(An excerpt from the bestselling series
How to Completely Change Your Life in 30 Seconds,
based on talks by Earl Nightingale)
If you’re going to be a big success as a human being, you have to fit into one of two groups or belong to both of them, it seems to me. So let’s talk about these two groups of very successful men and women.
The first group belongs to what I call the river. These are men and women who are found, often early in life (although not always) a great river of interest into which they throw themselves with exuberance and abandon. They’re quite happy to spend their lives working and playing in that river. For some, the river may be a particular branch of science. For others, one of the arts. There are some physicians, for example, who are so wrapped up in medicine, they hate to leave it – even after a 16 hour day – they can’t wait to get back to it. For others, quitting time comes as a welcome reward when they can indulge themselves in other interests.
There are some people who are happiest and most alive when they’re in their river, in whatever business or career or profession it happens to be. And success comes to such people as inevitably as a sunrise. In fact, their success is the moment they find their great field of interest – the worldly trappings of success will always come in time. Such people don’t have to ask, what shall I do with my life? Their work is a magnet for them and they can’t imagine doing anything else. We all know such people or about such people. Doing what they do is even more important to them than the rewards they earn for doing it. So much for the river people.
The second group of successful people are those who are goal-oriented. These people have not found necessarily a particular river and can be quite happy doing a number of things. It’s the goals they set that are important to them and they’re quite aware that there are many roads that can lead to their goals.
Someone once said, Americans can have anything they seriously make up their minds to have – the trouble is that most of them never make up their minds about anything. Goal-oriented people do make up their minds about what they want and they keep their eyes and their enthusiasm on the goal they’ve established until it becomes a reality in their lives. Then they set a new goal, if they’re wise. One of the problems with this latter group is that after achieving a number of goals and becoming quite successful, they can run out of goals and become listless and unhappy.
But not the river people. Their interest in what they’re doing never fades.
So if you’re going to be a big success, chances are you need to be a river person or a goal-oriented person – or both. The two groups you see are not mutually exclusive.
How about you?
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