It’s time for more of those Secrets to Success I’ve been sharing with you. To quickly recap, here are the first three secrets I shared in previous posts:
Lesson #4: Show Up Early and Stay Late
In both your personal and your professional life, you’ll find certain things are out of your control: the weather, the stock market, the decisions made by your friends or coworkers, etc. So when it comes to your success in life, the sometimes frustrating truth is that you can’t control all of the variables around you. This is why it’s so important to focus on the things you CAN control. And in my opinion, the most important personal trait that you can control is your work ethic.
There will always be someone smarter, richer, or luckier than you. But you are in full control of whether or not other people work harder than you. And as the old saying goes, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” From businessmen to professional athletes, the most successful people in their fields aren’t always the smartest or the most talented. But you can pretty much guarantee they are among the hardest working.
As my title suggests, there is no substitute for putting in real time and effort. Showing up early and staying late is simply a way of saying you can’t take shortcuts and expect to be successful. Michael Jordan, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey—these people did not get to the top of their industries by doing the minimum required. Instead, they did WHATEVER was required.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you have to give up any kind of personal life, family life, or fun to be successful. What I’m saying is that when you ARE working, work hard, minimize distractions, and give it all you’ve got. If you’re working your own business on the side and can only give it two hours a day, that’s fine. Just make sure you spend those two hours working hard on the most important things that need to be done. As your business grows, it will probably require more of your attention. When the time comes, are you willing to step up and do what’s required?
You see, it’s human nature to want all the good stuff but none of the bad stuff. We want the awesome panoramic view, but we don’t want the 10-mile hike. We want the fit muscular body, but we don’t want to eat right and exercise. It’s just the way we’re wired. We have to fight that part of our human nature and practice the disciplines that will get us where we truly want to be. Your personal success story is waiting to be written. Will you do what it takes to write it?