Determination not Destiny
Too often, you look at the success as the finished product of the producer. You conclude that you cannot achieve the same success. You fail to see the time, the habits of mind, the schedule, and the discipline the producer put into achieving her wish. You only see the end result. If you do glimpse what it takes to achieve, you are overwhelmed. Take heart! Though the process seems overwhelming, it is a process. This means that the beginning of a complicated success begins with that first simple action.
Be sure that you are planning actions based on an honest view of the habits of the producers that you would like to emulate. Recognize that producers rarely are able to articulate what they have done in order to achieve success. They sometimes inflate the time or romanticize the actions they performed on the way to their goals. They either over estimate or dismiss the help they received from others.
For example, the producer, when asked how he achieved, may say, “You have to work hard each day and read a lot.” When asked if that was his process, the producer admits, “Oh, no. I don’t really read that much.” If you could have been a fly on the wall throughout the producer’s process, you would have observed a process of idea formulation and commitment to product that spanned multiple years. Even the producer is not aware of how each choice, each rehearsal, each class, was a contribution toward the final product. The producer does not intentionally mislead with his responses, but the achievement of success sometimes reframes the journey as a function of destiny rather than a result of determination.
Understand that all sustainable success—the end of wanting—is the result of your determination over time to…
- Lead with purpose
- Incorporate new knowledge and relationships
- Risk being wrong.
Maintain those habits. Connect those dots until patterns emerge and habits result in products.
Up to this point, I have focused on describing your options as an individual. You have often been deceived. You have also been distracted. Institutions have standardized your deception allowing you to hide behind the plausible deniability of corporate conformity. The more clearly you understand your own identity, the more inconsistent the world appears. This may tempt you to give up on agentic success—achievement conceived by self-reflectiveness, self-reactiveness, intentionality, and forethought. But, take heart. We can overcome the distractions.
Institutions maintain your deception by distracting you from addressing your lack of sustainability. Instead of figuring out why a choice did not work out as you had hoped, you are lulled into a sense of comfort with disappointment, surrounded by people who support this passivity. You are told to measure your success by your consumption—if you are the best, you must have the best. You are told to conform so as not to stick out from the crowd—it is conceit to proclaim your giftedness and heresy to pursue an alternative inquiry. You are told to apologize as a reflex in order to avoid conflict—it is better not to make enemies of people you do not know. Standards are relaxed in order to save the feelings of the mediocre. But, none of these are true or correct in community, they are only politically correct.
Correct in healthy and supportive community inspires and requires that you express your giftedness to allow others to do the same. Health community invites challenge and positive competition toward making each competitor better and improving the product produced. Supportive community reaches above the set standard to achieve new levels of service and production.
It is ironic, yet proper, that this healthy and supportive community begins with you as the individual. Look within yourself. Reflect on your goals, your actions, your reasoning. Determine the origins for your choices. Evaluate your will to succeed. Institutionalization and standardization suggest that to focus on you is to deny community. Yet, this supposed call for altruism is not consistent with operational realities. You must become what you want to see in the world. As an effective contribution to the whole, you must awaken to the best of YOU.