“I know the price of success:
dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion
to the things you want to see happen.”
Frank Lloyd Wright
So you want your life to be a successful one, huh? Me too! No matter what your life goals are -– to be a superstar, to raise a family, to make a lot of money, to complete a very specific task –- you most likely want to be successful in reaching that goal. I recently came across this Frank Lloyd Wright quote: “I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.” Reading this, I realized that this man is on to something. When striving toward a goal –- especially of goal of success –- it’s important to break it down in key elements (and, like Wright, I prefer a nice group of three) in order to make it easier to conquer our goals. Wright has chosen three really essential elements when it comes to talking about success, which is why I’m happy to look to his wise words for guidance.
According to Wright, in order to be successful we need to be the following: dedicated, hard working, and devoted. I know those words are broad and general (and, upon reading them, make me feel slightly overwhelmed) so I’m going to break it down for us even further here. One of the best ways I’ve found for meeting a goal is to have a plan, an outline of the steps you have to take to make it to the goal line. Since I don’t know what every reader’s individual goal is, I can’t break it down too specifically, but I can take it one step further than Wright has and help you lay the foundation for whatever goal you’re hoping to achieve. Below I will discuss in more detail the three things you need to be to be successful.
To Succeed You Must Be…
If you really want to succeed at whatever your goal is, you must dedicate yourself to it. I don’t know about you, but every time I’ve done something in a half-hearted way, without putting in my full effort and abilities, it never turns out the way I want it to. Whether you’re working towards a successful job, relationship, blog post, or any other goal, if you’re going to do something and you want to be successful at it, put your whole heart into it. Dedicate yourself. Dedicated your time, your mental energy, your blood, sweat, and tears. If you don’t dedicate yourself to your goals –- and I mean really give it your all –- you’ll always wonder if you gave it enough, if you could have done more. If you give your goals your best shot and try as hard as you can, you will always carry around with you the notion that you did the absolute best you could –- no matter what happens.
No matter what your goal is, hard work is a MUST. There is no way you’ll be successful (unless you’re just incredibly lucky…and can that good fortune even be called success?) if you don’t put in a lot of hard work. When I’ve read biographies of well-known geniuses or even books like Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, I realize just how much hard work goes into being a success. Sometimes I read stories or articles and people’s lives are depicted in such a way that it seems they just fell into the perfect job or relationship or situation. However, when you dig deeper, it seems that hard work is almost always a factor in success of any kind. It might seem like opportunities just fall into others’ laps, but often these opportunities took work to get to and/or they are merely jumping off points for lots of hard work. It’s not easy to work hard at something that’s not a guarantee, but it’s always worth it. As I said above, it’s much better to know that you worked hard at something –- as hard as you could have –- than to look back on a situation knowing you could have worked harder.
To be devoted is very similar to being dedicated, but it is slightly different. One part of devotion is loyalty. You must be loyal to your goal. Other things will come up. New challenges will arise as you’re working towards your goal, but you have to stay devoted to it, no matter what difficulties you face. Life is always filled with unexpected interruptions. Some of these interruptions and distractions may get in the way of your goal momentarily, but stay focused. If you must deviate from your goal, return to it as quickly as you can. Often when I set a goal I find new goals along the way. These distractions shouldn’t necessarily be ignored, but they should be set aside in favor of your original goal. Keep your eye on the prize and, with all of your hard work and dedication, you'll be able to turn the dream you're devoted to into a reality.
When I first came across Wright's quote, I was instantly in awe of how fitting it was for someone like me, someone who is constantly trying to reach goals and make her way toward her own definition of success. So often we think of the word "success" and, while we know we want it, we have no idea where to begin. Wright's quote helped me to really think about what it is that I want to focus on and, more importantly, what I need to do to really make my goal into a success. While I don’t think these three points are the only things necessary to achieve a goal (I really do believe that a positive attitude is something we must also have!), I do think they are very important and provide a great foundation for anyone with the hope of success. I honestly believe that Wright –- who achieved quite a few goals himself! -– was on to something when he chose these three factors for defining the price of success. For many this is a high price indeed, but the payoffs can be well worth the work when your goals are finally met.
What do you think is necessary to succeed?
What do you do to help make your own success happen?