The Luck MythBefore you can answer the question of which skills need improvement, you’ve got to stop telling yourself that success is impossible. There’s a pervading belief that success happens for others but not for us. Maybe it’s the idea of luck: Some people are just lucky and some people aren’t, right? Wrong. When it comes to executing a strategy with consistency and the right attitude, luck has no part in the plan. That’s good news because it means that if you create the right map, pack the right gear, and set out with the right pair of binoculars, you’re sure to discover the journey of your dreams. Luck isn’t about a random set of circumstances that make or break your destiny. Instead, luck is what you make of the things life throws at you. It’s the idea that if you really put your mind to something, you can achieve it. That might sound simplistic, but any kind of success starts with this fundamental belief that success is possible—for you. Without this essential belief, you’ll get stuck. You might already feel stuck. When we’re stuck, we have a constant, nagging voice in our heads telling us that we’re not far enough, fast enough, or good enough. There’s a daily regret at not tending to the important things. There’s a recurring feeling of dashed hopes and frustrated dreams. Being stuck feels like being so close to failure that you’re about to fall off the edge. Every time we think of the life we could have—that life where we’ve met our goals and have set even higher ones—we feel defeated and a little more hopeless. That’s the danger of believing in luck. If you’re unlucky, you think, “Why bother?” If you’re unlucky, you feel like a failure before you even start. So you don’t start. It’s time to set aside the myth of luck. Bad luck is not the root of your frustration or failure. Good luck isn’t something that only a few receive. Instead, your approach to your dreams and the choices you make along the way are the determining factors in whether or not those dreams are possible.
An Attitude of SuccessNo matter what skills you need to sharpen to move ahead toward your vision, the first skill most people need to hone is attitude. You can call it perspective, approach, or mindset—but it all comes down to the same concept. How you think about your life and your business is the first essential part of success. And yes, the right attitude for success is a skill. Developing the right attitude for success might seem simple, but it’s a lifetime endeavor. Why? Because each new challenge, every setback, and any roadblock can blast away your positive attitude and replace it with dread, depression, or defeatism. “The worst thing one can do is not to try, to be aware of what one wants and not give in to it, to spend years in silent hurt wondering if something could have materialized – never knowing,” Rohn said. That sad outcome is one too many people are familiar with – you likely know someone who didn’t pursue their greatest dream and regretted it deeply. You don’t have to go down that road. Instead, you can pick up the essential tool of a success attitude and choose a brighter path. To develop your own attitude of success, you’ve got to determine what success means for you. Ask yourself:
- What makes life valuable?
- What makes life worthwhile?
- What makes life work well in all areas?
Related: Jim Rohn’s Guide to Goal SettingThe next step is considering what thoughts, ideas, and beliefs will support this life. For example, if your family and friends make life worthwhile, then you need an idea on how to spend more time with them. You need the daily thought of your family’s well-being, and you need the core belief that family obligations are more important than professional ones. Without that, all the calendar reminders in the world won’t get you home in time for dinner with your spouse and children. Your attitude, or as Rohn called it, your personal philosophy, is the first step toward success on any path. “While there are many puzzle pieces for success,” Rohn said, “without developing a sound personal philosophy, the other pieces are of little value.”
Responsibility ThinkingThe sound philosophy Rohn refers to is the attitude of success you build through the right thoughts, ideas, and beliefs. When you take such an attitude, the other pieces of your success plan function at a much higher level. Your future is within reach when you have a firm foundation on which to build and maintain it. Taking responsibility for your attitude is the first step. Most people hand over the responsibility for their attitude in the following ways:
- They point to personal circumstances as the reason for their attitude.
- They point to other people’s actions (or inactions) as the reason for their attitude.
- They point to luck (or lack of it) as the reason for their attitude.
- They point to their own flaws or failures as the reason for their attitude.
- They point to the world at large as the reason for their attitude.