How Close Is Your Goal? Guide to Success

I just got done a great interview/success session with a former athlete of mine.  She was interviewing me for a class of hers for college and wanted to know about success in business.

As the interview evolved from 30 minutes into almost an hour and 45 minutes my answers turned more into a lecture on success than a paper on business.  My athlete (a winter Olympic hopeful for 2014) said that she left with more knowledge that would help her during her competitive season than with what she needed for her college class.

Among the topics covered in her questions was, “How do you know if you should keep going?  Sometimes it seems like people are passing me in terms of success…”  While that is no simple question to answer (and I promise I don’t have the answer for you), in simple terms you should think about a couple things:

1) Are you getting enough in return for what you are giving or putting in?

2) Are you passionate enough about what you’re doing that you’re willing to ‘hang-on’ after others are starting to let go?

Depending on how you answer the above questions you have your answer.  It’s going to come down to those two things.  If you’re getting enough out of what you’re presently doing (financially or otherwise), and if you’re enjoying it enough, it will help lead to the next thing.

Too often I don’t think that people clarify enough if they’re getting what they need from whatever it is that they’re doing.  If you’re playing a particular sport, or working a particular job, are you enjoying it?  Why or why not.  The day that you no longer feel like you’re getting what you need out of it, is the day that you need to move on.

In middle school and high school sports, too many times athletes are playing a sport because they don’t want to quit.  The question I always have for people is, ‘is it still quitting if it’s not helping them reach their goals?’  Is baseball really helping a kid make a division 1 basketball team?  I don’t know, maybe.   But more often than not the answer is probably a no.  Sure if a kid needs team building skills, and that is what’s holding him back from coaches wanting him, but more often than not it’s a kids lack of focus and direction that causes him/her to not reach a goal.  If you aren’t getting out of baseball (a jumpshot) what you need from it, then move on to something that will help you get there.

When things are going good, it’s easy to keep going.  But when things aren’t going good it’s easy to let go.  Those people who are passionate enough to ‘stick around’ and ‘hang on’ when others are ‘letting go’ are the ones who will out last the competition.  Stories of success because of someones ability to keep going when others won’t happen all of the time.

Long before Kanye West was a household name as a rapper, he was a broke producer.  He was making beats for no one.  He didn’t rap himself – instead he made beats for guys who were already in the rap game.  Fast forward a few years, and Kanye has sold millions of albums and had success beyond what most people can fathom.  If Kanye hadn’t held on so long in the rap game, most of us would only know Kanye the producer (if at all).

Answering the above two questions will go a long way to answering the question of your pursuit of a given goal.  I don’t know when you will reach that goal (if at all), but answering those two questions will go a long way to helping you find out if you’re going to be around long enough to find out.



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