By: Gerald S. Manning. Your success in life is in your hands, and your hands alone. You define the success you wish to achieve. It doesn’t have to be monetary…it can be anything. You work to achieve that success. Along the way you will fail, but it is you alone that picks yourself up to continue the journey. Your life is your responsibility. It is not my responsibility, or your neighbors, or the government’s. As a member of the fellowship of man, when you fall others will be there to offer you a hand up…and hopefully you will be there to offer a hand up if others need a boost. But ultimately, we are each responsible for ourselves.
You are responsible for the consequences of your actions. There isn’t a human alive who hasn’t made a bad decision or a mistake. To move on from a bad decision, you must take ownership of it, learn from, grow from it, and not blame somebody else for it. It is not my fault. It is not your neighbor’s fault. It is not the government’s fault. The responsibility lies with you. But that is okay because achieving success is not a straight upward line. It has peaks…and lots of valleys. Part of the definition of success is taking responsibility for your actions…both good and bad.
There will times where you will be required to work with others. Work with them to the best of your ability. But always remember that you are an individual. As in all things in life, there is a season for group cooperation, and there is a season for you alone. The trick is to know the difference, and never lose your identity in the process. Achieving the common goals of a group is a wonderful thing and oftentimes necessary. Achieving your goals as an individual is just as good if not better.
In your journey to success, you are responsible for the formation of your own set of values…the moral code by which you measure yourself. Don’t let others define those for you. Sometimes your values will be unpopular or oppose conventional wisdom. Part of the definition of success is living your moral code…your set of values…notwithstanding attacks from those around you who think they know a better way. They don’t.
Don’t measure your success by looking at others. Their goals are likely different than yours. But just in case they are the same, learn from them if what they have to offer is worth learning. Oftentimes it is not. Things are never as they appear.
Finally, success is more than economic achievement. Success is how you define it. It can be tangible such as building a business or making a lot of money. It can be as simple as working to be a good and honest person or somebody who puts family above all else or someone who wants to live an enjoyable and balanced life. The balanced life thing is important no matter your ultimate goals.
In the 21st Century, individualism has fallen into disfavor. Don’t listen to what they are telling you in the media. Collectivism trends downward to the lowest common denominator. Choose your own path upward. Personal responsibility; hard work; individualism; and a strong moral code are still the pillars of success…even today.