Reading Time : 45 Minutes
Let’s start with a story, a story about Johny, about a so-called successful Johny :
“Wow! “ Johny could hardly utter these word, when a BMW whizzed by so fast that he could not even see the number-plate. Johny is fascinated with fancy cars and has memorized the make, the model & license numbers of almost all the luxury cars in his town. He has always been wishing of owning one.
Johny is in his early forties, working with a pharmaceutical company at a regional level position. He is one of the 115 regional managers of the company, and this is his fifth company in a career spanning 15 years. He has done better in life than most of his class-mates except three – Dipti, who is now a renowned surgeon, Mac- who’s a famous author and Sattya, who is now a CEO of a big multinational company.
In the eyes of Johny ,all these 3 people have been luckier! Fortunately they could choose the right career, got the right breaks at the right time & circumstances were also in their favor.
It is not that Johny is not in a comfortable position in his life! He owns a home, has a car as well as all the necessary gadgets that are considered as necessities in every middle-class home these days.
Yes, for some of these things he has taken bank-loans but he is pretty confident that he would be able to pay them off in the next 8-10 years Has two small school -going kids and an ailing mother to take care -off. He feels that he has been relatively successful although he is yet to figure out how he would be able to buy one of his dream cars. But again he is sure, that they can always start saving for the same once his wife goes back to the job after the kids are little grown -up.
At the outset, it seems life is going well. There are no immediate concerns apart from a lingering fear in his mind that he may develop diabetes like his late father if he does not control his weight. And he plans to work on this fear too, he plans to join some Yoga classes.
But somewhere deep down, Johny holds a grudge against life that it has not treated him well. He was one of the smartest kids in his town, every teacher told him that he had a great potential.
At the same time, he still has a lingering belief in next 30 years he would emerge as a winner in the long run, not only so-called-successful but super-successful, much ahead than his contemporaries, more successful than those three guys. Johny is also confident that one day he would have not only one but a range of those luxury cars.
And work is going on . He has read “You Can Win” six times, has attended the several leadership training programs arranged by his company including the one designed on “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and keeps buying every latest self-help book.
Sometimes he sacrifices watching his favorite TV channels, he can’t sleep without reading some motivational stuff. Johny also listens to lots of motivational videos and movies time-to-time and feels inspired. The only days he does not read are the times when he goes out for socializing, partying with friends as he has heard that networking is also important if he has to move further ahead in life.
He also prepares a list of new year resolutions almost every year, has worked on his health by taking diet-plans two times. He works hard on his job, does whatever is suggested by superiors and uses all possible tricks-of-the-trade to improve his business results.
Week of Realization:
Somehow last week has been pretty traumatic for Johny. There was an annual sales conference of his company and 7 of his colleagues got promoted, moving upwards on career- ladder because of giving consistently better results.
He is left wondering ! How they could deliver extra-ordinary results when the economy is not doing well and customers are trying to curtail their spending.
Something is not right, he felt.
Then he met Robin, the guy from the south. In every conference, Robin was the guy who was bullied and made fun of by almost everyone in the evening-parties due to his weight, he was nick-named as BB aka balloon-belly.
But this year, he was called on stage to tell the story of his grit & determination of losing 20 kg weight, that too without following any diet plan, just by running and gymming!
And then there was Bhuvan Bam, the Indian YouTuber, a special guest , a celebrity ,invited by the company to motivate the sales team. He was wowed by him, a 25-year-old person, earning millions every year just by making videos! “He is a destiny child, a god-gifted artist “, Johny thought.
This sales conference, rather than motivating Johny in any way, has done the opposite. It has shattered all his dreams.
How come his colleagues can have better results than him while working in the same market-situation , selling the same type of products! He also has worked hard, working from 9 am to 5 pm and doing whatever his seniors told him to do!
How come a lazy guy Robin can look like a film-star while Johny could not continue gym beyond two months although he had bought a full-year subscription.!
And Bhuvan’s success convinced him that success is all about luck.
“Robin, Bhuvan all have luck on their side while gods are not in his favor as of now”, he thought!
Earlier he used to consider Steve Jobs, Sachin Tendulkar , Michael Jackson as gods as their success was beyond his own reach, they had god-gifted qualities!
But now his list of gods & lucky-ones was getting longer , may be a never-ending list !
It is December end & Johny feels devastated!
