THE BLOG
10/19/2014 11:49 am ET Updated Dec 19, 2014

The Secret to Success: You Don't Have to Have It All Figured Out

What if we began to celebrate our failures?

After all, aren't they some of our biggest lessons. I know, I know so cliché right. And, you are probably sitting there in the midst of another miserable down turn of events. You are wondering just how you got here and what will happen next. Why don't I have the perfect job or car or house yet? I mean society told us to get our shit together and "have it all figured out" by now. But, what if we flipped the coin on what we were taught and looked at a definition of success from another viewpoint. Let's explore, shall we?

Start by forgetting everything you know now about what success means.

Okay, now that we have those pesky old school ideals out of our head let's dive in. I once heard Susan Sarandon discussing her thought process on auditioning for roles and not getting the part. She said she used to take herself out for ice cream after each rejection call to celebrate what life would bring her way next. After all, she was open and ready to receive her next great character now. This idea really confounded me and has stuck with me ever since. What a brilliant notion! To shift from thinking of "failures" as a setback or deterrence from our goal of success to thinking of them as the universe's way of telling us we need to move in a different direction.

Now that you know you've been lied to by your elders

You feel really motivated, right? Thought so. If there really were a secret to success everyone would be practicing it right now. The only real secret is you don't have to have it all figured out by any certain age to achieve success. Are you taking steps toward changing your future? Are you working towards goals that will make you happy? If you answered yes then you are already a success by far. Some of the most influential people working today, including Oprah, had no strategic plan or roadmap for the success they have achieved. They just did it. They got up everyday and went into the world eager and curious enough to create something great. Each step got them closer to their true destiny. Sometimes the most successful step you can take is just showing up.

It's not about what you do someday; it's about what you are doing today.

You're probably discontent and frustrated, even mad at the world right now because you see a picture in your mind of how things could or should be. This is based on what we are all taught. That what we have right now just isn't enough. But, the reality is that all we have is now. What we have and the choices we make at this very moment are actually really important to our success, because each choice and desire is what leads us to the next one. But we have to be present and active in the now in order to appreciate something bigger. Appreciation sounds like an outdated term right? But, it is very important to success that we show gratitude in each phase of life as it is happening.

Shake off that old pity party. After all it's a party of one.

I get it, you are up against that old wall of self-doubt and fear about the future. It just isn't adding up the way you thought it would. I have been there many a time, my friend. None of us need another reason to ask why something isn't working out or why the answers aren't clearer. It is okay to admit we don't have it all figured out and be content with that fact. If we waited to have it all figured out we would never get anywhere. The only thing you do need to know is what you're going to do next. It becomes empowering and enlightening to free yourself of that old thought process. The biggest success you could ask for is that you did everything you were curious about and found yourself and your passion while doing it. So many people live a full life without ever discovering those things. That is a failure.

A big sign will never crash down from heaven to tell you to be happy.

I spent many years doing a job I didn't love. I was good at it. I was successful at it. But, it didn't fulfill me and it consumed my life and my time. What I did learn from that job were many skills and knowledge that carried me into my true purpose. I started my business out of that desperate place we all know and a longing for something greater in my life. I can now honestly say I am a success, not just because I own a thriving boutique marketing firm but because I also make time in my life for every little thing that fills me up. I certainly don't have it all figured out either. I develop and reinvent every day. That is the beauty of life. We never stop growing and we never stop learning how to do it better. Oh, and if someone tell you they have it all figured out, don't trust 'em! (They probably aren't successful anyway.)