10-24-2016  7:06 am      •     
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Everyone wants to be up there, but very few take the trouble to go all the way.
Making an effort to look at the finer details, and polishing up your act accordingly can go the distance in helping you become the success that you wish to be. And what is success?
Success, to some, is all about wealth. To some, success is all about achieving the perfect job, or the perfect marriage, or living the perfect life.
There are other ways in which humans have come to define success, but one thing is clear: success must be defined and a goal must be set before it can be achieved.
Think about achieving a goal in terms of driving a car. How could you possibly get to your destination, if you have not clearly defined it? Would you just drive all across town or all across the country in search of your destination, or would you sit down and identify the destination before you even get into your car? That's how life is! Why would you live your life and go through your days, wasting precious time, effort and other resources without defining your actual goal?
The question may sound elementary, but many people live this way and wonder why they fail to achieve anything of substance. Another mistake people make is pursuing someone else's goal.
Let's use the driving analogy again: How could you arrive at your own desired destination, if you focus on where other people are going? Would you get on the freeway and drive north just because other people are driving in that direction? Where do you really want to go?
In order to define your own destination in life, you must take the time to think about who you really are and what will really make you happy. Your success may be to teach small children to read and write, or your success may be to lead a gospel church choir. Your success may be to own a million dollar corporation, or your success may be to work your way to a high level of management in a multi-million dollar corporation. The point is that your definition of success must be the goal for your life.
Each individual must create his/her own definition of success in order to be successful. I believe there are several components to defining success from an individual perspective.
• Defining Your Skills
In order to achieve success, you must define it based on your skills. Simply put, your skills are the things that you are capable of doing. It is not practical to say that you want to be a rocket scientist, if you already know that science and math are your weakest areas. Look at the subjects you were good at. Are those things solid enough to build a life around? Are those things strong enough to turn into a career? Once you define your skills, you can begin to set your goal for success.
• Defining Your Desires
One of the biggest contributing factors to failure is the failure to discern between skill and desire. Simply put, your desire refers to your interest in something. Look at the things that most interest you. Are those things solid enough to make a living? Look at the extra-curricular activities you are involved in. Are those things strong enough to build a life around? Many times, the truly great in our society achieve greatness in the pursuit of individual goals and ideals. Be the next you in your community that is starving for positive role models.

Farrah Gray is an author and chairman of the Farrah Gray Foundation.

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