I’m a quote guy. I record them in Evernote and recite them quite often. One of the first ones I can remember is, “Success is a journey, not a destination.”
Many years ago, my brother got me a framed poster with these words printed under a scenic image of a lake at dusk (See it here). It was a beautiful scene, and as a junior high wrestler, I suppose it was nice, but nothing truly monumental. If I looked hard enough, I’m sure I could find the poster stashed away somewhere in my childhood closet, or under my bed. (Though my mom insists this summer is the summer we all take our “junk” to our own homes, I bet it’ll be sometime before I encounter that poster again).
Yesterday morning, while enjoying a peaceful morning in Stone Harbor, NJ, I was reading Simon Sinek’s Start with Why. It’s an awesome book every leadership minded person should read, whether you’re leading yourself or others. The book focuses on, as I’m sure you could’ve deduced, your why – what causes you to do the things you do.
Of the many points Sinek brings up in the book, one that especially peaked my interest, as I think it will many of you, is the idea of achievement vs. success. He says, “Achievement is something you reach or attain, like a goal. It is something tangible, clearly defined and measurable. Success, in contrast, is a feeling or state of being…Achievement comes when you pursue and attain what you want. Success comes when you are clear in pursuit of why you want it.”
I’m always talking or thinking about how I define my own success. Often times, it’s wins and losses, or, at least it was for MUCH of my life. But the more I learn and live, the more I realize success really is a state of being.
Case in point…I recently wrote a book. I’ve sold a decent number of books, but I’m nowhere near a “best-selling author”. Sure, “best-selling author” would look awesome on my resume, but that would only signify the achievement. See, I was after the success; I was more concerned with knowing exactly why I wrote my book.
I wrote my book to share my story with the people who’ve followed me since I was a young wrestler and collectively asked, “What in the good Lord’s name is that kid doing leaving a perfectly good teaching job to fight in a cage?” And then once I left, asked, “What’s it like? How much money do you make? What in the world do you think when you get into the cage?”
If I never sold more than 100 copies, and they all went to my friends/family/fans from back home, I’d be perfectly happy. I’ve come to learn that being a best selling author has more to do with strategic marketing, bulk ordering on set dates, cashing in on favors, using specific search words and selecting certain categories on Amazon than it does with putting your heart and soul into telling your story.
Don’t get me wrong. There are many authors out there who are able to accomplish both – the achievement and the success – and maybe I should learn a thing or two from them for my next book, as I’m friends with a few of them.
Whether it worked for me or against me, I guess I made the choice – when push came to shove, I chose success over achievement.
Which do you choose? Or do you even have to choose?
This Week’s Happenings:
- Spaniard Speaks 5
- A short while back, I wrote about being busy vs. being productive – I’m on vacation and have limited myself to less than 2 hours of work per day. I’ve made more significant jumps on starting my podcast this week than I have in the last two months. Stop the excuses. Get it done.
Seize the Day.