We all have to start where we are. We assume successful people started with enormous advantage but often as we learn about successful individuals we learn that they had some advantages in life but their success was more related to their constant desire to improve.
I’m currently reading the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. I am fascinated to hear stories through his words and see that he spent years just working to make something of himself.
His journey was surprisingly usual. He didn’t just stumble upon something great that catapulted his life to great success, he slowly worked through life to improve and get better.
But it wasn’t that he was born into an affluent family that provided him a great platform to make his fortune, it was his constant desire to learn and improve.
He even started a club that he called a Junto that focused on improving. He says, “I should have mention’d before, that in the Autumn of the preceding Year I had form’d most of my ingenious Acquantance into a Club for mutual Improvement, which we call’d the Junto. We met on Friday Evenings. The Rules I drew up requir’d that every Member in his Turn should produce one or more Queries on any Point of Morals, Politics or Natural Philosophy, to be discuss’d by the Company, and once in three Months produce and read and Essay of his own Writing on any Subject he pleased.”
In this club were businessmen from a variety of industries. They would meet and work through problems, discuss things they had learned and find ways they could help each other.
This is just one example from the autobiography that highlights Franklin’s constant desire to learn and improve. What started as a fairly typical life of his time turned into an incredible story of success.
But we all start where we are currently. We have to realize that any great success story requires improvement and growth. If we want to be successful we have to understand the importance of this improvement and work it into our daily lives.
The systems and habits approach is a great method for embracing this idea of constant improvement to help us accomplish more and become better. We can slowly change our actions and then repeat the positive behaviors long enough to form habits.
These habits will then stay with us and drive us in the right direction. We won’t have to constantly tackle the same problems. We will make the small changes and slowly get better and better.
Wherever you are and whatever you hope to achieve, realize that you have to start where you are. It doesn’t matter if you have great advantage or not, what ultimately matters is that you keep improving and growing. If you adopt this improvement-focused mindset you will keep making progress and get closer and closer to the success story that you can be.