Why some people seem to always be successful, no matter the odds, yet others, with all the odds stacked on their side, still struggle for success?
In 1992, right after I graduated and set out to make a life for myself, this question popped in my head for the first time. I was 22 years old then. At the time, due to unforeseen circumstances, I found myself emotionally and psychologically pushed into a corner. My dad had just died unexpectedly, and the shock of untimely demise mixed with my situation as a recent college graduate, made me ask myself a bunch questions. The question above was one of them.
You would think this was just another question in the inquisitive mind of a 22 year-old. Not for me. As I started to answer the question and researched what led to success, I realized that most human beings had not figured it out either. So, the question began to haunt me. I couldn’t understand why not more people became successful.
Here are some of the conclusions I reached then:
- There is an unlimited potential for success in this world. One successful person doesn’t take anything away from anyone else. In fact, it’s the opposite.
- Most children living in the western world, are offered amazing opportunities to become successful.
- Most kids dream about their future realizations and believe they can reach them.
- Many young adults in their twenties have big aspirations and still want to become successful.
- Yet, by the time they retire, most adults amount to a tiny fraction of what they hoped to accomplish.
Why is that? Why do people give up on their dreams? Or again: “Why some people seem to always be successful, no matter the odds, yet others, with all the odds stacked on their side, still struggle for success?”
That was 25 years ago.
I must admit that my quest to finding the source of success has been a pretty formidable one. Over the last two and a half decades, I have started and acquired many businesses, some have become successful yet many others were big failures from which I have learned tremendously. I have lived in five countries and travelled to close to 30 others. I have met some of the most amazing people of this earth. Many have become my mentors, others taught me important life lessons. I have attended hundreds of seminars and conventions and spent tens of thousands of hours listening to audio tracks. I have read over a thousand books and ultimately I have cogitated on the question above more than anyone you’ll ever meet.
At the beginning I studied all facets of business. Then economics and finance. Then, I studied the human mind and poured myself over books on the topics of psychology, motivation, behaviorism and sociology. Then my inquisitive mind entered a period of philosophical, religious and spiritual research. Always trying to answer the same question.
I spent twenty-five years circumventing the world searching for one answer – the ultimate answer to: “How to become successful?”
As you can imagine, along my journey, I came across hundreds of people professing to have the answer. Most of them trying to peddle their ultimate solution for a few hundreds or few thousands of dollars. I bought many of them. Some we right, some were wrong, and some were educational. In the end they all taught me a lot about myself and about life.
In 2001 and started to help other business owners and organizations understand how to become more successful. Now, every year I am responsible for the creation of millions of dollars of new wealth for my clients.
In my early thirties, still struggling to build the meaningful level of success I was after, I began to suspect that I was asking the wrong question:
“HOW do they do it? HOW can I become more successful? HOW? HOW? HOW?”
One day it dawned on me that when we are asking a HOW question, we don’t want the answer.
Think about it for a second.
When we ask HOW questions, what we are really saying is “Who am I to know the answer to this question?” The HOW question itself is debilitating. It paralyzes your ability to think and figure out the answer. Then asking HOW becomes an insatiable habit of your mind: You ask HOW, someone gives you the answer than you have another one, and another one until you are like a dog running to catch its own tail. You never amount to your potential; always seeking more HOW answers.
See, human beings are born with a sensational ability to figure out solutions to problems, to get out of a rut and to find how to reach their goals. But since most keep on asking HOW, HOW, HOW and effectively repeating to themselves “Who am I to know this?”, or “Who am I to have the answer to this question?” they eventually start believing in their own thought patterns and they give up.
In the end, why should YOU know? Why should YOU amount to anything better than your contemporaries? Why do YOU deserve to be better or achieve better results?
- YOU have the right to be successful. It’s available to YOU. We live in a world of infinite abundance.
- When I was young, westerners had more opportunities to succeed. It’s no longer true. Today you can be from anywhere on earth and reach all your dreams.
- Ultimately, the only way anyone becomes more successful is by creating more value, more quality or more wealth for the rest of the world. So, YOU have an obligation to be successful. In doing so YOU will make the world a better place for all.
But HOW do I do it Marco?
Here’s HOW: Successful people all have one thing in common; they are highly optimistic. That means they believe in their ability to figure out how to reach their own goals. They know that if someone was able to figure out how to become successful, they can too. So instead of searching for outside answers, they start to look inside them for how to overcome the obstacles in front of them. They invest in their own genius ability instead of waiting and hoping someone will give them the answers they seek. The more they do it, the more confident they become about their ability to solve bigger and bigger problems. They start taking on bigger and bigger challenges and their lives start to change. They grow. They become stronger and attain higher levels of success.
Like my friend Damien Elston, CEO of Top One Coaching likes to say: “If I can do it, why can’t you?”
I have named this process: Trusting in your own Genius. It means trusting that if you get cornered you will find a solution and figure out how to get out of trouble. Trusting in your Genius also means being willing to step outside of comfort zone and take on challenges a bit bigger than you think you should, and it means putting yourself in situations out of your control so you can learn and grow.
That’s HOW you become more successful: by Trusting in your own Genius to figure out how. In other words, you take chances and by doing so you force yourself to become successful. Tony Robbins often says: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
The reality is that a majority of people are stuck in the inner cozy part of their comfort zone. They are ensnared by their old ways of thinking. They are afraid to take any chances whatsoever. That’s why they never get what they hoped for when they were younger. They repeat what they already know over and over again. They never read books, never attend seminars, and never expose themselves to opposing views, they always watch the same TV channels, always eat the same foods, and always hang out with the same people. Same old, same old. They get comfortable; never venture beyond the world they know; never gain any new perspective, and never grow.
I get it. Now what Marco?
If the flame of success is still burning inside of you, if you haven’t given up on your dreams, please start challenging yourself. Try new things. Attend business events. Hang out with dynamic and passionate people. Don’t be afraid of change. Spend money on your own growth – it’s worth it. Force yourself into a corner. Trust that you will find a solution. You will. Start with small things. The more you do it, the more you develop habitual success patterns and the more it boosts your optimism and self-confidence.
Soon, much sooner than you ever thought possible, in a matter of a few weeks, your life will be completely changed. When you get it, it goes really fast.
Napoleon Hill, the author of Think and Grow Rich, once said that it frightened him how fast people could build massive fortunes when they understood the power of their mind and trusted in their own genius.
Now go out to the world and make it a better place for all. Trust that you will always know HOW.
Marco Robert is an international speaker, business turnaround expert and business coach. He works with corporations and business owners all over the world and helps them unleash their maximum potential. Find out more at CoachMarcoRobert.com