Make It Work…

Success.  Everyone wants it – few people know when they have it – and even fewer people can define it.  I talk with people all the time who want to succeed. In order to achieve levels of success we first need to be able to put it in to words.  But it gets even more difficult when you realize that merely putting it in to words isn’t going to magically make it happen. I’d like to share a few quick steps you can make to define your own success. My desire is that these steps will help you realize it, name it, motivate it, and bring it to fruition.

First, ask yourself, “what does success LOOK like?”  Picture yourself in the midst of the “successful” you that you want to be.  What does that look like?

Second, is to forget the masses. Never measure your own success story with others.  The success of others is THEIR story, not yours.  The measure of success can only truly be measured against YOUR wants and desires. It’s the little ache deep inside of you that feels like a void and you just have to fill it.  If you KNOW you want it, that is your motivation to keep going when times get tough.

The third step in this process is to get specific. If you have a goal to “lose weight” or “work out more”, that’s fine but if you can’t get specific and dig down a bit deeper in to those goals, you’ll find yourself never succeeding at them.  “To run a 5K by December” is a much more attainable goal than to simply, “get more fit”.  “Getting in to a size 7 dress by Erica’s wedding” seems a lot more focused than, “losing weight by Erica’s wedding”.  

Now, circle back to the first question and see if you can clear that one up a bit.  Be specific, draw the picture in your head and then put it in to words.  Having the idea in your head is great but once you commit it to written words, you’ve actually given your brain time to chew on the idea and forced yourself to find the words that bring the picture to life.

Finally, make it happen. Your success may not have a timeline or that timeline may need to be adjusted.  Fashion consultant Tim Gunn is famous for telling young designers who find themselves in a bit of a mess with a particular design, “make it work”. He’s spot on with that advice. Dive in, stay in, re-focus if you have to, wipe the tears away, and keep going. Nothing was ever achieved by merely thinking about it – you have to put it in to action.  Make it work!

Epiphany Mistakes

Wikipedia defines Epiphany in this manner:

“An epiphany (from the ancient Greek ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, “manifestation, striking appearance”) is an experience of a sudden and striking realization. Generally the term is used to describe scientific breakthrough, religious or philosophical discoveries, but it can apply in any situation in which an enlightening realization allows a problem or situation to be understood from a new and deeper perspective.”

Maya Angelo defines epiphany like this:

“…It’s the occurrence when the mind, the body, the heart, and the soul focus together and see an old thing in a new way.”

I like to refer to an epiphany as an a-ha! Moment. It is the moment in time when something is revealed, allowing us to see it for the first time or to see something again as if for the very first time.  

These moments can be life-changing but what happens when we have spent time on something and achieved the end-goal just to learn that it was a mistake?

Dorie Clark says “Humans are highly susceptible to the sunk cost fallacy, which makes it hard for us to end something into which we’ve already put time, money, or effort” (Harvard Business Review, What To Do When You’ve Made a Bad Decision August 11, 2016).  We are victims to our own ego, not wanting to admit a mistake or a failure and many times covering it up at all costs. But imagine the POWER in admitting you failed! Sending energy of raw honest out to the world is empowering and cleansing, scary too, the first time, but worth it.  

Our moments of sudden clarity, our “a-ha” moments, are meant, I believe, to teach and  empower us to continue the forward momentum regardless of the outcome.

We failed.  

We made a mistake.

We must move on from it and allow ourselves to build upon that mistake. Don’t push it aside and try to cover it or paint it another color. You can dress a rock up in a puppy costume but it is still a rock.  You can call your failure whatever you like but it is still a failure and THAT’S OK!

We must make the decision to either “know and grow” or “whine and repine”. The choice is ours but I’m here to tell you that when we elect to grow from our mistakes the reward is just as sweet as the taste of victory!

Raushawna Price
Giver of Awesomeness (R)