I write this post to sort through the thicket of my thoughts on success.
While working out the other day I had a slew of thoughts crossing my mind. Namely what is the evolution of success and how do successful people achieve their results.
Sure there are those who get lucky, those who are at the right time at the right place. There are others who grow up in riches and those who are so mind-boggling stupid, they become an immediate internet sensation and earn millions.
Most of us though don’t want to eat a ghost pepper to get a shot on retirement. We are hard working professionals captured in a system which exploits the fact that most people stand by their obligations and family. Which of course is a very positive thing.
I started this stroll-of-the-mind by trying to figure out why it is that I seem to work so much harder than others of my peers and yet I have not been able to advance in any measurable sense. Actually I have found that becoming the best in your field of work can be a hindrance to your professional career in corporate america.
If you are very good at what you are doing, there is a lot of pressure to keep things going, when things are going good. If you are good and you are promoted away there will be a negative impact on your group and most likely on your manager as well.
I have seen a lot of people moving up the ladder of success all-the-while lacking an in-depth understanding of our products and the technology. It does not suffice to know the buzzwords, you have to actually understand why and what it does and whom it helps.
So back to this deep path of thoughts I realized that I was focused on trying to compare myself to the average working person who is doing their 8 hours daily and then go home, watch a reality show and get drunk. This bottom-up comparison is indeed a problem because the bar is set so low, just going for a walk seems like an accomplishment.
Instead I will now try to focus on the top-to-bottom approach and will seek those who went before me, down the path of success and personal freedom. The first part is finding one or multiple mentors. Successful people willing to share their knowledge and more importantly their experiences.
Looking at where I am currently at, where I want to be, and what it will take to get there, I realized that I have to know whom and where to look for.
I continued with my physical exercise and my thoughts continued to flow like a warm stream of magma from the top of my head to the sea of knowledge.
I came to the conclusion that there are four fundamental stages to success.
The Believe Stage
This level is where the vast majority spends their living days. The following bullet points capture the attributes
- Work ( Income to support the below points )
- Pleasure / Eat
- Relax / Sleep
- Save Money
- Complain / Shift the Blame
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoke
- Avoid the Pain
- Being led
I would like you to look through this list and identify which are good and which are bad attributes to have, as well as trying to find out how they have affected your career and your life.
The Opinion Stage
- Food / Drinks
- Recreation / Exploration
- Games / Fun / Pleasure
- Passively Invest
- Having Stuff
- Ignore the Pain
These are attributes I’d call those of the aspiring middle-class. They love the competition for competitions sake. They like to earn big bucks and spend big bucks. They manage their lives with the knowledge they accumulated early on and are content with this. A strong opinion helps them to make up for the lack of knowledge.
The Adoption Stage
- Improvements / Learning
- Competition / Winning
- Influence / Power
- Actively Invest
- Embrace the Pain
- Becoming a Leader
Now this is a level where a lot of people spend a lot of time, energy, and money. Continuous learning and adopting to the changing circumstances will allow them to stay ahead by enough to remain on top of their game. Winning has become a habit and a major driver in their lives and they will go to extreme lengths to capture the next flag.
You are rich because you embody the above attributes.
The Giving Stage
- Heritage / Leaving a mark in history
Finally the last stage is to give back. To lead people into a better future. Leaving a mark on history is the ultimate success. Think of Henry Ford or Elon Musk. From the affordable car for everyone to Spaceship One and the first trip to Mars.
I will know you if you made it here. Actually billions of people will know you.