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To Be Honest, You Can’t Actually Reach True Success Alone

Most of us listen to self-appointed motivational speakers. We listen to and read the words of these men and women who claim to know the formula for success. If we are not careful, we begin see them as a form of authority whose cliches and stories are gospel. We tend to believe whatever it is they say. With their gift of the gab and perfect stories, they can quickly lure us into their trap and we end up believing them. We drop our guard and soon find ourselves swallowing their messages — hook, line and sinker.
While I’m not totally against these guys, I’m of the opinion that we should carefully examine their words before we imbibe their ideas. Well, I’m about to discredit one their favourite lines. I’m about to debunk one of their favourite claims. Hold steady as you might find this hard to take.
It’s not uncommon for these folks to say something that sounds like this: You are all you need to succeed. They colour this idea in many different ways but with the same bottom line, same hogwash. They make you think you don’t need any help to become whatever it is you desire to be.
Let me explain. The truth is that there is no truly self-made man or woman. Whatever your idea of success is, you need others to make it a reality. I don’t know what your idea of success is but I can bet it includes attainment of certain goals. It most likely includes making an impact, getting to the top of your career, having more than enough money or leading a good/fulfilled life.
Tony Robbins defines success this way: “Success is doing what you want, when you want, when you want, where you want, with whom you want, as much as you want.”
To attain any of these, or any form of success, you need input from others either directly or indirectly. Either the tools you use is made by others or what you produce is used by other people. In any case, you need folks to patronise you — your products and the services you offer — help you, serve you. The idea that you’re all you need is vain and crass. It’s a misguided notion, a misleading advice.
There is a new trend: the pursuit of strong-headed individualism and independence. Well, it’s only notable that depression and other mental health disorders have been on the increase too. The connection between the two is not coincidental. Everybody needs somebody. Trying to do it all alone is overwhelming and unrealistic.
It’s almost impossible for members of the human specie to survive as individuals, much less thrive. Our biology clearly shows that we need one another to succeed as a specie.
It’s just basic anthropology. I’m not trying to declare my opinion. It’s just what is.
Consider these words from Simon Sinek’s excellent book, Leaders Eat Last.
Talking about our interdependence as humans and the need for better relationships, here’s what Sinek said about our history as a specie:
“… it was not the physical environment that determined our best chance for survival and success — it was the very biology of our species, the design of the human being itself. The manner in which we evolved — to help each other — worked regardless of where we came from or the unique hardships we have encountered. Every single human on the planet, regardless of culture, is naturally inclined to cooperate.”
Now cooperation might come in different shades, shapes and forms but you need it to attain any form of success. Whether the help you need will come from a book, a course, an information or directly in form of an assistance or service from another person, the truth remains that you are not ‘self-sufficient’ like the slick motivational speakers make it sound.
So, you’re a creator, you’re an artist who makes art — songs, words, fine arts or what have you. You need an audience, if only a small one, to be a success. You can’t succeed as an artist if you lack a following — fans. Your chances of succeeding are null when you don’t have a tribe, a people who identify with you and your works.
Hear how Zachary Tan put it in one of his articles: A truly creative life is as much about other people in the world and what they gain from your work as it is about how it makes you feel and what it accomplishes in the eyes of your peers. In essence, for you to be successful as a creator, others must gain from your work, others must feel connected to or influenced by your work.
The same goes for a business. No business or brand can succeed without customers/clients.
You might not necessarily need the approval or patronage of many, but you can’t succeed without the input or influence of others, albeit negligible it may be. The idea of succeeding alone is a farce. It’s a giant lie. Nothing else can be farther from the truth.
Success comes from connection and cooperation. It’s just basic humanity. It’s entrenched in our biology, our anthropology. We thrive as societies, as communities.
So, whatever it is you seek to achieve, know that you need people to make it possible. If you are able to forge the right connections and get the right set of people to cooperate, you will definitely succeed.
Written by; Williams Oladele.

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