A common adage is that you need to work harder and suffer more than anyone else if you want to achieve success.

At the most, that’s a half-truth.

From what I have learned from people who have accomplished big things in both their lives and careers, one of their most common “a-ha moments” was when they realized that working hard was not enough to succeed, and that often it was even a waste of time and energy.

Thinking from this perspective, I have collected 3 things that just are as important, or even more important, than hard work when it comes to achieving success.

1. Purpose

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You’ve been working down in the boiler room for so long that you may not even remember WHY.

If you examined every single person in the world who is considered a failure (especially by themselves), you would see that all their lives lack the same ingredient: purpose.

They don’t know where they are going. They don’t know why they do the things they do and don’t think there can be a reason. They chase only short-term satisfactions like food or sex, and those are the only things that keep them moving.

They are operating only out of the animal side of themselves. Thus, they are not able to practice long-term thinking or personal analysis as human beings can.

There is no need to look at very clear cases of failure to find the disease of lack of purpose. If you are not constantly aware, you will find yourself in the middle of doing something and won’t know why you are doing it.

Momentum can be a good friend, but is also one of those friends that will make you waste a ton of time if you don’t keep an eye on it.

Every time you start an action, keep in mind that you are going to keep on doing it for the rest of your life. Unless, of course, something internal or external reminds you to start doing something else.

When you start working on something without clearly knowing the expected results, it may take you hours or days of hard work to realize that it isn’t what you should be doing, if you ever want to achieve your goals.

Don’t be a busy, hard-working person. Be a hard-planning person who takes purposeful actions instead.

2. Self-work

Work on yourself 10 times as hard as you work on external elements, and you will feel that you are moving 10 times faster towards what you want.

Almost all the hard work you have to do to succeed is focused on replacing your routines and habits with the ones a successful person would have. By deliberately changing your procedures, you change the results you achieve, the value you provide, and the way you are seen by yourself and the rest of the world.

If you could perform the same training and habits as Bruce Lee, day after day, there is no doubt that you would sooner or later become a remarkable martial artist, right?

And what about performing like a person whose success in business has been outstanding? What if you integrated the same routines and habits that have allowed others to unlock the power and creativity they needed to succeed in their career or life?

You could, literally, start performing like that today and get astounding results immediately.

The only requirement is that you put your old habits and self-limiting beliefs aside, making space for new ones.

You must look at them before you can let them go; if you don’t recognize the weeds amongst the flowers, you won’t be able to take them out.

Success is not attained by fighting the old, but by letting it go and building the new in its place.

3. Belief

If you don’t believe it’s possible for you to achieve what you want, you can work day and night, but you will never succeed.

Sometimes, all the distance that seems to be separating you from your goals is in your mind. If you removed those mental barriers, you would see that you could just reach out and grab what you’ve been pursuing for so long.

As long as you don’t believe that it’s possible for you to have it, you are going to keep creating excuses and distractions. That’s simply because it feels uncomfortable or scary to have something you don’t think you are ready to have, or become someone you don’t believe you can be.

If you removed the negative beliefs about what YOU can have and become, your reality would change instantly.

Conclusion

I know that these three things also require hard work and focus, but the stress, frustration and hours of pushing and shoveling they may save you are priceless.

Featured photo credit: Businessman looking at city through window via shutterstock.com

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