By Rich Lindblom, YSN

Growing up, I think most parents told all of us the same kinds of things, like “You can do anything you put your mind to.” And of course, the old standby, “You can be anything you want to be when you grow up.”

I never knew for certain if they actually believed what they were telling me, but I still knew that my parents were trying to inspire me to do my best and to work hard. 

And, just like “Dr. Rick” in the Progressive Insurance commercials says, it happens to all of us — eventually we do turn into our parents.  So, just like my parents before me, I gave my two sons the same kind of inspirational messages as they grew up.  Even today, thirty years later, I still find myself sharing with them small tidbits of accumulated wisdom in hopes of inspiring them. 

Why? Because the messages never get old, and everybody needs a little bit of inspiration once in a while.

My older son has a lot on his plate right now: new job, new wife, new house, baby on the way. Understandably, he was sounding a bit overwhelmed when we spoke on the phone the other week.  So I figured it was time for one of those inspirational parent talks. I assured him he could get through it because he is a very smart and capable person. (And in the interest of setting the record straight, this is something I believe whole heartedly. I wasn’t just blowing smoke up his behind.)

Then, at one point during the conversation, I said something that I actually thought was pretty profound. I told him, “Without the will to succeed, you will never succeed.”

Looking back on it, I’m pretty sure I made that up on the spot, right there in the middle of our conversation. In fact, as I started writing this column, I Googled the exact phrase and nothing came up, so I’m officially claiming it as my own. 

If you stop and think about it, I believe that it is a very powerful statement. So, I’m going to ask you to do me a small favor. Please re-read the aphorism one more time. Then close your eyes and take 30 seconds to truly consider it.

If you want to be successful at anything, you must first have the desire to be successful.  Because let’s face it, in the real world, no one is going to hand you anything for free. You need to want it.  And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that all you have to do is wish for something and it will magically happen. The last time I checked, there weren’t any fairy godmothers out there granting wishes. 

Instead, you need to get yourself into the right state of mind.  You need to develop the willto succeed. And it doesn’t really matter what it is you wish to be successful at. It could be a personal goal, a physical fitness goal, a financial goal or a business goal. No matter what your aim may be, the path to achieving it starts with you truly having the desire to succeed at it. 

To me there are three steps to success in any venture: 

  1. Having the will to succeed.
  2. Writing a plan for success.
  3. Implementing the plan.

Simply wanting something is not enough; it takes both planning and implementation in order for you to achieve the success that you desire. But it all starts with you having that will to succeed. Because once you have that, the rest tends to fall into place. You will find it much easier to not only plan a course for your success, but also to have the power to implement that plan as well. 

So now I have one simple question for you: Do you have the will to succeed?

I always get a kick when someone reaches out to me because one of my articles struck a chord with them. So if you have a question or comment about something I wrote (good or bad), please reach out to me at I’d love to hear from you.

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