What does your road to success look like? I cannot tell you what your specific path looks like, but I can tell you what some of our paths have in common. Michael Jordan sums up his path to success as:
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
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People are going to question why you haven’t changed your path. They are going to look at the fact that you haven’t succeeded as a sign that you cannot succeed. It is unfortunate, but most people look at failure as a negative. I look at failure as the testing of your hypothesis. It is your opportunity to learn and adjust as you gather more information. There is no better use of your time than to take action and learn a better way forward. Most people spend so much time pondering what works best that they never take action.
While we ultimately judge our success by our results, it is not always the best judge. There are going to be times you do everything right and it is not going to work. Then there are going to be times you believe you failed to hit your mark, yet you are going to win the gold medal. It serves you well to hold yourself accountable for your actions and the results in many ways because that is how you push yourself to greatness. However, there is an aspect of chance that you have no control over. There are going to be people you meet who just resolved the issue you specialize in the day before. They will discover you are the perfect candidate for a job, but they just hired someone because the position has been open for three months and you just entered the job market. That is how life can be, so it is good to recognize what you can control and what you cannot.
The road to success is a process
Of the things you can control, your process is on the top of that list. You want to make sure you are spending the right amount of time on your craft. There are only 24 hours in a day and the thing that separates the average from the great is how they use their 24 hours. If you have a process that allows you to maximize what you are doing in a given day, you will produce the results. If you are inconsistent with how you allocate your time each day, then your results are going to be inconsistent too.
There is nothing harder than failing because you know you didn’t put in the proper amount of time on your craft. When you have people counting on you that you didn’t succeed because you weren’t prepared for the opportunity that presented itself.
Failure is going to happen regardless, so you need to do your best to make sure you are learning something from your failures. What I mean by this is don’t take action that you know will fail. That action is not going to teach you anything. For example, don’t eat a bunch of fats and sugars and then be surprised you didn’t lose any weight. There is no lesson there. Instead, fail in a way where you are testing and learning the best way to accomplish your goals.
Put in the research
We have been trained to respond to our feelings, so most people are waiting to feel like taking action. There are few moments you will ever feel like taking the action necessary to accomplish your dreams. That is why so many people have settled for a life they are not passionate about living.
It is nothing more than a lie when people say if it doesn’t fall in their lap; it must not have been for them. Success takes hard work and a commitment to greatness that most will not understand. So if you are waiting to feel like doing something that is hard, then you might as well hang it up. The achojah lifestyle is built on a consistent process that brings you closer to your goal every single day.
The road to success is built on consistency
There are going to be people who will tell you that you need to take a day off. And they may not be wrong, but that doesn’t mean you need to take the day off. If you are chasing happiness, then you need to keep going when there is a reason to stop. If you don’t allow anything to stop you, you cannot be stopped. You will also need to put in the time to research the best path to accomplishing your goal.
This is vital because you are going to hear great ideas along your journey. I can say for me personally, I lost last year because I spent so much time starting and restarting my process. It took me a while to realize it, but I ended the year with a bunch of incomplete bridges. As a result, my year ended and I still couldn’t get from where I was at to where I wanted to be.
I was so eager to succeed that every time I heard a good idea, I tried it immediately. Then it wouldn’t work… well at least not the first time. That was when I realized nothing is going to work the first time, so I needed to commit to an idea at least 10 times before I judged it. To link this to the bridge analogy, I am committing to finishing the bridge I started before I started the next one.
You need to be flexible
I know what you are thinking. Dre, you just told me to commit to finishing the bridge and now you are telling me to be flexible. You’re right, I took a double take myself when I wrote this down. However, it is a key aspect of the path of success. As you continue on your journey, you are going to learn quicker ways to accomplish your task. You are going to learn smarter ways to maximize your efforts. As you gather more information to help you work more efficiently on your bridge, you want to slowly integrate those improvements into your current process.
A quick example is my promise to put out a video, podcast, and article every day in 2020. When I first started, it took the entire day to put out the information, so the quality was pretty bad. Fast forward to the second week, I have the content creation timeline down and now I can start to focus on getting more engagement. That research brought me to the conclusion I needed to clip 1 minute pieces of my videos, make memes from my quotes, and create GIFs to increase engagement.
On one end, I couldn’t have succeeded if I tried to do everything on day 1. Day 1 was hard enough just to put out the video. But on the other end, I wouldn’t have known to look for the solution until I created the content. It is not until you create the content that you feel compelled to find better ways to improve views and engagement.
Share your struggle
Part of the reason people have unreasonable expectations is they don’t get to see when you are struggling. Once you have made it, don’t go back and update your original works. It creates the false image that you have always had it put together. It is more beneficial to the people you inspire to know that you did not have it all figured out when you got started.
There is nothing new under the sun
The road to success does not require you to create a new revelation. I know when I first started; I pressured myself to create a new concept that had never been heard before. As a result, I was reluctant about sharing content that someone else created; especially if they were a competitor in the industry. Overtime, I realized that is was a lack of confidence I had in my ability to create results. I was worried about being taken seriously that I didn’t want to appear like I needed other people’s help.
As you travel down the road to success, you realize everyone needs help in one or another. You also learn that someone else’s success does not have a direct impact on your success. There are more than enough opportunities for everyone to be successful.
One of the best ways to become famous
You don’t’ want to put so much pressure on yourself that you are forced to go against the grain. I learned while pursuing my master’s in Biblical Studies that one of the best ways to become famous is to say something that contradicts common thought. What this means is new scholars decided to question things like the author of a particular book of the Bible. It became obvious the scholars did this solely to get immediate fame and notoriety.
Perfectionism is not your friend
Perfectionism will always keep you from accomplishing your goal. There will always be room to improve and things you could have done better. It is important to remember that “C books change lives”. I remember hearing an author talking about how his first book had several grammatical errors and mistakes. He would get emails from the readers letting him know when they found his mistakes. One day he received a different letter from someone who read his book. This person told him that his book changed their life. The author said it was in that moment that he realized “C books change lives”.
The book that you haven’t released because you are still trying to make it perfect is not going to change anyone’s life. You want to be professional in the quality you put out, but you don’t have to be perfect. All you want to do is to be consistent in your work so you can continue to grow bigger, stronger, and faster.
Your road to success is a steady process of small wins that may seem meaningless in the short-term. It is not until you add all your small wins together that you realize how much success you have achieved. The road to success is not a straight line, but a road that has peaks and valleys. If you are consistent in daily process, you will continue to improve and you will eventually gain momentum. And once you have gained momentum, your results will increase exponentially.
Until next time,
Dre “Better Self, Better Wealth” Griggs