a professor, so I feel that I have had a successful life, so far. Success can only be measured by the standard we set for ourselves.
What goals have you set to determine your destiny of a successful life?
This is an excerpt from my book Attitude Determines Destiny. In it you will learn how to get the most out of life by changing your attitude and making personal changes…changes that can lead you down a life-long path of personal growth.
As a motivational speaker, I conduct seminars and workshops based upon the ideas in my book. I will entertain and inspire your audiences, and I can customize my topics to fit your needs and desires.