Can I tell you the secret to success?
No gimmicks, no pipe dreams, and no delusional positivity; just a realistic way to progress in life that encompasses both your philosophy and your behaviour.
I want to tell you something about success and growth that is timeless, and that every successful human being in the history of the world has utilized either consciously or unconsciously to obtain their biggest most unrealistic desires, sometimes in the face of total doubt and adversity from their peers.
This is not my discovery, in fact it is nobody in particular’s. This has been taught for centuries by human beings from every corner in the world in one way or another.
Whether you’re reading a biography, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey, or “The Hero With 1,000 Faces” by Joseph Campbell.
Whether you’re watching documentaries about the success of an individual or a company on TV, or reading this blog or someone else’s.
Whether you’re lazy and unambitious, or hungry for all that life has to offer.
The secret to success is screaming at you from every direction.
The secret is process orientation.
Let’s look at this from a brutally critical standpoint first. If an idea is so timeless and so powerful, it should remain unscathed even in the face of the most sceptic readers. How is it possible that a single blog post can contain within it the keys to success? How can the essence of realizing your goals be so simple that it can be explained and understood in a single night?
Because what I’m talking about here is the foundation of success from which all other branches grow.
Picture a drug addict, a gambling addict, an overweight person, or a hard-working labourer who just got laid off or fired. Some people seem so unlucky and disorganized, while the Richard Bransons and the Leonardi Da Vincis of the world are able to accomplish seemingly anything. We’re all made of the same organs and materials, so what’s the difference? Big companies, successful entrepreneurs, the fired labourer, and Steve Jobs all have one thing in common:
Their situation did not change or occur overnight.
Gambling addiction and food addiction start with a single game of Blackjack or a single snack. Suddenly, the action changes their habits, then their habits change their character, then their character changes their destiny. It’s just as Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.”
The drug addict sowed the thought that drug use could ease his or her depression, and over time it led to addiction.
The overweight and unhealthy man / woman sowed the act of opting for fast food over a healthy diet, and over time it led to obesity.
The hard working labourer sowed the habits of laziness and a lack of ambition, and it let to unemployment and an underwhelming life.
So how do you use this knowledge to succeed? Where’s all of this going?
Our situation is constantly changing and evolving. Like the molecules of our body, which are replaced entirely many times in a lifetime, nothing is EVER stagnant.
This means that our progress, the realization of our goals, our health, or anything else you can name is either changing for the better, or for the worse.
Let’s take the drug addict and change ONE thing about his habits. Instead of using drugs, let’s say he read self-development books.
His habits would have made him a better character, and his destiny would have been brighter.
Let’s take the obese man or woman and change ONE thing about his or her habits. Instead of eating processed foods, let’s say a gym membership was purchased and he or she went to workout for half an hour instead of taking half an hour to go to the closest restaurant for junk food.
Let’s take the laid off labourer. Let’s say instead of just living his life in a mundane, unconscious way by simply going to work, working, going home, and watching TV, he instead worked on a craft for 3 hours a day for years.
Imagine if you could take a drug addict and literally remove years of bad choices and replace them with educational reading and the actions that that reading inspires.
Imagine if you could take an obese person and remove years of processed foods and instead imagine that they ate healthy and natural meals for years.
Imagine a labourer who wanted to be a blogger. Do you think he’d have the experience, confidence,and drive to get a dream job doing something he loved if instead of sitting on the couch every day after work, he pitched to blogs and honed his craft endlessly?
You can’t decide in a single day to be a success.
But here’s what you CAN do, you can adhere to process orientation and stick dilligently to a process that will lead you to success. You can change your habits from “watch TV for an hour each night” to “write for an hour each night” or “practice guitar for an hour each night.” You can change your dinner plans from “greasy takeout” to “chicken salad.”
And that’s the beauty of it all! It’s so simple and elegant. The next time you’re sitting down watching TV, if you have the willpower, just switch it off and write! If you do it once, it’ll be easier the next day.
If you make it a habit, you’re on your way already! Success is easy to achieve, and it’s easy not to achieve, just like making a bad choice is easy to do, and easy not to do.
Start making the right choices today. Each one will be easier than the last, and all you ever have to deal with in a single moment is one act alone. There are no small decisions, as soon as you embrace process orientation you understand the weight that each choice has, and slowly but surely you can start making whatever difference in your life that you like!