If the recent occurrences have taught me something, it’s that I am not big on change, especially physical change. But when I sniff a problem I am quick to figure out ways of solving it. In my search for answers on how to fix myself, I ran into a book I had previously skimmed through but I hadn’t read until recently. The little book of Stoicism by Jonas Salzgeber. I consider this one of the 8 books to read in your 20’s and the book quickly reminded me why. Our lives as humans are a result of how we feel and what we say and think about ourselves. Additionally, the opinions we take into consideration greatly affect how successful or even happy we are. How then can we be successful? Let us talk about uncommon tips for success that no one really talks about;
What is Success?
This question seeks to clarify what success means to you as an individual. If you feel you are constantly comparing yourself to others and coming in short… this is for you. The internet and social media have opened us to people’s lavish lives making some of us feel like our lives are lacking. Unfortunately, most of our dreams, goals and aspirations are not really ours. The addictive hours we spend online have instilled a lack mentality in our lives. Thus it has become difficult to see beyond the fog of huge mansions and fast cars. Jonas Salzgeber defines success as a person’s effort to do everything that’s within their power. What is success to you?
Define your terms of success
I believe that success is everyone’s divine right. However, many people feel unsuccessful because we have been conditioned to measure our success according to a capitalist society’s standard. You do not have to stick to this definition, create your own. According to Salzgeber’s description (above), if you have done all you could you are successful no matter the outcome. Conversely, when we focus on what we don’t have in comparison to what others have, we lose sight of our purpose, who we truly are and what we truly want. A popular Stoic philosopher, Seneca said, “A consciousness of wrongdoing is the first step to salvation, You have to catch yourself doing it before you can correct it.” The next time you feel unsuccessful I urge you to look within and unearth the root of these feelings. Chances are that you are too hard on yourself.
Rise above your emotions
I believe many of us millennials feel adulting is a scam because the past generation did not create a suitable environment and foundation for the incoming young adults to thrive in. Thus, you may achieve your goals and still feel a sense of failure. So most of us have a sad story, we are stuck in jobs or places we do not like and are fighting mental battles no one will ever know about. But what didn’t we know before? That to some degree, life continues to suck so much more. Especially if you constantly worry about things that are out of your control. You have to learn to sweep most things (out of your control) under the rug as soon as possible. Learn to show up for yourself and your dreams no matter how you feel and focus on what is in your control.
Focus on what you can control
Let these uncommon tips for success be the one you get out of all of this if you do not get the rest. We waste a lot of time worrying about things we have no say in and abandon things in our control we could make way better. We can only control our actions and not even their outcomes. But Salzgeber argues by controlling our actions we can co-direct the future. Additionally, he claims that when we focus on what we can control, it boosts our confidence. Knowing that if you do your best you will be successful no matter what is freeing.
Play right with what you have – uncommon success tip
We all have sad stories and unfortunate circumstances. However, how we act greatly affects whether we become successful or we fail. We are dealt with a fair hand on one side and a totally unfair one on the other. But just as you can win poker no matter the hand you are dealt with, is just in the same way you can be successful no matter your circumstances. This is a superpower we all have but we ignore it most of the times. We all know a person who overcame all odds and moved mountains in their career or life. The person played their cards right no matter what they were dealt with. Strive to be this person.
Take Responsibility – uncommon success tip
Epictetus, a famous Stoic philosopher said, “If you want anything good, you must get it from yourself.” In my opinion, the first thing we should take responsibility for is our happiness. Heartbreaking things happen all the time but we have the power to separate them from our happiness. Out of the uncommon tips of success I mentioned above, this is perhaps the heaviest. We are all guilty of conditional happiness, waiting for some outward occurrence to make us happy. In his book, Salzgeber points out that there’s a gap between external circumstances and our response. The gap does not exist if we are controlled by external circumstances. On the other hand, it could be the gate to calmness and happiness if we choose to think about our actions before acting them out. Take responsibility for your happiness which will translate to everything else.
Do you consider yourself successful? Let me know in the comments below.