Before coming to the conference, he was preparing a list of next year’s resolutions but now he’s convinced that these resolutions are of no use. He had made few in the past but failed miserably. He is also getting a feeling that all the books that he has read, and all the training-programs he attended did not help him. They’re all of no use . You get temporary motivation but they don’t make you a star, they don’t make you super-successful.
He is getting more and more convinced that extraordinary success in life is all about luck, destiny and may be it is related to a person’s genes.
Johny is like most of us, we stop at ‘wow’ and not trying to understand about the ‘how’ – wowed by others’ success and don’t spend enough time to know more about the efforts , commitment & struggle behind that success.
A Big Relief:
Blaming luck for some failure or for some tragedy can be a great reliever in some circumstances but it can be a great destroyer for most of the times.
It is great reliever in certain cases e.g. you meet an accident, you lose someone close or someone close to you get an incurable disease. Better to put it on luck & try to move ahead.
But it can destroy you if you start believing that your success depends purely on luck or others are successful because of chance/luck. If luck factor gets into your blood, you would stop trying. And once you stop trying, you would never be lucky.
Coming back to Johny .
While now he feels that others were successful because they got lucky , somewhere deep in his heart he feels relieved , now he does not feel the pressure of his ambitions, now he feels free to watch his favorite Netflix programs, can party more and can spend more time in sleeping that he loves the most.
And no more rat-race , he feels he’s not made for it.
May be in next life!
————–End of the story————–
Question for you?
Can you see any Johny around you?
-Who has reached a certain level in life, maybe more successful than his class-mates and relatives!
– Who has all the tools available for a comfortable life! Loves to watch TV ,sleep, and loves to party !
– Has an opinion on everything -political or non-political! Has fixed beliefs ! Knows what’s wrong with society or the country!
-Who has some desire to go further, wants to own the next level of luxurious things -an expensive car, a bigger house (maybe with a pool)!
– Who sometimes feel jealous of the people who’re ahead of him in career, and get wowed by super-achievers but believes that they’re there just because of luck.
-Who reads motivational books, attends training programs, believes in networking by socializing, makes new year resolutions but mostly fails to keep them!
Maybe you know many Johnys , maybe one of your cousins or one of your friends on one or many of your colleagues match this description!
Or maybe you’re Johny or I’m Johny -reached certain comfort zone and either we’re too comfortable in this zone or we don’t know how to inch ahead from here!
Do you think the Johny, which you’ve identified, can go further in his life?
What’s his problem?
What are the issues which are holding him back?
Pause & think about it!
Don’t go further Or Take a Coffee -Break!
Read the rest of this article if you know any Johnys and you want to help them or ‘you’ yourself have few traits of Johny and you want to help yourself!
Otherwise don’t read further as it would be just a pure wastage of your precious time.
And if you’re interested, get a cup of coffee or tea ,you may need some stimulants as you’re going to dive deep in your brain.
Let’s Dwell Deep!
Let’s understand Johny because if we can understand Johny, we can also find answers to THE following questions:
–Why 90% of people fail to keep their new year resolutions?
– 25 million copies of ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People ‘and 5 million copies of ‘You Can Win’ have been sold but still most of these readers remain in-effective as well as losers!
-Why in last many centuries, none of the monk has become a Buddha after folllowing the path suggested by him ?
– Why companies’ leadership -training programs are unable to bring the desired change in most of the attendees?
– Why most of the people get stuck in the middle of their careers?
Before we try to find the answers to these questions and try to solve Johny’s puzzle, let’s first understand the levels of success.
3 Levels of Success:
1. Relative or So-Called Success
2. Super Success
3. Absolute Success
So-called Success or Relative Success:
In most developing & developed countries, it is the easiest level to reach for anyone having an average body, average knowledge , with little hard-work and without much time spent in thinking.
Most of the middle class falls in to it , including you and me.
And most of the people are like Johnys in the success-ladder shown below:
The people having so-called success ( relative success ) are the guys who’re in better position in life as compared to their relatives, most of the classmates, neighborhood kids, and in comparison with the people having a similar family- background.
They have a stable job and live in a decent locality. They can afford to buy all middle-class luxury items, own home -either by taking a loan or on their own. Many of them already have savings or have a plan-in-place for their retirement as well as for expenses of their kids-educational and marriage. But they still need to think and worry about the money as well as their career/business.
These people are able to influence a small number of people – i.e. the people reporting to them + few more.
No special skills are required here except basic levels of efforts, basic level of knowledge , follow the orders and keep copying/pasting/decorating already popular ideas and little bit of luck.
