Success and the pursuit of happiness — synonymous to some, eluding most. Being successful is not so much a characteristic as it is a lifestyle, a long set of characteristics.
There are many self-help books out there promising to bring you success and many seminars one can attend with just about everyone preaching the same garbage like: “Become successful in 3-easy steps!” or “Become a millionaire by the end of the month!” — it’s all bullshit.
Whoever tells you that the path to success is one filled with roses and daisies is filled with more crap than a septic tank. The truth is that finding success takes a lot of hard work, dedication, focus, a bit of luck and — this one people tend to overlook entirely — sacrifice. You won’t be successful without breaking a sweat and you won’t be successful if you plan on holding onto the lifestyle you have now.
Creating success is rather simple in theory, just difficult to put into action. The main factor required is changing who you essentially are as a person, from being the person carrying the traits of an unsuccessful person to the person carrying the traits of a successful one. The change that success requires is a change of lifestyle.
Not only what you do has to change, but how you do what you do and why you do what you do must also change. You must be focused, goal-oriented, adaptable to changes in the market and changes that need to be made in your thought process when you come face to face with your own failures. You must be extremely diligent and hungry for knowledge. All of this — living a life capable of containing success — requires time.
Time is our most precious commodity. Used wisely it will get you what you want, but used unwisely it will either produce failing results or will have a harsh negative effect on your psyche. I had to learn this lesson the hard way; trying to take on too much at once is a bad thing. I can work 65 hours a week without blinking an eye, but doing over 80 — for me — is just too much. When choosing our projects, we have to have our primary goal in mind.
What is it that we really want to accomplish? Then we need to consider which project or projects will get us to that primary goal most efficiently. Sometimes we will be comfortable with taking on several projects simultaneously, but you have to keep in mind that taking on two or three projects at once is useless if you half-ass them all. Which brings me to the moment when we have to choose: what will we sacrifice?
Choosing one project over the other is, technically, a sacrifice. You are sacrificing the profits or rewards of completing one project so that you can take on a different one. This sort of problem is usually good to have — having options can’t hurt, as long as you know when to say no. Unfortunately, sacrificing is not always so easy.
Sure, you can sacrifice one type of work for another, but can you sacrifice the lifestyle that you are used to having in order to be able to take on just one project? This is the question that every person considering going into entrepreneurship has to consider. What are you willing to sacrifice in order to become successful?
Having to sacrifice is never easy, but it is easier when the one thing that you really want out of life is success. Being hungry for recognition and wealth, or whatever else drives you, makes the wounds of sacrifice less painful, but nevertheless sacrificing is most definitely never fun. There are times when sacrificing a few days at that restaurant job you’re working won’t be a problem — but how much income can you afford to cut?
How many of the luxuries in life are you willing to cut in order to not have to work that shitty job, but rather work on your dream? How many social activities are you willing to give up on? How many friendships are you willing to put on hold or risk losing? Are you willing to sacrifice your relationship with your family or your significant other? Sacrifice is essential to becoming successful. The only other option would be to create a machine to slow down time — good luck with that.
Paul Hudson | Elite.