Why do you want to succeed? The pitfalls of ‘success programs’.

In this day and age, there is a Guru standing on every street corner, right next to the 7 Eleven, promising that their philosophy or program is the best way forward in life.

They have spent the necessary amount of time developing it in conjunction with the correct amount of input from recently discovered ancient texts and methodologies.

Not to belittle anyone or anything, because I am a firm believer that if it gets you from where you currently are to an even slightly better version of yourself, then it was worth its weight in gold.

However, from having moved in motivational circles for some time now, and keeping my eyes and ears open, I can confidently say that if you invest in a program on success, it is going to tell you the same thing as every other program on success; that is, it will tell you how to succeed.

Funnily enough, I can hear the thoughts from here already…  “Why is that not a good thing?  We WANT to learn how to succeed”.

The fact of the matter is, for every person that you see in photos on the interweb standing next to their expensive car, in front of their multi-million dollar home, offering the secrets of their success, there are literally thousands of others that will never taste the richness of such a life.  Sure, spend the heavily discounted, one time offer, available only for the next ten minutes of $49.95.

Go on.  Add this next program to the host of others you’ve downloaded and stored on the hard drive that you have already purchased (because let’s face it, if we are in the mindset of trying to ‘make it big’ in life, then this is not our first time doing this).  Read through it with the same initial enthusiastic approach that each and every program gets, until we come to the realisation that our office job is still waiting for us on Monday morning and without it, the electricity bill will not be paid this month.

So the next question that begs to be asked is, what do I have against programs for the cultivation of success?  The answer to that requires a brief overview on the true nature of success.

What many people never really consider is that success is user defined.  That means, whatever you deem to be success; whatever the picture in your head of it is, is what it is for you.  Unfortunately, so many of us have never actually taken the time to figure out for ourselves how we determine success.  Sure, we’ve done our vision boards and goal setting, (probably more than once) but the one key element we are missing is this:

We are setting our goals based on what others have told us success looks like from across our entire lives!

When we mentioned to our parents that we wanted to play in a band, they responded with “Yes, but how will you make money.  Get serious about your education and pick a safe career path”.  During our school years, if we expressed interest in musical theatre instead of the football team we were laughed at.  Believe it or not, all of these impressions shaped and moulded within us an understanding of success that wasn’t ‘home grown’.  We surrendered the calling of our heart at some stage, and adopted the understanding given to us by those we trusted.

So what do we end up with then?  We create for ourselves a situation in life where we are chasing something that we don’t really want.  We are on a detour from the path that makes our heart sing, and often we don’t even know it.  In daily life, it just feels as though something isn’t quite right.  Something feels amiss, or a touch empty within and we don’t know why or how.

So we push the feeling deeper.

We bury it with distraction or accumulation.

In the end, we largely end up with some manner of dis-ease in our life because we have ignored our own heart, and lived in such a state of discontent for so long, that we need a major kick in the balls to hear the damn message!

Being that success is nothing more than a ‘user defined’ state, we simply cannot live a full, content and (here’s the kicker) HAPPY life when we are constantly chasing goals based on a programmed idea rather than an organic one.  So the problem I have with most programs for success is that they teach us HOW to succeed, without teaching us WHY!  Success can be forced from anything if we follow certain models.  We can become a (temporarily) successful accountant even if we hate numbers by following someone’s guide for success in accounting and business.  Will we be happy in doing so?

Ahhh, there’s the million dollar question.

We know in our heart what we want from life.  We have always known.  Before we chase down another program teaching us how to succeed, let’s focus on WHY we want to succeed in what we are doing.  Once we have discovered our very own why, the how will automatically take care of itself.

So take a moment.  Question your why.

Question it deeply.

Because the answer is going to change everything.

Author: Chris Jones

Image: Flickr Got Credit


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