Advertising
Advertising

3 Essential Things to Achieve Success (Hard Work Is Not One of Them)

3 Essential Things to Achieve Success (Hard Work Is Not One of Them)

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

things achieve success

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

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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?

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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

    More by this author

    big goals 3 Essential Steps To Set And Achieve Big Goals 3 Essential Things to Achieve Success (Hard Work Is Not One of Them)

    Trending in Productivity

    1 How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators 2 How to Power Nap for Maximum Benefits 3 How to Live up to Your Full Potential and Succeed in Life 4 Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That) 5 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on September 16, 2019

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

    We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

    The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

    Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

    1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

    Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

    For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

    Advertising

    • (1) Research
    • (2) Deciding the topic
    • (3) Creating the outline
    • (4) Drafting the content
    • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
    • (6) Revision
    • (7) etc.

    Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

    2. Change Your Environment

    Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

    One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

    3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

    Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

    Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

    My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

    Advertising

    Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

    If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

    Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

    I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

    5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

    I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

    Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

    Advertising

    As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

    6. Get a Buddy

    Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

    I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

    7. Tell Others About Your Goals

    This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

    For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

    8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

    What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

    Advertising

    9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

    If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

    Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

    10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

    Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

    Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

    11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

    At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

    Reality check:

    I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

    More About Procrastination

    Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

    Read Next