Success stories have been a regular part of our culture and society since time immemorial. Even though this term is relatively new to most people, I will still remind you of everything from the heroic tales of David and Goliath, Hercules to the successful war campaigns of Joan of Arc, Genghis Khan and Napoleon.
Going back to modern times, we all grew up listening to and reading about the success stories of people like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Michael Jordan, JK Rowling and many other lists of successful people. On the one hand, it is natural to feel encouraged and motivated by the stories of these successful people, despite their failures and unfortunate circumstances, that can catapult their careers to success.
On the other hand, comparing their success stories to your own situation with a “if they can, I can too” mindset may not work for you. Some of you may be wondering, “Is this possible”. So, to answer that, I have compiled some of the most important reasons why you shouldn’t fully believe the success stories of successful people like the ones I have mentioned above. Let’s take a quick look at the reasons why you shouldn’t believe their success stories and get your mind set in that direction.
There is a profound difference
Every person in the world has a different situation from other people. I often hear many students and college kids, those who fail a subject or two, and then they start to think that Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are people who also dropped out of school, and can still make money and make a fortune for themselves. . Then you start saying it is normal for you to fail in your studies and imagine that you will be like Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg.
But maybe you’re forgetting that they got kicked out of Harvard, which is one of the most prestigious institutions in the world, and even to get into Harvard, you have to be a genius. Also, these people dropped out of college because they wanted to focus on their projects, namely Microsoft and Facebook, and they NOT quit because they didn’t have the ability to pursue a degree. Remember that…!
It is not just these two people, there are thousands of successful people who are central figures in success stories but they come from different educational, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds, factors that have a big influence on their achievement.
Take JK Rowling as an example. She had a bad start in life, a single mother who lived on the streets and ended up with suicidal thoughts. But then he tried his luck and became the creator of one of the most amazing and ever-present bestselling children’s fantasy books. However, that doesn’t mean that if you are a single mom who lives shabby and decides to write a book, you will be successful too, just because you share the same factors as this famous author.
Of course, you can, and you MUST, take inspiration from her encouraging story. But to make it work, you have to work on your own terms. Because of what, previously Rowling received several rejections from 12 different publishers until finally decided to work alone, of course Rowling is someone who has experience in writing.
But who knows, maybe in your case, any of your family knows someone who works at the publishing house and has your job picked up faster than Rowling’s without that rejection.
Benchmark of success
Success is a relative term, meaning that if on the one hand someone founded a successful company, it could be that your success is being able to sell all your cakes within an hour.
Realize that a person’s success can be different, not necessarily having a large company. However, the effect of well-known success stories that often stick with readers is that it turns your measure of success into something that is almost unrealistic.
Another idea that success stories instill in readers’ unconscious minds is that being a pioneer or a pioneer is the best approach to doing something. Words like, “first”, “first”, “youngest” or “fastest” imply nothing but the invisible pressure of doing something but to do it faster than others so you can too. entered the list of successful people like them.
It’s hard to know when to call your endeavor a success because the danger lies in multiple definitions. People who adopt a misleading definition risk working very hard to win the wrong race.
Prequels and sequels
There are many elements of a success story that readers tend to overlook. Whether it’s about a successful individual or a company, there are always backstories and follow-ups associated with it.
What I mean by sequel is quite aptly explained by Steven Johnson in the introductory video of his book Where Good Ideas Come From. He explains that successful ideas and ventures cannot be created overnight, and that the product we see at the end is just the tip of the iceberg of hunch, failed effort and collaboration.
He gives the example of Tim Burners Lee, the man behind the inventions of the World Wide Web, who worked on this project for ten whole years, without any vision of what he was going to create, throwing out a number of ideas along the way, and collaborating on his initial ideas with his peers. .
Likewise, there are also introductory or follow-up stories to any success stories, things that will tell readers what happens to the person or company AFTER they reach a great goal. For example, in the world of entrepreneurship, getting big money is considered a big success. However, a lot can happen to a company after it gets its first funding. Like if the founder and his team were kicked out by their VC, would this still be considered an entrepreneurial success story?
Likewise, when a company is on Inc. magazine’s list of the 5000 fastest growing companies, it is sure to be a success story. However, according to a The Kauffman Foundation report, only about 63% of Inc. 5,000 who continue to be in business five or more years after being listed.
You can see by now that adding the missing bits and pieces to a success story can make it sound less successful, but seem more realistic and acceptable to the reader.
So, shouldn’t we trust success stories at all?
Success stories have the ability to inspire us, but may lack the ability to guide our daily actions. However, this does not mean that we should cover our ears every time a success story is told. You need to be more vigilant and thoughtful about what kind of impact you will have on a particular success story. You must be smart to hear each success story and not swallow the story and you can even act out of the ordinary with goals beyond your limits.
It doesn’t matter if you are not the first or the fastest at doing what you do or in achieving success, the important thing is that you have done it the best way you can, and reached the sweet ending you hoped for.