Some people find great success early in life. For others, it takes many many tries. Walt Disney was opened up an animation studio and was failing financially for a long time before Disney Land was a thing. Colonel Sanders had a similar circumstance – he invented KFC when he was 65.
The point is – keep at it. The jackpot may not be hit on your 1st, 2nd or 10th try. But keep going. Be resilient. Learn from your mistakes, and apply them to future potential successes.
In one of the first episodes of the Netflix series Chef’s Table, an italian chef – Massimo – was creating a new dish for his customers. One of his sous chefs dropped one of the pieces of the dish onto the place, breaking the piece, and seemingly ruining the entire dish. But the Massimo saw the situation differently. He took the seemingly broken piece, and turned that into the centerpiece of the dish. The chefs made the dish look like a disaster area. Then they named it “Oops! we broke the dish!”.
Another great quote on this is “if nobody knows what you’re doing, you’ll never be doing it wrong”. Inherently when you try new things, they may turn out differently than the way you expected them. Mistakes will be made, but it is likely that these mistake are only known by a small group of people. When new ideas are introduced, they can either be mired in enthusiasm, awe, mystery, and genius – or in disappointment. The creator is the one to decide which qualities these new ideas will manifest.
Make mistakes, but roll with them, and let them add to the character of your idea, not detract from it becoming possible.
A favorite band of mine wrote a song with the words “…seeking the favor of others brings the murder of self”. Going your own way will lead to personal freedom, and going with the flow could lead to personal enslavement. Making your own decisions is the centerpiece of this concept. Still, there is a difference between entertaining the thoughts and opinions of someone else and believing them as your own.
Jefferson said “In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock”. In this he was saying that while your style will change over the years (Hair styles are different today than they were in the 80s, 90s…), fundamental beliefs should be solid.
This is about making choices and having reactions. Things happen to people – some view them as good, others view them as bad. It depends on your perspective. Letting something hurt you – in a long-term context – is the point being made here.
Can you make the decision to not let something hurt you? Can you make the decision to take what live gives you, and make it into something positive?
A why gives you a reason to do what you’re doing. But it can’t be just any “Why”. It has to be a Why at the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. A self-actualizing why. It has to be this way because without that why, you are more prone to giving up. Because the “how” might challenge your being.
You might find yourself climbing a mountain, running a long race, writing a book that SUCKS at first, or traveling somewhere that scares you. But having and remembering that self-actualizing why will bring you to suck it up and keep plowing through. Finding that Why requires you to ask your self Why 3 times – that will drive you up Maslow’s hierarchy to self-actualization.
I thought about this for a while. One hit wonders come to mind. Whatever happened to the band that put out The Macarena? They put out 8 more records, 5 of which contained a remixes of The Macarena.
This seems ironic. Doing the same thing and not getting great results? The novelty of an complex experience is what drives attraction – but it doesn’t last.
But excellence comes from a mixture of utility, complexity, novelty, challenge, and patience. Habitually combine all of these elements will lead to growth and excellence.
When he was running for office, JFK held many speeches, some more well-attended than others. To make it seem like his popularity was always increasing – and thus his campaign was successful – his brother would routinely get people to come to his campaign rallies, stand at the front of the stage where he was speaking, and then take pictures of the “full” crowd.
Even if it isn’t success yet, appearing successful will get you to be successful. If you simply look & act successful for long enough, the universe has a way of making people believe that you’re successful, and want to associate with you – turning you into a success. Believe you are successful, and you will act successful – then people will believe you are successful too. Pretty soon, you’ll start doing the things successful people do – succeed. First steps: dress well, take care of yourself & listen.