Friday, December 08, 2006

Make It Happen in Your Life

by Donald J. Trump

"You cannot teach a man anything; You can only help him find it within himself." - Galileo

In a recent issue of Business Week magazine, I was voted, by their readers, as "the world's most competitive businessperson" and voted by the staff and writers of Business Week as one of the top 10 most competitive businesspeople on the planet. To me, that is a great honor. It also underscores why I emphasize taking the initiative in order to "make it happen in your life."

I am a competitive person and to me that's a good thing, because it's the opposite of being complacent. I've talked before how complacency can keep you in a comfort zone, which isn't always the best place to be. I also compete with myself, which is the ultimate form of competition. Trying to best yourself can make your aspirations even more significant.

For example, I have achieved great success as a developer. I'm the biggest developer in New York. Who do I compete with in that case? The answer is pretty simple: myself. I've mentioned the importance of self-motivation before, and that's one reason why. It's also a great way to challenge yourself and to keep your momentum where it should be-moving forward. I'm always looking for ways to do things better, no matter how much success I may have encountered.

Some people say that's a good way to never find satisfaction. Well, I don't believe in being self-satisfied, or for very long anyway. There's no reason we can't toot our own horns once in awhile, but hey, we all know that the world is moving forward quickly and keeping up with it is important. I like being on the cutting edge of progress. I don't like being someone who sits back and watches it go by.

Unless you plan to spend your time in a café, sipping cappuccino and watching life go by, I'd advise you to take some steps towards making what you want to happen in your life actually happen. The fact that you are reading this now gives me an indication that you're not a café type, but a person who is serious about success and achievement.

There is an old riddle that brings this to light: Five frogs are sitting on a log. Four decide to jump off. How many are left? Answer: Five. Why? Because there's a difference between deciding and doing. Think about that one for awhile and see if it pertains to you. Let's hope it doesn't, but if it does, there's still time to get going and start making things happen in your life.

The first step will be to find out what you love doing. As you know, I'm a firm believer that passion is absolutely necessary in order to achieve comprehensive success. I say 'comprehensive' success because in order to be truly successful, it's important that you feel fulfilled by what you are doing. Otherwise, what's the point? Empty success is success without passion. It's like going to school and tuning in just enough to pass so you can get out and do what you really want to be doing, or having a job that makes you watch the second hand ticking on the clock.

As Galileo said, a teacher's job is to help you find it within yourself to do what it is you should do. Then again, maybe you already know. We've all heard stories of how people bucked the system and defied their teachers and families, and became huge successes. They were persistent and steadfast, but above all they had tremendous passion for what they were doing. That made them indomitable. Michelangelo's family was dead set against him becoming an artist. He became one anyway, against great odds. Einstein wasn't a great student, but he had an amazing mind and he exceeded all expectations.

Either way, the point is to find out what you love and then take the steps to make it happen for you. Learn to compete with yourself and see how much you can accomplish. It's a great feeling to know you have the ability to make things happen in your life. In short, don't watch life from the sidelines. Get out there and go for it!

Donald J. Trump is Chairman of Trump University. He shares more of his advice for achieving ultimate success in the new book, Trump 101.