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“Go to school. Get a job. Get married.”  (And DIE).

You probably heard that one a thousand times. It may well be one of the most used phrases in the world and probably translates into every language. But is there more to life than simply existing? Most of us are searching for the meaning of life. For as long as I can remember I felt like I had a purpose. As I grew older that feeling of purpose became clear and translated into the need to achieve something, to be successful. One of the most frequent questions I have asked myself is what does it take to be successful?

Define success.

I had a discussion with my girlfriend the other day. She asked me what would I do if our kids decided not to go to college… I told her I would advise them to choose something they are passionate about and to excel at it and always strive to learn and improve. She wasn’t quite satisfied with the answer. Success for her had a different meaning.

We can probably agree that success depends on the definition of an individual. For someone success means to be rich or famous, for others it could be to fall in love and for someone else it may be to travel as much as possible. I discovered that in my case, success is to be good at what I do (whatever it is at a given moment). In that case I have noticed a pattern or you may even call it a “recipe for success”. Of course, there are no guarantees that a person will actually be successful but I have noticed this to be necessary to even have a chance.

I gave this topic a lot of thought. The question of quality comes after comparison why someone is better (or more successful) than someone else (most of the time I  compared myself to others, but it works in general). During my life I was involved in different sports ranging from athletics to rugby. I had various success in each of them. For some of them I had more and for some of them I had less talent (talent being physical predisposition, motor skill, understanding, etc.). Despite my expectations, I had more success in sports I had less talent for. Why is that? To answer that I had to take a look in the rear-view mirror and do a decent amount of analysis.

As far as sports are concerned, I have noticed that lack of talent is actually a good thing. To compensate, the person has to put in extra work to better their performance. By putting in extra work, performance isn’t the only thing that improves. Even more important is the attitude and discipline. By making more effort than others, a person builds a winning mentality. Mentality that makes you start over after each failure. It is not easy to let go of your goals after you invest a significant amount of your time, effort and ‘heart’ into it. The same principle applies to studying, business, entrepreneurship or any other life choice. Those are the internal factors that seem, from my experience, necessary to succeed. On the other hand, we have the external factors.

In today’s economy, what you have to offer on the global market is important. Internal factors mentioned are necessary, but most often, they are not enough. In addition to the market demand for a certain product or service, from my experience, two very important factors are content and quality. They go together like salt and pepper. Content is what you have to offer to the market and quality is about the level on which you deliver your content. For example, if a person is a barman, he has to be nimble and have good communication skills. An accountant has to be accurate and skilled in dealing with numbers and regulations. An engineer needs to understand the laws of physics and have problem-solving mindset. A doctor needs to understand how the human body functions and have good diagnostic skills, etc. Each profession is specific and has its own requirements, but it always comes down to content and quality.

Besides the already mentioned internal and external factors, it is a great thing if you have talent for PR, marketing or storytelling. That skill can help you to deliver your product, service or talent to the global market more easily. Although, I am always cautious if the package seems too good to be true. More than once I was disappointed with the “chocolate” I found in the great looking “sugar coating”.

Things written in the text above are thoughts and remarks I have noticed during my journey. Most of the time I am trying to add quality content into my everyday life; this is the mindset I have adopted and it helps me a lot. Passion, tenacity, willingness to outwork myself, content and quality are things I have in mind along with the bigger picture – knowing life is a marathon, not a sprint.

#success #motivation #life

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