It took me many years to start letting go of jealousy and envy, but once I did, I instantly began seeing more success in my bodybuilding efforts as well as my career. Even so, it was a tough fight inside my head. The prevailing attitude in my house growing up was that if someone was successful, it could only have happened one of three ways:
1) had been given to him or her.
2) The person was just really lucky.
3) He or she had achieved success through some sort of lying, cheating or stealing.
The concept that most successful people simply had clear goals and worked hard to make them a reality did not occur to me. A good friend of mine, Rob Fleischman, who is a graduate of MIT and a successful inventor, shared his own formula for success, and it’s something that we all need to take a look at.
“Success is hard work, plus risk taking, plus luck, plus intelligence."
Break it down:
Hard work. Lots of people work hard. Lots! If you don’t do it, you will never ever be successful. That alone is not enough, however. I hear complaints all the time from folks who “work hard” and are not doing well.
Risk taking. You have to go where you have the chance to win large, but take risk after risk and you eventually lose. That’s why casinos are profitable.
Luck. You need luck, no question; however, luck alone will doom you. There are plenty of studies showing how most lottery winners, after some number of years, are eventually screwed. You say, “That won’t happen to me.” Baloney! If all you have is luck, your success will be quite temporary. People don’t believe that though. They are wrong.
Intelligence. This is the big one. There are tons of people who have taken moderate success and with intelligence turned it into big success. In fact, the vast majority of the wealthy got that way—by “being smart.” Sure, you hear about the oddballs, but the unsung wealthy are the smart ones who through planning, investing, career moves, business moves and growth turn small successes into big ones.
To get to the next level in whatever area you desire, use the combination of hard work, intelligence, risk taking and luck—lots of hard work, a good amount of smarts, some planned risk taking and a little luck. If you look at most successful people, that analysis will ring true. Funny how the vast majority think the way my family thought—and that thinking will prevent them from ever achieving any level of success. Is that ironic, or just sad?