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Success, What It Is and How to Achieve It: The One Thing

This lesson is a part of an audio course Success, What It Is and How to Achieve It by Scott F. Paradis

Welcome back.

We talked, in the last session about the one obstacle – the one thing to overcome; here we're going to talk about the one thing that, if you get this right, will propel you to new heights.

I have a question for you: Do you subscribe to the Darwinian philosophy of survival of the fittest? And what survival of the fittest translates to: might makes right?

Might makes right is the organizing construct of human society. Victors write the history books.

Just know this; might makes right may be the prevailing paradigm of human society; but might makes right is the manifestation of ego – it's resistance. It's not the force of life.

Are you still wrestling with the idea that somehow you have not been blessed with the capacity for success? You don't have the resources, the pedigree, the education, or the demeanor to succeed? Well, that's just not true.

Every one of us – and that includes you – have access to, and employs regularly, the power to create the circumstances and the experiences of life.

We don't have the same DNA or the same skin tone, stature, and looks. We don't have the same voices or coordination or talents and abilities. Each of us is "one of a kind," unique, uniquely valuable, and capable. However, we do have much in common.

A day has twenty-four hours, one thousand four hundred and forty minutes or 86,400 seconds. The time in a day is equal for every human being inhabiting this planet. Everyone has the ability to, and will absolutely invest those 86,400 seconds in some way. No one has an advantage when it comes to hours in a day. We all get the same amount.

A lifetime is the accumulation of experience built using the smallest increments of time.

We get thirty-one million, five hundred and thirty-six thousand seconds in a typical year. We get two billion, five hundred and twenty-two million, eight hundred and eighty thousand seconds in a typical lifespan. Are you investing or wasting yours?

Here's something to think about: Each of us experiences between twenty and sixty thousand thoughts per day. Our minds are receivers and transmitters of seemingly infinite thought. Choice begins and ends in thought. We choose to entertain and empower thought.

You have the time, and you have the thoughts; how are you using your greatest assets?

Your journey is not exactly the same as anyone else's on this planet. You have a unique role to play and a unique opportunity. The question is: how will you express yourself?

Are you seeking a full and fulfilling life, a life of adventure, accomplishment, exhilaration, and achievement? Or are you seeking a life of compromise and comfort? Or are you intending to just survive?

If thought is your decisive power, and you have a renewed supply of time every day; what is the one thing that matters most?

Have you ever taken a magnifying glass and focused sunlight onto your hand?

The heat from the concentrated rays becomes intense. Focusing even tepid sunbeams can ignite a raging fire. The one thing that matters; the one thing that makes all the difference is what you choose to focus on. What you choose to focus on is the direction you move.

Life is all about experiences – right?

Have you ever been to the start of the Iditarod sled dog race?

Currently, I'm living in Alaska, and I've had the opportunity to attend the start. This is a sled dog race from Willow to Nome, Alaska, covering a distance of one thousand miles in some of the worst possible conditions.

Imagine setting out with nothing but a team of sixteen dogs and a sled loaded with supplies to travel one thousand miles, often in the dark, with whipping winds and at times temperatures dipping below minus sixty degrees Fahrenheit.

Why do those mushers do it?

At the start of the race, nearly seventy-five teams assemble, some years more, some years less; seventy-five mushers and more than a thousand dogs. The dogs – anxious to get running – are excited and bark loudly. If you've ever visited a dog kennel, multiply that noise and energy a hundred times, and you'll get a sense of the pandemonium.

To start, the Iditarod sleds navigate a shoot on a frozen lake. The shoot is marked off by three-foot fencing and is lined by thousands of spectators. The race announcer reads the bios of each of the mushers as they depart in five-minute intervals. It's an amazing sight to watch.

What is most remarkable to me, though, is listening to those bios.

Here are over-achieving men and women from all walks of life. Some have summited the world's highest peaks; some have sailed vast oceans by themselves or skied across continents. These are mix of athletes, academics, engineers, doctors, lawyers, and everyday people. These are people who want to experience, who've chosen to, and who will experience, something very few of us will ever know.

I feel humbled every time I listen to the roll-call of adventurers heading out into a vast, untamed, and unforgiving wilderness – a musher, sixteen dogs, and a sled. And once the last one departs, I shuffle back to my car to warm up.

Those men and women make a choice. They have chosen to focus on getting to Nome. They deliberately and purposefully have chosen how to invest their time and experience life. They will succeed. Whether or not they make it to Nome; they will succeed.

Concentrating your power toward a single-minded purpose, is the surest way to achieve, produce, or create any condition, circumstance, or outcome.

The single most important task for you, is to determine your focus. What you focus on manifests in your reality; good or bad; for better or for worse.

The one thing propelling you to your destination is what you choose to focus on.

You have thousands of assets – thoughts – available to you every day. Are you leveraging those assets?

The moment of truth is the moment of decision. You must decide, choose, commit to directing thought – your thoughts. Ultimate focus produces ultimate power.

You are a success when you choose to succeed.

If you are afraid or unwilling to direct your own thoughts or if you're anxious or reluctant to discipline your mind, others will step in. Manipulators and frauds appear to fill the void of those lost and afraid. All I need is to mention politicians, and you'll get a sense of what I mean. By not thinking for yourself, by not claiming your right and bearing your responsibility, you become a pawn in someone else's plan. You forfeit your power.

If you're wondering – yes, that all sounds well and good – but how; how do I get control of my thoughts? Deliberately go to work on yourself.

When someone first learns to juggle, they don't begin with three or four or five balls. They begin with one. Don't attempt to juggle all the balls; start with one. Think.

Unfortunately, far too many of us fill our days with distractions. Where are you going?

What you focus on; what you think about is where your life is headed.

The world changes when you do. Change your focus; change your life.

You are GUARANTEED TO SUCCEED! No question, no excuses, no doubt. You will absolutely succeed in this life. You will get everything you claim. The question is not, Will you succeed? The question is, What will you succeed at?

Focus on the most important thing: Where you are heading.

In lesson six, we're going to dig a little deeper into how life works.

Meet you there.

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Written by

Scott F. Paradis