Every person with a defined goal will begin their journey with certain advantages and disadvantages that will impact their chances of being successful. These factors can be social, economic, systematic, hereditary, cultural, or intellectual. To better understand this concept, think of life as a game of poker. No one can control what cards they are dealt, but every player can control how they play them. Oprah Winfrey, who is one of the richest and most powerful women in the world, overcame an extremely troubled childhood to achieve extraordinary feats in philanthropy and journalism. In contrast, there have been countless people born into families with prestige and power who are never able to make even the smallest mark on the world.
So what makes some people able to overcome immeasurable odds and others not able to capitalize on tremendous advantages? The answer to this question is “Self”. The biggest key to sustained success is constant self development. In my opinion there is not a more powerful word in the English language, than the word “Self.” No amount of success can be achieved without it, and if you understand it you will never fail to achieve. To properly understand the power of “Self” we must examine the three components that make up a person’s “Self:” self awareness, self discipline, and self confidence.
The first component of “Self” is self awareness. Self awareness is the ability to recognize and understand one’s self in any environment. When chasing success in any endeavor, it is essential to understand how your personality and values affect the way you view situations and process information. For this reason self awareness is of the utmost importance. People who are self aware have high levels of empathy, tolerance, and likability.
The second component of “Self” is self-discipline. Self discipline is perhaps the hardest component of “Self” to achieve. The act of controlling oneself and avoiding incapacitating temptation in the pursuit of self improvement is not an easy task to accomplish. In fact, self discipline is regarded so highly in most cultures that you could argue that it is the foundation of every major religion. A person’s true character is built with the bricks of self discipline.
The third and final component of “Self” is self-confidence. A person cannot achieve any goal of substance without first building the strong self-belief that they are capable of achieving it. Some people confuse confidence with arrogance, but if you understand the meaning of both words, they are easy to differentiate. Being arrogant is having an inflated self-worth, a distorted sense of importance, and a false confidence. A person who is arrogant may act as if they are the smartest person in the room even if they know for certain that they are not. Self-confidence is to understand and trust your abilities, judgment, and personal qualities because of previous preparation. I recently listened to an interview by pound for pound boxing champ Floyd Mayweather and it was one of the best takes that I ever heard on the subject of self-confidence. Mayweather said, “I have been on top of the sport of boxing for 17 years and a world champion for 16 years. I make the most money, and I have never lost a fight, so when I say that I’m the best, it’s not because of arrogance; it’s because of the facts.” It is preparation and hard work that build self-confidence.
No amount of money, natural talent, or connections can mask a person with a weak sense of self. For the people who understand the power of “Self,” the sky is truly the limit for what they can achieve.
By: Antonio McMillion