The Desperate Road to Success...Unlikely Ingredients for Certain Success
"Desperation is a necessary ingredient to learning or creating anything. Period. If you ain't desperate at some point, you ain't interesting." Jim Carrey
I happened upon this success quote and instantly knew I could write a lot about this subject. While I think Jim Carrey (famous actor, or should I say over-actor) is a little nuts, he is undoubtedly the best at nuts. He has reached success within his passion and field of choice. Many of us would like the same, but we get trapped either by having enough, set in our ways, content idleness, choosing money over passion, unwilling to start from square one, being someone or something else for someone else, or not believing we can have more and fulfill our dreams.
Weren't you between 10 and 20 when you officially gave up on your dreams and likely sold out to something else? Whatever paid the most, right? Whatever was acceptable in our society.One of the reasons we are enamoured, as a society, with celebrities is because they are an example of what success looks like for someone who dreamed it and achieved it. Most celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michael J. Fox, report having less than a hundred dollars to live on when they finally had a grasp on success, or a lucky break. J.K Rowling (author of Harry Potter books) was unemployed and stumbling aimlessly through her life when she wrote the books.
What is the key ingredient to success? If you think about this...desperation. If you're comfortable and content, then you have no reason to take chances, risks, and pursue your loves and interests in life. One thing I learned in the study and field of psychology is that people have to be desperately uncomfortable before they will change. That's why the successful (my term of success is not just money, but relationships and pursuing interests as well) are the minority, not the majority. Success is happiness, contentedness, doing what we love...and of course money wouldn't hurt.
Success is rarely a downhill venture or an easy perfectly paved road. So why do some people persevere? These people will report they "always knew". They had a vision.
Little uplifting facts for those of you who think you have it bad
We always view success as a destination, but it is truly the road traveled that prepares us. We know there are some people who seem to reach success effortlessly, but then later we hear they've somehow blown the opportunity...or the money. Desperation to change one's situation is the most powerful motivator. Many successful people today have been down a "motivating"/desperate road.
The Road to Success is:
- Brad PItt wearing a chicken suit for a fast food chain (and hide that pretty face? No way!)
- Sean Connery as a milkman (you can probably guess what I'd say about that)
- Tim Allen spending two years in prison for selling cocaine (no, not The Toolman or Santa Clause!)
- Hugh Jackman as a clown (the art of balloon animals must build muscles)!
- Eva Mendes selling hot dogs in the mall (and the men lined up to watch her eat one).
- Madonna working at Dunkin Donuts (I can't imagine her in another uniform besides lingerie)
- Steve Jobs sleeping on firends' floors after he dropped out of college.
- Stephen King growing up strapped for money and raised by a single mom.
- Sean Combs (P. Diddy) famous rapper grew up in a Harlem housing project...also with a single mom.
I guess the lesson here is you have to be uncomfortable enough to seek a change in your circumstances.
- From hard times to lives of fame - rags to riches - MSN Money
For these historical figures, honchos and headliners, the road to success was a rocky one. Can you guess who once had nary a penny to their now-celebrated names?
Are You Desperate Enough to Succeed?
I admire the starving artist. They may be poor and by definition not successful, but that's by definition of money. They are people who are brave enough to take a chance- it's a what-have-I got-to-lose and go-for-broke mentality. And guess what? That starving artist is more likely to succeed than the average Joe who works an average job.
The ones that have a chance are the ones living on hope and a prayer...and perhaps a love or a passion for something they will to not give up. These people either believe in themselves and/or their talent enough to go for it.
- Eight Inside Tips Game Changing People Use To Create Their Success - Forbes
By Julie-Ann Tathem Game Changing people have an attitude of make it happen. They experience setbacks and fears like everyone, but are set apart by applying resilience and persistence to keep going after what they want –in career or business, or pick
Anguish, dejection, futility, reckless, outragious, frantic...Get the point?
If you use these affections for good, you can go far. The trouble is our society views these as weaknesses. Nobody likes to admit desperation- the word itself is a turn-off. Many extremely successful people were fueled by desperation and yet the word is used in negative terms.
There are a myriad of books published based on our strengths, finding them and developing them. What nobody wants to acknowledge is their weaknesses and many times this is exactly what we need to discover in order to uncover success.
