Do You Believe In Spontaneous Combustion Or Pyromania?

“Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion.  You must set yourself on fire.”  Arnold H. Glasow

What a brilliant quote that is!  Interesting and inspiring!  It really captures how I feel about success.  But sadly not everyone feels the same way! 

It’s a sad truth that so many people I have come across, heard of, read about etc, all seem to behave as if they truly believe that “success”, however defined, is rather like winning the lottery. 

And some people I know (and I won’t mention any names but trust me, I do know them, personally), take this belief one step further.  They believe that success is even more random because they don’t even “buy” the “lottery ticket”!  They passively wait for success to find them!

Incredibly this attitude is widespread, prevalent even.  If you don’t believe me, just take a look around you.  How many people can you see who do nothing, absolutely nothing, and yet STILL expect that success will happen “if it is meant to be!”.  AAHHh!  It drives me bananas! 

Because even worse than their own passive waiting for something to happen to them, this attitude conveys a belief that anyone who achieves even a modest level of success is somehow “lucky” – not that they planned it, worked really hard for it and made whatever sacrifice they needed to achieve it – no.  They were just “lucky”.

Many people want things–they want to be rich, they want to be at the top of their profession, they want a successful marriage, they want to raise great kids, they want the respect of their peers etc.  But are they doing anything to achieve the success they dream of? 

Are they working hard and smart towards financial independence and living frugally in the meantime?  Are they constantly learning and striving at their job?  Are they showing their spouse love, consideration, understanding, respect and generosity?  Are they spending time with their children being an active role model?  Are they proving themselves to be an asset within their peer community?

You get my drift, I’m sure.

So how do you define success?  Is it money, career, love, marriage, family, friendship, respect, community? 

For me, success is about touching people’s souls, love, making a difference, being “connected”.  How many lives do I touch with mine?  How many hearts?  Whose life has been touched in a positive way by my existence on this planet? 

Sadly one of my uncles died last year.  He had lived his whole life through in the same village in Yorkshire – born, raised, worked, married and died there.  He was a good person who had lots of friends and when he died it was standing room only inside the church, and there were still people outside who couldn’t get in!  That’s how I want to go! 

I hope that I touch so many people’s lives during mine that when I die, there will be great mourning!  I try and take time out to help, meet and listen as much as I feel I can. But I know I could always do more.

If you really want your success then set yourself on fire.  Don’t wait for spontaneous combustion.  Success is not an accident.