We often find ourselves working endlessly for the pursuit of happiness, success, fame, money etc. List of these adjectives and objectives is endless, perhaps rightly so. What is life without a little bit more, right?
When The Next Goal was created, one of our regular readers, Grady Pruitt, chimed in with his wisdom about confidence, success and other buzzwords that we are always on the lookout for. So I decided to pay Success Building Blocks (SBB) a visit, and boy, I was floored! Success Building Blocks contains a targeted assortment of advice to invite success into your life by raising your confidence and building self esteem.
Well, too much of sweet-talk; let’s get down to the interview.
What does success mean to you?
Many people, when asked this question, first think that money equates to success. That’s partly true. Having enough money to weather storms and still have enough to be able to do things with the people we love is a goal we all reach for. But the money, in and of itself, is not success.
To me, true success is the continual setting, pursuing and reaching of the goals we set. Sometimes, these goals are financial, but we need to have other goals in our lives. A lot of people fail when they reach a certain goal because they don’t look for the next new goal to achieve.
I think most people have 4 areas they want to have success in. People want to improve themselves, be healthier, have better relationships, and have more money. To me, success is not just reaching the levels we aim at for each of these areas, but maintaining them while still continuing to grow.
To me, success is not a destination. It’s the journey that should never end. For once you stop moving forward, you stop being successful and start moving backwards.
People are often skeptical about something new that they come across. How do you make someone realize the value in these endeavors?
As I learn more about success, I’m realizing that people aren’t skeptical about the goal or object others present them. Rather, they are skeptical that they can achieve that goal themselves.
For example, I’m always talking about NaNoWriMo (or National Novel Writing Month). When I tell them I’m going to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, they look at me like I’m crazy for trying. They see this challenge as a big goal. And it is. But it’s more achievable than you might think.
To begin with, 50,000 words is only about the size of The Great Gatsby or A Brave New World. That’s hardly even 200 pages. Most novels on the shelves today are easily 2 to 3 times this size (if not more). That makes it more believable. Then, you point out that all you have to do is to write 1667 words a day for 30 days to reach that goal. Suddenly, people are like, I think I can do that.
Now, I’m a relatively slow typist. I can do about 400 – 500 words in 15 minutes. I’d say most people are close to my typing speed, though some may be a bit slower and others a bit faster. But again, that belief begins to grow in them.
At that point, it’s just a matter of teaching them how to come up with character and story ideas — and these are all around us every day, if you’re willing to pay attention and notice them.
I’d say the same was true for most other goals as well. Build the belief that they can do it by breaking it down into more manageable chunks, and you overcome the skepticism. We’re always skeptical until we try something and see it work for us.
What is your next goal, your next project? Is your preparation to achieve this goal different from how you achieved your other goals?
Well, NaNoWriMo for 2011 just started. (For anyone interested, you can learn more about it at NaNoWriMo.org. And they even have a Young Writers Program for kids from elementary through high school.) So, for the month of November, I’m working on reaching 50,000 words. Once November is over, the plan is to work on growing my blog and editing a previous NaNoWriMo novel so that I can get it published.
What is more important – Money or Fame?
Fame is so fleeting, I think money is more important. Though, if you do it right, you can easily have both. You can have fame without money, but that often only lasts a little while. Money, managed properly, can last you a lifetime. (Reputation is even more important than either. You can have a good reputation without fame or money. But it’s hard to hold onto either money or fame for long if you have a bad reputation.)
Is there any advice you could give to Grady Pruitt from 5 years ago?
My sons watch the Magic School Bus a lot. I’d probably tell my younger self what Ms. Frizzle is always telling her class… “Take chances. Make mistakes. And get messy!” Don’t worry so much about failure. Just go for it! Take a chance. It just might work out. And if it doesn’t, then take another. Keep taking chances, and eventually something will work.
So, what do you think? Do you think you have it in you to achieve success, fame and money?