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The Success Instinct

1st, November 2010

Every living creature has the instinct to survive. Human beings have another that sets us apart. It is as natural to us as breathing and can be more important than survival. It is our innate desire to make a difference. Each of us wants to be valued, to have a purpose in life; and we have our success instinct to achieve this.

So why is it that whereas some people lead an ordinary, uneventful existence, others can leave their marks in history and accomplish everything they want? There is little correlation between success and a person’s intelligence, education, family background, contacts, appearance or even a dynamic personality. These factors may have some bearing but they are not enough on their own to guarantee success. The majority of truly successful individuals are self-made – ordinary people who set out to achieve extraordinary results.

Most people measure their success as a comparison with others. Yet genuine success is what people do with their potential. Success does not actually lie in the achievement of the goal, although that is what the world would have us consider success. It lies in the journey towards the goal.

The point is not so much where you are, but in what direction you are moving. Goals and objectives must be continuously decided and set. If you set a series of goals and reach all of them then you must set new, higher goals. If you don’t you are no longer successful, by definition. You may have been a success in the past, yet if you no longer have a current objective to attain then you cease to be successful. Even if you have decided what your goals are, but do not work towards them, then you are not being successful.

If you have set your goals and you are working towards them but they are not meaningful to you, then you are not being successful. Goals must be worthwhile; they must hold meaning and importance to you. The important factor is that any development of your potential is meaningful.

Success is doing those things that you have not already done, it is not a comparison with what others have already done. Wealth can be a very natural by-product of the successful achievement of a planned, meaningful goal. Yet having lots of money to spend is not a true measure of success. Success is more than just the accumulation of wealth. True success is to be able to spend your life in your own way.

When you know why you think the way you do, act the way you act and remain consistent with what you are familiar with - even if it is leading you away from your dreams - you can then change direction and ensure you move towards what you want. Success has no relation to what you are today; it’s your power to become what you want to be.

Each of us has the potential to make a difference. Stop being influenced by what happened in the past. You are today the sum total of everything that you have ever thought. Start today to accept the exciting challenge that you can change everything in your life.