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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.

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    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.

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    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?

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    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.

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    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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    Last Updated on August 16, 2018

    16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

    16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

    The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

    How about a unique spin on things?

    These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

    1. Empty your mind.

    It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

    Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

    Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

    Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

    How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

    2. Keep certain days clear.

    Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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    This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

    3. Prioritize your work.

    Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

    Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

    Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

    How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

    4. Chop up your time.

    Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

    5. Have a thinking position.

    Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

    What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

    6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

    To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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    Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

    7. Don’t try to do too much.

    OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

    8. Have a daily action plan.

    Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

    Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

    9. Do your most dreaded project first.

    Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

    10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

    The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

    11. Have a place devoted to work.

    If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

    But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

    Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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    Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

    12. Find your golden hour.

    You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

    Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

    Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

    Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

    13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

    It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

    By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

    Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

    14. Never stop.

    Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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    Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

    There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

    15. Be in tune with your body.

    Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

    16. Try different methods.

    Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

    It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

    Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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