Success Key: You Are What You Eat

Donovan Baldwin

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". . .inevitably, people will reveal in their thoughts and speeches, in their outlook on life and in their lives themselves, the quality of the images filling their minds"
-The Art of Thinking by Abbe Ernest Dimnet

Earl Nightingale said it another way, “You become what you think about. "

The Abbe Dimnet wrote his book in the 1930's. Earl Nightingale wrote his in the 1980's. They, and many others who have studied the mechanics of success agree. One important part of attempting to achieve success in any field is to immerse yourself in the subject.

Almost anyone can see that to learn something well, you need to watch experts at work and be taught by those who know what they are doing and talking about. However, success often involves something deeper than mere knowledge of a subject or the mechanical skill involved in it. Exceptionally good baseball players, writers, artists, and corporate executives often share something that those who have never reached those levels is not aware of. They have learned to live the life of the person they have striven to become.

An artist genuinely desiring to become the best artist he or she can be, lives immersed in the finest that the field of art can offer. They do not merely sometimes daub at a canvas, but eat, breathe, and live art. . . and only the finest will suffice.

The serious writer, in addition to writing his or her own works and studying formally or informally on the art and science of writing, will read the finest works within the field of interest. A dedicated writer hoping to become a great novelist does not spend large portions of his or her time reading comic books (more on that in a moment). They will be found with great novels in their hands. They will be seen reading about the great writers they hope to emulate. They will be discovered copying passages from these authors. They will be heard discussing what others have written before, and they will sit listening intently when others speak of great works of literature and the men and women who created them.

The potential CEO will be found more often with the Wall Street Journal than with some light novel or collection of short stories. The potential CEO who hopes, nay expects, to move in higher circles will be found where the members of that circle congregate. He or she will be at the opening of the museum, the new performance, volunteering for the candidate as that is where the person he or she hopes to become will be found.

It seemed a moment ago that I spoke disparagingly of comic books, or, as they are called these days, graphic novels. I merely intended to contrast what one type of writer might eschew in order to achieve excellence in their chosen field, or portion of a field. There are those who would consider it the greatest achievement of their life if they could become a well known and respected graphic novel illustrator. For them, they SHOULD be seen with Stan Lee's Marvel comics more often than with Thoreau. They have as much right to hope and strive for success, but the rules do not really change for them.

Of course, there must be time off. There must be fun. However, many who are truly dedicated to achieving their image of success learn that there can be “fun" within their pursuit of excellence in their chosen field or as they move towards their selected goal.

After all, wouldn't it be the greatest fun to spend your life immersed in that which brings you greatest pleasure? What if the majority of your friends loved the same things you do and were a pleasure to be around because they could discuss with you for hours on the subjects nearest and dearest to your hearts? If you had identified your dream and pursued that which was of the greatest interest and enjoyment, how much would you enjoy going to “work" each day? Wouldn't that make a “job" seem more like getting paid to play?

So, here's one plan you can make to achieve YOUR version of success.

1. Look within yourself and find what you would love to do or be involved in even if no one paid you to do it.

2. Find out where within the field you really dream of being.

3. Begin doing everything you can to be the person you dream of being within that field. Get the education, live the lifestyle, meet the people.

4. If you find that you cannot or will not ever be what you originally dreamed of being, find the next best thing and work towards that.

5. Don't stop.

"To burn always with this hard, gemlike flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life. "
-Walter Pater

Donovan Baldwin is a Dallas area writer and a University Of West Florida alumnus (1973) with a BA in accounting and a keen interest in, self improvement, happiness, and success. He is also a member of Mensa and has held several managerial positions over the years. After retiring from the U. S. Army in 1995, he became interested in internet marketing and developed various online businesses. He has been writing poetry, articles, and essays for over 40 years, and now frequently publishes articles on his own websites and for use by other webmasters. Get more insights on self improvement at .

He is the owner of .


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