“ONE THING” to Accelerate Your Career Forward
Research shows that only 6% of people are working the dream job they had envisioned when they were younger. What if it didn’t have to be that way? What if you could dramatically catapult your current career forward? Review this list of ten world famous people who encountered tremendous obstacles but still rose to succeed admirably. What do they have in common that advanced their career success?
- Businessman Soichiro Honda failed in getting a job with Toyota. He then started his own company, selling piston rings. A bomb destroyed his plant in WWII as did an earthquake later. In addition, he designed scooters at home while spurred on by his friends. But he succeeded, and today Honda sells motorcycles and cars worldwide.
- Geeky Bill Gates dropped out of college and failed in his first attempt in business with Paul Allen in a company called Traf-O-Data. Today, the whole world recognizes the Microsoft brand. Bill Gates is the richest man in the world.
- Sage Socrates was called “an immoral corrupter of youth” in his time. His new ideas challenged the thinking of his day. Although sentenced to death, he continued his teaching and ideals. History recognizes him as one of the greatest philosophers of the classical era.
- TV star Oprah Winfrey lived in rural poverty and was raised on welfare. She experienced abuse while growing up and, at the age of fourteen. She gave birth to a premature child who died. Later, as an evening news in Baltimore fired her as anchor. They considered Oprah “unfit for TV”. She persevered with this “one thing.” She elevated her career to become the first black woman billionaire in world history.
- Composer Ludwig van Beethoven was considered awkward on the violin and often neglected to practice. His teachers felt he couldn’t compose and would never succeed. In spite of this, he composed some of the best selling symphonies through history. He created five while he was deaf!
- Author JK Rowlings lived on welfare while raising a child alone. She had little and became severely depressed. Twelve major publishers rejected her novel. Today, the Harry Potter series have sold over 450 million books and nearly $5B in movie sales. Eventually it made her one of the richest women in the world.
- Singer Katy Perry dropped out of high school to begin her career. Her first album was unsuccessful. Eventually three different labels dropped her. Today she has sold over 80 million single recordings, and 11 million albums. She has won every conceivable music award in the US.
- Basketball player Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. Yet he rose to be considered the best players of all-time. He won 6 NBA titles and MVP awards. Jordan owns numerous honors, awards. Furthermore, his name is known globally.
- Actor Jim Carrey grew up in a low-income neighborhood. His father struggled to work steadily. Carrey dropped out of school at 15 to work as a janitor to help his family. At his first comedy gig, the audience booed him off the stage. Saturday Night Live turned him down for a job. Fortunately, Jim Carrey persistence helped him achieve Hollywood stardom.
- Businessman Richard Branson has dyslexia. In his first business venture he broke the law. Therefore, the police arrested him. His next business had continual cash flow problems. He had a bitter court battle with British Airways. As a result, he sold his music company to stay in business. Today his Virgin Group involves over 400 companies with over $15B in revenues.
When you research deeper into the people above and others with similar stories you discover one thing: resiliency. They all had failures and disappointments. Yet, they didn’t quit. Therefore, they may have had their bad moments but they bounced back. Resiliency is the one trait psychologists say that determines the quality of a person’s life. Without it, people who meet defeat never seem to move forward. Instead they tend to blame others or circumstances. They also hold grudges, lack direction, quit too soon, give little effort, short-change discipline and persistence, and don’t ask for or listen to advice. These qualities don’t produce career success and advancement.
Resiliency is a capacity for self-transformation and change. It’s not genetic. Above all, you learn to be resilient. Likewise, this means you recover relatively quickly from difficulties to try again and to live even more effectively.
This “ONE THING” exhibits five characteristics:
- Self-awareness– They recognize their emotional responses and why it happens. In addition, they pay attention to the behavior of others it impacts.
- Internal focus of control– They take responsibility for their own actions. Certainly, they know the importance and power of their own choices.
- Setbacks are a part of life-They realize that perfection and winning in everything is not the script for a fulfilling life. In short, they seem to enjoy the process and seek the humor in it, too.
- Problem-solving skills-They have learned how to learn to deal with their challenges and to persevere.
- Social support structure-They have networks of people they depend on for help, hope, and guidance.
Moreover, resilient people cultivate an inner toughness to re-frame their circumstances. Consequently, this activates successful living even when some of their goals or activities don’t work out. Hardship and failure fuels the resilient person.
In conclusion about this “one thing”, writer and poet Maya Angelou said these beautiful words: “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” Similarly, Winston Churchill added this wisdom:“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Want help to develop the ONE THING to accelerate your career? Read these books:
For employees: The Extraordinary Employee: A Roadmap for Success.
For managers: Unparalleled Leadership: How to Achieve Extraordinary Success and Results as a Manager.
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