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Ditch The “5 Easy Steps” and Conquer The One Trait You Need To Succeed

Ditch The “5 Easy Steps” and Conquer The One Trait You Need To Succeed

“Continuous effort—not strength or intelligence—is the key to unlocking our potential.” – Winston Churchill

The idea of success is talked about time and time again.

People everywhere preach that they’ve figured out the formula for success.

They say stuff like “5 Easy Step To Ultimate Mastery!” and “7 Steps To One Million Dollars!”

They complicate success and make it seem like you can go from zero to hero in two days tied in with a cheap sales pitch like, “Only available for a limited time so act now!”

Their intentions are probably good, but there promises are false.

Success is defined differently for each person. I can’t define success for you. But I can show you the one trait you need to reach your own definition of success.

It’s something that took me a long time to figure out, but now that I have it–I can’t be stopped.

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What am I talking about?

Persistence

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.

Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.

Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.

Education will not; the world is full of educated failures.

Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” – Calvin Coolidge

For most of my life, I have missed the mark on persistence. I have an addictive personality and have always gone full-fledged into whatever I’m interested in.

I did magic professionally when I was 13 years old. I competed with top level grapplers and future MMA fighters when I was 15 years old. I played poker professionally when I was 17 years old.

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I’ve done a lot of things, but have always quit or burnt out after a year’s time. It wasn’t until I understood the power of persistence that I figured out how to truly achieve success.

Ways To Boost Your Persistence

Persistence is just like will power–it can be strengthened.

Persistence is not something that you are born with.

You have to grow it by pushing your own limits.

There’s a reason why Mixed Martial Arts Fighters are the most persistent human beings on the planet. They take beatings each and every day so they can train their body for the true beating when they step into the cage. With each training session they are boosting their levels of persistence to unimaginable heights.

You can do the same without getting punched in the face.

All you have to do is push forward and push hard. Each and every day you must do what makes you come alive. Whatever that is, do it to the point where you usually stop.

Feel the fatigue and then push past it just a little bit. Spend an extra fifteen minutes this time. Then next time push it to 30 minutes extra.

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With time, you are going to boost your levels of persistence to the levels of top athletes and entrepreneurs.

Let’s do a simple visualization exercise to maximize your persistence. You can complete this exercise without pen and paper, but it’s much better to do it with pen and paper, as it will solidify the visualization.

1. Imagine yourself five years from now if you have persisted with your current goals. How old will you be? What will your life be like? Are you happy and fulfilled?

2. Imagine yourself ten years from now if you have persisted with your current goals. How old will you be? What will your life be like? How much more progress have you made? Are you happy and fulfilled?

3. Imagine yourself twenty years from now if you have persisted with your current goals. How old will you be? What will your life be like? How great does it feel to have stuck it out this far? How happy and fulfilled are you?

Now it’s time to do the exact opposite.

1. Imagine yourself five years from now if you have not persisted with your current goals. How old will you be? What will your life be like? What job will you be working? Are you happy and fulfilled?

2. Imagine yourself ten years from now if you have not persisted with your current goals. How old will you be? What will your life be like? Are you starting to feel regret? How happy and fulfilled are you?

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3. Imagine yourself twenty years from now if you have not persisted with your current goals. How old will you be? What will your life be like? Take yourself through an average day. How much regret do you have? How poorly do you feel?

This exercise works wonders to give you a greater perspective on life.

Personally I imagine myself five years from now having a drink with one of my other entrepreneur friends in a foreign city like Bangkok, Berlin, Madrid, or Paris. We are having a great time and talking about the early days and how glad we are that we stuck with it. That’s my fuel to the fire.

Reaching your goals can take a long time, and the path is definitely not linear.

You will hit plenty of bumps in the road. You may even find that you are looking down the wrong road.

But by using persistence, you change the game. No longer does success become a question of what or how, it becomes a question of when.

You keep moving forward, you keep putting in the hours and success becomes inevitable.

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Ditch The “5 Easy Steps” and Conquer The One Trait You Need To Succeed

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Last Updated on July 23, 2019

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut, only to get back into another one.

How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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  • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
  • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
  • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
  • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
  • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
  • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnation, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help. Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

1. Realize You’re Not Alone

Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths. Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

2. Find What Inspires You

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Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation. What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

3. Give Yourself a Break

When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

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Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave. Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future. These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

4. Shake up Your Routines

Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’s 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

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When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

5. Start with a Small Step

Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward. Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years. On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

More to Help You Stay Motivated

Here are some resources that will help you break out of your current phase:

Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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