“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth” Rumi
Back in the 13th century, famous Persian poet and Sufi mystic Rumi was suggesting us to take action and to shape our destiny regardless of other people’s opinions and achievements. Today, I believe this quote to be more relevant than ever.
Too often our decisions and definitions of success are affected by clichés and other people’s opinions. As a consequence of this, we tend to forget what is really meaningful to us, thus increasing the probability to miss worthwhile opportunities that appear along our lives. Failure is more uncomfortable when behind the corner there is someone ready to tell us: “I knew your project was not going to work out, I told you to give up!”. As a result of this, too often, while being on the verge of making an important decision in our life, we take a step back, concerned with what others might think of us. But who are those people ready to jump out and tell us what is right and what is wrong? Relatives, friends, society, each one of them will always find a reason to oppose our dreams and plans but we shouldn’t be afraid of this. Instead, we should face them and make the most out of their criticism to get better, to get inspired and continue along our path, the one that we have chosen for ourselves.
Success is extremely subjective. For someone, it might mean helping others, for someone else it might signify coming up with a great invention or “simply” being happy. For others, success might be achieved through balancing work and family life and, why not, for someone else it might mean making a bunch of money.
Success is only yours and of those you have decided to share it with. It is only you who can decide how to define it, and it is only you who knows how it makes you feel.
Thus, observing other people’s success shouldn’t discourage you from accomplishing your own, but on the contrary, it should help you understand which aspects of your personality you should nurture more in order to “unfold your myth”. Ask yourself: “How did those successful people achieve what they wanted?”
Devoting some of your time to this activity will make you realize that all successful people are aware, brave and persistent. Those are the three characteristics that make the difference in everyone’s life, that will determine whether you will be successful or not.
Let’s think about these qualities a bit:
As Gregory David Roberts once said in his masterpiece “Shantaram”:
“Every human heartbeat is a universe of possibilities”.
This beautiful statement well describes the condition of each one of us as a human being: throughout our lives we run into such a broad range of opportunities that it is easy to miss some of them. Being aware of all the possible choices we have in front of us, together with making an effort to know ourselves better is the first step to increasing our chances of success.
Most of the times, deciding to follow your personal road to success means taking the hardest path, which will make you encounter numerous obstacles. For this reason, success requires a high degree of courage.
“All our dreams come true if we have the courage to pursue them” Walt Disney
James N. Watkins once said:
“A river cuts through a rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence.”
Along your road to success you must be ready to fall and raise, and then to fall and rise again. You need persistence because that is the fuel that enables you to keep on going, it is the ingredient that makes you learn from your mistakes and thus brings you closer to your goals.
Isn’t that easy?
Not at all, but if you nurture these three qualities and you know what success means to you, then there shouldn’t be anything preventing you from taking the first step toward your own myth. Think about it, are you really writing your story or are you spending your time on someone else’s? What is stopping you from achieving what you want? Is it really something impossible to overcome or are you just being held back by others’ opinion?