10 Things I Do Not Think Are Important for One’s Success in Life. Part II

Hello! I started writing about an exciting topic: which values ​​are NOT needed for success … against popular beliefs that some might have. I’m doing a little recap of the first part, which you can read here.

1. Not to be laughed at.

2. The fear to make mistakes.

3. The fear of criticism.

4. To be liked by others.

5. Not to be alone.  

6. Accepting authority.

Usually, I am not too impressed by some experts in very limited areas, such as research or training. Otherwise, I’m not really interested in who I talk to and how I address them. Not in the sense of being a redneck or condescending to everyone, but for me, it is important to perceive a relationship of equality, as I consider it exists among all people. I try to discriminate as little as possible.

In general, by professionally studying communication, persuasion and negotiation and often publishing on these topics, I tend to avoid appreciating or disrespecting someone a priori. One of the things that irritate me the most is pride/vanity – the greatest sin of mankind, and that’s because I suffer from it in an unjustified way. After all, if I don’t like something about someone else, it is either because I have that flaw, or because it’s something very foreign to me.

Also, wherever there is a rule, there is at least one way to avoid it without breaking it – it is only up to me to discover it, a philosophy also widely shared by Romanians. I was never afraid to ask questions. As a result, many are afraid of my questions and some even hate me when I ask them, especially those who don’t like the answers.

I think it makes sense to look for and identify structures of authority, hierarchy and domination in every aspect of life and to challenge them; if there is no justification for these, then they are illegitimate and should be dismantled to increase the horizon of human freedom.”

Noam Chomsky

7. The desire to be a boss

I never wanted to be a boss. I did not plan this, but I played this role when I initiated a project, or when I was assigned this position temporarily. I don’t think I’m a good manager, which is not a crime. I am not a leader either, which again is not a crime. It’s OK not to be a boss. I’m OK also without wanting to be a manager. I know very well what I do and I want to continue to do it. If I were to work as an entrepreneur in my own company, I would only be a boss at first, then I would look for someone to lead and run my business, first and foremost, because I don’t consider myself the best at this and then because I don’t like it.

I like to give advice, to deliver training sessions and workshops, to write, to research. Some people like the idea of ​​being bosses because they can’t make themselves heard – and that’s a matter of communication. Because of this, I have absolutely no problem with others who want to be bosses – if they can be, they should be! The boss has a great responsibility, and that comes with power. I also like power, authority and holding them – not as a boss, but rather as a specialist in my little fields.

Radu Georgescu, the entrepreneur who created and sold the RAV antivirus to Microsoft, does not run any of the companies he owns; he is an employee and does what his boss tells him to. And he is a Romanian millionaire in Euros. I invite you to watch (in Romanian) a segment from a TV interview with him, and realize how modest a serial entrepreneur and a company president is!

It’s enough room for everyone under the sun.

Especially as everybody wants to stay in the shade.”

Jules Renard

8. Fun

If you want to live the moment every moment, chances are that you may not have so many moments to live. Spontaneity, creativity, living in the present, improvisation are certainly important things, but they are not and should not be the enemy of planning and discipline. Please read my article, How to Enjoy Life While Planning. The ”fun” perceived as escapism and elevated to the level of lifestyle, with all its consequences of sweet guilt and madness of youth, has great chances of transforming into a meaningless life from which there is no escape except by alienating oneself from reality through alcohol, tobacco, drugs, sex and who knows what other addictions. If fun is perceived as liberation, then it would be good to not wake up in a prison of vices as a consequence to this liberation.

I have unusual ways of entertaining myself, which are usually harder for some to understand. But this does not mean that I am a humorless man. On the contrary, sometimes it happens to me that I make a whole room with dozens of people laugh, formulating a spontaneous idea on the spur of the moment. Humour has its source, in my opinion, in noticing the difference between appearance and essence. I don’t think I need an outside stimulus to make me laugh, like a joke or a comedy, although they are also welcome. Why? Because it seems to me that there are sources of humour and fun everywhere. Of course, I don’t have to go somewhere to have fun, because I do this all the time, without losing sight of what I have to do.

