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The 3 Secrets to Achieving Overnight Success

The 3 Secrets to Achieving Overnight Success


    How’d you like to hear about the one way to achieve success faster? Perhaps even overnight.

    In a world filled with on-demand, instant-view, right now results … it’s easy to become impatient and want success today. Of course, most of the suggestions for instant stardom are hype and fluff. But there is actually a simple formula for achieving rapid success.

    Let’s talk about that 3-part formula now.

    First, know where you’re going.

    Before you can have any amount of success, you need to know why you are doing what you’re doing. Only once you have a clear vision of where you’re going and why you’re going there will you understand the best (and fastest) way to get there.

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    I can’t tell you the best way to get to your specific goal, but I can tell you that the fastest way to go nowhere is by not having somewhere in mind.

    Furthermore, when you have a destination that you are moving towards, it becomes easier to embrace the process of getting there. With each step you can see how you’re getting closer and closer to the end goal.

    Second, connect with people who can help you get there.

    When we hear the term “overnight success” we often associate that with someone who has very quickly become an authority or a celebrity in a particular industry or sector.

    But here’s a nifty little secret about success: it’s much easier to connect with authorities and celebrities than it is to become one.

    And when you connect with them, you automatically set yourself up for rapid success because you now have direct access to someone who can help you get to the top. They know the roadmap because they already walked it. Now all you have to do is ask questions about their success and listen carefully.

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    Third, it’s not about who you know, it’s about who knows you.

    It’s easy to think that if you just knew the “right” person or if you just get a recommendation from a key influencer, then the doors would burst open and success would come pouring through.

    And while it is critical to connect with influencers and decision makers (see point 2), the reason why it’s important is because they can show you where to go and what to do. In other words, they don’t do it for you, they simply show you how to do it.

    Given that, you may be wondering, if success is not about who I know, then what’s the key?

    The key is who knows you.

    Connection is what gives meaning to our work. If you want to be successful and if you want your work to matter, then connection is the key.

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    Connections are the foundation of any meaningful work. It doesn’t matter how brilliant you are, how groundbreaking your work is, or how useful your discoveries are … if you don’t connect with someone else, then nobody knows about it. And if nobody knows about what you do, then you can’t make a difference or be successful or change the world.

    This means that, if you’re truly serious about becoming an overnight success (or about achieving any type of success), then you need to commit to learning how to spread your message and your work. In an age where anyone can create content with publishing, writing, videos, podcasts, blogs, social media, and more, it has become critical to develop the skill of capturing attention.

    What you should do now…

    If you’re ready to be successful, then the time is now. There is no need to wait.

    Start by getting very clear about why you do what you do. Know the direction and why you’re going that way.

    Once you know where you want to go, start seeking out people who are already there. The influencers, decision makers, and connectors. Get to know them and they will kindly show you the way to go.

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    Once you know the path, start walking it. And as you do so, realize that your work will only have meaning if others know about it. Become an evangelist for your own goals. No matter what work you do, learn how to share it with others and capture their attention.

    This simple path is the fastest way to overnight success.

    (Photo credit: Man in Wheat Field via Shutterstock)

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    James Clear

    James Clear is the author of Atomic Habits. He shares self-improvement tips based on proven scientific research.

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    Last Updated on September 23, 2020

    5 Reasons for Your Facebook Addiction (and How to Break It)

    5 Reasons for Your Facebook Addiction (and How to Break It)

    Facebook is embedded into lives around the world. We use it to connect with friends, share important milestones, and check in with the news. However, what may seem like harmless scrolling can become harmful if it takes up inordinate amounts of time and turns into a Facebook addiction.

    The first step to breaking any bad habit is to understand the symptoms and psychological triggers that made you pick up the habit in the first place. Below you’ll find the common causes, and the good news is that, once you’ve identified them, you can implement specific strategies to get over your Facebook addiction.

    Symptoms of a Facebook Addiction

    Do you find that the first thing you do when you wake up is grab your phone and scroll through Facebook? Is it the last thing you see before falling asleep? You may have a Facebook addiction. Here are some more of the signs and symptoms[1]:

    • You end up spending hours on Facebook, even when you don’t mean to.
    • You use Facebook to escape problems or change your mood.
    • You go to sleep later because you’re glued to your screen.
    • Your relationships are suffering because you spend more time on your phone than you do talking with the people you care about.
    • You automatically pull out your phone when you have free time.

    You can check out this TED Talk by Tristan Harris to understand how Facebook and other social media gain and hold our attention:

    Psychological Reasons for a Facebook Addiction

    A compulsive Facebook addiction doesn’t come out of nowhere. There are often root causes that push you into Facebook, which can ultimately manifest as an addiction once you become dependent on it. Here are some of the common causes.

    Procrastination

    Facebook can cause procrastination, but many times, your tendency to procrastinate can lead you to scrolling through your Facebook feed.

    Facebook capitalizes on your tendency to procrastinate[2] by incorporating a news feed with an infinite scroll. No matter how far down you go, there will always be more memes and status updates to keep you distracted from whatever you should be doing.

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    Thus, it might be helpful to change your perception of Facebook. Instead of looking at it like a place to be social or kill time, frame Facebook as the enemy of your productivity and purpose. Doesn’t sound as tempting now, right?

