A while back, someone told me that I needed to remember that they brought me to the table. Essentially, they were saying that they brought me my success. I was not having it — nor will I ever.
Every day, we have a conscious choice to control the direction of our life. Every day, we can knock on doors, metaphorically and physically. Would someone open a door if they never hear a knock? It takes that “knock” for the person behind the door to even make a decision to open it or keep the door closed. And who is behind that knock? YOU.
So, if nothing screams further from the truth, it is those very words that person spoke to me. While this world presents us with ample opportunity to succeed, it is you and I who must knock on doors.
In all of my career, no one gave me anything. I worked from the very bottom. I worked for free. I sought opportunities. I even sought the individuals who presented me with such opportunities. I created my own path. I hustled. I networked. I took classes. Google was (and still is) my best friend. I searched the internet for people doing what I dreamed of doing and reached out to them. I sent hundreds of emails and received a fraction back. And, then, I did it all over again. No matter how much rejection was blown my way, I still pulled up my own chair in the pursuit of every dream I have. And so do you.
My point from all of this? Never allow anyone to take credit for how much you do to make your dreams come true.
I’m not discounting the people who help along the way; I’m not saying to be entitled, or selfish. It takes a village, right? I’m not saying that that group of people doesn’t exist. Many have said “yes” to me and they’ve helped me accomplish dreams. However, yeses and nos do not arrive at our door like an Amazon package. You have to put yourself in a position to even receive an answer. You are the root of what grows around you. You are the root of your circumstances. You are the face behind your failures and your sweet successes.
But here’s the other thing: never own your magic to the point where you parade around town as the leader of the best show on Earth. Tim McGraw is right. There’s something to be said about staying humble. Stay down-to-earth, but know that you are the only person steering your success.
All the power lies within you. How freeing is that? To know, each day, that YOU and YOU alone have all the power to make your life what you wish it to be. Own what you do day in and day out to get to where you are because it’s no easy task.
We often see the end product: The corporate dream job that said, “You’re hired.” The lover who finally treats you right. The business that finally soars or the stories that are published for the world to read. We glorify success but forget to admire the struggle.
We don’t always see everything that went into achieving the end result. We don’t see the 500th email that gets sent, with one eye open because you’re exhausted. The years of school to get the degree. The countless business calls. The endless networking. That search for energy to do it all over again when you swore you had none left. The monotonous commute to a day job, while working a night job of pursuing your every dream. That’s the grit that allows you to take sole credit for every milestone you have ever reached. That’s yours and yours alone.
Of course, know your team and thank them… But, every team has a captain, and you are the captain. No one else will ever care enough about your dreams to push any harder than you will. No one should ever want your success more than you do.
So, in this daily grind, never forget: we have the power to seat ourselves at every table we approach.