If you ask any person if he or she wants to be successful, I assume 99.9% of the people will say ‘’Yes’’. However, after answering and saying ‘’yes’’, the real question that everybody is trying to answer is: ‘’How to be successful ?’’ And my opinion is, before you start thinking about an answer to this question, you better prepare yourself for the journey of success by understanding and ‘’accepting’’ the two points mentioned in this article.
The first point is that there is always a price for success, and the bad news for you is that you have to pay this price in advance. So if you are not willing to pay the price in advance then save yourself time and effort, and do not try to be successful in anything that you want. And If you think that you can simply play it safe, or if you are not willing to make sacrifices until you are 100% sure about the outcome, then you will never move one step forward.
All great people who shaped our lives started with what they have and invested huge effort and sometimes money until they started seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. If any of these people did not take the first step until they guaranteed the return on their investment, they would have never achieved anything from what’s memorialized in history under their names today.
Take Thomas Edison as an example and how he tried and failed more than thousand times until he became one of the best inventors of all time. He was failing but still kept trying without getting discouraged or saying to himself: ‘’I failed, so I will stop and switch to something else where I can guarantee the outcome and play it safe’’. And not only Thomas Edison, but the list is long, and it contains famous names such as Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Larry Page, Bill Gates and others. All of them started only with a vision and a strong belief in this vision. And this vision was their fuel and motive to chase the unknown and invest long hours of effort and also money without giving up until they wrote their success stories. They paid the price in advance, and that’s why now you know their names.
Simultaneously, in a parallel world, most of the people do not like to invest effort in something unless they guarantee the result in advance and before even taking the first step. They think this will make them avoid losing. What they do not know is, that success is sometimes similar to a video game, where you start from scratch or level one, and in order to move to the next level you have to put effort, face the unknown, and finally to win so that you can open another door or move to the next level and connect the dots.
And to be fair, there is a reason why a lot of people has this wrong belief – that they can win something or achieve success without paying the price in advance- and this reason is the media and our surrounding environment.
As an example, ever saw a reality show on TV for a famous person? The media shows you that their daily lives contain nothing but spending money, hanging out with friends, traveling, shopping and having fun…….all the time almost.
And even if not through reality shows, the media’s main target is to attract an audience, so they publish great stories about successful people, and they keep speaking about their success and smartness for hours and days, with short or even no reference to their journeys or the price they paid to succeed.
Can you believe that? The long, painful years of work, failures, effort, and money that successful people invested until they achieved success are summarized by the media in some minutes or not referred to at all. And do you know the impression that the people perceive?
For us – the people who are following the news and media- we interpret this information as an ‘’overnight success’’. Someone who started a project or something yesterday and today he became very successful. And now he appears in all types of media and news, so we all want to do and be the same…….fast.
And the more that this successful person appears in the news and his legend gets more significant, the more that people start to memorialize his name and repeat his success story, without trying to put effort and do some research to know his real journey until he achieved such massive success.
That’s why all the people now want overnight success, without paying the price and putting years of effort, learning and trial and error. ‘’And why should I learn, be patient or put effort? I just want to be as successful as this guy who is appearing each day in the news now and who popped up from nowhere.’’ And do you know what the results are in the end?
People start their journey and their pursuit of success with high expectations for fast overnight success as they were taught by the media and the environment surrounding them, and then when success is delayed or with the first failure that they experience they quit. Because they never thought it’s like this. They thought that the road to success is short, easy and secure and most importantly fast. And that you do not have to invest something in advance to achieve it.
The second point which you have to keep in mind is ‘’discipline’’. As you heard 1000 times before, success is nothing but the sum of ‘’small’’ efforts repeated day in and day out.
By the way, did you see the word ‘’small’’ in the previous sentence? Nobody said that you have to take massive actions or invest an incredible amount of effort each day. In fact, getting accustomed to simple small actions and repeating them consistently will make you better and will make you also reach your goals a lot faster.
As an example, instead of going to the gym one time and practice 4 hours it’s better to go four days and practice each time one hour. Or instead of reading 100 pages of a book in one day and sleep for the rest of the week, it’s better to split them into ten pages for ten days.
Step by step, discipline in what you are doing will build ‘’skills’’ while repetition and consistency will move you to the next level which is ‘’mastery’’.
Now comes the most exciting part. Ever paused through your day and noticed that the things that you are underestimating, and that you feel that they are very easy, are also very hard for you to do?
To use the same example like above, you can easily read ten pages per day, but it’s also hard for you to do it. It’s also easy to go to the gym, but it’s also hard. It’s easy to study, avoid TV, attend training to enhance your skills…..etc., but it’s also hard for you to do it.
So whenever you see a small action that you can take to be successful, do not be deceived by the fact that it’s small and it’s not worth it. This ‘’not worth it’’ action, if repeated consistently and after some period will form a compounded result, and you will suddenly see the difference.
Imagine as an example, if you started saving money, and you decided to save the price of a cup of coffee per day which is equivalent to three Euros. The three Euros themselves maybe not significant for you and you are spending them happily each day for a cup of coffee. But if you kept saving those three Euros each day, at the end of the year you will find yourself saving 1095 Euros. After three years around 3300 Euros. And all you did was drinking one cup of coffee less per day.
As a summary, before you think about success, it’s crucial to implement the right belief system and prepare yourself psychologically for the success journey. And this comes by understanding that you have to pay the price in advance, be patient, and finally by making discipline your middle name.