What is success? Well, it all depends on what you consider success to mean to you and what you’re prepared to do to achieve it.
It may be that you are successful already, but don’t know it. It’s all about perspective and what you want from life. However, having said that, another factor worth considering is how you will know what your potential is until you reach outside of your comfort zone.
Too often we tend to consider other people’s opinions about success, which of course is based on their perception of life and the philosophies they have developed. Perhaps it would be more profitable to you if you were to ponder for a while on how best you could make your own life more fulfilling instead of listening to others’ opinions on what is possible or impossible.
Here’s an example. The Fisherman and the MBA.
A management consultant met a Greek fisherman who had just berthed at the local coastal pier. The American looked at the fisherman’s small catch and said: “How long did it take you to catch that amount?” The fisherman replied: “Not very long.” The American said: “Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more?” The fisherman replied that he had enough to support his family. The American asked him what he did with the remainder of his time. To which the fisherman responded, that he slept late, played with his children, took a siesta, strolled into the village each evening where he sipped a little wine and played cards with his friends, and stated that he had a full life.
The American scoffed and said, “I am a Harvard MBA and I could help you. You should spend more time fishing, and with the proceeds by a bigger boat, and from the proceeds from a bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually, you would have a fleet of boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middle man, you would sell directly to the processing plant, eventually opening your own cannery and distribution company. Of course, you would need to leave this small village and move to Athens or New York where you could expand your business.”
The fisherman asked: “How long would all this take?” The American said, “Probably ten years or so.” “Then what?” asked the fisherman. The American said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right, you would sell your shares to the public and become very rich. “Then what?” said the fisherman. The American said: “You could retire and move to a coastal village where you could sleep late, play with your kids, take a siesta, stroll into the village in the evening where you could sip wine and play cards with your friends.”
The moral of the story is: that definitely, it would be more profitable to you if you were to ponder for a while on how best you could make your own life more fulfilling, instead of listening to others’ opinions on what is possible or impossible.
Of course, listening to experts in the truest meaning of the word is quite different from listening to just anyone’s opinion. If we never listened to experts, we would still be using leeches to cure headaches, and never to have sent rockets to the moon.
I have to rely on what my dentist or my doctor advises when I consult them or when I ask my lawyer for advice. They are the expert in their field, not me. Keep in mind, there’s no reason I can’t get a second or third opinion from another expert.
That’s not to say expert advice is necessarily always the right thing to do, you just need to use your own brain as well, and weigh the expert information appropriately.
This is particularly so in the case of the internet. With access to the internet, “experts” are even more accessible than ever before. So, it is wise to develop a regular habit of thinking critically and analysing what you see or read.
The connectedness we have is both a blessing and a curse because it allows great ideas as well as stupid ones to spread at the same speed.
Where we are today in what appears to be a divided world was described hundreds of years ago in works of fiction and fact by people who could literally see the writing on the wall.
In Part 2 I write about opinions and the idea of strong opinions loosely held.
Photo by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash.