Keys To Attaining Success

As the famous contemporary author John C. Maxwell states, “The secret to your success is determined by your daily agenda.” Our everyday choices and actions determine whether or not we will attain success in the future. Success is not something that falls from the sky, nor is it something that we can merely purchase with money. Success is a journey and it requires sacrifice – the sacrifice of one’s time, energy and mind to a cause. It requires consistency, motivation and most importantly, hard work. However, many give up in the middle of their journeys to success, citing numerous reasons and excuses such as “I don’t have time!” or “It’s too difficult! I simply lack the talent to succeed.” With this in mind, is it possible for us, mere mortals from different walks of life, to ever obtain success? The answer is a resounding “YES!!” In this article, I will discuss how each and everyone one of us can achieve success, even though it may seem impossible for many of us. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter!

#1: Discover and Follow Your Passion

What is it that brings you the most joy and satisfaction? Solving problems? Playing Chess? Writing? The point is, you must discover this passion and feed it. Of course, life is not as simple as it seems. For many adults and teenagers, with so many responsibilities and little time, chasing this passion may seem a rather daunting task. As a result, they will find their passions waning with time and eventually, these inner flames will die out, never to be found again. Meanwhile, many are not willing to give up their current jobs and careers, which they have taken up solely for the sake of financial sustenance, clinging to the belief that their passions will never be profitable or appreciated. The truth is, if you do not find and pursue your passion, you are doomed to suffer all your life. You will find life meaningless and find yourself bombarded by perpetual boredom, and when you finally realise, in hindsight, that you should have followed your passion from the beginning, it would be too late. So, I implore you, unearth your passion and follow it to the end. Learn to give up the limiting beliefs that plaque your mind day and night. Success and money will come in due time, as long as you dedicate your time and effort consistently. However, do note that this necessitates a degree of sacrifice. To illustrate this, let us study what Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, did to pursue his passion and achieve success. When Bill was a teenager, he found himself to love software and programming. He dreamt of a future where every home would have a computer and wanted to be at the forefront of this revolution. When he was 18 years old, he enrolled in Harvard University. However, he realised that it would only hold him back – he wanted very much to start a company of his own. Consequently, he made the most remarkable and astonishing decision of his life, and that was to drop out of Harvard, which in retrospect, would be the pivotal moment of Bill’s life. Now at this point you might be thinking, “Is Bill crazy or something? Harvard is so hard to get in and he’s just throwing it away like that?” First things first, this isn’t telling you to drop out randomly and spontaneously from university. In Bill’s case, he considered and concluded that his passion had to take precedence and that enrolling at Harvard would only hinder his path to success. What I am trying to say is that, you must be ready to make the bold decision to give up everything you have planned to make way for your inner calling. Do not let external factors and fear dictate what you should or should not do. Remember, the willingness to sacrifice anything and everything for one’s passion is what sets successful people apart. I assure you, only by doing so will you be free and contented.

#2: Work Hard And Be Consistent

Once you have identified and locked on to your passion, you must work on it day and night. There is simply no other way. This part of the journey is the hardest and many give up in the middle of this phase. Here, you might not see big improvements and every practice session may feel mundane. You must be careful not to think that you aren’t getting anywhere. The truth is, you are improving everyday, it’s just that you can’t see it! Let’s say everyday you improve by 1%. 1% might not feel a lot, but after 365 days, you would have improved 365%! Of course, your improvements cannot be calculated and even estimated by such crude numbers and percentages, but you get the idea. Everything will seem slow at first, but after much consistent practice, the law of accelerating returns kick in and you will soon find yourself improving much faster. Let me explain what this “law of accelerating returns” means here. In the early stages of learning a skill, your skill level is, of course, low. Due to a lack of knowledge and familiarity with the field, more time is spent on trying to understand the subject at hand and the durations of your practice sessions are limited. At this point in time, trying to practice for a few hours at a time will only result in you becoming burnt out and more confused. However, with daily practice and learning, your knowledge and skill increases and thus you are able to practice for longer durations and with much more focus. With this increased practice, your skill level and knowledge increases much further, and the quality of your practice sessions increases as well. This in turn gives birth to a never ending, exponential cycle of learning and improvement. Now, the aim of this phase is to reach the point where even hours of practice would seem inadequate and effortless. Reaching this sweet spot will allow your creativity to flow in ways you’ve never seen before and it is at this point that you will find mastery. (If you would like to know why you should never give up easily, check out my article here: https://bestofwrite.com/2021/01/14/never-give-up-easily/)

