Image Credit: Priya Saihgal [Climbing The Ladder Of Success] - http://bit.ly/UpZOvF
If becoming a billionaire success story was easy, then everyone would be one. But obviously this isn’t the case in the world we live in today. In fact, you need to treat aiming for a huge goal like fighting a war. It really can get that serious. There will be sacrifices. There will be long days of uncertainty. There may even be days you go without food or water. In such harsh times, you will need the will to press on. For it is this that separates the victors from the losers.
It is why I came up with 5 core focus points to help me keep moving in a steady direction towards my goals. I call them The 5 Ps to success. They are really disciplines I consistently aim to get better at. No matter what lies ahead, I use these to stay motivated enough to tackle any obstacle I encounter. They serve as my armor in this tough and seemingly never-ending battle to success. A constant reminder of what I need to have in place to get there.
This is at the forefront. You need to fall in love with that activity or set of activities you are required to regularly do, in order to achieve your goals. Whether this is designing graphics, selling shoes, farming or even blogging, you need to be passionate about that activity to create outstanding results in your life.
Though doing some of these tasks may seem like chores every other day, if you envision the long term results of the efforts you put in now, this may just help you get passed the resistance to not do these important activities.
You cannot get as far as you probably hope to get if you do not engulf yourself in the awe of whatever it is you are doing. If you know its awesome, act like it is. Convince yourself. Become your own number 1 fan. For this is where inspiration for great ideas is drawn from. If you don’t love what you do, how can you be inspired to come up with break through discoveries?
Steve Jobs (yes I know everyone uses this example. But it’s because most dreamers aspire to be like him) loved creating products that would change the world, resulting in him actually doing just that. Apple created products that literally changed aspects of our everyday lives. Why? Passion. Don’t believe me? You need to watch the apple product launch videos by Steve.
I have always insisted that anyone can learn absolutely any skill they want to learn. Whether it’s law, cooking, programming, photography or even 3D modelling, it is very possible. For a lot of these career paths, age doesn’t even matter. At the very base, you need to have a passion for wanting to learn. However to actually make the transition from who you are to who you want to become, you must start.
By start, I mean to begin practicing. To actually do something. If you are going to learn how to become a photographer, you obviously begin by acquiring a camera and taking shots (not sure if selfies count though :P). You take lots and lots of shots. You analyze these shots and ask yourself what you need to do to take better shots.
Do your research. If you realize that it involves buying a tripod stand, save up for one. Keep working on your craft to develop it. My first pieces of digital art weren’t masterpieces (not that they are right now), but over time I was able to transition from doing simple text based 3D art to actually complicated and more appealing vehicle modelling.
You have to practice. You need to practice. This is the habit that separates the pros from the amateurs. They never stop developing their craft. You can’t get better at something that you do not regularly do. This is why training is a strategy sport teams use. If you miss on training, you miss on conditioning your body for a match/event. This is essential to bringing you one step closer to achieving your goals.
After googling persistence the first definition I got said “firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition”
Nothing is easy. Especially trying to succeed at something grand. There will always be resistance or obstacles that prevent you from doing what you need to do to get to where you need to be. These could be things like commitments, fatigue, boredom, unfortunate circumstances, the lack of resources, huge workloads, “not having the time” or even family.
Let me tell you right now, all those are nothing more than excuses. Engrave that statement in your mind. You simply cannot tell yourself that your environment is holding your dreams hostage. Great achievers consistently show us time and time again, that it really is possible to attain success despite the odds.
Note that successful people that made it from “rags to riches” have one unique tendency… they stay successful. One of the key reasons is that, over time, their minds learn to better overcome the obstacles they encounter. After getting through it once, it becomes proof enough that they can get through it again. They know where they are headed, and nothing or no one is going to come between them and their goals. They do what they need to do every day consistently. They are persistent.
More googling. The first definition I got about perseverance said “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success”. As you can tell, it sounds a lot like persistence so I googled the word steadfastness. It said “firm in purpose, resolution, faith, attachment, etc…”
This got me thinking, because to distinguish the two, I now say that Persistence is an action, while Perseverance is a state of mind.
In other words, to persist you must keep DOING and to persevere you must keep BELIEVEING.
Again, when you are out to achieve something great, that is when the world conspires against you. That’s when resistance flies in from all directions. This is unavoidable. Your resolve will constantly be tested. What you want to achieve will be challenged. You may be skilled at something, but you are probably being held back by fear in its various forms.
Your skill is your offense, which you need to show the world so that you can stand out and be taken more seriously. But just as important, your need to work on perseverance, which is your defense. You must believe in yourself and what you are doing. You must develop a strong heart to with stand the storm and challenges you will face if you intend to succeed.
A lot of people seem to be in a hurry to succeed. I mean, it’s not like I don’t fantasize about being a billionaire by the time I’m in my 30s. However, I think to an extent this can be a toxic mindset. I have seen this lead to unhealthy behaviors and practices. I mean, don’t you know people who seem to have their minds fixated on instant wealth? To the point that they are ready to do just about anything to get it? Aren’t some of those methods they use questionable, immoral or even harmful?
I am an artist. Or at least that was my starting point some years ago. I have come to realize that one of my greatest strengths today, is a result of the decisions I made back then. Such as the decision to start learning Photoshop, web design and electronic music production. I had always wanted to make games, but at the time, despite my efforts to learn, it just felt too grand of a dream to even get close to.
I never gave up hope though. At least I was somewhat bright enough to figure out the fundamental components of a game, which were code, graphics and sounds. Hence my interests in web design, Photoshop and music making. Fast forward almost 10 years later, I’m making games as though I were cooking breakfast. Or something like that :P
My point is, you can get to where you need to be, by practicing patience. This does not mean sitting idle and waiting for things to fall in place. By patience, I mean taking heart that the “little” investments you make on your dream daily, over time, will turn into a grand pay off. Rome wasn’t built over night. Construction happened every single day.
Set your mind’s focus on a goal. Break down that goal into smaller milestones. Take those milestones and break them down into tasks. Tackle the tasks one at a time. Don’t get distracted by the immediate gains that seem to be all around you. You have a plan, stick to it. It may take a couple of months or a couple of years (as is my case) but be patient and believe that the tasks you are taking will eventually get you to where you need to be.
I feel that much can still be said about each discipline. However, I can only hope that sharing this focus strategy with you, could help you with some of the challenges you may be facing with trying to reach for your goals. I would be grateful to get your take on what it is we need to focus on, to take our lives from where they are to where we want them to be.