Don’t Strive for Success…


I had the opportunity to be in Toronto, this past week, taking part in a conference, along with six thousand other people. The conference title was, ‘Power of Success’, where eight speakers delivered their take on success and how to get there.

Some speakers were interesting to me and others, not so much. Some speakers were more effective than others and some were absolutely dynamic. I took plenty of notes and following a good long sleep, I began to process some of what captured my attention.

The common theme, that surfaced over and over again, for me, was how we have to change the way with think about ourselves and our circumstances, in order to achieve our version of success.

Here are the top four things that stood out for me:

Speaker, Tony Robbins, who has raised money and fed eighty-seven million people, this year alone, talked about Robin Williams. Here was a multi-millionaire actor who had everything at his disposal, in the way of resources, money, homes, connections, opportunities, travel, jobs, career success, family, friends and still, his life apparently ended in suicide.

This goes to show that achieving what many feel will bring them a sense of achievement, happiness or fulfillment, may not accomplish that at all. The bottom line of the story was that if you are not happy now, in your life, you will not be any happier if you accomplished all of the things on your dream list.

Many people say they want to make more money and yet, do we really want a bunch of little pieces of paper with pictures of dead people on them? Would possessing more of these pieces of paper make us happy? Of course not. It is what we think those little pieces of paper will allow us to do.

Usually it means more freedom, flexibility and the opportunity to do what we want to do with our time. It means that we have choices, which we may not have at our disposal now. It means that we can use those little pieces of paper to fill our life with experiences and things that we think will make us happy.

Does that mean that we stop striving, reaching, planning and working towards our goals? Absolutely not; however, it does mean that the fundamental foundation of a happy life is appreciating what we already have in our life right now…

The second major point was from eighty-one year old speaker, Bob Proctor. Bob was a fireman in Toronto before launching a multi-million dollar cleaning business and then becoming a leader in personal success.

He was passionate about how most people focus on the goal, in order to get what we want, but the problem is usually where we are. He is determined that we must change our paradigm (our pattern of thinking) before we expect our results to change.

He used the story of a rundown neighbourhood where a number of houses had to be levelled, because they were so dilapidated. In their place, brand new apartment complexes were built, for the residents.

Several years later, all of those apartment buildings had to be torn down as well, because they were in such rough shape. Even though the environment around them changed, the people living within them never did.

Our paradigm is what we believe and how we think. If we believe we are not good enough or we don’t believe change is possible or we are stuck in a toxic or negative mindset, then our behaviour and results will reflect that. We must change from the inside, in order for our outer reality to improve.

Point number three was uttered by Barbara De Angelis. She is a number one bestselling author who talked about some gems from her book, ‘Soul Shifts’. She stated that inner consciousness drives our life and that consciousness is about being plugged in.

We tend to unplug from consciousness when we suffer hurt, loss, grief or hardship. We need to figure where we disconnected from our consciousness and decide to plug back in. This allows us to heal and then be illuminated from the inside.

The fourth powerful concept was delivered from my favourite speaker of the event, Les Brown. He shared how he was an adopted twin who was known as the dumb one, of the two boys. He was teased by classmates on a regular basis.

After a painful episode where all of the kids were laughing at him, a teacher boldly stepped in and told him, ‘Son, someone’s opinion of you doesn’t have to become your reality’.

Les Brown said that that moment shifted the direction of his life. His paradigm shifted. He later went on to have a successful radio DJ, television and political career before becoming a speaker and generating sixty-five million dollars to date.

Les is seventy years of age and empowers people around the world. His daily inspiring messages can be found at

Although I wrote over thirty-six pages of notes, the predominant theme that surfaced was about shifting the way we think. This will be the primary catalyst for all of the positive changes we want to make in our life.

Instead of striving for success blindly, we have to put on the brakes and figure out how our thoughts may be sabotaging us. Don’t reach for success until you seriously examine your beliefs and way of thinking.

If you are looking for a partner, you must believe that someone is actually out there for you. If you want to return to school, you must open your mind, believe it is possible, take action and understand that you don’t have to know how to accomplish something, because a way may present itself.

If you want a better job, you must appreciate the one you have now, believe that one day you will find a better job, take action to improve your skills, training and volunteerism, in the meantime and keep seeking until it happens.

If you want to improve your health, you have to express gratitude for what parts of your body are working now, take action to stay as fit and nourished as possible, do all of the things that the professionals are recommending that you do and fill your life with as many positive experiences as possible.

If you want to mend a broken relationship, examine what you believe about the situation and see if you can change your thinking to a belief that would be more productive and healing. Once the thinking changes, the actions follow.

Life is so complicated that it will never be perfect; however, if we believe that it is journey worth experiencing, find the joy in whatever corner we can and decide to walk through life with optimism and thankfulness for what is going right, we will most certainly feel better about things.

You deserve to feel hopeful about your life. What patterns of thinking may be blocking your success, in any area. If you are not sure, just jot down what you believe about the issue, on a piece of paper. You just might discover the key that could be holding you back…

‘You will fail your way to success.’ ~ Les Brown