#3: Replacing Negative Perspectives With Positive Ones

Yes, hard work is important and all, but how do you sustain yourself through this journey? How do you control your emotions? It’s all about your perspective. Ask yourself what failure means to you. Is it the end? Does it mean that you are incapable? The answer to all these questions is a stark NO. Failure just means that you have to work harder. All you have to do is to switch your perspective. Robots and machines do not whine when they experience failure. Failure to them is just a sign that their database is not wide enough and that much more data is needed to increase their success rate. Even machines experience failure on a daily basis, let alone human beings. The only difference is that machines do not attach any emotional significance to failure – they just move on and become better with time. The cycle of learning and failure is the very foundation of learning, even in artificial intelligence. But of course, we are not machines and we are vulnerable to the negative thoughts that come from our very own minds. To overcome this, you have to change your mentality towards the field you are working on. For instance, instead of seeing a Chess match as a battle between two parties, a better way to view it is that Chess is a puzzle battle – the player which solves it the most accurately wins. Failure would not mean that you are better or worse than the other player. It just means that you did not solve the “puzzle” accurately enough! Whether it is you are a Chess player, an athlete, a writer or mathematician, it is essential to learn to work like a machine, celebrate like a human.

Conclusion

Success is no doubt a long journey that requires much sacrifice, hard work and grit. However, it is not impossible to attain. Whenever you experience failure, just be like a clock. Just keep moving.

Meanwhile, are there any other factors of success that I have not mentioned in this article? Do comment your thoughts below!

Further Reading

Social Media: The Dark Side

There is a good, bad or ugly side to almost anything and everything in the universe. Social media is no exception. However, in this case, social media has the darkest side of them all. There has been numerous cases of men and women alike developing psychological illnesses such as depression and other psychotic disorders due to their obsessive and compulsive usage of social media. But why is this so? Why is it that so many people have fallen to vanity? What does this mean for our mental health? In this article, we shall discuss and explore the dark side of social media, but be warned, it is a place you wouldn’t want to end up in, ever. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter!

A New Age

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

The invention of the internet has allowed much to be accomplished in the history of mankind. We can now work and share with others in real time. Knowledge can be accessed simply by doing a simple search on Google. And In the midst of all this achievements and breakthroughs, social media was born. In the early stages of the internet, chatrooms and forums were the main platforms for communication for the numerous netizens around the world. As time passed and as the internet became more advanced, social media platforms with higher degrees of complexity and capability were introduced, the notable two being Facebook and Instagram, which has greatly shaped the modern world as we know it today. And in the present world, social media has become a ubiquitous element in most of our lives and it will continue to be so.

The Dark Side Revealed

Source: https://www.thecabinchiangmai.com/blog/social-media-and-depression/

As usage of social media increased over the years, we have become increasingly reliant on social media for communication. We no longer send letters to our relatives and friends. Instead, all one has to do is click on WhatsApp, type out his/her message and click “send”. It’s that simple. Meanwhile, on public sharing platforms like Instagram and Facebook, it is equally easy to post a photo of yourself and comment on the posts of others. Here’s where chaos begins. Many men and women become obsessed with putting their pictures up online for others to admire, while others do so out of vanity. At the same time, users of such platforms begin to judge a person’s worth through appearances alone. In the minds of such users, thoughts like these start to pop up. “She looks pretty, so I’m going to give her a like.” “This one doesn’t look as good, I’ll pass.” These thoughts gradually alter the ways in which these users think. In other words, these unhealthy habit has rewired their minds to calculate the respect they should give another person based on appearances and looks alone. Meanwhile, cyberbullying has taken a new turn. All it takes is a single comment to begin the onslaught. Many begin to target the appearances of others and in turn comment nasty remarks to taunt them. Furthermore, it is now extremely easy to pass on rumours of another person, often with the intent of slandering or demeaning the target in question. As these comments and nasty remarks begin to snowball and accumulate, the person at the receiving end often faces feelings of distress and helplessness. The victim is unable to understand why he/she deserves such treatment and plunges close to the threshold of depression. And eventually, without timely assistance, such scenarios can end with an unfortunate suicide. This problem is especially prevalent among the youth today. It is because of these above reasons that social media has a bad reputation for bringing out the worst in humans, who may seem friendly upfront but are deadly when given a keyboard.

The Takeaway

The world is a chaotic place. Be wary not to blindly follow the crowds. At the same time, learn to keep your emotions on a leash. Do not fall prey to your emotions and subconscious desires. Rather, use the gift that you have been granted at the moment of your birth: Rational thinking. Without it, we are nothing but animals, living in the present, slaves to emotions and carnal desires. This applies to social media as well. Do not fall into the trap of judging the self-worth of yourself and others based on appearances, as they are often deceiving. At the same time, learn not to crave it, as the desire for the flesh often leads to the destructive path to lust. Not only will you lose your mind in the process, but you may very well lose your life and your loved ones as well.