The average grocery stocks thousands of ingredients with an infinite array of meal combinations. But you only need perhaps twenty different ingredients to cook a delicious meal. The trick is finding the right mix.
When chasing after success, it’s tempting to want to do everything and be everything. However, truly successful people focus on a deploying couple of strategies and developing their key strengths instead of trying to be something they’re not.
I’ve often felt my disability robbed me of certain paths to achieving success. In my twenties, I often bemoaned the fact that I couldn’t jump in the car, drive across town, pound the pavement, press palms and just be a businessman. Today I see that the ingredients for this kind of success are simply unavailable to me at the grocery store life. I still fall into to the trap of wishing I had those ingredients like a cook who wished they picked that extra onion off the shelf to make the dish come really pop.
Success was possible for me, I just had the ingredients for a different kind of meal. I have spent two decades reading about success, listening to different methodologies, talking to successful people, watching speakers and writing thousands of words about having the correct mindset for success. I’ve discovered that the recipe for success is to add your personal desires to a drive for external service, seasoned by the understanding of your personal challenges.
In other words, not every path or plan is right for you.
To illustrate this point, I recently saw an interview with a neurologist who warned that people should not look at a computer screen at least two hours before bedtime. He said screens stimulate the brain, not prepare it for sleep. It’s good advice, but I have a TV next to my bed which I’m not willing to give it up no matter how much I need better sleep. I also like French fries and burgers, and it’ll be a cold day in Hell before I give those up. These self-imposed limitations are part of my ingredients for success. Others will have different non-negotiables.
Some people harbor an unrealistic expectation that being successful requires following every morsel bit of advice and to be perfect in all their actions. But being perfect is the enemy of being amazing. For some an amazing marriage would include jetting off to visit Europe on a holiday. Others would enjoy nothing better than sitting on the porch with a box of wine. Yet there are always a few who will never be satisfied until they are in the billionaire’s club.
Unlike most people, my disability flavors my ultimate definition of success. I understand that a rock-climbing vacation is permanently unavailable to me. But that doesn’t mean I am completely out of ideas for having a good time.
Remember that there are always many more ways to achieve success than there are successful people in this world. Emulating success is key, but I don’t emulate people who don’t fit into my idea of success or lifestyle. It is important to find the recipe and ingredients that can get you on the path to amazing.