Life / Can Do

Helpful tips to living a better life

There is No Secret to Success

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I’ve written quite a bit about what it takes to succeed in life. For the most part, I’ve probably been pointing out things most people already know or would eventually figure out for themselves if they put in the time and effort at whatever it is they want to achieve. The ideas I share can help others get there faster.

Whenever I try to learn something new, I find out how others have done it before me. Where are the potholes that I need to avoid, are there alternate routes I can take if there are obstacles in the way?

In the end, it really is just about hard work. The idea of hard work scares people – I know it scared me in the past. I used to think about the things I wanted to accomplish but then the idea of having to work hard would make me hesitate or stop working toward a goal. I used to think there has to be an easy way and if something was too hard it must be the wrong way or the wrong goal.

It took me a long time to realize that just because I was unwilling to do the work, the desire to accomplish a goal did not go away. I would pretend that the goal was not worth it but eventually I would try again. Once I finally gave up the idea of giving up, I would put in the work and the goal would be attained. The hard work I was so reluctant to do, was not so bad after all. The fear of hard work is worse than the work itself.

The self-help books I’ve read or the speakers I’ve listen to were often too polite or did not emphasize hard work enough. We often get speakers who just tell us to believe in ourselves or to think positively and everything will turn out all right. Those ideas are important and valid but they are tailored for those who are desperate and have lost hope. For those of us, who already have the confidence and positive mindset are left wondering, “What now?”

Self confidence and positive thinking are the tools for success but once you have them you have to put them to work. Once I had the tools my life started to turn out all right, the bills were paid, I got a good job and I could ask for a better family. But then things sort of went on autopilot for awhile. I was living comfortably but I wasn’t growing.

The worst thing to happen to a goal setter, is that they achieve their goals. Once you get that fire in your belly for overcoming difficult obstacles you want more challenges. The problem is that the effort and persistence that gets a person to a modest level of success is only a fraction of what is needed to move to the next level.

I once read a book by this Get-rich guru who said “The hardest thing I ever did was to earn my first million, the easiest thing was the second million.” The idea is that once you learn the tricks, the rest is easy. As it turns out, this wealth guru lost a lot of his wealth and was hounded by the IRS until he died.

The same tricks and mindset that you use to achieve one level of success may not work for the next level. The Pareto principle, otherwise known as the 80-20 rule, is in effect. Only 20% of the population will reach the first level of success. To make it to the next level, you need to be the top 20% of that 20% and to do that requires different actions and a different mindset that got you to that first level otherwise everyone would continue to succeed.

Regardless of the techniques and mindset, a person needs to maintain their values. Any success achieved by swindling  or taking advantage of others is not real success. Liars and crooks are notoriously miserable people with few friends they can really trust. We have all heard about whistle-blowers who turn on their bosses. I believe those cases we hear about on the news are those rare situations where a person was able to lie, cheat and steal their way to enormous wealth but are then caught when a trusted associate turns on them. Despite the media coverage, these are rare because very few people will make it to the top if they don’t have solid values backing them up. Even in these rare cases, it is only a matter of time before it all comes crashing down. Before the inevitable crash, they will lead miserable lives filled with fear and distrust.

I will admit that my road to success has been slowed (still slow) by my determination to stay true to my values. I accept this slow progress because each step has been a solid step forward. I have no fear that my peers will learn that I’m a fraud or that someone I trust will turn on me. There are no skeletons in my closet that will come bursting out to bring me down. The person I am in public is who I am in my heart.

Solid values and hard work. That’s it and it is not a secret. Leaders have been preaching these concepts since the beginning of civilization. People like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates appear to have been lucky but in the beginning each of them were fanatically hard workers. There were times when people questioned the morals and values of Bill Gates but his record-breaking contributions to charity show the true foundation of his success.

Build your foundation of values and be prepared to work hard.

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Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

July 27, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Excellent post! We need to but on our boots and dig the trenches, it is work, but the rewards are ten fold. Thank you for such a transparent and inspiring article. Have a wonderful evening.

    Tina Del Buono, PMAC

    July 27, 2012 at 8:33 pm


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