Where does SUCCESS come from? It’s not by fluke, or by coincidence, or even from convenience. It doesn’t come from gifts from others, inheritances or the lottery. It comes from WITHIN you. It takes resistance, resilience and stamina.
This was a huge lesson for me this past year. Trust in your own worth, and working damn hard, is how you become Val-You-Able.
I have known my entire life what it means to “work”. Through school I was never a top student, or athlete. I simply “slid by” and did what I had to do in order to make it through.
My WORK as a child was a matter of survival. I was able to make supper for my parents at 7 years old, do my own laundry at 6, and look after myself independently at 8. I managed, although, at the time, I never understood that I was actually succeeding.
Once I was married, I relied on my spouse to bring in an income that would help us “get by”. I did the same. Sometimes I worked three jobs at a time to make it to the next payday, even while I went to College, but I truly didn’t appreciate what it meant to have self-value or that feeling of accomplishment. It was much like the hamster wheel of life-always going, but never getting further ahead. Being married at 19 felt like a “break” for me. Little did I know then, that we were never really focussed on success.
In the end, our marriage died, because I became success driven, and he enjoyed the hamster wheel.
It becomes so easy, doesn’t it? You can become caught up in this web that you weave, where life just becomes about “getting through”. Sometimes we exert extra efforts, but when no immediate results are seen, we shrug it off and consider our efforts futile. We become driven to a point where we just want the world to do for us, instead of gathering up our balls of ambition and putting in the efforts. We lose focus, goals, dreams, and ourselves while the convenience clerks of the world hand us things.
THERE IS NO QUICK FIX
No one appreciates a quick fix. Our world is a contradiction in this statement, I know, but think about it for a moment.
Instant Gratification has become our lives- EVERYTHING is handed to s, without a second thought. But, is it truly appreciated?
Every morning we drive through a window, make demands and get handed a cup of coffee by a stranger who is trying to make a living. They are trying to “get by” earning a low wage and a small effort to make your day better.
If not, we wake up and push a button on a machine on our countertop, that makes coffee for us within minutes. It is just another gadget in our kitchen, to make life easier and more convenient for us, without having to work for it.
Do you TRULY appreciate that coffee every morning, or do you just unconsciously choke it down on your drive to work? Chances are the brew isn’t savoured and enjoyed-because it is much too convenient to go back the next day and get another one.
Grocery stores and restaurants give us all instant gratification by offering ready-made meals, convenient packaging, and solutions for lazy/rushed living. And, we, as consumers, eat it all up.
Diet trends, websites, commercials on TV, and literally everything else on our planet, tout SHORTCUTS for every little thing. Again, as humans, we buy in, and are disappointed when they don’t work as advertised.
WHY? Because we all want everything to happen for us-RIGHT fucking now!
Yet, we will never truly appreciate it.
THINK ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN
The world we are raising kids in now feeds on their “gimmes” and their tantrums. Of course they are impatient little souls, because that is what our world is teaching them! We teach them that everything is “convenient” and easy.
Hard work and patience is no longer a skillset that is inbred into the next generation. Children at school don’t work hard to be better, or to even “slide by”. Teachers aren’t even allowed to give failing grades anymore, without risk of losing their job (That they worked hard for).
Children EXPECT that what they want will be handed to them, just like the coffee through the window their mom or dad goes to, on the route to school.
Kids are given awards, simply for existing. Participation ribbons and awards are handed out for first, last and every other “place” in between. They are not taught to drive hard and think smarter, because they don’t have to, in order to accomplish anything.
Parents put their kids in hockey, dance, and other extracurriculars not to encourage them to be the BEST. It’s not in hopes that they will be the next Wayne Gretzky, but to “participate”. Some parents “may” be the exception here, but for the most part, and from what I have seen, it’s never really about the kids competing-its about the parents competing with each other for instant gratification. No matter where their children “place” in their activities, parents reward them simply for showing up. Having your kiddos in after-school clubs and sports has now become a cliche. How often do you hear the term “Dance Mom” or “Hockey Dad”? How is this about the success of the children?
Coaches and instructors are no longer given the green light to be tough on children. They are not allowed to push kids into greatness, they are only there to be the “grown-up” who knows the skills, while parents sit, gripping their takeout coffee cups from the bench, and yell, “That’s okay, sweetie, great job!” when their kids stumble and fall.
