In a world defined by your success, Dyllon talks about how to keep yourself on the right track and how to avoid being discouraged by the immensely more successful.
Everyone has one— that friend, who no matter what, is pretty much amazing at everything they do. They pick up a musical instrument, Beethoven: a paint brush, Van Gogh: a tennis racket, Serena Williams. We love them for their amazing talents and skill (as long as they are humble), but we often feel overshadowed when near them. This is everyday life when you are a person on their way to success, surrounded by those that already are successful.
I worded it like that: “on their way to success” because as long as we have dreams, we have not failed. As long as we believe we can become something, than we can. It can be very disheartening to watch those around us become successful while our own lives are still developing. We as a race, are inherently introspective; and, when looking at the success of others’ in comparison to ourselves, we tend to be overly self-critical. I’m never going to make it. I’ve been doing this for years and look where it’s got me— nowhere. I should just give up. I’ll never be as great as so-and-so, or so-and-so.
I am guilty of this and have been for the majority of my adult life. I’m an ambitious person, whose dreams often exceed my reach. Every day I find a new thing that I wish to obtain— whether it’s a travel destination, an award, a meal, time spent with a loved one, a publication offer, etc. I am always striving for my goals, and because of this, I am always falling short of some of them. There are simply too many for me to carry all at once.
Watching the people I grew up with, or the people I just met a few years ago (who were not as successful as me then, but who have far surpassed me now) achieving things at a level that feels like they’re light-years ahead of me, is hindering. I’ve been told to let the success of others inspire me, and on many occasions it has. But there are some days, some moments, when I am just floored. I see the kid from high school who used to skip class or come in drunk, who used to be a bully and a half-wit— I see him in an article in Forbes as one of the newest up-and-coming business moguls. How in the hell did this two-faced nobody become successful, but here I sit, on my friends couch, counting my toll money for my next day of work.
I’ve spent too many days spent watching the successful world pass me by. A few years ago, I stopped caring what the world thought and started doing what I love. I am now a writer, editor, pianist, grad student, mixed martial artist, comic book artist— you name it. Success for me is measured in my happiness and how much of my life I spend doing what I love. If I’m spending 40 hours a week somewhere I hate, I’m not a successful person.
Below are five basic rules for you to follow to keep yourself on the successful path. These are all lessons I’ve learned over the years that helped me find the start of my road. I am taking this journey with you, but I am moving along now at a speed I never thought possible because of these lessons:
I. Instead of letting yourself get down, Immediately get active.
Simple and straightforward. The moment you feel that depression and hopelessness kicking in, or as soon as you feel frustrated— exercise. Whether you go for a run, hit the bag a few times, roll with a BJJ friend, or just do some yoga in the kitchen while the dish washer runs: Stay active. The positive reinforcement of exercise, plus the endorphins gained from shredding will put you back on the right track.
Remember that you are different than everyone else. The only thing that truly matters, is yourself.
II. If it feels like too much is on your plate, there probably is:
You may be starving from years of playing with your food, but the most important thing you can do when your plate is full, is to empty it. Eat some of those delicious goals you set. Knock some of the things off your list and stop carrying the weight of the world around on your shoulders. You are human, not machine. You will fall to pieces if you do not take care of yourself. Instead of trying to: workout daily, write 1000 words daily, cook something new daily, try a new exercise daily, read a new book monthly, start going back to school, get a second job, etc: you should be making a list of what’s most important to you.
Sit down and write all of your goals out. Then, number them in order of importance to you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done this simple 5 minute project and instantly felt better and have more direction. Alternatively, if you have been particularly lazy of late, this could make you feel worse. It’s all about perspective.
III. Look in the mirror, not out the window:
All this means is: focus less on how wonderful everyone else’s life is, and more on how you can make your life more wonderful. There is a lot to see outside, but the more you look at, the more you may find yourself discourage and depressed into laziness.
One of my biggest problems is feeling overwhelmed. When I get overwhelmed, I, like most people, shut down and recede into their happy place. One of my comforts is relaxing and watching TV/ reading a book. Both of which, albeit entertaining, don’t do much in the way of furthering my life. If I want success, I need to focus on what I need to do to become successful.
IV. If you do look out the window, admire the view, don’t envy the beauty:
There is much to learn from those of us who are already achievers. Their methods may prove fruitful for you in chasing your goals. Their struggles and strategies may serve to give you perspective and knowledge to get closer to your success.
We have to learn how to be critically analytical while keeping our deep happiness for another; because, instead, we are jealous or envious, or just simply frustrated that we can’t have what they do. Admire the person before you in the mirror before you try to see the girl skipping on the other side of the street.
PWR stands for Patience – Work – Rest. Becoming a successful person with a great life doesn’t happen overnight (at least not for all of us). People like you and I, we need to be patient with ourselves. We need to work harder than we ever have before, and we need to rest when we need to; and rest when our bodies ask us for it.
The true key to becoming successful, is never giving up. A successful person is just someone who never quit.