I recently heard an election consultant tell his candidate that “success is about readiness matched with opportunity. Just be ready when the time comes.”
The candidate was going to lose the election and the consultant was OK with that. He was telling the candidate that she needed to prepare for the next election so she would be ready when that opportunity showed up.
So there is no confusion regarding my eavesdropping on a strategy session in real life, I point out that this was on a TV show. The election was taking place in a country just beginning to embark on the democratic process.
Consultants are normally very smart people. The advice from the consultant seemed odd at first. Essentially, he said that it is perfectly fine to lose on today’s attempt. In today’s business climate of quickly grabbing at everything that may bring additional rewards, this advice just seems out of place.
According to this philosophy, success will be the result of being ready for the opportunity to succeed no matter when it shows up. Now it begins to make sense to me. You must plan for success. Planning requires identifying how you will know that success has been achieved and how to identify when the opportunity for success arrives. Planning will also require the defining of what it means to be prepared and what steps will be taken to be prepared.
The candidate in question could not possibly have done any of the above since the country was just beginning the march toward an elected government. She was definitely not ready for success.
This brings me to the real point of this rambling. What exactly is success?
I once heard a story of two men at a cocktail party discussing how successful a man at the other end of the room was. That man had everything and was in the process of getting more. One of the two men said that he himself had something the man in question would never have. The other man incredulously asked what that was. The man said, “Enough.”
We each define success differently for each of the multitude of quests we undertake (business, marriage, parenting, relationships, etc.). We also place differing priorities on these successes. Do you value money more than relationships? Do you value your job more than your marriage?
We all should strive to define our enough in all of our quests. We should know when we have achieved success in each and how to be ready when the time comes.
I want to add my own twist here, if I may. Thank you, for that opportunity.
Many poker players love to lament about their bad beats. These are the times when you have your opponent crushed and the one card left in the deck that gives them a miracle win shows up. You loose your entire chip stack, go home and kick the dog.
Luck goes around and around. You should be ready when it gets to you. You must also be there when it does. It is insufficient to be prepared and ready, you should not quit so that you are there when the opportunity shows up. It also makes for a happier dog.
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