The Wrong Way To Success

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  • Hoping to win a lottery
  • Waiting for some very rich man to adopt you as his protégé.
  • Expecting an out-of-this-world opportunity
These are obvious wrong ways to go about being successful. And so I won't be writing about them. Rather, I will be telling you about the one not so obvious way we wrongly seek success.

That wrong way is what Albert Einstein called doing the same thing over and over again and expecting to get a different result. It's when a librarian works diligently at her job and expect to become a billionaire someday. We all know that except she makes some drastic changes in her life, probably quit her librarian job too, and take risks informed on the vast knowledge she has gathered from the library books she has read, she has a negligible chance of becoming a billionaire. The same thing plays out when you see a banker hoping to spend more weekday afternoons with his children. Even if he owns the bank, he's going to have to resign to get that luxury. And the commonest is when you hear people who claim to detest politics say, "If I become the president of Nigeria, I would fix this and that issues first." We all know that you can't become the president without being politically active.

Ordinarily, these have nothing to do with achieving success in life. Not everyone of us see success as being a billionaire or as having free afternoons or as becoming the president of Nigeria. But the real trouble is that most of us treat in the same way the very desires that our fulfillment/success in life is built on. We don't go after our dreams and suddenly expect to achieve them. We keep living life the way we are unhappy with and expect a different outcome. We keep doing things the same way over and over again, and then expect something different as a result.

The most sincere way to put it is that we don't pursue the success we seek and we expect to achieve it. We bother more about what we could lose in the pursuit of our happiness and success rather than the fulfillment we stand to gain. We seek the no failure path to success. We try to do whatever we are doing more intensely and hope for something extra-ordinary. We hold on to what is not working for us because we would rather have a bird in hand than seek out the flock in the forest.

The less obvious wrong way to success is to not go after it directly, to not want to give up anything for it.


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