I saw a post on Facebook the other day that bothered me as much as Starbucks' red cups are bothering Donald Trump. The caption simply stated, "Dream until your dream comes true." Now, I know this comes from the famous Aerosmith song, Dream On, but I realized that there are actually people who believe success is something given to you, not earned. In this three-part series of posts, I will attempt to first dissect what people view success as, what you need to do to achieve that success, and lastly how to use success in the most fulfilling manner.
I first started to think about "what makes a person successful," and "what do other people define as success."
I started this not-so-scientific study by asking several people close to me if they thought Bill Gates was successful. Without fail, every single one of the 15 people I asked stated that they though Bill Gates was a successful person. Although, not everybody could agree on why. Some of the answers I got included:
In the next part of my pretend psychological study, I asked people about a controversial celebrity who also has a good deal of wealth attributed to his name, Charlie Sheen. With a net worth of $150 million, Sheen's wealth is peanuts to that of Bill Gates, but the concept of seemingly unbelievable wealth, to most Americans, is the same in both cases. A majority of the 15 people I asked, 10 to be exact, said that Charlie Sheen was not successful. Although he had the wealth, many people attributed the fact that he wasn't successful to his excessive alcoholism and drug abuse, the fact that he's been married and divorced three times, and that his life has seemingly fallen apart. Others, those who said Sheen was successful, stated that his luxurious lifestyle was a product of his success, and therefore he was successful.
What I found really interesting about this little experiment is that people don't really think of success in the same way. Your feeling of success is completely relative to how you perceive it. For some, that might mean being in a position of authority, others it might be reaching a certain yearly income, being able to give away a certain amount of money, or maybe for some, being an influence to change a problem you see in the world. Whatever the case may be for you, your definition of success most likely varies widely from the person sitting next to you.
So, what's the benchmark of achievement you need to hit in order to be successful? Well, that's really up to you.
Be looking out for Part II coming soon, "The Only Thing Standing Between You and Your Dreams."
Fairly quickly after Apple started offering in-store try-ons for the Apple Watch, I decided to go in and check them out so that I could write a blog post about the watch's potential in the marketplace, but more-over, how it could change the way we communicate with one another. As some of you may know, I work on a principal of interpersonal connection, meaning that I want technology to integrate into our lives in a way that allows us to work better with one another. Read more about that philosophy here.
As I was trying on the Apple Watch, I started to think of how great this would be for the world of communication, and how it could break down the walls we've set up with our phone screens. So, I decided I wanted one, and I got one. I've been trying to write this post for a while now, and I just haven't really figured out a way to say what I want to say, but I think I've finally got it...
Recently, I've gotten very comfortable. More comfortable than ever, really. I'm living in what is in my mind the greatest city in the country, working at the home of Country Music, and spending my time with some of the most genuine people I've ever met. I wouldn't trade this summer for anything, but I am walking away from these last few months of my life less productive than I've ever been since I launched my first business over 4 years ago.
For those of you who don't know, I stopped actively advertising or working with new clients, and virtually ceased all operations of West Bielstein Production Services in March. I did this because I wasn't happy with the direction the business was headed and I wanted to take some time to rediscover myself. I got a real job, the first "real job" where I actually had somebody who told me when I needed to be at work and what I need to do, that I've ever had. I work hard at my job, or try to at least, and come home with a decent paycheck.
Because of this, I chose to get comfortable. This has been the first time in the last 5 years of my life that I haven't been actively trying to grow a company's success. I get up in the morning and don't have something to do besides show up at work - and it's amazing.
But, I'm so bored.
My Desk. My little slice of Heaven.
My desk is where I do most of my creative work. Working in coffee shops or the library is great and it's really nice to get out, but I love working at my desk because it's one place where I can work for hours on end in my own little world without any interruption. I designed the entire workspace in conjunction with a principle used by one of my favorite filmmakers, Casey Neistat. Everything is designed and placed for productivity.
Those of you who know me professionally probably know I'm a huge fan of Blue Microphones. A lot of people ask me why, though.
Because they're the best.
Asking me why I only use Blue Microphones would be like asking me why I only buy Apple Products.
Because they work.
I grew up with Apple. I'm writing this on one of my Apple computers while checking messages on my iPhone, streaming Netflix on my AppleTV and checking email on my iPad. The reason I have all of these devices is because Apple builds revolutionary tools that change the way we work. Change the way we play. And change the way we think about the world we live in. Until today, when they launched, in my mind, the biggest failure in Apple History,
I woke up excited. This is that time of year Apple tells us how it's going to change our lives. I'm not disappointed in Apple for trying. I'm disappointed in Apple because they stopped innovating. Why do I think this is a failure? Because Apple didn't do the ONE THING they always do. Change something. Although I wasn't always the biggest fan of Steve Jobs, his company's motto was
Think Different. And that's what I loved about Apple.