In this article I’m taking a deeper look at the personal development point of one of my quote images, but I did wonder if I’d ever finish it…
I took that photo of Herne Bay pier, in June 2016.
I had gone specifically to take sunset photos, and as ever with these trips, I never quite know how it’s going to turn out. I didn’t know for example, that the angle of the setting sun would allow me to get a variety of shots that seemed nice to me, and I certainly didn’t know that the pier would be in two parts!
When researching the trip I had looked at photos online, and although plenty of the images showed the end stub out in the sea, I thought that was a separate thing, and didn’t realise it used to be the end of the pier!
Damaged by a storm in 1978, the full pier has gone the way of most of them around the British coast – a product of the social and industrial revolutions of the 19th century, the weather or fire has seen to most of them, with the costs of repair beyond the coffers of local councils nowadays.
The coast is littered with these ‘half’ piers – I’m one of the crowd that finds a nostalgic pull of them.
It certainly makes for an image that works well with the words over the top…
The Road To Success Is Always Under Construction – Lily Tomlin.
Lily Tomlin has many strings to her bow, the American being know first as a comedian, then an actress, writer and producer. All of those fields have always had challenges for women trying to achieve the same as men, and this was maybe even more so in the 60s/70s when Tomlin was on the rise, and maybe even more so again for someone with Tomlin’s ‘quirky’ look.
That’s what helped give her the ‘in’ to the comedy scene – she took full advantage, and hasn’t stopped since.
That’s years of hard work before she hit the big time, and years of hard work since. Her success was constructed. Constructed continually, and constructed continually by her.
So, the pier is one example of work needed to succeed in something, Lily Tomlin’s career is another, but let’s look at how that construction of success holds so many people back, and let’s look at what success even means in the first place…
I love the definition of success that I came across from Earl Nightingale. Nightingale was one of the first people I came across in the personal development field, many (many) years ago, and in his series called ‘Lead the Field’ he describes success as ‘the progressive realisation of a worthy goal’
What an excellent way to describe it!
In order to succeed, we need to define what success means, so that we can gauge our progress towards it. That’s where goal setting comes in. Without setting a goal, how *can* we know how we are doing in our ‘success’, and how can we work out how to start in the first place?
Then once we’ve set our goal, the one sure-fire way to not achieve it, is to leave it at just goal setting. If we expect someone else to do it for us, or if we expect it to magically happen simply by setting it as a goal, we are going to be disappointed!
We could then blame others, of life being unfair in general, but if we didn’t take the action, if we didn’t do the work, then any lack of success is on us.
If we do take action though, if we do start working, then we are moving along the road to success, and in fact it could be argued that this in itself *makes* us successful, because this is the progressive realisation of a worthy goal that Nightingale talked of.
It’s important to be careful not to view success as solely an achievement of physical goals – yes building a pier has clear success points, but if you set a goal that you’ll be happy once the pier is finished, that veers off into the grey areas…
In my view that’s not so good, because it implies that happiness is dependant on a future point and set of circumstances. That also implies that we’re not happy in the here and now. That’s not good, and it’s a key point of attitude and perception of success.
Another big name in the personal development field is Jim Rohn, and he said that we should set goals not for the goal itself, but for what we’d need to become to achieve it. That ties in nicely with the Nightingale and Tomlin quotes, don’t you think?
It means that when we set a goal that has meaning to us, it’s a worthy goal, and once we set out towards it with action, and keep at it, then we are acting towards a better society in general, because a society full of people working towards worthy goals has to be better than not.
More than that though, we become better ourselves. The fruits of that progression become clear, in fact they become inevitable.
Will it always be easy?
No. Oh definitely not, it won’t always be easy. Sometimes constructing that road can be difficult – the challenges and obstacles can be terrible hard, and very much real. The difficulties must not be dismissed, but in fact I take the view that the very fact of the difficulties is why we can view action towards these worthy goals as being success in itself.
Life goes on around us, it’s not going to stop for anybody, so it’s up to us what we do with it. If we do achieve firm goals we set, then we can either rest back on our laurels, or we can set news ones.
I think it’s a viewpoint that’s a key foundation to our attitude, and it’s our attitude that drives our actions, and our actions that drive our results.
So, look to your goals, your views on success and your current actions. Could it be that while you think you haven’t succeeded as you haven’t yet achieved your goal, that actually you’re already succeeding right now?
Do you agree with Earl Nightingale about worthy goals, with Jim Rohn about what we need to become to get there, dare I say it with myself about tying the ideas together around a picture of a broken pier, and yes, with Lily Tomlin, that the road to success is always under construction?
Ok, I’d love to hear what you think, do let me know!
‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
P.S. If you’d like to do something about your success construction, do watch my free video series covering my 8 step goal achievement formula – it works a treat!