“If only I had more time,” say your friends. “Then I could do what I really want to do in life.”
Have you ever caught yourself saying this?
Or substitute “money” in the same sentence. If only I had better credentials. If only I had more experience.
These statements are all B.S. (Belief Systems!).
Yet we’ve all said them.
The Fierce Gentleman knows that the limiting factor in our lives is never resources, but resourcefulness. (Hat tip to Anthony Robbins for that gem.)
Meanwhile, some people get the results they’ve dreamed of — while others make excuses.
What’s the difference?
The difference is that some people accept that success is a science, and proceed to program it into their lives.
They know that success is repeatable, once you understand the program.
Most of us don’t want to believe this. We want to believe in chance, in luck, in an X factor. Because that allows us to escape responsibility.
If success is a science, then you’ll have to take responsibility for your life and the results you get. You can’t claim bad luck. You’ll be forced to work harder to get the type of life you want, or admit to yourself that you don’t really want a better life — at least not badly enough to work for it.
Most people don’t want to take responsibility for their results. The Fierce Gentleman relishes the chance.
If you’re ready to take responsibility — if you’re ready to be rigorous in the application of the science of success — then read on.
Here is the basic program for repeatable success:
1. Meditation. The first step is: build mindfulness. Get acquainted with your own thoughts. Watch them come and go. Notice your emotional patterns rise and fall. Then, take that mindfulness into every day, and notice what your thoughts tell you throughout the day. Do they tell you that you are a loser? That you’ll never amount to anything? Or do they tell you that you’re a champion?
With meditation and mindfulness, you will learn your inner programming. You will notice what you pay attention to, how you interpret it, and what actions you take as a result. You will become intimate with your emotional states and you will begin to grasp how you can master them, and how you can induce them at will. Meditation leads to emotional mastery. (For more on meditation, see our article “Why you must learn to meditate.”)
2. Visualization. Pro athletes use visualization to succeed at the highest levels. Can we use it to get the same results? Yes we can. You have to visualize the future results you want in every detail: taste, touch, feel, smell, hearing, feeling. You have to feel the emotions of winning or achieving your goal as if you’d already achieved it. You must train your physiology and your brain to accept your desired result as certain. Doing this consistently will attract to you the mentors, guides, & resources you will need to accomplish the desired goals.
Practice placing yourself in an “expert state” — the state that you are in when you’re at your best. The more you practice this, the stronger your default expert state will become, and the more access you’ll have to resourcefulness when you need it. Failure to achieve great things never comes down to resources, but always comes down to resourcefulness. Success flows to the most resourceful, to those who can stay in their expert state no matter what. (Tweet this.) (For a more in-depth look at Visualization, read our article “Visualization for Success.”)
3. Goal setting. Most people understand the importance of setting goals. Few people understand what is required to accomplish goals. You must make a decision to complete each goal. Not a “I’d like to” or “I should” or a “someday” but an “I must” or “I will.” This decision is followed by a firm commitment to accomplishing a specific and measurable goal in a specific and measurable time frame. A minimum of once a day, review your goal, your commitment to completing it in a given time frame, and examine whether or not you are taking the actions necessary to get you there. Because just having goals written down won’t help you at all, unless you follow that up with . . .
4. Massive action. Massive action consists of small, repeated actions, taken at least once a day. Most of us already take massive action, it’s just the wrong action: how many times a day do you tell yourself you’re dumb, or you’ll never get that promotion? Stop that. Reprogram yourself with positive messages, instead, and take an additional daily action that gets you closer to that promotion. Reviewing your top goals twice a day is action: but it’s not nearly enough. You’ll have to follow that goal review with a specific action you take out in the world that gets you one step closer. Send an email, draft a letter, make a phone call, write a list of the next steps, complete an application, draft the business plan, pick up your violin and play it for 10 minutes. Action is what separates the mediocre from the excellent. Each time you are taking even a small action, you are moving yourself farther down the path towards your goals. This is especially true if you. . . .
5. Practice the hardest part the most. See Angela Duckworth’s research on “Grit“: the highest performers practice the hardest parts (of their sonata, their speech, their spelling bee, their sport) the most. She calls this ‘deliberate practice’ and what it consists of is taking the hardest part of your activity and practicing it intensely with the greatest possible repetition. High performers do this until they’re exhausted, then they rest and recover. Then they do it again.
Success is repeatable to the degree that you’re willing to commit to the steps above. You have to be rigorous about applying them — you can’t shirk or lay off. You must be disciplined.
But if you can be disciplined, and you can be patient, you can get whatever results you want. This is why successful people are so often disciplined and patient and have been working at it for a long time.
So, are you ready to be successful?
Success isn’t measured by money or power or social rank. Success is measured by your discipline and your inner peace. – Mike Ditka
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Also published on Medium.