If you are looking for success, here’s my advice: forget about it…don’t focus on it. The law of life says, the more you focus on it, the more you’ll miss it. Several years ago a wise chief said these words to me; I could not fully understand them.
My first inclination was to think that these words meant I had to achieve balance. So there I was in my life trying to achieve balance. What do I have to do? Well, I have to take care of my fitness, the people around me, my work, family, friends, those who call me for help, take time to study, take time to research…yes, take time to write…and the list was (and continue to be) never ending. As a matter of fact, as I wrote and started thinking about everything I needed to do, my stress level began to build.
The truth is that chaos arrived when I started to balance all of these priorities. I missed the mark. Ok, my work is very important, so let me focus on that then. Guess what? I missed the mark again. I was so focused on my work that other areas of my life started to suffer.
Yes, this wise chief who told me, “Don’t aim at success,” was right. The more I wanted it, the more I kept missing it. Sometimes I felt like I was achieving, but in the end of the analysis, some victories were empty. Why? The reason for this is because life is full of contradictions.
As we intensify our focus and energy on something we want, the more we increase the opportunity to end up with the unintended consequences. The easy example of this is work versus physical and mental fitness. When you totally give yourself to one, the other ones suffer. The secret here is to know what are the warning signs you need to observe, so once you see a warning sign, you can shift or soften your focus from one to the other and stay fresh.
Some may start looking at all of this puzzle and quickly dismiss any thought about wanting success. Of course, this stuff can be scary: it’s giving your life away! And that is exactly where I want to get at.
The discovery is this: Give yourself to a passion. Let that passion be a big fire within you, and then you will find success. Better yet, success will find you because it is the byproduct of everything you dedicate your life to.
Here are the exact words. This wise chief I previously told you about cited Viktor E. Frankl, in his book Man’s Search for Meaning. This is what Dr. Viktor Frankl* said:
Don’t aim at success—the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. […]
I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live. (Frankl, p. 17).
If you paused to read those words, then you did well. If you just perused through them, please go back. There lies the secret of true success.
Looks like we have homework. Think: What ignites the fire in you? Find the thing that lights your fire. Do it! Give yourself to that endeavor. In your work, if you do not like what you do, think about your choices. Find your purpose. Your other option? Change what you do. You are worth it!
Find your passion; give yourself to others—success will follow. Stay motivated!
Always motivated, lugo
Copyright © 2016 Jose A. LugoSantiago – Craft Your Journey!
*Frankl, Viktor Emil. Man’s Search for Meaning. New York: Washington Square, 1985. Print.
Dr. Jose Lugo Santiago is the chief leadership and foresight strategist for LS|EG, a consulting firm dedicated to facilitating change through leadership, strategy, and foresight. He holds over 28 years of experience leading organizations in the military and civilian sectors, and crafting strategy to meet successful business process re-engineering and innovation. He is also the author of several titles to include peer-reviewed academic works. His doctoral areas of research are Leadership and Foresight, Culture, Strategic Change, and Organizational Development.