Most of this success is forced upon due to external factors – society/peer/family pressure and requirement of fulfilling basic needs of food,clothes and shelter.
The following make picture makes it more clear.
Interesting fact :
Even a person at the position of a country lead (of a decent -sized company) or a successful businessman in a small town, belong to this level.
Don’t believe it ? Well let’s see how many countries are out there ? There are 195 . And let’s assume there are 3000 companies in a country ( India has 5700 listed companies on stock exchange and there are many others who are not listed – taking 3000 as average for each country as few countries happen to be small) .
Based on above calculation, there are about 5,85,000 country-leads in this world! Imagine you’re country-lead and live in a city where only country-leads are allowed to live. So you would be just one man in a population of 5,85,000 people . And there would be many country-leads who may be running a company which are 200 times bigger that country-lead who you may consider super-successful.
Now add another set of population to this town- all those businessmen, celebrities and politicians across the world and those people who’re having a better or similar type of social or financial wealth as a country lead , you may have a town of 10 or 20 million people. And that country-lead is just one of them. He may be relatively successful as compared to rest of 7 billion population in the world ,but he is still part of a crowd.
Hope this makes you realize that how a country lead is also just an average person . He may be relatively successful but he is nowhere super-successful. A calculation like this makes everyone humble.
(Do the calculation for a small-town businessman yourself)
The people having super-success are those who have risen far above their relatives/friends/neighbourhood kids as well as people with similar family background.
They are more focused on achieving something bigger, leaving a legacy and are beyond day-to-day concerns of a career as well as money.
These people happen to be CEOs or owners of large companies or leaders of some cults or leaders of some political parties. Their actions affect a large number of people.
It requires special efforts and some special qualities
- Ever present dire-need to excel
2. Consistent effort
3. Continuous improvement
4. Regular upgrading of skills
5. Risk Taking
6. Failing and rising again
7. Keep creating something new
8.Little bit of luck
9. Keep exploring
These are the people who get a status of gods, their actions have a capacity to influence a majority of the world’s population.
They are the people who bring changes in the day-to-day life of the majority of human beings – either in their activities or in their thoughts.
Money /Status etc. don’t matter to them once they reach this stage.
Steve Jobs, Buddha, Newton, Michael Jackson are a few of the examples.
Qualities required :
Same as Super Success people but these guys some time zoom into Absolute Level due to extraordinary favourable circumstances .
Easy-To- Compare -Check The Table
Have tried to put the differences among different level in the following table – in terms parameters of wealth and the luck required to achieve each of them
Success is generally measured on following 4 parameters of wealth a :
- Financial Wealth -How much money you have
- Social Wealth – How many people you can influence
- Time Freedom- How much freedom you have to spend your own time
- Physical Wealth -How much healthy you’re
Have put a question mark on health factor as it is hard to get this data. But it has been generally observed that people in Super-Successful & Absolute-Successful categories tend to have a better health for a longer period as compared to So-Called-Successful people.
Need another Coffee/Tea Break?
Well, let’s talk about the issues that come on the way to achieve Super-Success.
There’s no point of touching Absolute -Success .The ingredients required for both the levels remain the same, ‘being extra-ordinary -lucky’ is the only one additional factor which can take one person from Super -Success to Absolute-Success.
Let’s bring Johny back, and see what are his issues, why he is lingering in the ‘So-Called-Successful’ zone.
In the picture, success -zone has 2 parts –
Part 1 :
Easy Zone: Zero to One ( means from nowhere to become so-called -successful )
Part 2 :
Challenging Zone: One to ‘n’ ( this is the next level -from so-called-successful to super-successful. Have kept the final point as ‘n’ as n can be anything, there’s no limit to it. If this person gets extra-ordinarily lucky, he would move to absolute success levels and ‘n’ would be infinity in that case.
Why 0 to 1 is an Easy Zone?
It is an easy zone, anyone can be ahead of his contemporaries (with a similar family background) with a little bit of luck and with some hard work.
A side note: Whenever you look at any person, look at his progress in the context of the people who had similar backgrounds and resources of that person. Compare his success to those people! This is the only way where one can find out a person’s level of effort. If you’re comparing the success of two CEOs, one coming from a poor family and one being the child of rich parents, it is not a fair comparison. It is obvious that the CEO who has come from a poor family background has far better relative success.
Now let’s understand how a person becomes so-called-successful (relative-success): from Zero to One.
