The media loves to highlight individuals who they see as an overnight success:
- Justin Bieber’s viral You Tube videos helped him get a record deal and instant fame.
- Joe Namath gained immediate fame when he delivered on his promise that the Jets would win the Superbowl in 1968.
- JK Rowling’s books seemed to take the world by storm in the late 1990s.
- Elon Musk was just another Dreamer until his Falcon rocket reached orbit. Seemingly, overnight Musk became a household name.
The media just loves instant success stories, which mistakenly portrays success as some pivotal event.
The reality is, success takes a long time and often goes unnoticed, as it is occurring, to the beneficiaries of success. Most successful people don’t see, in real time, the pivotal points of their success. Only in hindsight, and many years later, are they able to identify the actual moment they turned the corner and realized success.
This is because, for the vast majority of successful people, success is not an event. It is a process or progression. You just don’t see success happening, even when it’s happening in real time, because the “success event” is actually just a progression of one of many subtle “success events”.
The point I’m trying to make here is that, barring the rare overnight success exceptions, “success” is not an event. It is the culmination of progressing from one goal to the next, from one dream to the next, from one minor success to the next.
Success is very much like snow falling on the side of a mountain. You don’t see the snow accumulating and the snow bank growing. Then one day, there is an avalanche.
Success may reward you financially with a windfall but it is a windfall that takes many years to occur. It the byproduct of years and years of devoted focus, hard work and persistence.