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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 May 7, 2021

    Productivity Boost: How to start your day at 5:00 AM

    Productivity Boost: How to start your day at 5:00 AM

    I have been an early-riser for over a year now. Monday through Friday I wake up at 5:00 AM without hitting the snooze button even once. I never take naps and rarely feel tired throughout the day. The following is my advice on how to start your day (everyday) at 5:00 AM.The idea of waking up early and starting the day at or before the sunrise is the desire of many people. Many highly successful people attribute their success, at least in part, to rising early. Early-risers have more productive mornings, get more done, and report less stress on average than “late-risers.” However, for the unaccustomed, the task of waking up at 5:00 AM can seem extremely daunting. This article will present five tips about how to physically wake up at 5:00 AM and how to get yourself mentally ready to have a productive day.

    Many people simply “can’t” get up early because they are stuck in a routine. Whether this is getting to bed unnecessarily late, snoozing repetitively, or waiting until the absolute last possible moment before getting out of bed, “sleeping in” can easily consume your entire morning. The following tips will let you break the “sleeping in” routine.

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    Relocate your alarm clock.

    Having an alarm clock too close to your bed is the number one reason people simply cannot get up in the morning. If your alarm clock is within arms reach of your bed, or if you can turn your alarm clock off without getting out of bed, you are creating an unnecessarily difficult situation for yourself. Before I became an early-riser, there were many times that I would turn off my alarm without even waking up enough to remember turning it off. I recommend moving your alarm clock far enough away from your bed that you have to get completely out of bed to turn it off. I keep my alarm clock in the bathroom. This may not be possible for all living arrangements, however, I use my cellphone as an alarm clock and putting it in the bathroom makes perfect sense. In order to turn off my alarm I have to get completely out of bed, and since going to the restroom and taking a shower are the first two things I do everyday, keeping the alarm clock in the bathroom streamlines the start of my morning.

    Scrap the snooze.

    The snooze feature on all modern alarm clocks serves absolutely no constructive purpose. Don’t even try the “it helps me slowly wake up” lie. I recommend buying an alarm that does not have a snooze button. If you can’t find an alarm without a snooze button, never read the instructions so you will never know how long your snooze button lasts. Not knowing whether it waits 10 minutes or 60 minutes should be enough of a deterrent to get you to stop using it.

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    Change up your buzzer

    If you use the same buzzer day in and day out, you begin to develop a tolerance to the sound. The alarm clock will slowly become less effective at waking you up over time. Most newer alarm clocks will let you set a different buzzer tone for the different days of the week. If you change your buzzer frequently, you will have an easier time waking up.

    Make a puzzle

    If you absolutely cannot wake up without repetitive snoozing, try making a puzzle for yourself. It doesn’t take rocket science to understand that the longer your alarm is going off, the more awake you will become. Try making your alarm very difficult to turn off by putting it under the sink, putting it under the bed, or better yet, by forcing yourself to complete a puzzle to turn it off. Try putting your alarm into a combination-locked box and make yourself put in the combination in order to turn off the alarm — it’s annoying, but extremely effective!

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    Get into a routine

    Getting up at 5:00 AM is much easier if you are doing it Monday through Friday rather than sporadically during the week. I recommend setting an alarm once that repeats everyday. Also, going to bed at about the same time every night is an important factor to having a productive morning. Learn how much sleep you need to get in order to not feel exhausted the following day. Some people can get by on 4-6 hours while most need 7-8.

    Have a reason

    Make sure you have a specific reason to get up in the morning. Getting up at 5:00 AM just for the heck of it is a lot more difficult than if you are getting up early to plan your day, pay bills, go for a jog, get an early start on work, etc. I recommend finding something you want to do for yourself in the morning. It will be a lot easier to get up if you are guaranteed to do something fun for yourself — compare this to going on vacation. You probably have no problem waking up very early on vacation or during holidays. My goal every morning is to bring that excitement to the day by doing something fun for myself.

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    As I previously mentioned, I have been using these tips for a very long time. Joining the world of early-risers has been a great decision. I feel less stressed, I get more done, and I feel happier than I did when I was a late-riser. If you follow these tips you can become an early-riser, too. Do you have any tips that I didn’t mention? What works best for you? Let us know in the comments.

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