If you haven’t noticed, I am a huge student of success. I’ve been studying success for a while now, for over a decade to be exact.
In my research and in much of my readings, I’ve always come across the following phrases; “walk away from the masses”, “leave the herd”, and one of the most poignant, “walk away from the 97%”.
THE PULL TO BE MORE
There was a time when I enjoyed hearing such phrases. I guess you could say they resonated with me on some level. Probably because I’ve always felt this urge to be more than normal.
I imagine it is a tug or a subtle feeling you’ve experienced as well in your life. You know, the feeling of being pulled or nudged in a certain direction, despite the path you’ve seem to have already chosen for yourself?
The consistent, yet silent reminder that we can be more than ordinary. The voice on our shoulders that whispers, ‘you have the potential to be extraordinary.’
To be honest, I still have these feelings.
THE UNFRIENDLY FIREWALL
Given the consistent reminder by various success gurus, to walk away from the 97%, combined with the eagerness I had to actualize high success, I enthusiastically aimed to heed such warnings in my youth.
And so, I did. In everything I did, whatever it was, I would make sure it was not the norm. I would ensure that no matter what I was doing, that it was different, uncommon, and opposite of what my peers were doing. I also made it a point to brush off much of what ‘others’ said if it wasn’t in line with my way of thinking. But most impactful, was my decision to completely remove certain people from my life.
It didn’t take me long to observe the merits and downsides that honoring such admonitions had.
I mean, it was true that there is a large portion of society that have yet to achieve the level of success that many of my mentors achieved. And it would seem wise to avoid doing what unsuccessful people did.
It’s also true that many people don’t want success the way I wanted it, or the way you want it. In fact, it is still true that a great many people won’t ever make the sacrifices necessary to achieve greatly in their life-times. At least that is the way it still appears to be.
But, it also didn’t take me long to realize that there was a certain level of close-mindedness to thinking that anyone who is not ‘success minded’ needs to be avoided at all costs.
Avoiding contact with unsuccessful people and the unambitious as if they had some sort of disease, lead me lose contact with lots of friends and family members.
Looking back, I don’t believe such approach was necessary. I don’t think disowning or extreme distancing from friends and family members who aren’t on board with what we are doing is necessary.
Yes, we still need to guard our minds from negativity, and from people who try to bring us down. Dissociation is still necessary if others are partaking in habits that run counter to our goals.
But, if people aren’t going in the same direction as us, at the same rate we are, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are against us. It doesn’t mean we must cut them out of our lives all together.
I guess you can say, I no longer believe that one must turn their back on those who choose to not pursuit greater success in their lives. For a long time, I thought that this was necessary. I even used to believe that a certain level of disdain had to be held towards those who choose to not pursue their potential. Perhaps it was because I took their rejection of pursuing success personally.
As I mentioned, thinking in this way was a mistake of mine. Having a contempt for the unambitious, never, not even once, improved my results, or further my advancement in life.
What I did realize, was that I don’t need to exclude those who have yet to join the march towards fulfilling their potential. I realized, that success has much more to do with acceptance and positivity, than it does with exclusion and negativity.
I also realized, that the idea of the ‘masses’ as an equivalent to the permanently unsuccessful, is but one perception, of a multi-faceted reality. I also don’t think there needs to always be such a large predetermined group of people who are unsuccessful. People can change, our paths are malleable.
And in thinking deeply on the concept of walking away from the masses, I currently believe such an approach can create unnecessary animosity. An animosity that can be found in the conflict between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’. An animosity that can limit the happiness and wholeness of those on their personal journey towards success.
I have chosen to look at the situation a bit differently. I am no longer going to pride myself on saying walk away from 97%, just to succeed. Instead of having a mentality of success that excludes, I am shifting my mentally to a mindset that includes.
I believe that just about everyone, at some level, wants much of the same things. To live a life of abundance. To live a life filled with increasing levels of beauty, fun, laughter, happiness, and accomplishment.
And so, as to not disrespect the efforts that everyone makes day-in and day-out to pursue their own happiness, I now say, Let’s GO. No longer will I think in terms of walking away, because walking away is to turn one’s back on others.
I don’t want to turn my back on anyone any more. Instead, I choose to stand for encouragement. I want to promote possibility. I will now ask others to come along on our journey, on a different path. Not to intentionally leave anyone behind, but instead to discover the greatness that lies ahead and awaits each of us, together.
We don’t have to deliberately leave anyone behind to find out how to express and realize our gifts.
Certainly, the people who choose to tap into their talents, and push forth with extra effort are going to arrive at a different place than those who don’t. But the decision to do so does not have to be a purposeful leaving behind of others.
I’ve accepted that the results others get in their life is their choice…their responsibility. I just hope they don’t forget, that a brighter future awaits them too….and that they are always invited.
Some people will come along and do what it takes, and others will not. To those that won’t, I’ll no longer say, ‘then I must walk away.’ Instead, I’ll happily respond with an open hand … ‘let’s go, greatness is this way‘.