If you go through the above picture carefully, you would realize that Johny’s or yours or mine’s relative-success is the result of 3 elements:
Element 1: Society/Family Pressure
Element 2: Your Basic Needs – to get food, clothes, a place to live , getting married. Let’s say that these are your dire needs.
Element 3: Just follow what others tell, do what others have already done with a little bit of experimentation. One does not need to apply his brain too hard beyond a certain limit. Follow the orders, put little extra hours than others, tweak already established ideas a little bit and you would reach a certain level in an organization or in any business.
In summary, one is driven by external factors, a dire need of survival and copying/pasting/decorating someone else’s old success formula and if little bit luck is there you would much better than your neighborhood kids. Level of relative (or so-called) success depends upon person to person on how seriously he or she handles these three elements.
How the same elements which helped you in the past, start playing against you?
Once you’ve become relatively successful, the tragedy begins.
The 3 elements that were working in your favor, start working against you!
Element 1: Society/Family Pressure – now this pressure is on the opposite side, people start telling Johny, you & me about work-life balance, the futility of rat-race, need for partying & socializing,and people sharing good times on FB & influencing you to act in a similar fashion- these all become distractions, there’s no time left for you to think about future .
Element 2: Your Basic Needs – Now there is no dire need – you’re in your comfort zone. Yes, you do have a wish-list of the things you want to buy or what you want to achieve- but this is just window-shopping – no desperation, no urgency, you would neither die hungry or you won’t lose your life-even if you get these or you don’t get these, does not make much difference.
In short, you’re left with no drivers to push you forward.
Element 3: Just follow what others – to reach and to sustain yourself in super-successful zone you need to use your own brain, one can only go to next level if someone creates something new, something different, who finds a new path, dares to question the status -quo, who takes risks, who is capable of doing do 2nd level thinking.
But we have been accustomed & trained to follow orders,to follow what society or follow whatever a person in a powerful -position has to say. Never to counter-check or counter-question the popular narrative. We’ve been molded to give replies to the questions, not to question the replies, to use keywords while writing answers in school question papers!
The tailwind becomes the headwind.
Secret Formula to Achieve Super-Success
Well, the bad news is that there’s no secret formula. If you were looking for the one, then you find it anywhere.
What you can get here is some awareness about certain factors that stop everyone to get ahead, the factors one should be aware of ,if he/she has a dire need for success.
Many a times ,this knowledge helps.
Why Super-Successful Zone is a Challenging-Zone?
Factor 1: Missing Dire – Need !
“You are what your deepest desire is.
As is your desire, so is your intention.
As is your intention, so is your will.
As is your will, so is your deed.
As is your deed, so is your destiny.”
- Imagine you don’t know swimming but accidentally fall into a river, how desperately you would try to come out, how you would put your last iota of energy to save yourself by trying everything!
- Imagine someone very dear to you has a heart-attack and you’re driving that person to the hospital, every single minute of delay can be catastrophic. Imagine how hard you would try.
- Imagine someone is hungry for days! What he would do ? He would try everything to get some food, he won’t need a coach, he won’t need a self-help book or training, neither he would need a motivational speech ! Because the need and the way to fulfill that need comes from with-in.
These are few extreme examples of dire-need, where one is ready to do anything and everything to achieve’ that” one thing.
Many people want to buy expensive cars, have a secret crush to marry a movie star, want to become a singer – but the majority never gets there.
May be these are just of few items on their wish list -nothing less,nothing more. This is just like a window-shopping of wishes.
It is like you wandering in a super-mall, liking many things but having no intention or ability to buy !
What is not a dire -need ?
We humans have too many desires – too many wishes -too many yearnings-too many dreams .
Many desire for big cars, many yearn for an athletic body, many wish to become real famous and many dream to archive never-ending wealth !
Most of these happen to be non-serious thoughts – not backed by any real intention, not backed by any real effort .
The person having these desires and dreams is not desperate and does not loose sleep over any of these , these are just passing thoughts.
It has been observed that only those people who have a dire need for any of these things , only they are able to get these.
Why most of the people fail to achieve their dreams ?
Nobody fails because they didn’t work hard enough. They fail because they didn’t have a burning desire to get what they are working for.
Be very clear about the fact that only reason that you don’t have what you want is that you don’t really want it. The only reason that you have something is that you couldn’t live without it.
The only reason that you are where you are is that somewhere within you, it is ok to be there.
How to know whether you’ve a dire-need ?
You also may have dire need to do something , to get something !
