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Are Successes Accidental?

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Success is intentional. No one is successful by accident or perchance. No one passes an examination or gets a new job by accident. Success is deliberately planned for, and actively worked out. Usain Bolt for example, would be the “world’s most terrible liar, if he says being the “fastest man in the world” was achieved accidentally. Barack Obama would be too, if he says he “accidentally became the most powerful man in the world”. Success is either planned for, or it doesn’t happen. Que sera sera is the mission state of an under-achiever. His results are mediocre performances….A shadow of his full brilliance.

Our lives have immense possibilities for good or ill.We all have two distinct choices about what to make with our lives. The first is to be less than we have the capacity to be. The second choice is to become all that we can possibly be. Following these premises, we can deduce that failure is a choice. And so is success.

Life however answers to more than positive confessions. Making the choice for success is like deciding to build a house. After decision, comes planning. That’s why it has been continuously echoed “Man is the architect of his destiny”. Unfortunately, this is where most of us fail- in making plans. And if we fail to plan, if we fail to draw out a plan for our success, then already we’ve made a choice. A choice to fail.

We plan to achieve goals. All successful people are goal-oriented. Brian Tracy said “Your ability to set goals is the master key for success”. Goal- setting is powerful; it is part of the fabric that makes up our lives. Goals gives us directions, it stretches our creative and imaginative capacity even as we take charge of navigating our lives. Goals give us a sense of meaning and purpose. Goals make us accountable and they insert in us the willpower to succeed. A man without a goal and without plans to achieving that goal is by his decision a breathing disaster.

In 1979, a study was carried out at Harvard business school. The graduates of the MBA program at Harvard were asked if they had set clear, written goals for their future as well as the plans to accomplish them”. Only 3% had written goals and plans, 13% had goals which were not in writing, 84% had no goals at all. Ten years later, the study found out that the 13% who had goals, but which was not in writing were earning on average twice as much as the 84% who had no goals at all. The 3% which had well defined goals and strategic plans to accomplishing them were earning on average ten times as much as the 97% of graduates all together.

Goal setting is obviously a powerful process…the manifestation of creative imagination and independent will. It is the practicality… of translating vision into achievable, actionable doing- Steve Covey

S. M. A. R. T is the acronym to remember when writing your goals. This means your goals have to be:

1. Specific: Vagueness and goal-setting are at two extremes. An ambiguous goal would be something like “I want to rule”. Rule what? Where? How? Who? Goals are certainly no place to be uncertain.

2. Measurable: You should be able to define the length and breadth of your goals. Goals should be specifically measurable.

3. Attainable: Setting unattainable goals destroys our self- esteem as well as the will to advance. This is not to suggest that we should be conservative in making goals but rather set goals that are achievable.

4. Realistic: Goals are not the place to be overtly “idealistic”. Goals ought to be real.

5. Time: Setting goals without a time frame to accomplishing them is almost same as not setting goals. Timed goals imbue us with strength and zeal to succeed.


I end this with a short poem,


I have so many dreams,

I dream of becoming so many things,

Do I try? Do I let my dreams fly?

Or do I sit still, and let them gradually die?

I have so many dreams.

And dream of becoming so many things,

Are they thoughts, or mere wishes,

If all I do is sit still, then they may as well be.

I have so many dreams,

I dream of becoming so many things,

When I begin to take a step or two,

And try my best to do all I can do,

Then will I stop having wishes, but dreams-

That are coming true.


Success is deliberate, not accidental. There is no successful accident afterall.

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