    Loneliness or Indecision

    Facebook resembles a boring reality TV show that is on full display during every hour of the day. Do you really need to tell everybody what you ate for lunch? I doubt it.

    You don’t share such trivial details to add value to people’s lives. You’re likely doing it because you’re lonely and in need of attention or approval[3].

    Seeking opinions from your friends could be a sign of indecision or low self-confidence. If you get a bad suggestion, then you can conveniently blame somebody else, thus protecting your ego.

    Social Comparisons

    Social comparison is a natural part of being human[4]. We need to know where we stand in order to judge our rank among our peers. And Facebook has made this all too easy.

    When we get into Facebook, our brains are bombarded by hundreds of people to compare ourselves to. We see our cousin’s amazing vacation to Europe, our friend’s adorable baby, our brother’s new puppy, etc. Everything looks better than what we have because, of course, people are only going to post the best parts.

    This extreme form of social comparison with a Facebook addiction can, unfortunately, lead to depression. One study pointed out that “people feel depressed after spending a great deal of time on Facebook because they feel badly when comparing themselves to others”[5].

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    People-Pleasing

    Facebook takes advantage of your desire for instant gratification[6]. Your brain receives a dopamine hit every time you see that red notification light up. Dopamine is a chemical in your brain that causes you to seek pleasure from things.

    Pleasure sounds nice in theory, but dopamine is responsible for self-destructive behavior if overproduced. Thus, becoming a slave to your notifications can destroy your self-control in a hurry.

    If that wasn’t bad enough, the human desire to be liked and accepted is at play, too. Every time you get a “Like,” your brain decides that means somebody likes you. Keep this up and you’ll turn into an addict desperate for another “hit.”

    Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

    Facebook wrecks your focus by preying on your fear of missing out. You check your Facebook feed during a date because you don’t want to miss any interesting updates. You check your messages while you drive because a friend might have something exciting to share.

    One study found that “a high level of fear of missing out and high narcissism are predictors of Facebook intrusion, while a low level of fear of missing out and high narcissism are related to satisfaction with life”[7].

    Therefore, while you may feel temporarily glad that you didn’t miss something, research shows that FOMO will actually reduce your overall life satisfaction.

    How to Break a Facebook Addiction

    Now that you know some of the causes of a Facebook addiction, you may be ready to break it. If so, follow these 5 steps to get over your addiction and improve your mental health.

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    1. Admit the Addiction

    You can’t fix a problem if you deny it exists. Don’t beat yourself up, but do try and be honest enough to admit you’re a Facebook addict. If it makes you feel any better, I’m a recovering addict myself. There is no reason to be ashamed.

    Telling a trusted friend might help you stay accountable, especially if they share your goal.

    2. Be Mindful of Triggers

    In order to discover the triggers that lead you to use Facebook, ask yourself the following questions. It may be helpful to write them down at a journal.

    • What did I do? (scrolling, sharing, notification checking, etc.)
    • When did I do it? (down-time at work, as soon as you woke up, right before bed, on a date, etc.)
    • What happened right before? (a stressful event, boredom, etc.)
    • How did this make me feel? (stressed, anxious, sad, angry, etc.)

    Once you’re aware of what pushes you to use Facebook, you can work on tackling those specific things to get over your Facebook addiction.

    3. Learn to Recognize the Urge

    Every time you feel the urge to update your status or check your feed, recognize that impulse for what it is (a habitual behavior—NOT a conscious decision). This is especially powerful when you complete step 2 because you’ll be able to make a mental note of the specific psychological trigger at play.

    Have a plan for when you feel the desire to use Facebook. For example, if you know you use it when you’re bored, plan to practice a hobby instead. If you use it when you’re stressed, create a relaxation routine instead of jumping on Facebook.

    4. Practice Self-Compassion

    Facebook is an epic time-suck, but that doesn’t mean you should criticize yourself every time you log-on to your feed. Beating yourself up will make you feel bad about yourself, which will ironically cause you to be even more tempted.

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    Self-loathing can only lead to failure. You might end up deciding it’s hopeless because you are “too lazy.”  If you want to break your addiction for good, then you need to be self-compassionate.

    5. Replace the Addiction With a Positive Alternative

    It’s a lot easier to eliminate a bad habit when you decide on a good habit that you would like to replace it with. I applied this idea by choosing to pick up a book every time I was tempted to check my feed.

    The result blew my mind. I read over a hundred pages in the first day! Trust me when I say those “few minutes of down-time” can add up to an obscene amount of waste.

    Having a specific metric to track is important. If you want to stay encouraged, you need to have compelling evidence that your time would be better spent elsewhere.

    For example, download an app to help you determine exactly how much time is spent on Facebook so you know how much of your life you’re losing to it. Then, when you find a healthy alternative, you can feel good about all the time you’re giving to it!

    Final Thoughts

    Facebook addictions aren’t uncommon in today’s technologically dependent world. In the pursuit of human connection, we’ve mistakenly taken our interactions online, thinking it would be an easier alternative. Unfortunately, this is no replacement for genuine, face-to-face interaction in real life.

    If you think you have a problem, there are things you can do to tackle it. Get started today and improve your overall well-being.

    More on How to Use Social Media Less

    Featured photo credit: Tim Bennett via unsplash.com

    Reference

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