Walking the Cat . . .

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Success . . .(it may not be what you think it is)

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Success.  What is it?  When will you know you’ve achieved it?  Two tough questions you should be asking yourself after you decide which career path you’re going to embark upon.  The first question is likely the more difficult of the two.  We all have our own definitions of success, whether it’s having all the perks that go with the new gig; company car, expense account, a corner office and beautiful secretary.  Perhaps your idea of success is accumulating all the “toys”  that result from a successful career; flashy car, big-ass plasma TV, nice house and a vacation home in Vail or Palm Springs.  Or maybe you define success as having some influential-type person (agent, producer, corporate vice-president, etc.) answer your phone calls.  Maybe success is having someone send a limo to pick you up for an important business meeting; hell, maybe being called to an important business meeting is your indicator of having become successful.  Whatever your definition of “success”, you should know what it is before going in search of it.  It’s a lot like deciding on which career path to follow; if you don’t know what it is, how are you going to know when you get there?  So think about what you consider success.  But don’t be misled by people who will tell you what success is.  They don’t know.  They don’t know because they don’t know what success is to you. 

Once you’ve attained success, what are you going to do with it?  Will you take your success at one career and roll it over into continued (hopefully greater) success in another?  Will you decide to take your success and try to make a go of it on your own, in your own company?  Become an entrepreneur?  Once you’ve become successful, what will you do with your success?  I know, at the outset of your career, you may not have all the answers to these questions.  After all, your goals may change; success could very well (and often does) mean different things at different times in your life and career.  It’s not mandatory that you know all the answers now, but it’s good to have some idea of what being successful means to you.

How long are you prepared to devote to the pursuit of success?  Are you willing to stay in your chosen field five years?  Ten years? Twenty years?  If you haven’t chosen a “professional” career — law or medicine — that requires a lifetime of study and practice to achieve success, how long are you willing to devote to its pursuit?  If, after the allotted time, will you continue to strive in your chosen field?  Or will you simply give up the pursuit, hunker down and work at whatever it is you’ve decided to do until it’s time to retire? 

There’s one last question I think it’s important to ask yourself in regards to the pursuit of “success”.  What are you willing to do to achieve success?  Think about that one for a while before you answer.  What are you willing to do to achieve success?  The easy answer is, “Anything.  Anything at all.”  But are you, really?  Unless you’re completely amoral and unethical, which I don’t believe you are at this point, (you could very well be amoral and unethical, but I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt, so work with me, please) there are some things you simply won’t do.  I suggest you make a note of them.  The situations may never come up, but you never know.

These are some of the things you should be considering when you think about what success means to you.  You are the only one who can answer any of these questions, the only one who should be answering them.

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Written by stevewthomas

May 17, 2011 at 1:06 am

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