Success means different things to different people. Different races, tribes, school of thought and scholars have different definitions of what success is. Therefore, there is relatively no one-way approach to what success is to different people from different walks of life.
To Mr Chima, success maybe when he built a house for his mother. To Femi, his success may be getting that degree from the University to prepare him for the future. To Musa, his success may be getting married to that girl in his dream.
He may not have any other thing that he prays for than asking God to convince that girl to say yes. To David in the USA, his definition of success is when he gets that dream job he has been fighting for for years.
A certain man may want to travel to London. He’ll dream about it. He’ll pray about it. He’ll sing about it every day until when that day will come, he has succeeded in that area of his life. A sister in his environment may see that London as nothing because she goes to London every Thursday in a week for a business meeting.
So, therefore, success is the definition you give to it by yourself at a given period of your life. It could be defined as getting married. It could be defined as getting a new job. It could be defined as getting a house.
It could be defined as buying a car. It could be defined as having children of your own. It could be defined as passing your exams. It could be defined as changing your environment. Success is what you name it!
The late Zig Ziglar was one of the most respected modern day experts on success, motivation, and leading a balanced life. In his book, Born to Win!, he argues that success cannot be defined in one sentence, but instead it is comprised of many things.
One could argue that the definition depends on the individual and one size does not fit all. However, you need to find your own success definition and create meaning for your life. Concentrate on what makes you who you are and what your targeted goals are and work towards them and success comes to you.
Many world great leaders have written different books about success but they all come from different approach and experiences, the dimensions to which the success happened to them. Arguably, this is to show that there is no particular approach to success like every other thing.
What works for Mr A may not work for Mr B. Probably, what made Mr C succeed in his business may not work for Mr E. What is success to you is left with what you seem to understand what success is in your pursuit of a successful life.
For example, Brendon Burchard, the best selling author, high-performance coach, podcaster and self-help Youtube star once said that in other to know how far we have gone with our drives to succeed we should ask ourselves these questions:
1. Ask yourself this question every morning: “Will who you are now lead you to who you want to be in the future?”
2. Avoidance is the best short-term strategy to escape conflict and the best long-term strategy to ensure suffering.
3. No matter how small you start, start something that matters.
4. Mediocrity begins the precise moment you swap love for a challenge with the love of comfort.
5. A meaningful life is just the sum of meaningful moments. Live in every moment.
And John Addison, The author of Real Leadership: 9 Simple Practice For Leading And Living With Purpose and SUCCESS Leadership Editor, has these three of his lessons from 2016:
* Be a daily goal-setter and a daily goal-hitter. What you do today greatly affects whether you will achieve your future dreams. You have to intentionally design each and every day in a way that leads to getting things done.
* Focus, focus, focus. Successful people always know what is important in the moment, they are relentless in getting it done, and they don’t get distracted by unimportant stuff.
* Keep moving forward. Being the best version of the person we want to require incremental improvement and incremental improvement requires patience, persistence and faith. It’s a journey, but in the end, it’s totally worth everything you put into it.
John Addison has a gift for distilling achievement strategies into actionable steps.
Let’s bring this back home. Take a look at a graduate and an apprentice with a businessman in Onitsha main market. Take a look at them. Let’s assume that the apprentice left home to serve his Oga the same time the other person gained admission to study Economics at the university.
Four years later, the graduate came back home to discover that the apprentice he knew is no longer the person he came back to see. He has opened multiple businesses and properties around Onitsha and other places. He has money while he as a graduate has nothing to show but his certificates and knowledge. This is a different sphere of success. Do you know that?
The truth is that each of them has its merits: arguably, financial intelligence is the major education that an apprenticeship offers over a formal university education. But formal education will help for strategic planning and deployment of plans, analytical predictions, and in an ideal case will fly further than just common sense and past experience.
In an ideal society, educated people should rank first and should be wealthier than their contemporary. But In today’s Nigeria, an apprentice seems to have a brighter future because once they’re done serving, they’re been settled and they start their own business.
Meanwhile, a graduate will be looking for a job after graduation and he would remain at home, wasting. Since they do not have so much money to start a business. Money is the denominator here. That’s the difference. Once you have money people forget whether you went to school or not. No wonder all these settled apprentices end up marrying the girlfriends of a university graduate. And this is another success from a different angle.
This country is not conducive for a new business to thrive. The old ones are struggling, some have even resulted in crooked means just to succeed in whatever ways they understand success. Nigeria, for instance, is a dream killer.
Do you know that it’s easier for a Nigerian graduate to succeed in Nigeria than an abroad graduate (even with all the sophisticated training)? Reasons being that we’re used to the struggle but they’re not. That’s why once the UK sends back Nigerian who studied there they just come home being suicidal knowing that nobody will employ them.
Except for the selected few that are “connected” in the country. I think education is still the best legacy no matter how we see it. Although it does not guarantee success it can give an edge over others.
The problems we must face here is: Nigerians don’t value education. Maybe because of our corrupt nature. There are fewer opportunities for people that went to school in Nigeria than people who learnt a trade.
If you learn a trade. You can start your own business almost immediately after learning the trade. I dare say that regardless of all opportunities available for the apprentice, formal education is still one of the most important ingredients in making wealth and happiness.
But if you go to school you will spend years searching for a job that may never come. You’ll now end up learning a trade haphazardly. You’ll start posting wares on your status for people to come and buy. And you be scammed by people who write books on “how to make 6 digits in a month from selling a product”.
In conclusion, your definition of success is dependent on your view about what success it. Success has no definition, it is to everyone what they think it is to them trying to achieve their set goals and plan for a certain thing.
©John Chizoba Vincents