Bubble wrapping and holding our children’s hands to protect them from their own failures is NOT readying them for success. They NEED to fail and try again, in order to learn their own value and successes. Let them feel the misery of not winning. Allow them the gift of struggle. They will thank you when they become adults.
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”
— Winston S. Churchill
SO, WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?
Hard work and determination!
I know- Shocker, right?
Sometimes, the answer is even obsession. If you want something bad enough, obsess over it, until you earn it! If it doesn’t work the first time, try again, and if that doesn’t work, stand back, look at it and, yep, TRY AGAIN.
It’s drive, ambition, goal setting, and sweat. It may even take tears and years in order to succeed. Strength, power, and focus also are a huge piece of the SUCCESS puzzle.
Instant gratification and convenience are great if you want to simply “get by”. Success and Val-You can only come from the work you put in.
Let’s look at two scenarios- one of instant gratification and one of success:
- BOB WON THE LOTTERY
Bob goes to the corner gas station where he grabs a quick coffee, fills his tank and picks a winning ticket. He clicks on his Lotto App and sees he just won $1000,000.00. Bob came from a wealthy home life. He never had to study for his straight A grades, and he went to University for 5 years on his parent’s dime. He has never found the career he is educated in because he decided that he wanted to “take some time” after his schooling to just chill. Now, Bob can literally buy anything he wants, so he gets himself a fancy car and goes on a shopping spree to fill his instant gratification bucket. Within 5 years, he is flat broke and looking for a job. He is angry at the world now, because he could have had anything he ever wanted, but instead, he has circled back to relying on his parents. He becomes ridden with mental health issues and addiction. We hear of these stories all the time.
2. JOE FOUND SUCCESS
Joe has worked hard his entire life in school, in gym class, and in life. His parents taught him the value of winning, losing and competing and never gave him anything without Joe earning it. His parents provided for his basic needs and instilled a work ethic into his life. Joe tried out for hockey during school and busted his ass to be an impressive goalie. He practiced during early mornings and after school after he worked his part-time job to put money aside for a rainy day. When Joe was given opportunities to better himself, he focused on being the best and wasn’t distracted by instant gratification. He paid for his own University courses by taking out student loans and found a career the day he graduated. His accomplishments came from tears, sweat and rewards. He earned scholarships through his hockey club and showed up for school every single day. His father taught him how to instill a hard working skillset into his own children. Joe looks at his children with pride as they grow up, earning what they are given and driven to accomplish their own goals. That is success.
SUCCESS AND VAL-YOU
You cannot win a triathlon without physically training hard and mentally preparing yourself for a crazy long period of time. If you eat fast food and have everything handed to you for convenience you will never be able to win first place. Chances are, you would never be able to complete the challenge.
You can not write a book without carefully choosing each word carefully and putting the focussed time and effort into making the story flow. Every word must have meaning, and the time put into it is a sacrifice, but if you truly want to complete it, you will.
You will never be hired to be at the top of the ladder in your work environment, without showing your boss you are capable of putting in the effort. In order to be promoted, you must show that you have the worth.
A boxer will never win the title without spending endless hours a day making his body and mind stronger. Clarity, focus and the taste of success has to be within him.
A professional dancer will never reach success by not falling a down-a lot. You can not strive for perfection and grace without years of practice and failure. Bruises, injuries, wins and losses, patience and practice are what build the power and capacity within you to succeed.
Everything in this world that turns into success is the result of determination, drive, ambition, mental and physical focus, blood, sweat, tears and a willingness to push your own boundaries. You have to yearn and earn for it. There is simply no other way to feel the freedom of accomplishment.
Success does not always mean WEALTH. Success can look so different from one person to the next. Success comes from feeling accomplished, satisfied in your own worth, and pride in the efforts you have made to reach a goal.
Success can mean a win, or a loss. It can mean you have failed along the way, but in the end, you did what you set out to do. It is self-gratification, not instant gratification.
We need to get our children off of the Instant Gratification roller coaster. All of us need to resort back to creating our own successes by grinding them out, not manufacturing them. In all honesty, if it comes to you easily, without challenge and sacrifice, it will never feel like a success.
It can be so ridiculously easy to fall into a trap of allowing everything to be handed to us, like a coffee through a window. Take back your power and your mind, and work for what you want in your life. The end reward is your own personal growth, your self-esteem, your children’s future, and your Val-You.
Teach your children to be a Joe, not a Bob.