Everyone wants to be successful, but not everyone gets there in the end. When we look at the most successful people in the world, those CEOs and superstars can seem like they have won the lottery. Maybe we think that we can get the lucky numbers from them and replicate their big wins. But being successful isn’t just about luck, and it’s not about some formula, either. Here’s what you really need to know about success.
You don’t need to go to an Ivy League college to succeed
It doesn’t hurt to go to a college like Harvard or Yale, but there are a lot of other excellent universities out there. Heading to a place like Excelsior College will give you a chance to get a superior education for less — something that can be a big help to those who aren’t entering their college years with boatloads of cash from their parents.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t target good schools, but keep in mind that not all schools are the best at the same things, explain the experts at Excelsior College, which is particularly well known for its nursing program.
You should also keep in mind that not all schools are traditional brick-and-mortar establishments with dorms and dining halls. Online degree programs of the sort offered at Excelsior College and other respected online universities can be more convenient for busy students. Part-time and low-residency programs are also options.
Comparing yourself to others will only hold you back
The name of the school on your degree isn’t the only thing that can needlessly drive you crazy. If you constantly compare your path and your achievements to those of others, you’re going to lose sight of what matters to you and make yourself unnecessarily frustrated.
If you measure your success against peers or idols, you’re generally going to find yourself falling short. That’s especially true in the age of social media, which causes the lives of others to look envious to us. And even if you do decide that you’re beating the competition, how will that help you? It will only cause you to take your foot off the gas, and that’s no good for your own success. So keep your eyes on your prize and run your own race. You’ll get where you’re going.
You have to be your own cheerleader
While you’re focusing on your own path to success, you need to stay positive. You can’t rely on others to inspire you. At the end of the day, it’s going to come down to your own willpower and your own resolve.
Sure, there are important people in our lives who can help us pick ourselves up when we’re feeling down. We’ve all heard everyone from baseball MVPs to Fortune 500 CEOs credit their parents or their teachers with believing in them. But if your drive doesn’t come primarily from inside of you, and if you can’t master the power of positive thinking, you’re going to put an unfair burden on your loved ones and put yourself in a tough spot if and when you feel that others aren’t supporting you in the way that they “should.” These are your dreams, so make sure you’re your own cheerleader.
“Success” means what you believe it means
Success can mean making a lot of money or accumulating a lot of power. It can mean helping a lot of people, or it can mean finding the time to spend your life with the people you love. What success means to you is something that only you can answer.
New York City attorney Howard Fensterman is massively successful by most traditional standards, but he’s also a philanthropist. He understands that money is not the only measure of success, at least not to him. He has become such a success because he chased his own dreams and passions, not other people’s measures of worth, and now he’s defining what the rewards of success are for him.
You can do the same. Choose your dream and chase it. Find what matters to you, and make those things real.