“We are all self made but only the successful will admit it.” – Earl Nightingale
I came across this quote and it hit me like 2 tons of bricks. Why 2? Because my mind immediately went thru 2 thoughts; 1) we really are self made and that statement is too true. 2) We may be self made, but it took a team to make it look like it. Although they are seemingly opposing thoughts, they’re really not.
Our entire lives are forged in the fire of trial, tribulation, conquest, success, sorrow, and joy. Not just that, but also how we respond to those things.
Many a successful man and woman will tell you that they are self made. That they pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, put their nose to the grindstone and kept it there, no matter what, until they hit their goal. They are an inspiration to us all and fire us up to take charge of our own lives and do the same.
The problem is, we’ve been in charge of our lives this whole time. The difference is what they did with that authority and what we’ve done thus far. The successful claim their self made status proudly because they fond success in whatever endeavor they sought to conquer.
The rest of us blame our lack of success on circumstances. “It’s not my fault” we’ll say or “if this/that/the other thing were different I’d be successful too”. The truth is, no we wouldn’t. When faced with the kinds of obstacles we have seen, the successful CHOOSE to grind thru, go around, rise above, heck, even burrow under if that’s what it takes.
Meanwhile the unsuccessful hit the obstacle, look at it and deem it insurmountable. We’ll blame our childhood, our finances, our spouses, our job, even our kids for why we’re not able to overcome this particular roadblock and allow ourselves to stay stuck.
It’s a choice. One we refuse to recognize or take ownership of. How could we be self made? Look at all things that “aren’t my fault”.
Here’s the thing, the “successful” all had the same or similar problems. The difference is that successful people refuse to let those seemingly impossible obstacles to define them or deter them. They chose to keep going. So end the end they could claim the spoils of victory and the joy that comes from having done the work. even if the obstacle they had to overcome wasn’t “their fault”.
The Self Made Trap
When we finally realize that we are indeed self made, we must also recognize the value of the people we meet along the way who help us. Whether it was directly or indirectly.
The truly, long term successful people realize that, while they did the work, they had help along the way. The people who provided advice, mentorship, or just a shoulder to lean on when they got tired play an invaluable role.
They also recognize the people along they way from whom they learned valuable lessons of what not to do or how to do things better because they screwed up that relationship.
Becoming Self Made
We are all indeed self made. It is our choices that have led us to where we are and those same choices that will lead us into the future. The successful claim their self made status with pride because they’ve built a life to be proud of.
Have you? Will you from now on? You are self made. If it were me (and it is) I’d want to make myself into something I’d be proud to say I made my self.
Until next week, train hard, eat well, and live excellent!