Success for most people is equivalent to money, cars, luxury, and hot chicks.
Is this definition universal?
Nope, but it’s widely accepted because the notions above are the most widely accessible set of ideas of a ‘successful’ life.
Indeed, success is beyond materialism, lust for authority, or the ability to have worldly pleasures at your will. You can shatter the notion, reprogram your brain, and personalize the meaning of the term.
You’ve to dig beneath the surface and behold your inner voice. Find work that you genuinely enjoy and put effort into your craft to ensure you stay relevant.
Besides its definition, today I want to present three myths that hold you back from reaching your potential. Check out if you’re clenching onto any of the myths.
Myth 1: Hard work guarantees success in any field you choose to pursue
Hard work is under your control. It’s internal.
But the outcome of your efforts is a worldly event.
You can pray, send out positive vibes to the universe, say aloud positive affirmations, or whatever floats your boat. These might be efficacious in soothing your nerves, but the external factors that determine your success can’t be discounted.
Maybe the person next in line to you got lucky. Perhaps his natural talent surpasses your fruit of labor. Else, it’s also possible that your timing wasn’t right.
The truth is, nobody can predict your chances of succeeding despite you giving your best shot (unless you’re into occult sciences).
We all use tools — believing in “karma” or the presence of an external force that determines our fate.
It’s essential because taking the blame on yourself for all your failures/successes won’t lead you anywhere. The inner emotional turmoil you will have to go through as a result isn’t simply worth it.
So don’t doubt your skills and talents – push through your impostor syndrome.
Go for your dream — all guns blazing! But don’t remain hopeful to stand out as the winner. Do it for the sheer love of your craft. Trust the process.
Ryan Holiday put it precisely in his book Ego is the Enemy, “Instead of pretending that we are living some great story, we must remain focused on the execution—and on executing with excellence. We must shun the false crown and continue working on what got us here.”
If you adopt the stoic way, you’ll cultivate the mental resilience to jump back from minor setbacks. And create more space for extraordinary moments in your life.
Myth 2: It’s a level playing field, and you can ‘make it’ merely by working on your core skill set
Look around in these fields: Entertainment. Business. Sports. Politics. Art. Education.
Nepotism is real. The powerful and influential have it better. Money, coaches, and resources are all tools that will facilitate your success.
Now, you can choose to complain about the unethical violation and waste your time. Else, satisfice your emotional pain by taking the smarter route and working smartly.
Analyze and understand the weaknesses that make you inferior to the people that you feel have it easy.
Do you have the meta-knowledge of how your career works?
Put work to find out information that can give you a competitive advantage in your industry.
Is there a sub-skill that you lack? If yes, then how can you cultivate it?
How can you get access to the influential insider network of your industry that puts you on the radar for promising opportunities?
I am not saying you’ll get all the answers, but having a solution-oriented mindset is the best you can do as an outsider.
Besides working on your core skills, it’s impertinent that you make yourself more marketable. In the digital era, visibility of your work online can reward you with enriching career opportunities.
For instance, many creative entrepreneurs making a living through YouTube while practicing music, drama, and art.
3. Reverse engineering mega-successful people will provide the ‘simple steps’ you need to take
We’re wired differently. We’re unique creatures with different capacities and inclinations.
I won’t further it into a “you’re special” self-serving slant.
Simply put, the accomplishment of desired results isn’t always definable in a template. The world is fast-moving, and none of the industries we work in are composed of static parts.
Even legitimate “make money online” courses that provide a blueprint for starting a successful business don’t make a 100% promise. Rather, they offer a 30 days money back guarantee (if you aren’t satisfied).
The wisdom shared in such courses is extraordinary, but only you can find out if the course works for you.
By taking action.
Once you implement the lessons in these courses, you’ll start seeing the practical limitations of time, resources, and skills.
A retrospective analysis of success paints an inspiring picture. And the adrenaline is what our brains desire. But media houses conveniently ignore the subtle details of advantages and failure that make the narrative uninspiring. It’s called as the survivorship bias.
Sure, research on the mega-successful and derive inspiration. But you need not beat yourself if a plan doesn’t work as expected.
Success is a combination of various moving components (including you). If you can’t get up at 5 am every morning that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t achieve desired results.
If you even fail to put hard work consistently, don’t lose heart. Get back to the drawing board and analyze what worked and didn’t work well for you. Then come back and get that combination right the next time.
The arguments I make in this article might sound negative and could shatter the conventional wisdom that exists regarding personal development. Trust me, though, if you accept them, you can overpower them by looking for solutions (a few of whom I shared in the article).
Which myth about success was holding you back? Let me know in the comments.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.