Have you ever heard people talk about actors, athletes, or other successful people as being an ‘overnight success’? The unknown Olympian who appears seemingly out of nowhere and wins five gold medals. The undiscovered actor who bursts onto stage and screen and is an immediate hit. The anonymous author who magically writes a globally acclaimed best-seller. Well, we all know that they spend many years working, struggling and overcoming to achieve this ‘overnight success.’ So really, there is no such thing as overnight success, or, is there?
It all depends on how you define success, doesn’t it? What I love about getting older, is the wisdom that seems to magically come with it. When I was young and dumb – and I mean dumb – I always believed success was about achievement. As a teen, with an aspiration to be a professional footballer, I could only see success as an event. That event was the moment I ran out onto the ground, through the banner, in front of tens of thousands of screaming fans in my first senior game. Everything leading to that moment was a painful and frustrating process to get to that euphoric point. My overnight success came after about four years of intense and consistent pain!
Looking back now, I wasted every day in those four years, because I couldn’t see what success truly was for me. It wasn’t the destination that represented success, it was actually every day on the journey. When I speak to people about my football career today, I rarely talk about that first moment I ran out onto the ground. Instead, I talk about the dream, the process, the struggles, the lessons, the overcoming and the breakthroughs I experienced every single day on that journey. What I now know is that each day I wake up an overnight success, because of five simple things.
1. My vision and purpose. Each day is another step towards fulfilling my purpose and living my vision. That represents success for me.
2. Gratitude. When I wake up, think about and write the list of the things I am grateful for, I know in an instant I am blessed and successful.
3. My daily habits. The daily habits I have and the ones I am in the process of developing mean that every day is predictably leading me where I want to be. That sounds like success to me.
4. My faith. I believe in advance that which only makes sense in reverse. This means that every day I move forward, I am heading where I need to be. I love that feeling.
5. Living in the moment. Right now, I love this moment, because it’s the only moment I have. I love every moment I am alive, and, I feel like a success.
Stop waiting, stop suffering, stop complaining and stop thinking that success comes only after the accomplishment of a goal or the attainment of something material. Instead, start enjoying overnight success, every day.