What does success or failure look like? What does it feel like or taste like? If I were to ask you to answer those questions, I’m sure I would get a variety of responses. Success could be as simple as putting a smile on another’s face to making the last payment on your mortgage.
Recently, I attended the Florida Writers Conference in Orlando, Florida. The guest speaker was NY Times best-selling author John Gilstrap. I’ve been fortunate in my life to have seen and heard everyone from Presidents Carter and Ford to Zig Zigler, and Paul Harvey to the local Mayor of Lake Worth.
The recent speech from Mr. Gilstrap jumped into my top three of all time because of his simple message. It was the same thoughts, yet packaged in a different way, from my two other favorites, which were from former football coach Lou Holtz, and Marco Rubio.
Mr. Gilstrap spoke about how he had reached the pinnacle of the publishing world despite his English teacher at William and Mary begging Mr. Gilstrap to quit writing because of a perceived lack of talent. He unfortunately believed his professor for far too long. Others will always attempt to place their own idea of success or failure upon you. Mr. Gilstrap’s message was to never listen and never quit.
In my case, the clique is correct. I’d be rich if I had a nickel for every time someone told me they always wanted to write a book since I began writing. Does the fact that I’ve written eight and will have released ten before the end of 2017 make me a success in their minds? I don’t know. I have my own idea of success about my life and career, as should you.
Marco Rubio spoke about having every opportunity to succeed. Coach Holtz talked about preparation and outworking your opponent for that feeling of success. Mr. Gilstrap delivered the same idea in slightly different words. He said, “Failure cannot be inflicted upon you.” Hearing those words alone made my trip a success. You know what success will look like, taste like and feel like for you. Don’t allow others to decide it for you. Good luck in your journey.