How To Be Successful At Anything
It seems fleeting.
We look at it like it’s a mythical creature.
But it’s not a unicorn.
It’s ridiculously obtainable.
There is a catch though.
Today we’re going to get into the nitty gritty details and discover how you can succeed at anything you want.
What Success Means
Success is defined in plenty of different ways. I encourage you to define it for yourself because if it’s unclear for you then this journey is going to be a struggle.
For the sake of this article, we are going to describe success as the act of going from Point A to Point B. From nothing to something.
Point A –> Working a shitty nine to five.
Point B –> Quit the shitty nine to five and travel the world while running an online business.
The Slight Edge
I’ve been reading a book that embodies what this blog is all about. It’s called The Slight Edge.
It’s all about the idea of Invisible Results.
If you walk on a treadmill for 5 minutes today what is that going to do?
But if you walk on a treadmill for 5 minutes every day for one year what is that going to do?
A shit load.
Turns out, going from Point A to Point B isn’t actually that hard.
You get there by taking consistent forward action over a long period of time.
To the readers of PD, this part shouldn’t come as a surprise.
It’s fairly obvious this is how it’s done.
But I’ve found there are two major obstacles everyone encounters when trying to reach success.
1) Lack of patience.
2) Poor handling of the highs and lows.
Today we’re going to tackle both.
Let’s get to it.
Lack Of Patience
It can be extremely tough to stick with it.
We all want things NOW!
Social conditioning has done a killer job of destroying any semblance of patience.
But I’ve come up with a solution. It’s something I use in my own life to keep me grounded and moving forward.
It’s called The University Principle.
University lasts about four years.
In that time you labor over exams and essays.
Long hours are spent reading dry text books and your will power is tested on a regular basis.
But every year hundreds of thousands of students graduate.
I may not be a fan of traditional education, but I do have respect for these people.
It’s tough as shit to do this.
But here’s the big question…
If so many people are willing to devote four years of their life to get a degree, why wouldn’t they be willing to do the same for something they actually enjoy?
Seriously – To reach the highest levels of success you need to devote many years of your life.
If you’re in your first year of forging your own path, you’re a freshman.
It would be crazy for a freshman in university to ask for their diploma.
But whether you’re a freshman or a senior – it doesn’t matter.
You’re still going to hit levels of success on your journey.
I’m months away from meeting a colossal goal of traveling and I’m only a sophomore.
I’ve spent a year and half working towards that goal. But it’s still not the end.
It’s just another level. It’s just another A+ in life.
Why do you think Chris Guillebeau, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Seth Godin succeed all the time?
Because they have their PHD’s in life.
They’ve put in the work and now they’re reaping the rewards.
Those dudes are Ivy League.
Honestly, the only thing that really separates the extraordinary achievers from everyone else is time and action.
I wish I had a magic bullet for you but there isn’t one.
Success isn’t mythical but overnight success is.
Adopt the university principle into your daily life and come back to it whenever you feel yourself losing patience.
Dealing With Highs & Lows On The Journey
I have to confess something.
I have mood swings.
Sometimes I’m in a state of ridiculous euphoria and other times I think about dropping off the internet and getting a job at the grocery store.
If you’ve never ran a business, you probably think I’m fucking insane.
For everyone else – I KNOW you are nodding your head in recognition.
Turns out, this journey is littered with emotional swings.
But almost NO ONE is talking about it.
A few weeks back I sent out a pretty emotional article to a few friends to get their feedback. In there, I spoke about the mood swings.
The most common response I got was “You have that too!?”
I also saw this post the other day by my good buddy Mike Hrostoski.
143 Likes and 35 comments.
You are not alone.
Highs and lows are a part of the journey and they never go away.
What To Do?
Make peace with all of it. That’s all you can do.
There is no magical answer.
Mark Manson has a pretty awesome idea called The Do Something Principle that definitely helps people get out of a funk. But it’s still not a magic bullet.
Understand that every single person forging their own path has highs and lows and you just have to be okay with it.
If you can’t make peace with this, two things can happen…
1) Your journey will be really lousy
2) You’ll give up when things get really low
So recognize the low and know it will pass. Take action every day regardless of how you feel and treat your journey like university.
Because success is not a unicorn.
It’s real life.
Photo Cred: Ranil Amarasuriya