The Secret of Success – it’s more common than you think

There are many definitions for success. Some people measure it by their health, or their family, or the friends they have. Others measure it by things attained, or achievements made. Others may use a combination of all of these.

I’ve often thought about success and what it means to me, and have to admit that my definition has changed over the years. That said, I started thinking the other day about people I consider successful in what they do (or did) for a living. Which led me to research who they are and what makes them tick. I think, truly, that to become successful in any form you have a mantra or code that you live by. And I discovered, as I researched the people who intrigue me, that there are definite similarities in the way they think. Here’s a sampling:

copyright Thomas Edison

copyright Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison – his teachers told him that he was too stupid to learn anything. He went on to invent 1,000 light bulbs before creating the one that worked. In his words, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

copyright Julia Child

copyright Julia Child

Julia Child – if you know anything about Julia, it’s that she started out as a culinary disaster only to become one of the biggest icons among chefs and cooking. When a recipe bombed, she didn’t make excuses. In her mind, these types of admissions only drew attention to your shortcomings (or your perceived shortcomings). Which is why she said, “Maybe the cat has fallen into the stew, or the lettuce has frozen, or the cake has collapsed. Eh bien, tant pis. Usually one’s cooking is better than one thinks it is. And if the food is truly vile, then the cook must simply grit her teeth and bear it with a smile, and learn from her mistakes.” In sum, according to Julia, “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”

copyright D&G; David J Gandy

copyright D&G; David J Gandy

David Gandy – labeled the most handsome man in the world, Gandy says “I’m more a believer in making your own luck,” and focuses on not following trends but making his own. According to him, “In any working environment, you’re bound to feel the pressure to change. But getting to the top is about focusing on the long-term. It’s no good saying ‘I want to re-brand myself, I want to be this person.’” He’ll tell you point blank that he was never going to be the skinny Dior guy because that’s not him. When told to lose weight, he put on more instead. He trusted his intuition and stood firm. And by doing so, he paved his own way to becoming the most in demand male model ever, as well as a driven businessman, showing us that there’s a lot more to him than gracing the cover of a magazine.

Copyright JA Konrath

Copyright JA Konrath

JA Konrath – A traditionally published author who turned to self-publishing and finally made his mark, Konrath is a self-professed workaholic who does what he does because he loves it so damned much. Here’s a bit of his story in a nutshell: “It took more than ten years for ORIGIN to find its audience, and I’m going to write a sequel to it, because I get so much fan mail about that book.” The thing is, “You can quit if you want to. Or you can stick with it until you get lucky. The are no easy answers. No quickie fixes. No direct paths to success. No one is forcing you to do this. You have to love it, and to believe in yourself. Even when you fail. Especially when you fail.”

Okay. So there you have it. Sure, there are dozens of other people I could put on this page but there’d be no point because the point has already been made. And, by the way, have you realized what it is?

Persistence. And a true sense of self.

As a writer, there is no greater power given to me. I am in control of what I do, of what I write, and of my own destiny. I can write what I want – and will write what I want – no matter what the trends. Because the trends don’t fit me. Only I fit me.

And only I can reach success in my writing, whatever that ‘success’ may be, by keeping at it. Because at the end of the day, the only person I have to answer to when it comes to my success is – you guessed it – me.

Copyright © 2013 · All Rights Reserved · TerriPonce.com

About terriponce

I write about twists, turns, past lives and suspense.
This entry was posted in Stories Behind The Stories and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to The Secret of Success – it’s more common than you think

  1. I loved your post. It’s inspired me to write more and believe 🙂

    Like

  2. Polly Iyer says:

    Wonderful post, Terri. I especially like the part about bucking the trends if that’s where your book takes you. I agree completely. (Never heard of Gandy, but he sure is one handsome guy. Every blog post should have a bit of eye candy.)

    Like

    • terriponce says:

      Mark this date. I have an official request for regular eye candy. And Polly, just Google David Gandy. You’ll feast on pics for weeks. He’s a stunner.

      Like

  3. Ellis Vidler says:

    Good post, Terri, and good advice, but it’s hard to do sometimes. I need to paste a sign on top of my computer. 🙂

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  4. Thanks, Terri. Tomorrow is Monday. Back to doing it, because it’s what I do. It’s what we all do. Fortunately we don’t have to explain it to other writers. The rest wouldn’t believe it anyway. Marilynn

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  5. Terri, this was a well written and thought provoking post. What would happen if we gave up on our dream only to discover later that we were only one try away from success?

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  6. This was a great post, Terri. Very well written and thought provoking. What if we give up and then find out later we were one try away from success?

    Like

  7. Valerie Horowitz says:

    Some of the people you include gained success after age 50, which is an inspiration to me!

    Like

  8. Melinda says:

    Thanks for a great article. I’m a new author who really needed to hear this. I also have to convince myself that I’m the only one who can determine if I succeed..
    Thanks for bringing all of this together!
    Melinda Primrose

    Like

    • terriponce says:

      Melinda – so glad to see that this hit home with you. Stick to who you are, and what’s important to you in your writing. That’s the only thing, I think, that truly makes a difference.

      Like

  9. Glenn Nilson says:

    Terrific and timely. Probably we all could add to the list of successful writers who made it by staying with it and made it to the top by knowing who they were. But this was a great reminder. Thanks.
    Glenn Nilson

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    • terriponce says:

      You know, Glenn, this post really seemed to hit the target with many people. One of my most popular posts yet. Glad to see it meant something to so many people – we often forget what’s important in our goals, and for me this was a reminder.

      Like

  10. Tenacity is the ticket. Even if you never grasp the gold ring, you will have loved everything you did to that end if your heart was in it. Look how many incredible painters and writers have stood the test of time after their deaths. They still contributed to the human experience and left their mark. Don’t be discouraged from your goals if acclaim doesn’t follow you. Just keep going. Your passion will come through in time.

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  11. Wonderful post! I agree with you one hundred percent!

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  12. Eliott McKay says:

    Terri… thanks for this great post. It’s just what I needed to hear this Sunday morning. 🙂

    Like

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