I know it has been the longest time since I published something new. Can I even call myself a blogger anymore, considering I have not actually blogged in months? Anyway – thank you all for sticking with me through the drought and carrying on reading my old stuff.
It is my fourth and final year of University, so things have been quite full-on but a recent conversation with a friend has sparked an old thought that I would like to share with you all. For quite a lot of people in my “circle”, it is exam season so these are just some thoughts to encourage. However, the message is transferable no matter what stage of life you are in…
Align yourself with success…
These words were my mantra last year, and I lived my life by them. I found second year of University really difficult for a multitude of reasons but following the idea of aligning myself with success brought me from a toxic place to learning how to be truly happy in third year to now in my fourth year where I am completely content.
Aligning yourself with success is about doing the ground work to facilitate your goals. Success can be such an elusive concept so when I say success, I am referring to all the things in life you are currently striving for be it within the context of academia, relationships, career, etc.
“Success” does not come over night. Most people already know this but a lot of people (or at least I didn’t) do not realise how important what you do in advance is. Motivation comes and goes – you cannot rely on it. How many times do you not complete an important task because you lacked the motivation? However, you can rely on your preparation and when motivation is waning you can count on the muscle memory created by your preparation to kick in. As Benjamin Franklin famously said: “by failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail.”
I am not claiming to be a nature expert but just a quick horticultural analogy….aligning yourself with success is a bit like planting a tree. Before you actually see the tree e.g. success, so much has already happened below the surface which nobody knows about. Aligning yourself with success is more than just preparation – it is taking the time to work on yourself. It is knowing that the process is not always glamorous and sometimes it might feel like it is taking forever or like it is not working. Success is not a liner process – it has its peaks and troughs but aligning yourself with success is trusting that your tree is eventually going to grow. It is then taking to the time to do all the things that are good for your tree such as watering it and feeding it plant food (if that is even a thing?).
This might mean different things to you depending on your goals and what kind of person you are. For example, last year I wanted to get healthier so aligning myself with success meant spending Sunday afternoons meal prepping for the week. It also meant getting my running clothes laid out the night before so I could easily slip into them and it was more likely I would go for morning runs. Right now as I prepare for my final year exams, aligning myself with success looks slightly different….it is early nights so I can wake up in time to get the bus unto campus (the struggle is real for a spot in the library!). For me, it is temporarily deleting instagram and stopping listening to artists such as Cardi B because as much as I like them, I know it puts me in the wrong mindset.
Basically aligning yourself with success is all the little and seemingly innocuous things that actually are so important in helping you achieve “success”, whatever that might mean for you. It is trying your best to eliminate time-wasting activities, thoughts and even people and making sure everything you do is in the best interest of the person you want to be and the goals you want to achieve. For example, you might need to take a step back from certain people to align yourself with success. They may not overtly intend to be detrimental to your well being and goals – however, if you are spending too much time investing in a person that could be spent on aligning activities e.g. going to be early, this could have a destabilising effect. Surround yourself with people who will facilitate you – you need collaborators and not competitors.
Just some food for thought which I hope helps! Aligning yourself with success is a key way that I try to help future Me out and stay on track with my goals. I am by no means there yet and I still often struggle with procrastination. However, taking the time to think of what you want to achieve and pinpointing the activities of preparation that will help you get there will make you more self-aware and make it more likely that you will succeed. Speak success into your life and be your own “hype-man”.
Moving forward this year’s mantra/catchphrase has been:
self-love is self-discipline
It is a premise I am still getting my head around but so far it is really helping so I might post about that soon if it is something you all would be interested in reading.
Until then, good luck with whatever form of “success” you are striving for! If you are feeling particularly stressed, I recommend you read my not my worst day blog post…it really helps to contextualize the worries/pressure we often have.
It’s just me, Dammy, aligning myself with success.