Success In Relation To The Past, Present And Future

Photo by Jake Blucker on Unsplash

The Past

At one point in our history, there was a person that decided to document all that he/she knew about his life. That included his/her skill in some field. Or his/her experience pursuing something.

There’s an ever-growing library of these documents from explorers, scientists, historians, kings, queens, artists, programmers… available for those who could not experience certain lives with their own 5 senses.

Not all schools on this planet do a good job of truly revealing the significance of books. And it is because of this, many school attendees (students) learn to develop a negative association with them or to specific groups of them.

It worries me to see an upcoming artist… an aspiring entrepreneur… a beginning programmer begin his or her pursuit of one’s passion… without the proper guidance from past masters.

Something in our modern-day has made a large majority of pursuers believe that “real” success is attained by those that go all-in by themselves. Armed with only their own vague understanding… of a field or industry that has been in existence longer than they have been alive.

Some of these people don’t reject the lessons from the past entirely. However, they often “cherry-pick” the parts of history they find most appealing. Often leaving out the fundamental truth about the entire process of pursuing a goal. For instance, focusing on specific events like when the world awarded them for some accomplishment. Not the long years behind the accomplishment.

They like to study the achievements and only the achievements of successful men and women. They do not see the point in understanding the lives that lead to those achievements.

Yes, lives.

How they thought and performed actions every day leading to the moments in history we seem to cherish the most today… the victories.

It is wrong to think that a great app developer is solely the result of great programming skills. For if that were true, every skilled programmer would own a huge and successful company.

Part of what makes people great and successful are traits you develop as a result of pursuing a passion. Skills like patience, a strong work ethic, the ability to see the world from someone else’s perspective and so much more… all come together to make an ordinary person extraordinary.

It is never a single skill or a single idea that is responsible for the success stories we have come to appreciate today. It is more than that. This is where you should base your investigations.

Do not study only what people did… but also, who they were and how they lived.

The Present

I believe that most of us will agree that the present is where we put in the work required to help us move towards a successful future.

But, we don’t always agree on HOW that should be done.

Many times, this stems from how we tackled looking into the past… (the point above).

When you fully understand how the successful person of your industry conducted themselves during the times leading up to their victory… an almost clear plan of action is presented to you to begin adopting.

Some authors even take the extra step of giving you a line-by-line breakdown of how you should proceed with your pursuit.

But again, a lot of pursuers simply do not consider this wisdom and attempt to put all their time and energy into doing things their own way.

I need you to understand just how tragic this approach is.

A person would like to start a business selling branded T-shirts. The person is most aware of what they typically think a T-shirt business needs… most likely a printing machine… stock t-shirts, and a market to provide these t-shirts too.

Confident in the possible existing demand for the T-shirts in his/her market, this person goes to work printing and selling T-shirts.

What are the chances that this person is unaware of the changing dynamics of that industry locally and globally?

What I mean is that fashion trends play a huge role in influencing our buying decisions. How “experienced” is that person to be confident enough that they would be able to keep up with these changes in trends… and probably be so great as to start some of those trends?

And I haven’t even begun to talk about diversifying your presentation so that you can get the real influencers on board before the average customer (trust me, in business, this is a thing. I won’t get into right now though).

You cannot go into a pursuit without proper guidance and accept to attain the kind of success you probably play for yourself inside your head. The pursuit won’t just be hard for you… it will most likely feel unfairly impossible with never-ending obstacles to overcome.

Someone, somewhere at some point in time… did what you are attempting to do… and came out victorious. You can save yourself countless hours, years, and energy by picking up from where they left off.

And that said…

The work you are meant to focus on in the present… is work that keeps improving your skill. Mastery is the process of transforming one who doesn’t know… into one that doesn’t even need to think when doing expertly the work which he/she loves best.

The present’s focus isn’t meant to be on material rewards alone. In fact, material rewards should only come second, third or event tenth to more important priorities that need your attention.

