continuation: (link to Achieving Success: Part II.c)
Last time: we talk about how failure from our achieving goals can be a learning lesson. When we fail to achieve, we can actually have success when we take our failures and try again. Now we are going to look at foces of motivation – part of our discussion now.
How to Become . . . Say . . .
The President of the United States
Sustaining Motivation: Recognizing Your Successes
The same arguments used to measure failure can be repeated to measure success. Not everyone will achieve their goals. We live in a world with many second- and third-place finishers. But the partial achievement of a goal, or the strength and experience obtained from trying to accomplish a goal, are both measurements of success. Recognizing our successes supports and sustains our motivation.
We live in a competitive world where zillions are competing against you for the limited resources of wealth, power, and prestige. Not everyone is going to be the President of United States. Neither is everyone destined to become an Olympic gold medalist . . . Nobel laureate . . . concert pianist, etc.. Success is not defined by being the “greatest this” or the “mostest that.” Success can be achieved at many different levels. For example:
• Success is when you try.
• Success is when you try again after you fail.
• Success is when you overcome your weaknesses.
• Success is when you achieve parts of a goal.
• Success is when you are satisfied with your accomplishments.
• Success is when you develop and learn from your efforts.
• Success is when you make accomplishments.
It is important that we recognize success as it happens. Success sustains the motivating forces that continue our progress. Success is energy. Success is gratification. Success is wisdom. Success is increased self-confidence and self-esteem.
How to Build Motivation
You can build motivation by using the following examples to measure success:
1) Success is when you make a serious attempt at a goal.
Imagine that you set a goal to break the world record in the mile run. You begin early in life to train for this goal. You devote everything to this goal. Nothing is more important to you then this single accomplishment.
Finally, after strenuous years of preparation, you qualify to run the mile race in an international track meet. You take your position at the starting line. You glance down the track recalling in seconds the many hours of training that prepared you for this run. You are minutes away from accomplishing a feat that a few years ago seem nearly impossible to achieve.
Suddenly, you assume your ready position. The crack of the gun sounds the start of the race. One minute goes by. You are looking good. The two-minute mark approaches. You hold the lead by a fraction. Quickly you pass the three-minute mark. The seconds are ticking. You make a final push to the finish line. You cross. The race is over. You did it! Your lifelong pursuit is finally over. But wait, you crossed the finish line in second place and missed breaking the world record by 2.64 seconds.
What a disappointment! Tears fill your eyes. Crowds rush past you to greet the winner, who, instead of you, becomes the conquering hero for the moment. The rewards will be tremendous for the winner. Company sponsors will seek out his(her) name. Newspapers and television programs will honor the winner’s name in articles and appearances. His name will become infamous in track & field events. There, a few feet from you, reigns the conquering hero; you, on the other hand, have nothing. What seemed a few minutes ago as a dream of glory has quickly dissipated into a disappointing defeat. You feel like a failure.
Are you a failure? Absolutely not! Even though you failed to cross the finish line in first place, you did accomplish a great feat that years ago seemed impossible to do. Success can be measured at many different levels. One such level is your successful attempts to achieve the goal. You made the effort to accomplish your goal after countless hours of training and preparation.
Another level of success is that you qualified for the race. You were one of a few runners selected from around the world to compete in this special international event. That is a great accomplishment and in itself a measurement of success.
Another level of success can be recognized by how close you came to winning the race and capturing a new world record. You are the second fastest mile runner in the world and that honor alone, though not publicly recognized, belongs to you.
The moral of this illustration is that you did it, even though you failed to achieve the world record. You disciplined yourself to train for the rigorous tasks that appeared impossible to achieve some years back. Your successful attempt at the mile run and the self-confidence developed from years of training are all measurements of success.
2) Even if we fail to achieve a goal, success comes when we learn and develop from our failures.
Very seldom will you succeed on the first try. You may hit home runs one day and then fall flat on your face the next. Accomplishing goals often becomes a trial and error process. Success is when you learn from your errors and push forward to achieve your goals with a better plan and tactic.
Failing to achieve the first time presents us the opportunity to assess our weaknesses. Take our runner from the previous illustration. The runner failed to set a new world record. But failing in the runner’s mind, though disappointing, allows the runner to reevaluate his(her) weaknesses and set a plan that will successfully break the world record in another race. What will the runner need to prepare for the next race? An extra push, a better workout, a more intensified training session or maybe a pepped-up mental attitude? Failure awards us the analysis — to shave additional seconds — in our run for success.
But what if you decide to change your goals in the middle of the game? Would you consider that failure? Not necessarily. Goals change all the time. People often change goals that fit their circumstances. Goals may change because another goal takes over. Successful people learn from their failures and implement changes that will help them achieve success, perhaps in a different way than what they first visualized.
3) We are successful when we overcome our character weaknesses.
Your neighbors, your parents, your best friends, and even your most admired person on earth have physical, mental, and social weaknesses. Overcoming these weaknesses is another measurement of success.
Say, for example, that you set a goal to swim 15 laps each morning at the YMCA. You will need to awake one hour earlier each morning to complete this goal. A character weakness might be your temptation to sleep in. Overcoming that temptation and disciplining yourself to awake at the proper hour is a measurement of success.
Character weaknesses can hinder the achievement of any goal. Overcoming these impediments is an important first step to achieving a goal. Developing and strengthening your character are measurements of success that we will discuss in later chapters.
4) Success is when we achieve certain tasks to a goal.
When you achieve certain tasks that bring you closer to your goal, you have a measurement of success that can sustain motivation. For example, Dave Mansfield wants to become the President of the United States. What goals should he consider essential to accomplish this objective? How about notoriety? If notoriety becomes one of his stated goals, what tasks will he need to accomplish to achieve the goal notoriety? Let’s say that publishing political articles in a respected newspaper is one of many tasks that will achieve the goal notoriety.
Dave then proceeds to get his articles published — by taking a class in journalism, researching public policy issues, writing articles for submission and then submitting his work to editorial desks around the country. He completes these tasks and gets some of his articles printed in national Op-Ed sections. But the articles fail to achieve the goal of notoriety. Dave can still recognize success because he achieved one of his stated tasks — publication. Accomplishing tasks to a goal are individual measurements of success.
5) Success is when you achieve individual goals. Ultimate success is when you achieve your objective.
Finally, without further argument and discussion, we recognize success when we achieve our individual goals and objectives.
Next time, we will summarizes the concepts we have learned in our BLOG discussion before moving onto planning your goals.
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