The Truth about success

Myth 2: Success is a destination

Myth #2 is something we all have grown accustomed to believing, success is a destination. The idea of, “I made it”.

This idea is so ingrained into our psyche that we will do anything to suggest to our peers that we’ve arrived. Why do you think, fake goods are so prominent in society? Let’s be honest, when we buy the genuine merchandise, we go on about how we love the quality. Emphasizing that quality is the “primary” reason we bought it. However, it’s a load of bull. We desire to be admired and valued by our peers, that is why we do it… Whether it be genuine or fake, that is our reason. It’s an attempt to project, “Success”. We all do this, I am no exception.

Neither is it a bad thing, we attract what we project. However, the projection should not lead to self-destruction. God put the desire in us to want the approval of our peers but because we don’t understand it, we try to scratch the itch incorrectly. Hence the purpose of this series, “Myths that make us miserable”. We are at war with ourselves daily. Our human nature is flawed, and we need to understand what makes us tick so we can control it as best we can.

Buying fake goods is one thing but where this myth really gets dangerous is when we experience some success in life. We accomplish a goal, maybe it’s in business or our career, then we say to ourselves, “I’ve arrived! I’m successful!”

Arriving in Successville

Now we must prove to everyone that we have arrived in Successville, so we buy expensive clothes, we buy that car and whatever else our culture views as symbols of success.

Suddenly things go wrong, maybe you made some hasty purchases and the maintenance on the car is eating you alive or perhaps circumstances changed and now you have a predicament on your hands. Then you start to question yourself, “If I made it then why do I feel like a fraud?”

We want people to believe that we arrived and isn’t life supposed to be a bed of roses once you’re successful? Don’t all our problems evaporate, once we arrive? To suggest that we are going through a rough patch would be shameful, right

Because we believe success is a destination, we try to buffer with credit to keep up the persona. And the downward spiral begins.

Seasons of Success

Success is not a destination, it’s a season. Success is seasonal. In a nutshell, success is very similar to farming. You have chosen a specific “field”, whatever your career path or business aspirations are, ultimately, it’s a field. You must work the field to get a harvest from it.

Here’s the thing, there’s a time for harvesting your crop and enjoying the fruits of your labor but the harvest isn’t permanent. It’s a season and every season comes to an end. Seasons are cyclical. Harvest time will come again but you need to put in some work first. That is why the Bible says in Proverbs 24:33-34

33 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest 34 and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.

Failure is simply trial and error.

I had to start the series with Haternomics because we get so hung up on the perceptions of others. It’s your job to understand your field and work it. We’re afraid of failure when it’s merely trial and error. You can read all you want about farming, but you still need to test that knowledge in your field, in your specific environment.

Not everything would work. You must test and try different things in your field. You must see what works and what doesn’t. It may seem haphazard to outsiders but that’s how it goes. Maybe you need to add in more value (fertilizer) for the crops to grow. You have to figure it out.

Success takes time

Getting to the harvest (success) is a slow process. Have you ever seen crops grow overnight? Neither does success. Chances are, we think it happened overnight but if you ask the person working the field, he would tell you that he’s been toiling for years.

For argument sake, perhaps you know of a genuine story of someone that fell into something and made a lot of money. Chances are, it wasn’t sustainable in the long run because he hasn’t put in the time in that field to understand it. He won’t know how to adjust to changes in the field.

Also, keep in mind that you can do everything right for your crop but if the environment isn’t right in that season, the germination of the seed would be stifled until the conditions improve.  If there’s a drought, there’s nothing that you can do about it, except trust God. Sometimes, you just have to hang in there long enough for the environment to improve so you can reap your harvest. Success is achieved through persisting long enough for the conditions to change.

Success is incremental

Success may be seasonal but it can be incremental as well. Yes, there is a time for sowing and a time for reaping but if we’re sober about success, we can use a portion of that harvest to invest in other fields or other crops. Remember, different crops have different harvest times. It is possible to grow if we manage our seasons well.

Adapting to the season

The problem with seasons is that we think it’s permanent. Sometimes we even get delusional, we can’t accept that summer is over, and we refuse to adapt to the new season. We insist on wearing shorts and flip flops when it’s winter, and we become miserable.

You must adapt to the season you’re in. You can be in the depths of winter and still have the time of your life. You might not be able to harvest anything but you can still make the best of it. Seasons are temporary, adapt.

Makes sense? I really believe that it’s our misconception of success that creates unnecessary stress. Next month, I’ll tackle the lifestyle myth. Feel free to share your experiences and reflections. Take Care.

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