You need to learn how to serve people in a way that will want them to always rely on you and no one else in your field. You need to establish a network of progress-focused people that are willing to put in just as much work as you are willing to dedicate.

You need to learn to lead people. You need to learn how to fail and survive failures. You need to practice patience… for this journey will reveal to you time and time again that you don’t know what you are doing so you must learn first.

You need to be focused on growth and making progress in the present.

Your mind and body will know the exact moment when you are ready to start receiving massive rewards for your efforts to deeply understand the industry or industries you spent your years learning.

The Future

I have realized that many dreamers and pursuers are afraid of the future. This is a handicap because the future is where everyone’s success lies if they aren’t already successful right now.

It isn’t always easy to predict how exactly our futures will play out. I guess that’s what is scary the most. So we seem to always be making fast and frequent decisions every day. Testing out different strategies and ideas with the hope that one or all of them will work.

Again, this seems to stem from the lack of confidence that many do not have for those that have seen these industries before us.

We may live in times that are completely different from those that went on before us… however, we are completely the same capable human beings that they were. They were not physically or mentally more different from us unless you want to go way back in time.

Authors that wrote about succeeding in your industry over a decade ago are more relevant than you can possibly imagine.

Consider this:

We want to live and lead successful lives like the people who are doing so right now…

Can we not work backward studying how they planned for their futures that they now call their present?

We need to trust the process of pursuing goals from those who successfully attained theirs. Only if this process doesn’t work, should we then look for alternatives or even come up with our own.

But that is how inventors are created. An interesting topic of discussion for another day.

For the majority of us… the truth is that we aren’t trying to re-invent the wheel… and yet that is exactly what we do when we start ventures knowing little about how the industry leaders rose to dominance.

Personally, I put more worry in my present than I do in my future.

I reason that my present is what is guiding me towards my future.

I don’t think of success the way many dreamers do. In fact, I don’t think about it at all.

What I do think about is progress. More specifically, daily progress.

By doing this, I have developed the habit of not letting myself get to bed before accomplishing some small (but ultimately significant) task.

A habit that has been so ingrained in me that it is automatic. I simply cannot live a single day of my waking life… without doing someone small thing related to my end goal.

This can be compared to how one cannot comprehend those who work on weekends.

I can’t understand those who don’t.

But the point I’m trying to arrive at is that ultimately this has shown up in my life during moments of success when I realize that I never really did anything great to get to some of the milestones I arrived at. My small and great victories have been the summation of all progress made to that point.

And since this happens to be the same case with many of the authors in my industries I have studied over the years… I believe that my future will be a result of actions today.

In conclusion

I just want to point out that making daily progress towards the life you want by taking action… has a way of creating a gap between you and those who don’t take the time to actually do it.

Sure it sounds obvious but not all of us truly take this into serious consideration. The day I realized that the word “genius” was nothing more than a hoax… was the day I was called one.

And I was called one solely for the reason that I spent 6+ years engaged in activity that I was being recognized for… for the very first time… 6 years after.

This made me laugh.

You see, year one will often have people think you are crazy or even laugh at you. But I never stopped doing the same thing for 6 whole years. I was just getting to understand and practice what interested me. But it was only after popping my head out of my work on the 6th year that I had realized just how much I changed in people’s eyes.

This was funny to me.

And ever since, I have done the same thing in anything I got interested in. I just showed up to it and put a little into it… to get a little out of it.

A formula repeated by the successful people I study over and over again.

It got me thinking about just how important it is to be actively patient when you decide to pursue something. And to also trust the acquired + documented experiences that those that went before you… make readily available to you.

The great results come as a bi-product of your active participation and willingness to learn/master something. This cannot be artificially created.

The best scientists are typically the most devoted scientists. The best business people are typically the most devoted business people. The best artists, doctors, lawyers, engineers, bloggers, writers, pianists, comedians, storytellers, rappers… etc… are those that are the most dedicated to their passion compared to everyone else less dedicated to their work.

They live their futures every day they work on their passions.


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