There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, learning from failure. – Colin Powell
What does that mean?
Well, this one pretty much says it on the level. People are always looking for the magic bullet, the easy way, or the short cut. And for some reason, they think you cheated to get to success.
Isn’t that what they are asking if they ask you what’s your secret? They’re asking you how you cheated the system and became successful the ‘easy way.’
But there is no easy way. Even the people who got a ‘lucky break’ were simply prepared when the opportunity came by. Nothing less. And the more prepared you are, and the harder you work, the luckier you’ll be.
The last part, in my opinion, is paramount. You can work hard, build up your strength, prepare every morning for the attempt, but if you’re pushing a door that says ‘pull’ and never learn, your chance of success is pretty much zero.
Why is learning important?
Lots of people prepare for what they want to do. In my experience, that is usually the easiest part of the job. But if they don’t learn from their experiences, they will continue to fail.
Fewer people will truly work hard. They’ll build strength, endurance, strategy, and all sorts of tricky skills. But if they don’t learn from their experiences, they will continue to fail.
A person, with a bit of basic preparation and a willingness to work, a person who is willing to learn can get a great deal accomplished. By learning from their experiences, failures become stepping stones to success.
If you can stay with it, persevere in face of repeated failures (and learn from each one), there is very little limit to what you can accomplish. In short, that is what I believe the quote is saying.
Where can I apply this in my life?
I would say that any endeavor, or even every endeavor, in your life. Yes, there are some limits, but how often do you bite your tongue while eating? Perhaps you did it when you were very little, but you learned, and became successful. It is just that easy.
Well, perhaps not, but if you break anything down into small enough steps, it becomes quite a bit easier. Like a math problem or a grocery list, you can’t do it all at once. Start with the parts you know, then go searching for the rest. You learn as you go, and next time is a little easier.
At least it will be easier if you learn something from the experience, right? If you don’t remember to get the frozen things last, or to start with common sub-expressions, you’ll repeat the lesson until you do learn it, right? At least that’s how it went for me.
One should also be careful not to draw the wrong conclusion from any activity. If you fall off a horse, you could come to at least two conclusions. One is that horses should be avoided because they are dangerous. The other is to hold on tighter and learn a little more about riding.
If you chose the first, it might well be appropriate. People are injured and killed each year from falls off of their mounts. But then people are killed crossing the street as well. Life does have some risks, right? So learn caution, but try to avoid learning fear.
Take a moment and think of a couple of things at which you would like to have success, or more success. Start by defining what success actually means. What I am asking is what will need to happen for you to have achieved the success you desire?
I am frequently amazed by how many people look at me like I’m the one who is somewhat less than brilliant. All I’m asking is what are you aiming at? If you’re aiming ‘over there, somewhere’ you’ll probably never exactly be satisfied with your results. You can’t measure it, you can’t tune it, you just claim you’re closer than last time.
With a better understanding of what success means to you in these situations, what kind of preparation is necessary? If success is climbing Mount Everest, you might want to practice on a few ‘lesser’ peaks first, right? Then there’s all the gear, maps, etc…
That bring us to hard work. How much effort will be necessary to get you from where you are to where you have defined the finish line? What will you have to improve to be ready? What are the stages? What do you work on first? How hard will you prepare?
Finally, what will you learn as you take each step along the path towards success? How will you know you are on the correct path? What are the waypoints along the route? How will you know it’s time to try another path? Do you have a PlanB?
Success, as you may have guessed, is a lot of work. There are no secrets, as everyone knows that preparation, hard work, and learning are the keys. All we need is a little motivation and a goal. Are you ready?
From: Twitter, @iheartquotes
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/c/colinpowel121363.html
Photo by MargaretNapier
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