Guaranteed Success. Who doesn’t want that? So a guarantee to success is a big claim. But who can guarantee your success when they don’t know you or your work ethics? The truth is, nobody can. But there are certainly ways which will tip the statistic of success in your favor.
Most people wishing for success are doing just that – wishing.
The people who succeed are the ones who want it so bad that they will do anything to achieve it.
But it’s not just pure hard work grinding it out that will make you succeed. You know it isn’t – it has not worked for you. Hard work is a necessity, but not a guarantee to success.
So what’s the missing ingredient?
When it comes right down to it, there are 3 things which will lead to success.
2 out of the 3 is personal and something you can and must manage, while the third is something you can only indirectly influence.
The first thing is Discipline.
Most people already know they have to focus on something and keep that thing in focus to achieve success.
No side distractions, just focus on achieving a certain target and getting it done.
But how do you keep focus?
We are constantly being bombarded with all kinds of distractions and enticements – social media, funny videos, the next story to read, get-rich schemes – there is just so much noise around us. Everything is just one click away. And another. And another.
How do you keep focus? In a word, Discipline. It’s the first of the 3 things to your dream of guaranteed success.
Discipline is the mental strength to keep to a certain path which you have already planned ahead. It is the fortitude to keep going, even when you are tired, or when other side attractions appear. It is the thought of “I must finish this”.
It is that dogged persistence to stick to a plan, a task, an action in the face of other more enticing alternatives. It is the mindset of delayed gratification for long term success.
It is one of the hardest human character trait to develop. It is also one of the most lacking nowadays in an age of instant gratification and multi-tasking. We are so used to everything being made ‘dumb down easy’ for us. Learning the hard stuff is, well, hard. We have places to go, things to do. There are 3 other apps screaming at us for our attention. Who wants to spend time working on boring stuff?
I was watching a video on the responses of some teenagers to ‘old’ technology – Windows 95. Apart from the strangeness of the experience of using technology from another era, one thing was very telling. It was the impatience to see something happen. Anything that takes longer than 2.5 seconds is too long, way too long. And who would want to learn to work the device? It’s too much work. Just move on to the next thing.
That’s of course, not the whole story.
These same teenagers would be very good at things which they are passionate about. Social networking, accessorizing, snapchatting, video streaming, music, grand theft auto (the video game), just to name a few. And they probably spend a lot of time learning up on those things – although they may not realize it. So what’s the difference?
The FUN part.
Discipline is not fun, and that’s hard to accept. It’s doing things when you would rather be doing something else. That’s when real character takes over. Not everything we do to achieve success has to be fun for us. There are fun stuff where we get immense satisfaction from accomplishing them. But there are also lots of non-fun stuff which we have to do so that the fun part can happen.
Take online gaming, for example.
You want to have fun slaughtering dragons and demons. You are sick and tired of being murdered every time you enter a battle. You don’t want to be called names and run off from the battleground. You want to be the best – you want to kick those butts. Well, then you have to do the not-so-fun part of learning how to play well. That means doing research, making changes, practicing the strategies, drilling in some muscle memory, etc. A lot of work, just so you can have fun. So that the next time you charge into that battle, you’ll be the one doing the slaughtering. Sounds like fun?
Or running a business.
It’s great to set up campaigns, sell stuff and see the profits coming in. But you also have to mind the store. Responding to support requests, fixing broken processes, updating information, following up on prospects, engaging the customers, keeping records, doing accounts, the list goes on.
Or having a family.
The fun part is feeling the love. Being called ‘mummy’ or ‘daddy’. Being a hero in your child’s eyes. Spending time with the ones you love. And being loved. The not so fun part is changing diapers, cleaning the poop, running errands, doing the laundry, ironing the clothes, paying the bills.
The non-fun part is what we deem to be ‘hard work’. It requires discipline to do ‘hard work’. It’s also what brings us closer to recognition and guaranteed success.
“If people knew how hard I worked to achieve my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful after all” – Michelangelo
“Hard work pays off. I am so annoyed at my father for being right about that.” – Lena Dunham.
You’re a multi-taker. Great.
You want things to happen fast. Great.
You want guaranteed success now. Or tomorrow. Not so great.
Not all things are meant for instant gratification. If you find that depressing, then success will always be elusive. Without discipline, you have just lost the first part of a very big battle for your desire for guaranteed success. You will be slain.
Discipline is your armor. Develop it. Wear it well.