Fun always finds a way. So do good intentions. Especially those who lead to hell.”

Searching on YouTube for “having fun”, I found this video on the first webpage of results, about how a few US soldiers in Iraq are “having fun” with their shotguns. Surely the Iraqis who saw this video did not have fun – in fact, they do not look happy in the video at all.

9. Destiny, fate and fortune

“That was meant to be”; “That’s it!”; “That’s life!”; “No one can escape his destiny!”; “You must also have a little good luck in life in order to succeed”; “Life is hard, what to do, child?”; “Bad luck! I told you it would be so!”; “I knew that was the way things were.”

Fatalism, resignation, pessimism and magical thinking have always been for me… occasions of humour and fun, indeed, to my “shame”, rather unilateral. When no logical conclusion or explanation can be drawn, it is clear that there must be a demiurge playing with people’s lives, right? After all, if I take responsibility for everything that happens in my life, I lose my right to complain and pose as a victim, don’t I?

Unfortunately for my negative side, I do not believe in divine predetermination, but in divine foreknowledge. I don’t think we’re puppets in the hands of unseen forces. I believe that every human being is endowed with freedom, conscience and discernment in making decisions to break the past and to make choices for the future, which will be better than those so far.

So, I have nothing against fun. I have humour. And this topic proves it again.

People make their own fate and fortune.

It’s just that God has already determined them beforehand.”

10. Lend my ear to whatever any client says

Let’s say you have a job. Or a website. Or a product. You make them famous. A brand is being shaped. You have more and more customers, users and fans. All consultants know the precept “our client, our master”. This is the most important moment when I think you can mess everything up in a wonderfully creative way!

Some customers/users/fans will have huge expectations from you because they have become accustomed to what you offer in certain lines. And then, everyone comes up with all kinds of suggestions, ideas and improvements: “you can do this!”, “Here’s an excellent opportunity!”, “Why don’t you optimize that?”. All of these must be confronted with the strategy you have set. Where are you going with what you offer? Which are the guidelines? Do they fit in with what people say? How many have given you the same feedback? Well, if there are several and what they tell you fits your strategy, then it’s great, apply the feedback! If not, then think again! Some customers will want whiter things, others will want blacker ones. When you have the possibility, customize as much as possible for each individual customer. However, every service and every product has certain limitations and conditions. And YOU set those, not the customers. You are the master of your brand, not the customers!

If, for example, I am unable to clearly communicate MY values, then I am responsible. It only takes people time and goodwill to come up with ideas. It costs me time and, most often, money, to implement them. I am the one who suffers the consequences. And I don’t have time to implement and test all the ideas that others give me. I can’t even implement all my ideas. Romanians are creative, but not all Romanians think strategically. It is good to develop but to know what path you should take, you need a map, which is called strategy. And if you don’t know how to think strategically, you’d better pay someone who can. Like me :) 

Let’s take Yahoo Mail, for example. Can you remember what it looked like 15 years ago? Simple, fast, with windows that opened easily, with not so many advertisements and more relaxing for one’s eyes. There were also groups at the time, with what is essentially in sight (without having to click 10 times to reach the waiting list as moderator), they were even lists! What does it look like now? What do I get out of this? Sometimes “better” is the enemy of “good”.

If you liked this article, then I also recommend you 32 pieces of advice: how to have a failing success? by Marian Rujoiu

Happy personal development!

Thank you!

Marcus Victor Grant

Personal and professional development consultant

Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant 2014-present Translation by Cristiana Brezeanu of the article “10 lucruri care NU cred că sunt IMPORTANTE pentru SUCCESUL în viaţă. Partea II.“  published initially by Marcus Victor Grant in Romanian on the 2nd of March 2014 on Discerne. Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant, all rights reserved. 

The materials on this blog are subject to this disclaimer.

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