Sunday, April 11, 2021

The Secret To Success ...

 I was thinking about the traits of successful people and what they seem to have in common, what their secret to success is. Although success is measured differently for all of us, and we view success differently, too, most of us have achieved some sort of success. It's usually something that we want or something that makes us happy. Depending upon what we are striving for, finding success could take years to achieve, or it could take the amount of time it takes to grow a tomato--maybe 60 to 80 days.

Usually, success is something we strive for because it brings us satisfaction, happiness, and maybe even joy. I think if success isn't measured in terms of what's truly important for the person striving for it, achieving success may be difficult for some, but not impossible. Furthermore, I can only believe that success, no matter what it is or who wants it, is usually obtained by people who have similar traits or things in common with their personalities and how they think, believe, and maneuver through their life.  And, in saying that, I am apt to believe all or most of us humans have quite a few things in common, since most of us have sought after and found success in some area of our lives. We're more alike than we think, even with our many differences.

Personality traits that quickly come to mind when I think about someone seeking success are tenacity, perseverance, and passion. It's also believable to think that most successful people have confidence helping them achieve their goals. They probably have diligence and will power, and most are likely to be very disciplined people. I Googled "shared traits of successful people", just to see if the World Wide Web agreed with some of my thoughts. It did. But I was a little surprised that I didn't find something about successful people appreciating the help of others in their world, other people who support and encourage them to achieve their success. After all, it is with the help from those around us,  those in our worlds who support us, that most of us find success and reach the goal we are wanting.

Some, not all, believe that to achieve success, you must aim for your goal, keeping your eye on the prize, and not letting anyone or anything get in your way. This works for a lot of people, and it can be a way to achieve your dreams and passions. But I don't think it's the perfect way to find success. I think there are people along the way to your success, helping you and supporting you, as you make your way to obtain your goal. 

As always, thinking about success and people and others who help along the way made me think of my garden. For whatever reason, I'm always finding answers to my thoughts in my garden! This time, my thoughts brought me to the idea of companion planting. 

I had never heard of companion planting until I had become a gardener, and even then, I didn't know anything about it. Companion planting is a way to grow plants together to get the best out of each plant. It is a way to have each plant be very successful and reach their goal, whether that is to have sunflowers reach 12 feet into the sky or to grow beefsteak tomatoes the size of grapefruit.  This is done by putting different plants together, plants that will complement each other by enjoying the same type of soil, or perhaps the flowers blooming on one will help pollinate the other, maybe one plant has the capability of repelling pests for the other, or very tall sunflowers providing protection to shade-loving lettuces. The two different plants help each other to successfully grow and be more productive because of their complementary characteristics.

After thinking about this for a while, I started thinking about the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." This beautiful rule has biblical roots, but we all appreciate it. Most of us live our lives by following it, and we don't even know it. In so doing, we help each other succeed just by being kind to each other. Kindness begets helpfulness. Our differences are outshined by our abilities to be complementary, and that's just by being kind.

As the Fab Four would say, "I get by with a little help from my friends. I'm gonna try with a little help from my friends." Most people appreciate a little help from others in their world in their search for success. Of course, every so often, you find someone who may not necessarily appreciate your help. This is someone who would rather be alone on their search for success. That's okay, too. Whether they know it or not, they're receiving support from those in their worlds who understand their need for space. 

I picture a cactus in the desert. It's not often you see a pretty desert daisy complementing the area around the cactus. Usually, there's just desert dirt around the base of a cactus plant.  The wildflowers in the desert give the cactus space. Eventually the distant and blooming wildflowers help the cactus reach its goal. It's as if the cactus seems to appreciate the space provided by the blooming desert flowers and ultimately blooms a beautiful flower of its own. Have you ever seen a cactus flower? It's so beautiful. It's what the cactus has the desire to do, on its own without any help or complementary plants nearby. The cactus successfully blooms one of the prettiest flowers seen in the desert. 

Some plants enjoy the company of different plants. Some plants appreciate the gifts different plants have to offer. The support just happens, and both plants succeed. The symbiotic relationship between the two plants is automatic. Other plants, like the cactus, need a different type of support. They need space. Both types of plants use the support they have near or far from other plants, and both types of plants eventually obtain success.

Maybe people are like plants. Some appreciate others in their world to be nearby as they find their way to success. But others will achieve success, appreciating help from a distance. Some people just need a little space. But other people don't need space at all.

No two people are alike in every aspect of their lives or who they are, but we do enjoy each other's company. We support each other; we build each other up without even thinking about it. We treat each other with kindness, we do unto others as we would like to have done unto us, and that helps all of us navigate our worlds. Some of us are on paths to very big things; we have big goals and determinations. We need support from others to achieve our goals and reach our success. Others of us, without too much support from anyone else, just hope and pray the tomato seeds planted in the ground decide to grow. That, too, is a goal, and when the tomato plants begin to poke through the dirt, the first moments of success are felt. 

Tenacity, perseverance, passion--we all have them. We're all successful in our individual world-gardens supporting each other very closely with complementary abilities or giving space and allowing the other to find their way. We're more alike than we think, even with our many differences. But our differences are outshined by our abilities to be complementary, and that's just by being kind. Perhaps that's what true success really is. Perhaps the secret to success is the ability to be kind. 

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