Success is not something that one can achieve overnight. Much like a meticulously prepared delicious dish, success has a recipe that one has to follow step by step and add the ingredients at the right moment and in the right proportion. Tanzima Islam Hridi reveals the secret recipe for success
CONSIDER success as a dish that you will have to cook for dinner. You need different kinds of ingredients, right? You also need to maintain a proper series of steps for preparing the dish. Before we start we need to know that success is, as a matter of fact, an uncountable matter and the definition itself varies from individual to individual and community to community.
However, despite having varying definitions ‘success’ is something that can only be attained if we are willing to risk our comfort zone and step out.
Now, let us reveal the secret recipe of becoming what we recognise as being successful.
Step I: Add small but consistent efforts
IMAGINE a scene where one fine morning you wake up and see it is 8:15am and you are already late for your office. It makes you regret scrolling through your Facebook till 2:00am last night. ‘Oh dear god. Please no traffic-jam today’ you keep murmuring.
It is 9:00am and you are stuck in the traffic for 30 minutes now. You have two options. The first one is to start a 20-minute walk and reach your destination. Whereas, the second option is to sit in the taxi not knowing for how long you have to wait for the traffic jam to end. Which option would you go with?
Let us consider the consequences of choosing both of the options distinctly.
You decide to walk the rest of the way and reached your office being an hour late. You then prepare yourself to be super productive to save the day. Consequently, not only you completed all the tasks in due time but also finished two more tasks that you could have done later. Your feeling of embarrassment for being late is then altered to you being satisfied and confident.
In the second scenario, you think that you are already late and now it does not matter even if you reach your office a few minutes early by walking the rest of the way. So, you give up and just sit in the taxi. As a consequence, you are two hours late and get yourself scolded by your boss. You keep feeling guilty and being unable to concentrate on work you fail to complete your tasks.
How we decide to choose one of these two options is actually an indicator to the likeliness of our dreams becoming a reality in future. Every little choice we make every day both consciously and subconsciously has meaning. However, do we ever realise how these small choices bring the biggest changes in our lives? If we want something big then we first have to start taking baby steps which in turn will sum up to bring a great deal of changes.
Everyone wants a quick fix to get what they want. But then again, the results of making small consistent efforts are sustainable and permanent. Making small consistent improvements are what get you long term results.
Step II: Take action
YOU aspire to be a prominent public speaker and you love to imagine that you are speaking in front of thousands of people and they are all clapping for you. Watching Steve Jobs, Barack Obama and Nick Vujicic videos you wonder how is it possible to deliver such simple yet spectacular speeches. As you watch influencing public speakers like them, you feel encouraged to become someone like them in future.
The thing is people who you think are your idols did not become what they are now overnight. They were dreamers who had the deepest desire in their heart. How did they become achievers from dreamers? They kept working hard even if sometimes they had hit a brick wall. Many of us do not know the scenes behind their success.
To simply move a chair, we need to put force on it to a specific direction because we know very well that the chair will not move all by itself just because we want it to. We dream, we desire. However, most of the time we do not put the required amount of efforts in place to turn the dream into a reality. We should know that, ‘The soil does not respond to your wishes and desires; it responds to the seeds you plant.’
Whoever among us is thinking that luck will bring the results on the plate, then that person surely is living in a fool’s paradise. So, you cannot just desire to become a prominent public speaker without making an effort. So, it is high time for us to take actions.
Step III: Just keep going
MANY of us have probably watched the movie ‘Finding Nemo’. In the movie Dory is a friendly and optimistic fish who become friends with Marlin, a clown fish who has just lost his son. Dory offers help to find his son Nemo. They start searching for Nemo and the search becomes very difficult. Along the way they face bloodthirsty sharks, confused pelicans and dentists. Every time Marlin feels like giving up Dory says to him, ‘Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.’ Because she does not take ‘no’ for an answer. With those words, Dory tells us that we should never give up and continue doing what we have to.
At some point of our lives we all have felt devastation and failure. We feel frightened when we face a difficult situation. But then we have to remind ourselves that we have to keep swimming and we have to finish strong. The expression may have come from a children’s movie but its meaning is not childish.
When we start doing something great, we must keep in mind that things get worse before they get better.
No one should perceive life as a straight line that has no ups and downs. Rather we should be aware that we are travelling through a path where we will have to cross bumpy roads to get where we need to be. Coming back to the movie Finding Nemo, Marlin never gave up. He took each failure as a clue to finding his son and that courage had finally led him to his son.
If we want to achieve a goal or bring a meaningful change in our lives, then we have to have the patience to keep going.
Step IV: Add salt (commitment)
WHAT is food without salt? And what is success without commitment?
Yes, commitment is the master key to being successful that connects all other elements I have mentioned earlier. We meet so many people in our lives who are ambitious. These people actually fall into two categories: those who cannot accept the fact that the key to their success is in their own hands and those who are ready to commit to the journey ahead no matter how difficult it is. Whatever our dream is or whatever we are looking for in life, commitment is the single most important element.
There is a fine line between being committed to do something and agreeing to do something. It is easy and common for people to agree on something but the thing that actually powers a person to do whatever needed to make something happen is called commitment. Agreement is a legally bounded contact between two or more parties. Whereas, commitment makes a person emotionally bound to take a course of actions regardless of how difficult it becomes.
If you are just merely involved in something, then there remains a scope for you to skip it if you want. But if you are committed that means you made a promise that you will do it no matter what. If you are fully committed to be present and engaged in all that you do, then you must be sincere in keeping the promise. If you find that you are failing to keep the promise, you will even have to modify your lifestyle because that is how commitment works.
Now we have the secret recipe to achieve a meaningful goal in our lives. There is one more thing. It is always wise to not commit to something that we know we have no interest in.
Tanzima Islam Hridi is a student of University of Dhaka.
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