Each Success is the Beginning of The Next One
Each success is the beginning of the next one
by Donald J. Trump, Chairman, Trump University
What lies behind us
and what lies before us
are tiny matters compared
to what lies within us.
That thought by Ralph Waldo Emerson has always been an inspiration to me. It gives me energy to keep going full force because I know I still have a lot to accomplish. No matter what I may have achieved, or plan to achieve, I know it’s ‘a tiny matter’ compared to what I am capable of doing. Think about it. How can we be complacent with that kind of thought pattern going on? It would be impossible!
When I hear people say things like “It’s impossible to do more!” I always smile to myself and think, “I’ve just started!” It’s just a great way to feel. I’d like you to have that feeling, too, because it’s like having stepping stones in all the right places just waiting for you to see them.
Sometimes it helps to minimize your achievements to yourself so that you will be eager to do more. You might say, “Yeah, that was good, but I’m just getting warmed up” as a way to keep yourself challenged. The best achievers are those who are self-motivated and naturally curious, people who don’t need to be told what to do next. Strive to be that kind of person. Entrepreneurs are driven by inner forces. That’s a great way to live as well as a great approach to life.
What lies within us? Hopefully, there are a lot of great ideas and plans for the future coupled with confidence in our ability to achieve them. I think Emerson was alluding to this idea of hope in his statement. It’s important for survival, and it’s important for success. Sometimes it is what keeps us going when the odds may not be on our side. Don’t underestimate the power of some of the unseen or intangible forces in your life. Just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not there. The first person to give you a chance should be yourself.
So give yourself a chance every single day! Some people really are their own worst enemies. Don’t fall into that abyss, because that’s really what it is. Have you ever watched children when they are trying something new? They are excited, they are eager, and they welcome the challenge. That’s an attitude to recapture or to emulate. The enthusiasm that discovery provides is a reliable way to make sure that everything you are doing is paving the way towards your current as well as future successes. I recently received a letter from my kindergarten teacher. She wrote that what she remembered most clearly about me was that I never stopped asking questions. I wrote back to tell her that some things never change—that I still ask a lot of questions. I said that it had obviously served me well, and I thanked her, belatedly, for her patience many years ago. Every one of my questions was the beginning of the next one.
So here’s one question for you. If you had nothing at all to do, what would you do? And after you did that, what would you do? And after you did that, what would be next on your list? I call that multi-thinking versus multi-tasking. Most people have at least a few things they want to do. Sometimes one thing leads to another—that’s a form of discovery. Discovery breeds discovery, as in success breeds success. Quest ions are thoughts with a quest.
Can you guess what the quest is? Knowledge. Knowledge is power. That’s one reason you’re reading this essay. No one is born a know-it-all. Wouldn’t that be a little boring? I think it might be. Fortunately, at this time in history, things are moving so quickly that no one has the right to boredom. Just keeping up is the challenge we all have today. I like that challenge because a challenge equals a success just waiting to happen.
Let’s end this with a few good questions.
- What lies behind you? What are your life experiences and education up to this point?
- What lies before you? What are your goals, your plans, your aspirations?
- What lies within you? Do you have what it takes to succeed? Do you know the full extent of your abilities yet?
Do you know what the future holds for you? Do you know how your dreams will evolve?
All of life is full of mystery, including your life, which is no tiny matter. So don’t sell yourself short on something that important. Today is just the beginning.