When you read the over-diluted version of other people’s success stories, what they have achieved seems possible for you. You believe that you too can achieve the same. And when you see people who fail, their reason for failure appears very obvious to you. “Why would they be so naïve”, you’ll think? You start to feel that you can pull this off.
You watch all the videos, read books for inspiration and attend the empowerment conferences and boot camps. You are fired up to take on the world. You can already imagine yourself rubbing shoulders with captains of your industry. Then you start working on your idea. You create your strategic plan and start talking to people. You may even get something going. But slow and steady, you begin to meet both internal and external resistance. You soon realize that despite having to take all these previous steps and scaled through all these hurdles, there are so many more steps and hurdles ahead of you. Doubt begins to creep in; you are not even sure this thing is going to work after investing so much. “Is this suffering and sacrifice really worth it”, you ask? Eventually, like 98% of people, you run out of steam. You realize that success is too difficult. So you settle for what’s easy.
Contrary to what the gurus will tell you, success is difficult. It is hard to succeed at anything worthwhile. Sometimes, it would seem impossibly difficult. You would think everyone else gets it except you. But in spite of that, you can still be in the minority who do succeed.
The Journey Vs the Destination
When I was much younger, I often hear adults say that rich people are never satisfied with money. I hear that despite the kind of money this rich person has, he still continues to expand his businesses, get involved in politics, or any other activity of economic value. People generally expect you to retire and enjoy your money once you have made what appears like a fortune.
Another thing I observed people often say when they see a financially successful person is that you don’t make this type of money from growing money gradually. They believe such a person must have stumbled upon their wealth by luck or connection with someone in a position of authority.
These two beliefs come from the destination mindset. These people believe you shouldn’t be doing anything else other than enjoying life once you have made a pile of money. And that you can’t make this pile of money from growing gradually through the years. People’s attention is so fixed on getting to the destination that the little incremental steps required for the journey appear too unrealistic.
For instance, most of the skills you need to be successful in life can be learned. You can learn to be a better leader; you can learn to sell; you can learn industry-specific skills; you can learn to build a business. But it is easier to look for a quick fix than to go through the process of learning something new.
Here is something to remember; you can learn how to do anything that is necessary for your success. When you look at a path you want to take in life, look at it in terms of incremental learnable steps that require discipline and consistent effort.
I sincerely believe that people can do anything they set their mind to if they will stay consistent at that thing. You can start and publish that book; you can learn how to program or use that difficult technology tool. You may not be world-class at it. But you don’t have to be just yet. It’s a journey of incremental learnable steps. It is when you have put in a long period of consistent effort to learn and do that success starts to become predictable.
The Trap of May-Be
Think about this. You get on Facebook or Twitter to check what the gist of the day is. You read through the first few threads; you find nothing exciting. You scroll down to see maybe there is something more stimulating. Nothing much. Maybe if you scroll a little further, you’ll find something to make your day. Maybe a little more scrolling will do. Before you know it you have spent one-hour scrolling.
It’s the same thing that happens when you gamble; maybe one more bet will make all the difference. Before you know it, you have wasted an unbelievable amount of money on maybe. This is the trap of maybe.
When you keeping going from one money-making secret to the next; watching one more video, reading one more book; attending one more conference that will give you the magic pill to success, you are living on may-be. And the sooner you realize how much time-wasting this is, and snap out of it, the better. Stop May-being, and start being the person who deserves success. Here are some important steps you can start with.
Take Your mind to the gym
When you are confused or don’t know what direction to take towards your aspiration, the simple step is to start feeding your brain with knowledge and information. Not junk but valuable information. Our minds have a way of connecting information to come up with answers to our questions. The more you immerse yourself in topics of your interest, the more you notice patterns that will help you understand what to do. The more action you take on what you learn, the better you get at making better decisions. If you don’t know what type of information to feed your mind, start with studying about the future of work and industries, read about economics, societies and human nature.
When it comes to starting anything, be it a business or embarking on a project, action beats planning every time. In a battle, even the most carefully put together plan often fails at first attack with the enemy. Working on a complex plan can easily make the entire process look more cumbersome and unachievable than it really is. You are better of starting without having all the plans laid out. A simple one-page plan outlining what you are going to do is good enough. Keep your plan simple that so you can focus on the action.
Focus on Your Next Move
Oprah Winfrey spent most of her 20s obsessing over what to do with her life. But she soon realized that asking this question dragged her down, not up. Trying to figure out everything wasn’t inspiring; it was excruciating. She then figured that she was asking the wrong question. So instead of asking, “What should I do with my life?” she started asking, “What’s the next move?” The next move; not all the moves. That was when she began to feel more inspired and make progress in her life.
Trying to figure out the whole journey is why success often seems too hard. Unfortunately, that is what most people do. Knowing your next move is more important and more useful than mapping out the entire journey; because in reality, you can’t really figure that out.
When you focus on the next right move to make, you won’t be overwhelmed by it. Your focus shifts from trying to make sense of the entire journey to taking it one turn at a time. If you want to publish a book, instead of thinking about the entire process of getting a book published, your next move could just be writing the first chapter; and then the next. Now that’s not so overwhelming.
Success Comes with Repetition
You can’t build a successful relationship with what you did for your partner yesterday. It is what you do today that counts. What you did yesterday might bring you success today, but it is what you do today that will bring success tomorrow. There is no quick fix anywhere, you have to take responsibility, show up every day and execute your next move.
Success may be hard but it becomes easier when you stop focusing on the end result and start cultivating the habit of repetition. According to Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”. I’ll like to add also that success is not an act, but a habit. Talent cannot replace the habit. Confidence cannot replace the habit. You must keep doing the right thing over and over again. It is like compound interest. At first, the little interest wouldn’t seem like much. But as the little effort compound overtime, success soon becomes predictable; and easier than you thought.
If you found this video helpful, like and share it with someone. If you are yet to subscribe to After School TV, now is a good time to hit the subscribe button. Until next time, YOUR SUCCESS MATTERS!