There is a myth that pervades the way most of us were brought up that success will somehow come (if it ever does) in some future “someday” because of a fortunate promotion, “being discovered” or gradually working our way up some ladder of success.
Any of those things could happen, but what makes this way of thinking so destructive is that it ignores one of the most powerful tools we all have—the power of the mind. I know of no formal study that has ever been made, but my own experience with successful entrepreneurs--and what I have read about others whom I have never met convinces me that in almost every case, those people believed in the core of their being—long before they actually became rich or famous—that they already had the keys to wealth and success within them and did not need anyone else to say “attaboy.”
There is a much abused saying, “Fake it until you make it.” But behind that glib phrase is a powerful truth. If you can wake up every morning already knowing in your very bones that success is already inside you, the subconscious mind takes over and seeks out ways to make that happen. We have talked about this already, but it is worth repeating—often.
That doesn’t change the fact that most successful people have spent thousands of hours developing their skills before they achieved what the world often thinks is “instant success”. But what most people miss is that just spending those thousands of hours is meaningless without the core belief that “I am already a success” and the equally important definition of clear and definable goals. You could say, “I am destined for success”, but that is not as powerful because it puts success in the future. The real success is the day you begin to see yourself as successful now, with the cars and houses and other badges of success to come later.
I told you earlier the story of my own imaging of my success. But all the while I was waking up each day and seeing my dream as a reality, I was still doing all the things I needed to do to build my first business, working long hours, adding to my education, and planning ahead.
Notice two things in my story:
I still had to put in the thousands of hours needed to achieve the financial rewards I wanted, but once I made that image of being successful already a part of my mental DNA, those hours no longer seemed like work, just part of the course I had to run to a finish line that I already had reached in my mind.
What I didn’t tell you was that when I reached my goal, I made a terrible mistake: I neglected to set a new set of goals. The result was that I drifted for a lot longer than I like to remember, feeling discontent with my success, until I woke up one morning and realized I needed a new set of goals. Then life got exciting again and I started the first of the next 9 companies.