Here are the signs :
- You eat, sleep, drink and think about the same.
- You try to find a way to achieve it , you make a plan , you are as desperate as a thirsty man is for water but your desperation has a longer time-horizon as it persists.
- All your efforts are directed towards it
- If the dire need is to learn a skill – you try to learn everything necessary to master that skill , you search the internet, you try to reach out to the people who have already masted it , you find out if there is any book /training-program available ,you observe and analyse every micro thing and start practicing , you try to improvise on what you do every minute, you’re not satisfied even if you’ve reached near to the perfection.
- If the dire need is to acquire some item- you save money for it,you work extra, you cut down expenses from other activities, and if it is too dire ,many a times you choose a different career so as to earn enough to buy that thing that is your dire-need
Some extra stuff :
Lack of dire-need is the reason that none of the monks have become a Buddha despite following the path shown by him !
They don’t have a dire need to achieve Nirvana like Buddha, their need is to just follow the path,without even trying to understand ‘why they’re following the path’!
- Lack of dire need is the reason that many people don’t make any improvement after reading some self-help book, attending a training program or listening to a motivational speech.
But the same training , same book or speech may have opposite effect on a person who has dire need to learn something, who is looking for a spark to come back on the track.
Factor 2: What people would say?
Many times we’re stopped by our inner fear of ‘what others would say, what others would think’.
We go to the gym and we think everyone is looking at us, we start picking heavier weights on the very first day, run on the treadmill ,longer and faster than what we’re accustomed to. We do this to impress other people. But as a result, we get swollen muscles,body-ache & a permanently broken wish to go to a gym again.
We sit in the meetings, not uttering a single word even if we don’t understand anything.
Just because we don’t want to look stupid in others’ eyes.
What is the solution :
Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions silence your dreams.
Ask questions, reach out, take help.
Your keys to happiness should lie in your hands .
Here are few things that you should ponder upon :
i) People opinions keep changing
People opinions about you would keep changing time-to-time if you keep changing yourself.
If you have to think what people would say, don’t think what they would stay today, imagine what they would say once you have achieved success, once you’ve lost that balloon -belly, once you’ve mastered something where you knew nothing.
2) You should not be worried about the crowd
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”-Mahatma Gandhi
And remember, the real super-achievers would encourage you as they have passed through this struggling stage. The only people who would laugh at you would be the guys, who could not achieve anything significant in their own life, and you don’t need to listen to them.They are just a crowd, they want them to be like them , they would want to pull you back whenever you try to do something different.
3) Others don’t care as much as you think
People generally don’t think outside themselves a great deal of time. Most of the people are mostly absorbed in themselves .
Many a times they themselves are distracted by their own thoughts about “what others are thinking about them “!
It is true in almost all the cases, unless who you are or what you have done that directly affects other persons or their life, the people are unlikely to spend much time thinking about you at all.
4. It’s not their life, so it’s none of their business
People are entitled to think whatever they want, you can’t do much about it.
The honest only have to make one mistake to be crucified. The corrupt only have to do one good deed to be worshipped.
What people think of you cannot change who you are or what you are worth, unless you allow them to.
And people have a fickle mind! Help someone 10 times and say no one time , they tend to forget the times you helped but they would never forget that ‘one time’ you refused to help.
This is your life to live. At the end of the day you are the only person who needs to approve of your own choices.
Factor 3 : Poor Bench-marking?
Many times, we’re happy with stones while we can get gold by digging deeper! It applies to most of us, becoming happy after getting a few colorful stones out of a gold-mine. Because many a time we don’t realize that we’re in a gold-mine, what we see around us is a cave, a cave full of stones!
A human’s potential is limitless but conditions of the society make us blind towards it. It depends where one wants to settle, what we want to see- settling for colorful- stones or digging deeper and keep going for gold!
Let’s assume that potential has a range from 0 to infinity. If we want to settle at 100, our brain would automatically put a limit of 100 & would struggle to reach there. Many times, circumstances and society also happen to applaud us by reaching 100.
But if we want to settle in 1000, our brain would cross 100 without we even realizing it as it has now conditioned itself to 1000. It is all about conditioning -do we see stones all around us or we keep looking for gold & even when we get some, we wanna dig more!
Most of us benchmark our success with our neighbors/class-mates/relatives(society) .
Once we have more number of colorful stones as compared to our peers, our nearby circle (society) starts singing laurels, we stop looking for gold & stop en-cashing our potential to the hilt!
