The Hard Truths About Building Your Own Success


March 7, 2012   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

Have you noticed that society often looks at successful people in hopes of somehow copying their magic formula? I know I have done this and fallen into the trap – the trap of thinking, praying even, that there is one magic solution for success and that it can be replicated by anyone with enough sheer will and desire. Clearly this is not true.

I don’t want to miscommunicate here; of course it makes sense to learn lessons from people who have achieved the goals we want. They did something right and some of their ingredients may indeed work in your success recipe too.

As Tony Robbins says: “Success leaves clues”.

Clues however are not the entire story and as mentioned above, this is your success plan. Realizing this and taking full responsibility for yourself makes a huge difference. Look at you, your desires, your abilities, and with that, your chances of actually being successful increase substantially.

Here are some key realizations that I believe you should consider along your path to success. Take one, or a few, and if they are counter to your current beliefs debate yourself on how this view impacts your plan.

    1. There is no magic formula
      Sometimes we have a warped way of looking at success as a magic formula to be cracked. Life in this ‘post magic formula cracking’ world is easy, abundant, problem free, but completely illusionary. The other point is that successful people have put the effort into achieving their success. Most of the time success hasn’t fallen into their lap. To achieve success in any area of life we need to put one foot in front of the other and move towards our goal.


  • Life is never solved
    Life is never solved. Recently, I have started working on a self employed basis as a mentor. I have wanted to be self employed for a very long time, particularly doing work I love like mentoring, and it is great to finally do that. However, I have realized that success often brings new sets of challenges that we might not have previously thought about! I am acutely aware of being grateful for where I now am, but also aware now that I am here that there is no magical place to get to! Doing what you love everyday is great but it is not problem free.



  • It really is about the journey
    While the end result may be a great new product, website, or service, it’s the process of developing that idea that often builds your character and provides the most learning opportunities. Look back on something significant you have achieved. Now look at the lessons you learned along the way. Would you really swap them so you could have fast forwarded to the result? However difficult things may be it has made us who we are today.



  • What’s the rush anyway?
    As society speeds up and we have more gadgets and technology to make life easier, we are getting used to quick fixes. If we don’t achieve something quickly we think it’s not worth achieving or that it is taking too long. Life isn’t a race. We don’t get a badge for the speed at which we travel through life. I sometimes find myself falling into that trap with my blog – thinking it should be more developed or have more subscribers. When I catch myself thinking like this, I try and take a step back and remind myself about what I enjoy about what I am doing and that building anything worthwhile takes time.



  • Nothing replaces hard work
    Following on from my last point, there is no ‘quick fix’. Anything worthwhile does take time. We need to learn to develop the skills of being persistent and keeping the bigger picture in mind. I think this is why people sometimes say that personal development books don’t work. What they are forgetting is that the missing link is hard work. Reading a book or going to a seminar alone will not change our life. Knowledge, taking action, inserting inspiration, hard work and patience is what will make the difference.



  • You can’t be taught ‘passion’
    It is for us alone to find our passion. No one can teach us their passion. Others can help us find our passion and can also share their experiences in a way that can help us find our own but our passion is fundamentally different for each of us. Our passion is a unique cocktail of our own inner whisperings, life experiences and individual skills and talents. It is our job to try new experiences in order to hunt our passion(s) down. For example, I didn’t realize I had a passion for blogging till I stumbled across the blogosphere last year whilst setting up my website for my coaching services.



  • Trust yourself
    By all means, enlist the help of good mentors and learn from others who are further along a similar path. But, remember that we all have a unique path and it is our job to work out how to bring that to the fore. Sometimes the reason we look to others for the answer to ‘success’ is because we don’t trust ourselves. We don’t trust ourselves to do our own thing, to take a risk and to shine. We need to learn to trust ourselves. Start today, listen to what your intuition is saying and start doing what feels right for you.


By seeing through some of the illusions bandied around about success we can get clear on what we need to do and see the wood for the trees. Things become much easier once we take responsibility for our own success.

Written by Jennifer Smith. Jen is a Life Coach and Personal Development blogger who can be found at Reach Our Dreams. Photo Credit: Sugarmonster

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