Is Your Floor Too Low?

What is your threshold for success or failure? Where you set the bar will likely determine your outcome.

by Pete Ferguson

I have spent much time studying success. In my lifelong quest I have wanted to understand why some people are extremely successful – and why others never really make it “out of the gate” in the race of life.

Pedigree – I have found it is not always in how lucky you are in birth. Many top athletes, business successes and others were not born into a situation pruned for success.

Wealth – Lots of money doesn’t guarantee success. I know many happy wealthy people – and unhappy wealthy people – just as I know many content people of little financial means and many miserably poor. I’ve also seen that giving wealth to those who have not earned it does little to change the long-term success of an individual.

Luck – I do not believe in luck per say. Luck is preparation meeting opportunity. I’ve seen a fortunate set of circumstances wasted on some while capitalized by others. The Great Depression was the worst of luck for many and the opportunity for success for a few.

Attitude – Attitude certainly helps, but on its own it is like a Ferrari in a parking lot. Without forward motion, it is only positive press with little result.

Action is the foundational key to all success. ~ Pablo Picasso

In my search for what causes success, I believe the key for success is all in how an individual establishes and works towards accomplishing goals. It is how the “floor” of failure and ceiling of success are established and measured.

In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure. ~ Bill Cosby

Last week we drove through the homeless area of Salt Lake to get to a movie theater. For many of these individuals, the floor of failure is very low. Success is measured by one’s ability to get a hot meal or a warm bed – two things I have not ever had to question much.

On the contrary, I know businesses that describe a product as successful only if it is making over $1 Million USD in profit in a year.

Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally. ~David Frost

trainerIn working with a personal trainer at the gym, I definitely understand a much different meaning of success. I am pushed well beyond what I think my body is capable of delivering. I’ve worked with many trainers, but they all have one thing in common – they know that I am capable of much more than I think I am able to perform.

In working with financial coaches, I’ve realized the floor for success is a paid for house before the age of 60, no debt, and six months of cash on hand while putting money away for the future. Previously I thought success was having stuff you could make the monthly payments for.

In working with a family friend and therapist, I’ve learned all kinds of new measurements to a happy and healthy marriage and family.

The list goes on and on.

As a baby you were praised for being able to first lift up your head, then your ability to get up on all fours, then crawl, walk, run and jump.

Miles, my two-year-old son, gets applause and a treat as he declares “it’s working” when he is able to use the toilet instead of a diaper.

I’m just guessing here, but I doubt you were met with applause or a treat for doing the same in the past week.

I am grateful for 2012 as the year I have better understood what I am capable of and how I can achieve greater success. I’m still working on my blueprint, but I have a much greater sense of where I need to go than I have for many years.

Where is your floor? Where is your ceiling? If you can raise the bar to measure success and failure continually, you will be headed for continued success and excellence. 

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One thought on “Is Your Floor Too Low?

  1. Pingback: Why I Fear Success | learnactshare

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