What is the solution?
-Always look at the people who’re more successful than us in the field where we want to succeed.
-Don’t get “wowed” by achievers , try to go to their history , what struggles they had, how many hours they spent on honing a certain skill, how much experimentation they did before they succeeded.
The point to be noted here is that at the time of beginning, none of the successful people had a vision where they would reach . They had a dire need , they just started , they kept on making mistakes, kept on failing and succeeding and on the way they kept on up-skilling themselves , learning new things , and many just stumbled upon their big break while they were constantly struggling.
How much you know about Micheal Jackson ? Yes we all know him ‘god of dancing and showmanship’ but do you know he started with singing.
And he started singing at the age of 7 , and he got his first hit at the age of 22 !
15 years of efforts, 15 years of improvising, 15 years of learning the art of singing ! And he did not stop there, he kept on improvising , apart from singing he added new skills to his personal skill portfolio -‘how to dance’ & how to create ‘ mesmerizing stage-performances ‘.
Here’s another example on struggles, the founder of WhatsApp was denied a job by Twitter as well as Facebook !
On vision :The founders of Google wanted to sell their company in 1999. Early in 1999, Brin and Page decided they wanted to sell Google to Excite. They went to Excite CEO George Bell and offered to sell it to him for $1 million.But George found the price too high and wanted to re-negotiate. Somehow the deal didn’t materialize.
Do you know what is net-worth of the Google (Alphabet) today -It is US $ 900 Billion-9000 times more than the sale price quoted by the founders.
Vision is over-rated, focus on what you love, there would be failures as well as wins on the way and one day you would be called a visionary!
Factor 4 : Motivation is temporary !
Have you noticed that you happen to drive faster when you play some fast music, and when you play sad music ,the opposite happens ?
It is all due to your certain glands become active while you listen to music and they release specific kind of hormones which make you feel energetic or dull!
Same is true when you feel motivated or inspired !
Motivation and inspiration happen to be a chemical reaction of our body. You watch some inspiring movie, you listen some rousing speech, you meet some moving personality, you read some insightful article, your glands release some hormones and some chemical reactions happen and you feel motivated to do something.
But the level of motivation does not stay at same level permanently.It is just an emotion which comes and goes.
This is also one of the key reason that most of the people quit after starting a project, a business or some task. And this also one of the primary reason that we are not able to keep our new year resolutions.
Another 2 reasons are :
a) Lack of a Dire Need
b) Failing to design a fail-proof system to continue the work even if you feel demotivated.
In absence of a dire-need and a fail proof system, we keep on failing !
That’s where most of self help books, motivation-speakers or movies fail ! We get a quick spark but once that spark is gone , we are back to square one.
And sometimes these self-help books, motivational movies/videos become our daily drugs. We want to read more, listen more, watch more of motivation-related stuff.
This is because they release a so-called pleasure hormone called dopamine. We feel happy like a smoker feels relieved after having a smoke.Just like a smoker, we get addicted to these, they may not do any harm you but they don’t help either.
This is the reason that majority of the people are unable to achieve anything significant despite having a cupboard full of self-help books , despite attending training programs or motivational lectures.
What to do :
- Make a plan to achieve the goal (you feel motivated about) :
Motivation in temporary. It is just a spark . Use these days of motivation to make a full-fledged plan and develop a step-wise ,day-wise system to reach your goal.
Therefore, don’t wait. Just do it. Just like the old proverb that says, “Strike when it’s hot”.
2. Don’t quit:
There would be moments and days when you would feel you’re going no where. You may start questioning the purpose of your goal ! Your may fall back to your comfort zone if the goal is not your dire need.
Just keep doing the work. It doesn’t matter how you feel at the time .
Good Day -Go To The Gym
Bad Day -Go To The Gym
And it is true not only with exercise, it is true for every task. Slowly you will get a traction,you would build the momentum , you would start getting success , you would start becoming better than your colleagues and eventually you will get inspired.
3. Divide the task in small pieces
If the task comprises of learning/doing many things, don’t try to do every thing at one go. Divide it into pieces , try to focus on one piece at a time. Divide those pieces further into small actions.
Do those small actions, have small wins,and you would feel satisfied & successful .
Success itself is like a drug for the confidence.
Small wins would would make you more confident , a more confident you would be more motivated to do more complicated tasks.
4. Do watch or read some motivation stuff
In between of doing something , when you get some spare time , do watch /read motivational stuff. Let the dopamine flow from external stimulants also sometimes.
