Episode 5: Success

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We learn to walk by the time we are one; we learn to ride a bike by the time we’re six, about the same time, we are starting school. We learn to drive by the time we are sixteen.  We get married, have kids and then retire.  We do this, most of us anyway, without learning about success.  I’m talking about real success. Most of us have learned society’s version of success and that is precisely why we are unhappy and unfulfilled.  Of true success, we know very little or even nothing at all.  Many of us never learn what success is and what it isn’t.  We don’t understand what failure is or what it isn’t. 

If you look around at the world today you will see many people leading unfulfilled, unhappy and unproductive lives.  No one ever taught us about success.  There are no high school courses on the subject and I have yet to see a college course that teaches life-long principles that, if lived by, will set your destiny in a new trajectory.  It’s a concept most people will never grasp. Well, that’s what renewed2win is about.  By reading, watching or listening to these mini lessons you will begin to uncover the life that was meant for you.  You will realize your uniqueness and finally realize that we are not living in a one-size-fits-all world.  You will find true happiness as you begin to realize success. 

As we begin our journey, I would like to share with you my personal experiences with success as the world and popular society defines it and what I have come to know as true, lasting and real success.  My journey began, like everyone else, as a child.  It’s when we are young and impressionable that our beliefs, attitudes and behaviors are formed.  They affect the rest of our lives, and for many people, it is never realized that they may develop these characteristics in an atmosphere that isn’t or wasn’t supportive of real success. 

My first experiences with worldly success revolved around sports and money.  These two areas were given major emphasis.  As I remember I was strongly persuaded to practice baseball every day and I also had a paper route. Two things that I didn’t enjoy but was told would be stepping stones to future success.  I remember hearing from people who had an influence on my life that I could do anything and have as much money as I wanted.  Wow, what’s wrong with that?  So, the race was on.  Like many young people, my ambitions began to revolve around power, importance, prestige and money.  The cues from society, in general, were the same.  I should want “stuff” and I should do whatever it takes to get that “stuff.”  That was success

I took a job as an insurance and investment broker out of college, after seeing the movie “Wall Street.”  I felt important and there was some feeling of power.  After all, I was helping people with their money. There was some feeling of prestige, especially among friends and people who didn’t know the industry that well.  I didn’t make much money though and found out later why.  It was not what I was supposed to do.  In an industry where they hire almost anybody who walks through the door, I wasn’t making the money I thought I deserved.  I came to realize years later, that I wasn’t working nearly as intelligently or efficiently as I needed to in order to make that money.  I would work twelve to sixteen hours a day; I realize now that I was sitting at a desk for twelve to sixteen hours a day, but not really working. 

I remember telling people with an absolute degree of certainty that I was going to be the richest man in the world; I was going to be successful.  I don’t know if anyone bought into that or not. So off I went chasing success.  After some time of this I figured out what I thought the real problem was, it was the insurance and investment industry.  So, I quit my job and took other sales jobs, working equally tiring hours; driving myself and everyone around me insane with no time for fun or leisure. 

I don’t think it was until my son came along in 2004 that I realized what I was doing to myself.  I was working and expending energy toward goals and ideals that were not my own.  So, what did I do?  I quit my job.  I would be successful on my own, without the help of anyone else.  I went and bought some computers, desks, chairs and a two-line phone. I started my own business.  Doing what? Well, selling insurance and investments of course.  Needless to say, I was not “successful,” but I kept up the chase.  I don’t think it was until my daughter was born in 2007 that I decided to look at my life and make concrete changes. 

Now I have always been happy with my life.  I have the two best kids anyone could have asked or hoped for but I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t make any money or find fulfillment in life.  Why I couldn’t be “successful.”  I could run 4 miles and work out every day.  I could eat fairly good food; have energy and health.  I could have great relationships with my kids and many other people, but I couldn’t be “successful”.  As could be anticipated, I was very frustrated.  Then, after surviving through active addiction and a series of financial disasters and relational failures, my eyes began to open.  I was successful.  At renewed2win you will learn about real success. For today, though, just start thinking about who you want to become. That’s where it starts. Start thinking about what success looks like, feels like, and sounds like for you. Don’t worry about what others may say or think, just begin to define it.

Thanks for joining me at renewed2win. Remember, maybe everything you have ever believed doesn’t actually matter to what is truly real.

Michael at R2W

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