Wouldn't you say that our favorite successful people are very interesting too? That's part of Jim carrey's quote. 'If you ain't desperate, you ain't interesting'. Even someone like Mark Zuckerberg, facebook creator, sought revenge on his ex-girlfriend for breaking up with him. Apparently he was interesting enough to make a movie about ('The Social Network') and be worth billions...now isn't that interesting? He turned that negative emotion (revenge) into a positive, successful endeavor. Popular motivational speaker and author, Tony Robbins, is a great example of this too. He was overweight, with a health issue, and stuck in a rut. His road out turned into success for him.
Personally, I write on my bad days and the worse I feel about something, the better I write. Writing is literally my outlet. If I were to apply positive psychology every day to everything I do, I'd probably never write. Many writers of the past produced classic due to tough times or suffering of some sort in their lives or within their books.
Your secret to success
Why is it possible for you to succeed now, especially in a recession? This is the perfect opportunity because many people are unemployed, desperate in may ways, lost what they've worked for, but have the ability to go from desperate to successful in the average time somebody is unemployed now. People are finding a little extra time on their hands and taking up hobbies that are leading them to success.
The key ingredient to desperate success is being uncomfortable. Only when we are uncomfortable enough do we seek change.
It's time to reflect upon the changing job atmosphere; no longer does job security exist and no longer does staying at one company most of your life make sense anymore. Things have changed all around us. With the Internet, anyone is capable of success- it's an anyone's game and the rules are not the same as they were yesterday. There's something that stings about pouring your heart and soul into a company that can let you go on a moment's notice.
My job was taken away almost overnight, and that same month I began writing. I've always loved to write, inspire and learn, and I do that almost every day. I gave up writing when I was 18, but now I actually make money doing it. My father told me I better have a Plan B because nobody makes money writing. While I'm not a millionaire yet...I'm closer now than when I was working my 9-5 job. Most importantly I've escaped a rut.
I've had a few catalysts to desperation; proving my father (and several others) wrong, being unemployed, applying for the type of jobs I didn't particularly enjoy anyway. And most of all, my daughter a baby at the time, inspired me to live as I preach. If I want to encourage her to do what she loves then I must set an example.
What about you? More small businesses and innovative ideas are popping up during this recession than ever before. Some businesses that began during tough economic times:
- Walt Disney of Disney started during a depression in 1923...after going bankrupt with another company he started prior to Disney.
- General Electric (GE) began in 1890 during a global recession.
- Tollhouse (yum! Cookies) Began just out of the depression in 1933.
- Microsoft started in 1975 when inflation and gas prices were high. Unemployment was high and the U.S was just pulling out of Vietnam from the war.
- Coors started in 1873 during a deep recession lasting years.
Desperation is the fire that lights the path of success. It's simple human nature that if you have to work at it a bit harder and you want it, you will do anything to get it. Pissed off about being laid off? Then do something about it.
- Trust you instincts.
- Never say never and negate the naysayers. Don't let others dictate your success.
- Utilize all your extra time.
- Turn a hobby into profit.
- Learn how to market yourself more than your product
- If you've been laid off, suddenly you have 40+ hours a week of free time. Time is money.
- Get creative and forget the rules. Mostly the outliers succeed. Don't be the typical.
- Get back to what you love... or at least figure that out.
- Turn off the TV and avoid distractions.
- Network like crazy- that's how I got some of my writing gigs.
- During a recession people still eat, drink, read, have kids, celebrate things, and want to be entertained- keep that in mind if you want a foolproof venture.
- Figure out where you can cut money- I made as much as my husband did when I was laid off and we somehow figured out how to cut our expenses in half. It's totally possible.
- Assess your skill sets. Plenty of consultants make a living doing what they did for a company and now doing it as their own business.
- Find your emotion or catalyst that drives you to take your dreams somewhere.
- Helplessness; Unlearning The Habit That Holds You Back
Learned Helplessness (in theory): a condition of a human being or an animal in which it has learned to behave helplessly, even when the opportunity is restored for it to help itself by avoiding an unpleasant or harmful circumstance to which it has be
- Second Acts: Recession Success Stories | Reader's Digest
Laid low by a layoff? Worried about your prospects? Let these four reinvention stories inspire you.