Success is not for the weak or faint of heart

by Harold S. Reed, Jr

“The act & art of becoming successful is not for the weak or faint of heart. You can either hate on the successful or succeed over the hateful.” 

What do I mean by that?

It has often been said “success is a journey, not a destination to be reached.” I also submit to you that success is a responsibility to be earned and appreciated, not a title symbolized by materialistic things. Jewelry goes up and down in value. Houses burn down. Cars depreciate in value once you drive them off the lot. So what does it mean to have these things if you have to maintain and replace them? This is not success. Being successful is being in a position to CHOOSE. Being successful is being able to CHOOSE a $500K house that you might want, but being wise enough to buy the $350K house that you need.

Allow me to dig deeper. I have been honored to meet and even befriend a few people who are successful – some are even well known celebrities. Here is my assessment: They are just as human as anyone else. What separates them from everyone else is the level of intensity in their work ethic. In a nutshell … successful people work harder; thus they are rewarded better.

It is the “HRJR philosophy” that wanting or proclaiming your success is not enough. Wanting or proclaiming you are going to have more or be more than you are does not automatically entitle you to become successful. What it does is draw to you the attention of the universe or whatever you deem your higher power to be. If you want to be successful, and you are so bold as to take a stand in proclaiming it, you begin being tested.

Successful people face their challenges as tests, and they study, practice, prepare, and eventually overcome. Successful people do not allow fatigue, pain, and even rejection to stop them. Donald Trump overcame personal debt of over $900 MILLION dollars and now is worth a reported $2.9 billion dollars. Actress and singer Jennifer Hudson LOST the American Idol talent competition, but WON an Oscar a couple of years later.

The difference between the people on the stage (successful people) and the people in the audience is that the people on the stage work hard to be there. What makes them more successful than others is that they do what the people in the audience don’t or are unwilling to do. They put in the work to the point where they make it look easy. It is at that point that so-called “regular” or “average” people think they can do what they see. Some may even TRY doing it, but don’t succeed. Others don’t care to put in the work necessary – but continue waiting and expecting opportunity to come knocking someday. This is how “haterism” is born.

There are less successful people than there are “regular” or “average” people because only a select few realize that you have to work towards being successful in order for success to find its way to you – and even FEWER people who actually put in the work necessary. There are playgrounds, high schools, and colleges all over the country that have thousands of talented athletes, but how many of them actually have what it takes to make it to the professional leagues? Dozens.

In the end, this is not a “black and white” issue. Success comes in many forms. There are varying degrees and levels of success. These levels and degrees are comparable to the combination of a person’s desire and commitment to succeeding. For example, even the benchwarmers in the professional leagues are making high six-figure salaries.

So … the choice is yours. You can put in the work and get what you have coming to you, or you can do nothing, and continue to watch and be a spectator. You can either be the person paid to be on your particular stage or you can be the person in the audience who pays the person on that stage.


Harold S. Reed, Jr. was born and raised in East Orange, NJ. He is a U.S. Air Force Desert Storm veteran and retired police officer. He is a dedicated husband and father of two boys. A true entrepreneur, in addition to his career as a speaker; Harold is the author of “Find a Way To Make a Way”, a Certified Professional Life Coach, and a licensed Realtor®.


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

One comment

  1. I disagree with this article a little bit. There is definitely more to success than hard work. Hardwork alone doesn't make u successful. It is good to be hard working but that alone will get you nowhere. What makes one successful is ur destiny, the people you know or those around you that have been placed or positioned by providence to help ur destiny, your exposure and the drive to succeed and personal development.

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