Expressing your individuality in all areas of your life, even if it’s an unpopular thing to do. Bravery has proven to be essential in success for many years.
Have you ever noticed how often we equate success with more? Whether that’s more products, more profits, more activities or more accomplishments, we buy into the belief that we have to do more to have more to be more. And that will sum up to success. And then along comes The Great Resignation. Where employees are signaling that the “more” that’s being offered — even more pay, more perks, and more PTO — isn’t summing up to success for them. We visited with leaders who are redefining what success means now. Their answers might surprise you.
As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Ivan Wilzig.
Ivan Wilzig is a top 10 Billboard recording artist known professionally as Sir Ivan.
He founded The Peaceman Foundation in 2005 to help those who have PTSD and help champion anti-bullying.
In April of 2021, Ivan began promoting his father’s incredible biography Unstoppable: Siggi B. Wilzig’s Astonishing Journey from Auschwitz Survivor and Penniless Immigrant to Wall Street Legend with the intent to turn it into a movie. It has since become a bestselling book.
Thank you for making time to visit with us about the topic of our time. Our readers would like to get to know you a bit better. Can you please tell us about one or two life experiences that most shaped who you are today?
First and foremost, being born the son of an Auschwitz survivor shaped the rest of my life. Having a mother with a heart of gold also greatly contributed to who I am today.
We all have myths and misconceptions about success. What are some myths or misconceptions that you used to believe?
I had the misconception that publishers in every country worldwide would immediately want to license my father’s biography, as they did with The Diary of Anne Frank. It is taking much longer than anticipated, given that this book gives hope to all of humanity.
How has your definition of success changed?
When I was younger, I thought living the luxe life of the late Hugh Hefner was the end-all-be-all goal for happiness. Although my parents instilled in me the importance of helping those less fortunate, it was the remaking John Lennon’s Imagine into a high-energy dance record that inspired me to start helping improve the lives of others. This is also why I created The Peaceman Foundation, which battles PTSD.
The pandemic, in many ways, was a time of collective self-reflection. What changes do you believe we need to make as a society to access success post pandemic?
Having access to better education, particularly in various fields of science would be a fantastic start.
What do you see as the unexpected positives in the pandemic? We would love to hear a few of your stories or examples.
Being limited to smaller gatherings enabled me to become more intimate and closer friends with people who have been primarily acquaintances. In short, I had the opportunity to get to know people better. My technical skills have also improved since all my meetings and interviews had to be done via Zoom.
Medically, we saw the sharing of supplies and cooperation of efforts worldwide.
We’re all looking for answers about how to be successful now. Could you please share “5 Ways To Redefine Success Now?”
- Having genuine, meaningful relationships rather than superficial ones on social media.
- Realizing that chasing a career for money rather than following what you’re passionate about is certainly a way to redefine success.
- Another way to redefine success is by aligning with social and humanitarian causes that are important to you and contributes to a cause bigger than yourself.
- When speaking to people, a return to good old-fashioned manners such as saying simple things like “please, thank you, and you’re welcome” when talking to people. Showing appreciation in a gentle voice goes a long way.
- Expressing your individuality in all areas of your life, even if it’s an unpopular thing to do. Bravery has proven to be essential in success for many years.
How would our lives improve if we changed our definition of success?
If we view success in the future through our selfless acts and helping others, the inner peace that comes from those acts will change the lives of everyone.
What’s the biggest obstacle that stands in the way of our redefined success? And what advice would you offer about overcoming those obstacles?
We’re the wealthiest and most powerful country globally, and we still haven’t solved basic human needs. So until things like homelessness, hunger, drug addiction, and mental illness are solved, it is tough for people to set success goals while so many are simply trying to survive.
For people not struggling with those issues, other obstacles are the high cost of medicine and healthcare, the rising cost of fuel, rampant inflation, and supply-chain problems.
My advice for overcoming those obstacles is to support politicians that have proven track records in solving some of these issues.
Where do you go to look for inspiration and information about how to redefine success?
This is an easy one; I turn to my father’s biography, Unstoppable: Siggi B. Wilzig’s Astonishing Journey from Auschwitz Survivor and Penniless Immigrant to Wall Street Legend. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone who ever lived who suffered more and still became a massive success despite the unfortunate hand he was dealt.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He, she or they might just see this if we tag them.
Steven Spielberg, because he would be the perfect producer/director for the film adaptation of my father’s book.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
My website is https://sirivan.com
The website for my father’s biography is https://UnstoppableSiggi.com
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this. We wish you continued success and good health.