Tag Archives: Potential

The Wrong Recipe for Success

I heard a speaker several years ago at a men’s retreat describing the mindset of different age groups. He stated that your twenties are full of dreams and idealism, believing that your dream is just around the corner.

As you get into your thirties, you realize you’re no closer to your dream than you were in your twenties and the idealism begins to fade, and the dreamer dies a little. What he said clicked with me.

I used to think that the recipe for success was “Work Hard + Wait for Permission = Success.”

You know the routine….just show up before everyone, work harder and longer than everyone, and eventually someone with authority will notice and they’ll give you permission to succeed, meaning an opportunity or promotion. This isn’t wrong, if your goal is to work up the corporate ladder.

However, it guarantees you will always be working for someone else’s dream and not your own. You also run the risk of climbing the ladder only to find that it was the wrong one.

I held fast to this mindset through my 20’s, thinking it was just a matter of time before someone recognized the gifting inside me and offered me an opportunity. But as I worked my way into my 30’s I discovered that the “waiting game” held no guarantees, and all of the “offers” were into things disconnected from my purpose and passions. In short, I realized that the only person responsible for fulfilling my purpose was me.

Stop Waiting For Permission

I’ve used this picture of the caged lion before…it resonates with me.  I usually use it to show the feeling of being trapped by debt, but that’s not why it resonates with me. I’m sure you’ve been to a zoo and had the experience of seeing these massively powerful creatures, but you can tell that something is missing. Their captivity has killed something inside; there’s no fight in them, no heart.

Do you ever feel like that? Like you know your life was meant to roar but all you can muster is a feeble cry? So you keep waiting. Waiting for someone to unlock the cage. People come and admire you, speak about your power and your beauty, but it’s with a sadness in their voice. Even though they can’t see the bars, they sense the cage. So they make some nice comments and walk on to the next exhibit.

Here’s what you have to understand about success…about fulfilling your potential. No one can do it for you. Not your parents, not your spouse, not even God. Oh, God is so ready to help you, but he won’t do it for you. But what he has done is given you permission. Now it’s up to you. Do you give yourself permission to succeed? I’m not talking yachts and Ferraris…I’m talking purpose and destiny. As Zig Ziglar said, you were “designed for accomplishment, engineered for success, and endowed with the  seeds of greatness.”

Believe me when I say this – the only limits to your success are the ones you place in front of you. Give yourself permission. Remove the limitations. The world needs what you have.

Committed to your success,

-Wesley

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