We all have ideas of what it takes to succeed. We also have societal and cultural narratives around success. Hard work, having passion, always trying one hundred percent, and overcoming obstacles are all examples of common assumptions about what we need to succeed. Oftentimes, people talk about the intangibles of success. To me, every intangible can be explained with a little nuance and some deeper thinking.
While it’s challenging to argue against hard work, what does “hard work” really mean? Hard work can only take you so far. There are plenty of people who work sixty, seventy, or even eighty hours a week, but they work on the same thing all the time and are not growing themselves. Taking a few of those hours and putting them into personal growth or skill development or making new contacts is much more valuable.
Having passion can hurt. Passion is defined as an uncontrollable emotion. What is often under-discussed in success is the emotional discipline that touches all aspects of your life. Not eating the cookie, snapping at people, going to the gym rather than a bar are all examples of emotional discipline which will lead to better decision making.
Speaking of decision making, which is one of the most under-discussed principles of success. We make hundreds of decisions every day. If you want to become successful, just make better decisions. Throughout the day, if we make ten percent better decisions and do that consistently, then we all can improve our lives. Decision-making has one of the highest correlations to success.
Overcoming obstacles is a fallacy because challenges change and evolve. There’s no living person without challenges. At every level in life, there are going to be unique challenges. When you assume that challenges should not be there, then you just treat your challenges as a stop sign rather than something that can move you forward.
Some examples of under-discussed parts of success are being able to build a team, plugging into a network, emotional discipline, decision making, recruiting others, and understanding the intangibles of success.
Success is a very collaborative process. Even if you are alone doing research, you can benefit from feedback and talking out your ideas. Feedback is one of the most under-discussed parts of success. It’s a part of any successful journey. Yet, independence and doing it my way is thought of as being an integral part of success.
Every single goal that you have has different ingredients. If you want to be successful, you have to put the right amount of ingredients into the right goal.