As people of various ethnic and diverse backgrounds, we may not agree on much. One thing that’s for certain though, is the overly fantasized notion of hard work and success. Every time you log into your Instagram account, your favorite influencer or celebrity couple is telling you to work hard, stay humble, click your heels two times and BOOM you’re happy + successful. Everyone’s out here grinding, losing sleep, and seemingly successful because of it. #GOALS right? Occasionally someone might drop a gem and tell you, “it’s okay to fail, failure is apart of life” But what exactly does it all even mean??
While there are highs and lows, the concept of failing isn’t new to us. As teenagers, we’ve all failed tests, papers, and even parents expectations from time to time. As an adolescent, it’s easy to adopt an “I don’t care attitude.” However, failing a test or paper is easy to see. How does failure translate to everyday life? What are we willing to pay to get there? And I don’t just mean money. Acting like we don’t care as an adult won’t get you very far but caring too much can kill you. I think there’s a larger part of the conversation being left out. And that is what is the real cost of success and how do we best prepare for the lows no one talks about? Because when you know better, you can do better.
Now, I am in no way advocating as the face of success. I am pursuing an education and I work for a start up. Heck I am a start up. Whether you’ve just completed your doctorate degree or freshman year of college, guess what you are…? A start up too. While I can only speak from my life experiences up until this point, I do agree that failure is a part of life. If you aren’t failing then you aren’t working. What defines success to me is not a final destination but instead, a mindset you adopt and a diet you begin to choose. Diet btw doesn’t just refer to food. With each new level of life, I think it’s important to remind ourselves, we are startups so that we always remain hungry, humble and patient with ourselves.
What determines your level of success is how you transition your mindset, your diet, and your belief systems. But before you can reap the benefits of your investment, it’s important to identify the circumstances and emotions you’ll have to go through to get there. A relationship will end, and you’ll pay for it. A close relative might pass and you’ll pay for it. An unexpected bill might come up and you’ll have to pay for it. Due to time or money constraints, you might not be able to maintain a certain lifestyle or go out with your friends as often and sacrifices will have to be made.
The inconsistencies you want to correct within yourself are going to cause you to lose friends and consequently, you might not have gained the new ones you need just yet. And you’re day to day emotions will be paying for all of that too.
No one tells you you’re going to be broke, you’re going to cry, you’re going to be frustrated (for days or even weeks on end). You’re going to hit walls and you’ll go in a few circles before you figure it all out. You’re not going to get the things you want out of life. You’re going to get left out of conversations, meetings and even promotions. You’re going to fall and it’s going to hurt. You will GROW, but it will hurt. There will be emotions and ego involved no matter what. So don’t let success fool you because it’s not pretty and by no means cheap. While success may come at a price to your overall well being, there are steps that you can take to alleviate that.
You are in control of how good you feel
Just like any one else, there are days I wake up and have the worst attitude before 8am. Some chalk it up to “waking up on the wrong side of the bed” but nah because that mindset allows for the negative feelings to persist without ever getting to the root of the problem. To offset bad days before they turn into weeks or months, I stop and tell myself; I am in control of how good I am going to feel today. Say it again, I am in control of how good I am going to feel today. Take it a step further and voice it to yourself in the mirror. There will be circumstances out of your control but how you emotionally manage yourself isn’t one of them. Repeating this daily ritual in the mornings has helped me so much to transition my mindset throughout the day.
Get Rid of That Timeline In Your Head
I am all about setting deadlines, but your deadlines should also reflect the fact that life happens. Erase the white picket fence 28, 29, 30 timeline from your head and start setting realistic goals that center around your current life circumstances.
Growth Isn’t Easy
Don’t let a finished product fool you into thinking a persons glow up came easy. Growth is one of the hardest more excruciating things to face and go through. You’ll want to compare your journey to everyone else’s almost daily. But you don’t know what they had to go through to get there. Instead of focusing on that, focus on what you’re willing to pay for own success and what steps you need to take to best prepare yourself for it.
Choosing The Right Diet
A Diet by definition is what you habitually consume. Eating healthy and drinking enough water is only half the battle. Think about the Instagram accounts you follow and about the amount of media you ingest daily. Think about the kinds of conversations you’re having and how those infiltrate the way you think. Read a few books (or this blog) and make the changes to your diet according to the results you want to see.
Each new level will require something new of you.
The way we deal with the cost of success starts internally. Each level of life will require new friends, a new mindset and maybe a new wardrobe. Waking up in the morning to stop and think about what your day will require of you and how you intend to handle those responsibilities is a first step. Addressing what the next level you want to be at will require of you is even better. I repeat do this daily.
Stop looking at success as a Destination
You didn’t just glow through all you went through to make it to one spot did you? Success shouldn’t just be about reaching a pinnacle or designated spot. Reaching the top assumes you’re only way to go is down. Begin to look at success as a journey with many landmarks along the way.
Only ask for advice from people based on their situations
You wouldn’t ask a butcher for advice on the stock market. Likewise, you shouldn’t ask anybody for advice on anything that they’re not currently already successful at. To get the most sound advice, it’s best to take into account a persons level of experience within a specific field.
If part of success is growth and expansion. Then growth of mind, body and spirit must all be in unison. Don’t let anyone fool you. It’s not fun, it’s not glamorous, and though the constraints of growth + success are never spoken about your hard work will all be worth it. But you are strong, you are in control, and you got this! Don’t forget to give yourself credit and keep building! This is Taroltime signing off ♥