Success is something people always want, but so few ever get there. I have read a lot of inspirational texts about success and what causes people to succeed, and what I’ve found is that it’s not being “lucky” that allows you to succeed, but being persistent and triumphing in the face of adversity that makes one successful. A lot of people use the analogy of the best baseball players of all time. Even the highest batting averages were less than .500, meaning they did not get a hit more than they did. So what does that mean? It means that if you are to be successful, you will not succeed every time, and failure will be more apparent than success. All successful people had to start out as a novice. Nobody wakes up one day and decides he/she is the best tennis player of all time. It takes hard work and perseverence. It takes losing, it takes failure. Failure is not a bad thing, but an essential key to success.
So I guess failure is inevitable. Failure is something we’re all going to have to get used to if we want to succeed. Embracing failure has to be a part of our lives. But so many people have a fear of failure, like it’s going to kill them or something. I am guilty of this at times. Not wanting to do something because I fear I will not be very good at it, but I have to understand that if success is worth having, failure is part of the equation. It is my dream to become a famous stand-up comedian, but not too famous, just famous enough to have a solid fan base around the country. But I have to let go of my fear of failure. I have to accept I will fail at times and maybe people won’t laugh. That is part of the equation.
I feel if I get stuck in this fear-based paralysis for too long, I will never become what I need to be. I just have to start getting out there and doing it. I give the same advice to you readers. If you have a goal, go for it. Don’t let anything hold you back. Immerse yourself with your goals. If you had no goals, what would there be to live for? Even preparing your next meal is fulfilling a goal. But you have to go for success in the field you want to be in. You can’t spend all your time living other people’s goals. Challenge yourself. Don’t let up.
I obviously have a slightly different perspective on life because of my brain cancer. I am happy just to be alive, and that kind of complacency is excactly what is holding me back, I think. I feel fortunate to be here on earth, because I know if I was around in the nineteenth century or earlier, I would be dead right now. I would be without life. But I had a talk with my higher self a few months ago and I asked it, “What is the meaning of my life?” And he said, “Well, we gave you a second chance to live your life the way you want to live it. You were paralyzed by fear before and after you survived a life-threatening disease, I thought it would rid you of all fear. I guess I was wrong. You need to work out the rest of your fears.” So that’s what I’ve been doing.
The whole problem with a fear of failure or a fear of success is that the things we fear haven’t even happened yet, so why are we so afraid of them. I’ll give you an example: I have eye movement problems from my brain tumor. It is a condition known as Parinaud’s Syndrome. I cannot look up and my eyes moving side to side is a challenge. I did not think I would ever be able to drive an automobile because of this. I’m not aware of my complete surroundings. But I’ve been working at it. I’ve been practicing. It will take me much longer to be completely comfortable with driving, but I know that is is a possibility. The fear I kept having was that I wouldn’t see a car, wouldn’t be able to change lanes, wouldn’t be able to parallel park because of the constant switching back and forth moving the eyes. My biggest fear was I’d cause an accident because I couldn’t see everything. And I’m still working through this fear, but I’ve gotten a lot better.
The most courageous thing you can do is face your fears. Fear of failure, fear of success. Know that your fears are nothing but exactly that, fears. I’m not claiming to be perfect at this yet, but I realize that if I am to live in constant fear of everything, I might as well curl up and die. I’m a survivor. I don’t need to fear anything. I can do anything I set my mind to. And so can you. Just realize that fears are holding you back.
Motivation is another key to success. You have to want to do the thing you are striving for. I am struggling with going back to college. I am. I’ll admit it. I don’t know if I want to put up with all that heirarchical and beaurocratic crap. I don’t want to have to keep paying money I earned working hard. I’m not even sure which type of degree program I should pursue because I don’t like being limited to one aspect of myself. That’s what I feel college does to you. It limits you, it takes your frame of mind and stifles it to one position. I have to let go of that fear as well.
Here’s what I define success as. It’s not getting to some static destination where all your problems are solved. It’s enjoying the path you are on. It’s loving all aspects of the path, the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s facing your fears. It’s doing things even when other people tell you you’re crazy. It’s loving every moment on this Earth. It’s doing what you’ve always wanted to do, and making a living at it. Now go out and live it, breathe it, be it. Success.