The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they can’t find them, make them. – George Bernard Shaw
I have a whole raft of sayings by Shaw that I keep on hand for inspiration and reflection. This saying is one of Shaw’s inspirational sayings. Basically it admonishes us to take action to create the success (circumstances) that we desire. It is way too easy to just look around and not immediately see the circumstances that we desire and resign ourselves to living with what we do see. The harder decision is to take action to create what we do not see.
A key ingredient to achieving success would seem to be unwavering optimism. It is hard enough to keep plugging away in the face of adversity, much less trying to do so with an attitude of pessimism. I like another saying, this one by Paul Harvey to cover that topic – “I’ve never seen a monument erected to a pessimist.” That applies whether or not what you are trying to do is deserving of a monument.
I think another; more subtle message in the Shaw saying above is that you must be looking for that success (circumstances). This gets back to the message that forms the base of most self-help advice – you must visualize what you want before you can start to accomplish it. The antithesis of success is not really failure, it is apathy. Out of failures one can learn and move on; however, apathy tends to lock us in place.
So get up today and look around. If what you see is not what you want your life to be, visualize what you want, where you want to be, what you want to be doing and get started towards those goals. It won’t just happen; you’ve got to make it happen.