What is the true definition of success?
Success is being aware of what you have, understanding what you need, and going after what you want.
We all want our investments to be safe and to be assured beforehand that our endeavors are going to be successful. However, the reality is that most people never try anything new because of their fear of failure. People feel that they must be assured of success before venturing into new territory.
Well, life doesn't work like that. If life was so predictable, everyone would be successful. As a matter of fact, success wouldn't have any meaning or value if it were so easy to achieve. Success by definition is the ability to move forward with your dreams in spite of the challenges and failures you may encounter on your journey toward reaching your goals. That is what makes success so enjoyable and worthwhile.
I have come to a full understanding that one of the first truths about success is that you must let go of the things that you cling to the most. You must get out of your comfort zone and step into the unknown. You need to take chances. We must release the things in which we find security, such as money, time and poor relationships, and even friends or "stable" jobs.
Let me give you a couple of examples to explain what that means. Over 16 years ago, I was part of the Romanian Olympic wrestling team with a bright athletic future in front of me. I had a secure job. I was paid to train, travel and compete. I enjoyed VIP status due to my wrestling accomplishments and being an Olympic hopeful. I was living every athlete's dream. I was "safe" and "comfortable."
As I stated earlier, we must release the things in which we find security. In my case it was job stability, being an Olympic hopeful, and a successful athletic career. Despite many at that time calling it a big mistake, an opportunity presented itself. I let go of everything and moved to the US. I had no assurance of finding success; I just believed in myself and had confidence.
People believe that courageous individuals have no fear. That is a mistaken belief. Eddie Richenbacher put it very well when he said, "There is no courage without fear." We all have fear; however, not everyone becomes subservient to their fears. In fact, I used my fears as fuel to move forward.
If you're reading this and are struggling with moving on or forward, you need to ask yourself a few questions: What are you afraid of? Are you afraid to take a chance? Are you afraid that you might make a mistake? Let me tell you, you don't have to worry about whether you can handle it or not, because with every new responsibility that is placed upon you, your spirit will grow to match it. Your capacities will enlarge and your abilities will improve.
And I mean it when I say that. Living in the US for the first time, I faced many unusual and unfamiliar situations. I had to make decisions that constantly changed my life, and I adapted to every single one of them. There's no difference between you and a car driving in the dark. You can only see a few feet ahead, but you can drive for hundreds of miles and avoid every obstacle that might come in front of you.
Another real-life example is when I bought my current business. I had never run a business before. I didn't attend school to learn about marketing or business ethics either. However, that didn't stop me. I left my comfort zone as an employee, armed with confidence in myself and the belief that I could manage a successful business and moved into my fears. I took action. I put all my savings on the line, took out a large business loan, and made a commitment to success. And guess what? Business has been more than good to me.
You must remember that you have the potential. The resources and opportunities are available. The only thing missing is your decision to go for it. You will never grow if you always feel the need to be "comfortable." As an entrepreneur you must get comfortable being uncomfortable. But what is "uncomfortable"? Uncomfortable is when we experience fear, when we're afraid of failure. Obviously, no one likes to fail; however, when that stops you from moving forward in life, you need to recognize it, acknowledge it, and shake it off.
Courage is the mental muscle that conquers fear. Like all muscles, the more you use them, the stronger they become. Courage is not something you are born with; it must be developed over time. Individuals who fail to develop courage remain confined in a mental prison and face each day as mental lightweights.
Each one of us has a vast amount of success inside, something we could be sharing with the world that would give us great satisfaction. Something that would enrich not only our lives, but the lives of other human beings too.
However, opportunities are not waiting for you -- you must create them. But what exactly does that mean? Creating an opportunity is like planting a seed. We plant seeds on a daily basis for the things we want to accomplish in the future. We are slowly working on different projects every day so that we may later enjoy the fruits of our labor. For example, you can save money for buying a car so that when the opportunity presents itself, you are able to own the vehicle of your choice. Athletes train hard every day so that one day they will have the opportunity to become champions.
Everyone is the creator of their own opportunities. No exceptions.
In my case, I always dreamed of owning my own home. After ten years of living in the United States, I created the opportunity to purchase a house and I jumped at the chance. Again, I put everything on the line (conquered my fear) and made a commitment (took the opportunity). I can now proudly say that another dream came true.
You must always remember that you should never settle for less than what you deserve, and always believe that you deserve the best. There's no secret to success -- all you need is a strong work ethic, discipline, perseverance, and the belief that you can do it.
Thank you and good luck.