From prominent business leaders, to politicians, to sportsmen, everyone has an opinion about the ideal way of succeeding in life. Everyday we get to see articles, blogs, and interviews where successful people from all walks of life share, what they consider, “Pearls of Wisdom”. They share their views about life and tell everyone how their success can be emulated by those who read their invaluable advice. We have grown up learning how we can be successful in whatever we do by following a certain set of rules/beliefs. However, as with every aspect of life, there are always two sides to a coin. What we have been taught right from the beginning, may not always be true. I have listed down some beliefs, along with their contradictions, that may be helpful, but are not the only ways of attaining the elusive success that we all crave.
Try and Try Until You Succeed – Each one of us has been told that quitting is not an option if we wish to succeed in life. Right from the very beginning, we are taught to keep trying until we achieve our objectives. While this may be true, it is most certainly not the only way of attaining success. I recently came across an article on the internet titled, “Winners Also Quit and Quitters Do Win”. The writer of the article felt that if we keep failing at something over and over again, it is possible that our strength lies elsewhere and we should move on and try to identify it without wasting any more time. I concede that quitting is not the answer to our problem of failing at something repeatedly. However, “KNOWING WHEN TO QUIT” can be the difference between success and abject failure.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race – While we have always been taught that this old adage is the golden rule to achieve success in life, it may not be the best bet that we have been coaxed in to believing. We have all heard the story of the tortoise and the hare, in which the slow and steady tortoise always pips the fast but complacent hare to the finish line. However, one of the most successful sportsmen in the history of professional boxing, Cassius Clay, i.e. Mohammed Ali, was of the opinion that if one wishes to attain true success, then one should aim to be quick and efficient instead of simply being “slow and steady”. ‘Slow and Steady’ might win the race but we must also remember that “TIME WAITS FOR NO MAN.”
Team Work is Better Than Individual Work – “If you work as part of a team, you will be more successful as opposed to when you work alone”. This is what most of us have grown up listening to. Our minds have been programmed into believing that someone who is working alone is at a significant disadvantage against those, who work in teams to achieve a common goal. However, there are some people who thrive under the pressure of working alone. They feel a certain sense of autonomy when they work alone. Not having to depend on others and not having anyone to hold them back/slow them down, brings out the best in them.
Hard Work is the Only Key to Success – Only hard work can lead us to success in our professional lives. Most people grow up thinking that this is the one golden rule which can guarantee success. However, we have all seen real life examples of some employees tugging away at work for years together with little success. We have also seen employees who have achieved great success without having to work as hard as they probably could/should have done. Some people reach dizzying heights in their careers by doing what is popularly termed as, “Smart Work”. With each passing day, a new breed of employees is emerging, i.e. those who believe in both hard as well as smart work. These are the people who have all their bases covered and have the best chance at overcoming the barriers that stand between them and professional success.
It’s Better to be Safe Than Sorry – While some professionals in today’s corporate world believe that – “It is better to be safe, than sorry”. There is an equal number of professionals out there who are believers of the old adage, “Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained.” This is not to say that any one group of people stands a better chance of succeeding than the other group. It all depends on how things pan out for each individual person.
It is most interesting to see how many differing opinions and beliefs exist in this world. The last example of the same is the fact that to some people, I am a very diligent, hardworking and honest employee, while certain other people feel, let’s just say, ……….. very differently 🙂