5. Surround yourself with people who inspire you
If possible , surround yourself with people who keep you pushing, who themselves are trying to achieve something .
Factor 6 :Make Time -Linked Goals !
Make a time-linked action plan in this state-of-mind.
So what is your action plan and when you plan to act ?
Here’s an example, suppose you’ve a dire need to start some website like this one, and you don’t care what people would say and today you feel motivated that in next 5 years your website would be Number 1 choice for all those Johnys who’re looking for direction ,your initial plan may look like this :
The most important step is to work on “HOW are you going to reach your goal”?
Not just that you are motivated to reach it, not just that you are inspired to go far…
What steps are you going to take, what micro-decisions are you going to make, what would be the timeline ?
Time-horizon of your goals may vary based on the skills you want to acquire , the complexity of skills and how important those are for you!
But be wary of taking short-cuts in life, in the long-run short-cuts don’t lead you anywhere.
The easy path is only easy in the short term and the long path is only hard in the short term. If you stick with them over time,the paths switch.
Examples : Dieting vs. balanced diet ,trading vs. investing, job-hopping vs. staying with a good company.
(If you want to understand about how short term thinking makes you an average person, click here. )
Factor 6: What Skills to Acquire?
Try to be the best in whatever you do !
Explore the field where you want to excel , look what are the basic skills required to start ,question yourself on how you can make a difference , keep improvising . The start may look very different from where you end up .
Start with a list , write those down:
Writing your goals in written form is strongly related with goal success. The people who describe or picture their goals in written form are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to succeed in accomplishing their goals.
-Which skills which you already have?
-Make a list of the skills which you’re lacking?
– Focus to master them one by one.
-Once you’ve mastered those skills, dig more , try to learn more about everything in that field.
But focus on high return-on-investment skills (ROI), don’t waste your time on learning which can be delegated or outsourced , just get a feel of low ROI items.
Don’t worry about where to learn. Once you have a dire need, you would find the way. Once the student is ready, the master appears.
Factor 7: Lack of Action ?
Stop reading all the self-help books, stop watching too much TV, stop listening to what does not add value or what does not help you to achieve your goals.
Focus on action. Remember what is Nike’s logo – it is not ‘Just party’, it is not ‘Just watch tv’, it’s not ‘Just learn’, it’s not ‘Just spend time on social media’, it is
Remember, It isn’t enough to make a new years’ resolution. You have to create the steps to get you there.
In order to succeed or improve in any area of your life, you need to actually do something.
Factor 8 : Old habits die hard !
“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.”
Whatever you are today , you’re net results of your habits !
Sometimes our current habits happen to be the biggest obstacles for our dreams.
They not only happen to be a hurdle in our efforts to learn new skills , but they also act as our enemies if we want to add a new healthy habit.
To learn certain new skills or to spare time for a new healthy habit ,we need to have some extra time ?
From where that extra time would come?
For that either we need to give-up few of our old habits or we need to cut down the time spent on them.
Changing Habits or Lifestyle to accommodate something new:
Old habits and thereof our comfort zone happens to be the biggest black-hole !
Such a big black-hole that compels most of us to fail in our new resolutions, a black-hole for learning new skills, a black hole to have a perfect body!
Ultimately a black hole of our dreams !
Is it easy to come out of our comfort zone made of old habits ?
Answer is both :Yes & No.
Yes, if you have dire need and you design a fall -proof system to accommodate your new desire.
The answer is no , if your new wish is just a passing thought !
Points to Notice :
- Many a times changing a habit may require you to change your whole life-style.
For example,if you want to start doing Yoga every morning, you need to change the time when you sleep at night ,changing sleeping time means you need to sacrifice some of your TV-time or drop out of some of your socialising activities , and it is almost like coming out of your comfort zone !
2. In many circumstances , it is mandatory to change your environment to change yourself . And you need to involve your friends or family members also.
Well, if there’s a dire-need, there’s always a way.
Would like to recommend a simple formula, a formula based on personal experience and following few excellent suggestions given by James Clear, the author of a book named Atomic Habits.
This suggested formula can help us to get rid of our non-productive habits and take us on the path of adopting new & productive habits .It can also help us in finding time for learning new skills.
Let’s call it Formula 24.
Have named it Formula 24 because it contains 2 laws and 4 rules.
Caution: The condition for this formula to work is simple – You need to have a dire-need.A dire-need to change your life and a dire-need to get away from non-productive habits.
