“Sometimes magic is just someone spending more time on something than anyone else might reasonably expect.” – Teller, of Pen & Teller
One of the weaknesses of my teaching is that I sometimes forget to cover the basics.
I tend to assume you already know them, so I skip over the simple stuff like “do hard things or you’re going to go soft”, and jump straight into “aligning your 8 bodies with the Tao.”
It’s a weakness, and I’m working on it.
So today, let’s lay down some practical principles for real-world success.
Rapid-fire style, ’cause it was fun last time 🙂
Before we start, I should state the ultra-basic-obvious point that success is entirely subjective:
It means (very) different things to different people.
Success for Elon would be a hellish nightmare to a lifestyle entrepreneur, and success to a lifestyle entrepreneur would be a total existential failure for Elon.
So the first step to achieving “success” is becoming vividly, unshakeably clear on exactly what it means to you.
With that said, there are still some foundational principles that apply across the board, no matter what you’re aiming to do.
Here are a few of them:
- Like I said above… If you’re not regularly doing hard things, you’re going to go soft. There’s no way around this; consistent challenge and struggle is the only way to create adaptation.
- The pain of challenge and struggle is not a bug, it’s a feature. It’s supposed to be hard; that’s what builds the strength required to do great things. Those who become successful lean into the pain, not away from it.
- Success often makes life harder, not easier. Elon is under a lot more pressure than the lifestyle entrepreneur, and the lifestyle entrepreneur is under a lot more pressure than the 9-to-5 employee. Don’t expect success to make your life easy; get to work becoming stronger so you can more easily handle what is hard.
- Nobody is coming to save you, nobody is going to do it for you, and nobody is going to care about the reasons why you could or couldn’t do it. At the end of the battle, you either won or you lost, and those that win are those who take total responsibility for the outcome.
- If you’re still listing reasons why you’re not winning, remember — many people are doing more than you who were born with less than you. Stop making the reasons matter and start doing what’s necessary.
- Just start. Hesitation kills more dreams than speed ever will, and success heavily favours speed. Start, and figure it out as you go.
- In fact, figuring it out as you go is the only way to figure it out. We can’t know the full picture until we start painting it. The path is discovered one step at a time, or not at all.
- Real-world success looks boring; like doing the same thing over and over for a decade.
- So choose that thing wisely. If it’s hard to make yourself work hard, you’re probably doing the wrong thing. The right thing feels easy, even when it’s hard.
- Your “right thing” is often hard to find. It requires asking deeper questions, and digging for the answers until you find them.
- But if you don’t ask deep questions, you will live a shallow life. So keep on digging.
Okay, I think we’ll wrap here.
That turned into a bit of a tough-love lesson, but I liked it 🙂
I hope you did too.