Do You Want To Chase Or Attract What You Want? Successful People Do Both

by Zack Arenson

Inspirational quotes, everyone has their favorite and, of course, everyone has heard them. Nowadays, it feels like inspirational quotes regarding success are broken down into two groups.

The first group includes the “Law of Attraction” type of quotes that generally consist of quotes promising great achievement for anyone who believes in it enough. Examples of these quotes include the following:

“You become what you think about most, but you also attract what you think about most.” “Whenever you think you can or think you can’t, either way, you are right.” “What you think, you create. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you become.”

Then there are the “Work Harder Than Anyone” quotes that basically suggest if you work your ass off, no matter what, you will achieve greatness. Examples of these quotes include the following:

“The harder I work, the luckier I get.” “A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” “The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success.” 

At the end of the day, these quotes are made to inspire people. Everyone is inspired in a different way. Some people don’t even need inspiration; however, I have found that the most “successful” people tend to mesh these two practices together.

Too many people want to make you believe it’s one way or the other: You either have a great attitude and think your way to success, or you roll your sleeves up, work your life away and manually pave your road to success.

I am not here to tell you either of these ways is better or worse or more effective than the other. However, I am here to tell you that no matter who you are, it will take some combination of these practices to reach the success you want in life.

The wish-your-way-to-success model is particularly helpful with the dreamers. These are the people who have big plans and big ideas, but don’t really have the work ethic to capitalize on them.

These people truly believe that if you cut out pictures of nice watches, fast cars and designer goods and look at them every day, they’ll eventually be yours in reality.

While it’s great to visually provoke yourself to achieve your goals, you have to be willing to do the work. Dreaming, talking, tweeting or Instagramming about it will only get you so far in life.

In my opinion, one of the many reasons the wish-your-way-to-success phenomenon has become so popular is because of how easy it is to share thoughts and ideas via social media these days.

Not only can you have an idea and put it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram instantly, but you can also get false results in the form of likes, comments and retweets.

These will all falsely validate what you’re talking about doing. Don’t talk about it; be about it. Gen-Y has completely forgotten what it is to achieve something of substance.

Too many people type inspiration/fairytale quotes in their iPhone notes, screen shot them, post them online, get 1,000 likes and call themselves inspirational speakers. That isn’t success.

In all seriousness, that is what our generation is all about now. Popularity on social media is what consumes us, and sometimes, it's what motivates us.

Diddy is a perfect example in the sense that he is always using motivational quotes on his Instagram (@iamdiddy) to drive home his passion for everything he does. The difference between Diddy and the rest of these social media all-stars is the fact that Diddy probably works harder than 99 percent of people on this planet.

You don’t have to like what he does, how he does it or what he represents, but you must respect the fact that he is a hard worker who not only practices what he preaches, but also reaches for goal after goal.

Life isn’t like high school; success and popularity shouldn’t go hand-in-hand. We, as a generation, have already made too many people falsely successful for doing absolutely nothing.

On the opposite end of that spectrum, there are the people who believe in the “if you work hard enough, you’ll be successful” model. I will never argue against hard work. If anything, I believe a strong work ethic contributes to success more than thinking or wishing. However, that’s not to say you don’t need both.

There is a countless number of people who have worked hard their entire lives, yet have achieved nothing. This doesn’t mean they are failures, as success and failure is determined by an array of different variables.

There is definitely a fine line in finding the right balance, just like anything in life. Too much fame can lead to arrogance, too much partying can turn into an addiction, and even too much love can turn into felony stalking.

I believe you have to have that balance where no matter what you’re going through in work or life, you are able to maintain a positive outlook. You can’t go through life being miserable or nobody is going to want to be around you, or work with you, and most importantly, nobody is going to want to give you an opportunity.

There is a reason why a lot of miserable people hate their careers, and it’s usually because they allowed their careers to make them miserable. Before you know, it you just give up on thinking it will get better, or that you can turn this opportunity into a better one and you just accept the fact that you’re going to be miserable for a long time.

After a while, this will take its toll on your work life, social life and your home life, and it will consume everything you do. While you are still “working hard” 35 to 45 years later, you retire to become the “get off my lawn” old man who has people wondering, “Why is he always so miserable?”

Attitude is not everything, but on the pathway to success (personal or professional), it can make a world of difference.

All in all, it is ideal to be able to maintain both traits when trying to achieve whatever you define as success. If you sway too far to one side, you’re really limiting yourself on what you can potentially achieve in life.

There is absolutely a slippery slope regarding which route to take because you should use both forms of motivation. Some people may find that thinking positively and wishing really works for them, while others will find that making hard work their one and only priority in life is the real key.

The truth is, it does vary by person, but if you look at someone who you consider to be a success either in business, family or just life in general, chances are he or she found a happy medium between the two.

“Always maintain a positive attitude, complement that with a strong work ethic and you should be able to obtain all the happiness and success you can dream of.” Now go put that quote Instagram and see how many likes it gets.

Photo via We Heart It