Let’s first understand 2 laws of Formula 24 :
By carefully looking at the table , you would realize that it is damn simple .
Add roadblocks in the ways of non-productive or bad habits, and reduce steps from the activities which you want to pursue.
Wanna cut down your TV-time, remove batteries from remote,keep the remote in other room and try to forget about it and take the electric plug out !
So next time you plan to watch TV, you will have follow these additional steps :
a) Find the remote b) Find batteries c) Put batteries in remote d) Put the plug in socket
Extra steps mean you need to do some additional effort and many -a-times ,you may not be in the mood.
Remember how we miss our walk or jogging when we don’t find our shoes for few minutes ! ( there comes the 2nd law, make the steps visible for the habits you want to pursue)
Secret lies in in creating an environment where pursuing good habits is easier and at the same time make sure that it is arduous to indulge in bad habits .
Wanna try more ?
Remove junk food from your home & your consumption of the same would decrease !
Replace ice-cream from your refrigerator with fruits on your dining table (law 2 -make these visible ) and you would end up eating more fruits.
Study the table, take a pic or download it , keep it with you, share with your family members , let the change begin today only.
Let’s go to part 2 of Formula 24 , the 4 rules :
Study it , download it , read it again and again till it become part of your thought-process
Won’t say much about this as all the 4 rules are self explanatory !
a) Go Slow b) Don’t miss it twice c) 2 minutes rule d) Visualise what you would become in future
For details, read the pic above.
Summary : If we plan to learn new things, we need to find time . To find time, we need to change current habits . And changing old habits is the biggest road-block in every person’s life as we tend to nurture them over the years knowingly and unknowingly.
Think about it, do you really want to do it ?
If there is no dire need, don’t even try it as you might fail in your new year resolutions and that may affect your morale , and that may leave you depressed, and then you might eat more !
Yes ,many a times people eat more when they’re depressed ( and yes , it is scientifically true) .
Hence if you’re not really serious, don’t try to learn any new thing or don’t try to adopt any new habit.
Factor 9: The Company You Keep ?
“You are the average of the 5 people that you spend the most time with” -Jim Rohn
Think about it, what can be the factors responsible for a person choosing a particular course!
We are all influenced by the people around us. Our ideas, our thoughts, our dreams are shaped by the people with whom we interact regularly.
It is not a secret that the people we meet, people we interact on daily-basis can influence our thinking, can give us new perspectives hence affecting the course of our lives. So what we become in life, what we achieve in life, is an outcome of the various spheres of influences which we intentionally or unintentionally come across .
Won’t write much about this factor, as I’ve previously written a whole article on the same which you can read here.
Key message here is choose your friends wisely , make your social circle carefully as their thoughts, action and behaviours may impact your behaviour.
Hope you liked what you read and it would help you to make an action -plan.
At last, before you step away ,I’ve one request, please share it with others , with the Johnys out there, who may need help .Please click on Tell Others button on left hand side.7 claps
Reading this felt like standing in front of mirror. Thanks sir for these guidance.
Your article on Super-Sucess / Success-Ladder , It is an exceptionally well-written article and created many interesting suggestions/ recommendations!
I would like to thank you for both a well researched and well-written article & keep inspiring/ motivated us.
A wonderful article
One great learning is Motivation is not all what required is to make an action plan 🙏🏻🙏🏻
Great article , Action is more important.
It is a wonderful Article , I like to read this article again and again . your time tested guidance always give me new perspectives .
“Really a must read article”.
A great vision that can transform ordinary person to extra- ordinary one.
Extraordinary article ever read before. Understood the difference between wish and dire need. It is helped me identify myself one of the Johny.
Well thought, inspiring and more than sufficient to come out of the so called-Soccers zone. Thanks for sharing……
Really an eye opener for the Johnny that dwell within each one of us.
Very pragmatic story with a real approach.
Indeed , it is a great article, well thoughts are penned down.A great vision that can transform ordinary person to extra- ordinary one with focus and vision.I like the statement on “Do what you love, there would be failures as well as successes on the way and one day you would be called a visionary”!
Very nicely elaborated article. Dire need leads to action with 100% success. Great write-up on changing thinking of people.
Rule 24, it’s really a Gr8 rule. Need to apply for success…
Very practical and real life points which no any motivational speaker or training covers. It may really help to advance from zero to one or n.
Thanks you for this nice weekly reading.
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What an article Pran Ji. You are indeed a visionary. God Bless U Always.