Most folks have lifelong goals they hope to someday achieve, such as traveling the world, writing a bestseller, or running a marathon in record time. There are many different philosophies on how to turn these and other aspirations into realities. Often, we can learn from those with proven track records of success. Perhaps their inspirations and advice can benefit us and help us take that important first step to turn our visions into real-life experiences.
Contrary to popular belief, most people who become successful don’t achieve it simply because they are lucky. They tend to have objectives and a strong sense of purpose. Here’s one piece of sage advice. “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” This quote is by Pablo Picasso, the prolific artist who produced over 150,000 works spanning his lifetime. His masterpieces are divided into distinct artistic phases, and he enjoyed experimenting with art and evolving, thus driving his success. In 1973, he died at age 91 as the richest artist in history.
Success and happiness have some correlation. A wise man shared, “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” He believed that working toward objectives provides a sense of purpose and positively affects one’s attitude. He also believed in allowing the mind to flourish, sharing, “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” This wise man was Albert Einstein, known for developing the theory of relativity and for making great advances in quantum mechanics. He is considered the most influential physicist of the 20th century.
“I love the challenge of starting at zero every day and seeing how much I can accomplish.” This ambitious attitude is possessed by American retail businesswoman Martha Stewart, who gained notoriety and success by developing a lifestyle brand bearing her name. Martha was raised in a working-class neighborhood in Nutley, New Jersey, and dabbled in fashion modeling early on. She attended college, married, had a child, and worked as a stockbroker on Wall Street. She found her true calling when she restored a farmhouse and began a catering business, and hosted social events. She went on to become a best-selling entertaining and cookbook author. Today she runs a business empire, and her net worth is purportedly $400 million. It goes to show that daily challenges can add up to something grand.
We’ve all heard the expression; Rome wasn’t built in a day. Success also takes time to build, according to the founder of Apple, Steve Jobs. “If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” It’s human nature to focus on outcomes and wealth. However, we must take care not to fall blind to the nitty-gritty work that it takes to build something of value. Per Business Insider, it took Steve Jobs two decades to become “an ‘overnight’ dot-com billionaire.” They share, “Established in Cupertino, California in 1976; Apple really didn’t get on the map until the advent of the Macintosh in 1984, eight years later. Even then, it struggled through the ’80s and ’90s until the advent of the iMac and consumer products.”
A commonality among high achievers is that they trust their instincts and abilities. Theodore Roosevelt, our 26th US president, explained, “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” In addition, successful people are prepared to take risks. Wayne Gretzky, a famed Canadian former professional ice hockey player, and former head coach, stated this fact, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” Another popular belief among people who earn success is that they don’t hold back. This includes possessing ambition, being open to possibilities, and having the desire to build something grand. Business leader and our 45th President Donald Trump, who, despite not having held political office prior to his presidency, overcame election odds and rose to lead our nation through a challenging time. Of success, he explains, “As long as you are going to be thinking anyway, think big.”
We can gain a great deal of knowledge from these and other high achievers. Each has a story to tell, wisdom to hand down, and inspirations to share. Though we see the footprints of their success, we can each pave our own way using their formulas; by having a plan and acting on it, being ambitious and hardworking, remaining goal-oriented yet imaginative, believing in ourselves, staying in it for the long-haul, and being willing to take risks and think big. Take your first step today!