I love words. I love definitions, and I love etymology. That is the history of a word and the origin of the individual parts that make up that word, and how they were first used.
Without definitions, words have no meaning, and instead of something meaningful, they become arbitrary social constructs; meaningless “fillers” that can mean anything and changes from person to person.
And without etymology, one lacks true understanding of the words they speak.
Now, you don’t need etymology to convey an idea, but by having a full understanding of the words you speak, you can convey your ideas better. Etymology provides a much needed historical context for definitions and I believe, serves as a meter, or a guide that can stop the misuse of words.
Why is this important? Because we live in a world where people are always talking, but have absolutely no clue what they are saying, not because of the idea they are trying to convey, but because they don’t have a grasp of the language they are speaking, so interpretation of whatever was said is left to the listener to try figure out.
That’s why so many people hear one thing, and think it means another. That’s why one person will read something and come to an entirely different conclusion of meaning than the intended or actual meaning of what was said or written.
As an example, how many blogs or news articles have you read, or videos you’ve watched, where someone comments and will take the meaning of the article in a whole different direction because they thought the author or speaker said something that they didn’t actually say?
As a career blogger, I personally see it every day.
We live in a day and age where people just make up words, or they take any random word and plug it to a sentence and hope that what they say makes sense.
There was a time when the dictionary was rarely changed because words had context to their meanings, but today so many people are making up meanings, often out of word misuse, and because they are able to influence masses of people, some dictionaries are updated yearly to reflect that social meaning.
Words like success.
Today, success means attaining wealth, fame or prosperity. That’s why people argue that success doesn’t always mean money. That meaning is a result of people applying their own meaning and influencing the masses, that it was added to the dictionary.
What success actually means, is achievement of something intended or desired.
How do I know that when there are more than one meaning to the word? I know it because we have a historical context for the word meaning; the etymology.
First used in the 1530’s, it means a “result“, or “outcome.” From Latin word successus, it means “an advance, a coming up; a good result, happy outcome,” the noun use of past participle of succedere “come after.”
From that, we get the meaning, “accomplishment of desired end,” and that remained the meaning for hundreds of years until someone who was able to influence the masses came along and tried to change the meaning of the word to wealth, fame and prosperity.
What does this have to do with anything?
Everything. In the right context, success is the end result. It is the achievement of your desires and goals, not the thing achieved. In terms of money, wealth isn’t success. Achieving wealth is having success.
It doesn’t have to be money either. It can be wealth, fame and prosperity, but it can be weight loss, mending a broken relationship, finding love, building self confidence, buying your first home, going on a dream vacation.
For my fellow gamers, getting geared up and dropping the final boss in a raid team after weeks and weeks of trying and failing.
Or how about this? The girl of your dreams saying yes, adopting a child in need, helping someone…
What is success? It is the achievement of what you intended or desired.
The Achievement Formula
A lot of people talk about the success formula which boils down to, in today’s society, getting money, and how to get more results in sales, or traffic or any of the many things associated with getting money.
The achievement formula is something I’ve really held on to in recent weeks, because I learned something very important.
At the bottom layer of success, the thing you need in order to achieve your goals, there is a foundation you have to build. And that foundation is discipline and consistency.
The Achievement Formula: Discipline + Consistency = Achievement.
If you want to be successful, which is achieving your goals and desires, then you have to build the foundation of discipline and consistency.
Now, what is discipline, what is consistency, and what is achievement? You’d be surprised how many people get these wrong.
Discipline: Training which corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character, behavior which results from such training, obedience to authority or rules, punishment meant to correct poor behavior.
Consistency: Agreement or compatibility among ideas, events or successive acts.
Achievement: Something achieved by work, courage, or skill.
If you want to achieve anything you have to earn it through work, courage, or skill. That is the context of achieving anything: work, courage or skill. The question to ask then, is where do get those?
The only way to get those are through discipline and consistency.
The first thing to understand is that discipline is about training. When you start a job for example, you have to be trained to do things the right way. It is training that corrects, molds or perfects the mental faculties or moral character.
It is also based on behavior. A person that is disciplined will act a certain way. And finally discipline is about obedience and following instructions.
So in order to master discipline or be a disciplined person, you have to train your mind and morals, learn and follow instructions. In short, self improvement.
Notice that discipline is not skill. Skill comes from consistency.
More specifically, compatibility or agreement among ideas, events or successive acts, successive acts being following in order or sequence.
So not only do you have to be disciplined through self-improvement, but you also have to do things that agree with, or are compatible with success, and do them in a certain order or sequence.
That is the achievement formula – be disciplined through self-improvement, and do the things that agree with, or are compatible with your goals and desires, and do them in the order they should be done.
So, whatever your goals or desires are here are a few steps that you should follow.
1. Learn from those that have succeeded where you want to be successful.
If you want to have a great relationship, learn from people who have great relationships. If you want to be rich, learn from the wealthy.
Wisdom comes from one of two places: Mistakes and mentors.
Trial and error is not necessarily the best way to learn. Not when there are others who have failed repeatedly and eventually become successful already.
No matter what your goals are, seek out those who have succeeded.
2. Create a road map to get from where you are now, to where you want to be.
This is something I’ve failed at many times. Write down your goals and then create a plan to follow! If you’re learning from those who have gone before you, your plan should be similar to theirs. Write it down and follow it.
3. Become a better version of yourself.
This is just me being completely honest. A lot of people aren’t ready to be successful. They don’t have the right mindset or the right attitude or even the right moral compass to be where they want to be.
You may have to shed old ideas or even start over completely mentally, because in order to achieve success, you have to become the person that would have it. And many times, you have to become that person, before you receive it.
Start listening to the advice of those who have gone before you. Read the books, listen to the audios, watch the videos, attend the events. Invest in yourself, and stop listening to people who haven’t achieved what you want. Surround yourself with people who have.
4. Stop doing things that don’t get you closer to your goals and desires.
This was another hard one for me. I had to learn to ask myself, “is this going to get me closer to where I want to be?” before I committed to doing anything.
It was so easy for me to be distracted and get sucked into menial tasks and other things. I would literally fool myself into thinking that something needed to be done right away, or that it was important, when the truth is that it wasn’t.
And when I finally stopped and looked at what I was doing, it didn’t get me closer to my goals.
Ask yourself if what you’re doing is getting you closer to where you want to be, and if it isn’t, stop doing it. What you do has to agree with, or be compatible with your goals, or you’ll never achieve them.
5. Repetition builds mastery.
While consistency is about doing the right things in order or sequence, repetition builds skill and mastery. If you’re following your plan, and you learn a method that has brings a measure of success, keep doing it. Try to improve it, but keep doing it over and over.
6. Success needs to gestate.
There is a universal law that I recently learned that has changed my outlook on patience. It’s called the law of gestation, and it means simply, that everything needs time to come to fruition, so when you start doing, you have to not quit until you achieve your goals.
The achievement formula is the foundation of building success. You have to discipline yourself and be consistent in order to achieve success, no matter what goals or desires you have.
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