What success really looks like.
I came across this drawing on LinkedIn the other day. To me, this graphic really hits the nail on the head when it comes to showing how success is achieved.
So often in life, we only see the success itself. We rarely if ever see the behind the scenes blood, sweat, and tears that made that success possible. As such, too many people have no real concept of what it takes to create something successful or to be really great at something. We just want to be successful.
I play the piano pretty well. Fairly frequently after I have played somewhere, I’ll have someone come up and say, “Oh I wish I played the piano as well as you do.” But that is all that statement really is a wish. What they don’t realize is that to get that point where I could go up and play that piece, hours and hours of practice (and when I was younger many of those hours were filled with tears and thinking I had the meanest mother in the world) were put in to enable that successful performance.
It is also that wishing for success that unfortunately too often leads to a negative attitude toward those who are successful. We see their success and the fame or the fortune or the nice house or whatever the visible signs of success might be and somehow in our minds, we deem the situation to be unfair. We covet that which we are unwilling to work for. This attitude with regard for the success of others, blinds us to the dark days, the lonely nights, the hours of practice, the bootstrapping, the numerous failures that preceded that success.
This type of attitude is one of the great underminers of our ability to be powerful leaders. A powerful leader is not lessened by the success of another nor is he/she jealous of another circumstance. Instead, the powerful leader draws inspiration and renewed courage with the success of another and seeks to better understand the “work” invested by those who are successful. The powerful leader uses the success of others to navigate the long winding road toward eventual success.