The 3 Most Important Success Factors
There are different ways to get to any destination. For example, one can reach any particular place in New York City from just about anywhere else in the whole country and the entire world. Which means, that there are Millions of ways to get to a particular location in New York City, all that varies is the time and expense to get there.
In life, we too can reach our desired destination via various means, ways or methods. There isn't just 1 way to reach somewhere and there never is a single method of completing a task. Our goals can be achieved in a thousands different ways and employing another 1000 varied techniques. What matters most is whether you actually get there!
Reaching one's goal, succeeding in completing a task, satisfactorily fulfilling one's purpose, and getting to where we want to be is what matters more than how we end up getting there.
The end is the most important thing. Nothing else matters. We can get to the "end" by any imaginable way, method or process just as long as we get there. Trying to complete a task isn't as important as completion of that task is. The world does not recognize us for the efforts made, but acknowledges us for completing things.
ABBA's song "The Winner Takes It All" holds true today just as it did when it was first released over 40 years ago. In the modern world, winners are adored, losers are shunned, achievers are glorified, failures are ignored. The sad part about this entire system is that it has turned human beings into animals such as horses, dogs and rats competing to reach the finishing line of a race. The rat race prevails and thrives in the human world and there isn't much we can do about it.
It seems like most of us are content being part of the rat race. There are hundreds of Millions of us who wake up each weekday morning to kick off that particular leg of the rat race. Then they work hard all day long to ensure that they are still in it for another day. It's like the "Tour de France" except in this race even if you win you are still considered a "rat".
Anyway, the crux of this post isn't to do with us being in the rat race but more to do with the spirit of achievement that's so crucial for us to call ourselves (and each other) successful or not so successful at the end of the day. More importantly, what I am sharing will help the reader reach their goals more effectively than most other methods out there.
There is no better way to reach one's goals than to focus on them all the time and do something little each day to help get closer to achieving them. Any human being that focuses most of his or her attention on just a few things and keeps focusing on them for a period of time shall experience the joy and satisfaction of fulfilling those goals, tasks or things that they focused on all along.
There are 3 things that are essential to reaching one's goals -
3. Little Progress Each Day.
Of course, knowing one's goals are the most important thing before you start off on the journey towards achieving your goals.
But, once you know your goals and have planned how you will get to your final destination (on paper) then the 3 things that you need to achieve those goals are focus, discipline and little efforts made (on a regular basis) to spur you forward in the direction of your target destination.
Let me tell you a bit about each of these 3 things now....
1. Focus - Focus is being fully concentrated on the task or activity on hand without being distracted, disturbed or shaken by anything else that is happening around you.
For example, once a top tennis player starts playing his or her match at Wimbledon then all he or she does is fully concentrate on the match and remove everything else that's happening around from their mind. A top ranked tennis player only sees the court in front of them and the tennis ball coming towards them.
Their entire attention is on hitting the tennis ball to the other side of the court and winning the point. Their mind is filled with thoughts directly connected to the current game, nothing else can creep through their brain at that time.
Slightly better examples of focus would be in reading a book, a game of archery, writing an article like this one, a Broadway musical, and many, many more.
Let's take a Broadway musical for example. Focus is the key to success as an actor or performer in such a performance. Since the act is performed LIVE in front of a large audience in the theater, it's most important for the actors involved to fully focus their attention on acting out their given roles and not think about anything else. Unfocused actors will probably end up messing up their performance or forget a few lines here and there. They might even goof up the entire play since other actors' performances are directly connected to the roles played by everyone else.
For the average human being, focus usually involves just concentrating on the task at hand and not letting anything distract them while they are busy involved with the task at hand. It's been seen quite often that we tend to get distracted very easily when we are doing our daily tasks. In the past, I would lose focus while doing some research online. Instead of researching the said topic I would start reading things about topics not connected with my research.
On other occasions, I would spend a lot more time on reading the daily news than the time I had allotted to that particular activity. This would upset the rhythm of the rest of my schedule for that day. Once I realized how much these little distractions were affecting my schedule then I made adjustments and started focusing a lot more on just the task at hand.
Many of us get unfocused while watching TV. We tend to change channels while we are watching a particular movie or TV show instead of just watching one thing at a time. We kept aside time to watch a cricket match but in-between we suddenly switch to watching our favorite movie that's being broadcasted on another channel.
2. Discipline - The second most important thing to ensure that we achieve your goals well is discipline. Rigid discipline to be precise. It is connected with the first thing (focus) but adds another dimension to it.
Discipline is simply the ability to stick to one's plan. If we decide to wake up at 8am each morning this month then we can call ourselves disciplined when we have woken up each morning at 8am for the entire month.
Focus and discipline always go hand in hand as far as goal setting is concerned. We cannot be focused while lacking discipline just as we cannot be disciplined while lacking focus. The hallmark of great sportsmen, top musicians, and super achievers in any profession is the ability to be both disciplined and focused.
The unique ability to stick to one's plan and be focused while performing tasks that help you move forward is an important ability for each one of us to possess in our personality. We cannot achieve much in our life spans without having a great deal of focus and discipline.
Doing one thing at a set time each day isn't that easy to do over a prolonged period of time. Following one's discipline for months and years is almost impossible for those that don't love what they are doing. Passion comes from having a deep interest in whatever activities we are involved in on a daily basis. If we lack interest, then the discipline is sure to decrease over time. Not liking what we do is also certain to reduce our discipline (and focus) over time.
There are very few individuals who can keep up doing something on a daily basis for years on end. These individuals are people I have studied and observed a great deal. And the only thing that keeps them going for years and years is their passionate love and deep interest for the task they are performing.
Martial Arts is one such activity during which practitioners must practice their art form on a daily basis to reach the pinnacles of success in their fields. It has been seen that those who enjoyed and loved Martial Arts could easily maintain their daily practice routine while almost everyone else couldn't keep up the tempo for a long time.
Discipline is important in every area of our lives. Having the rare ability to stick to one's schedule every single day of the year (apart from weekends and holidays) without losing focus and faltering along the way is something that we need to cultivate in our nature in order that we (too) are as successful in our lives as those that are considered Martial Arts Gurus.
There is a much easier way to stay focused and maintain one's discipline in today's world and this is what I am about to share with you in the third point....
What I love the most about this goal achieving (not setting) method is that it becomes very easy to be focused and disciplined once we add the 3rd factor into the mix. The third factor is what I am discussing briefly below...
3. Little Effort Each Day - Almost anything can be achieved in our lifetimes when we follow this crucially important 3rd factor in achieving our goals. For all it takes to fill up a large ocean are but drops of water. Millions of them but still a droplet when stripped down to its basic characteristics. Every single task or activity on this planet becomes easy to complete when all we need to do to complete is to invest a little time and effort every single day.
No gains without pains. What a load of bull$hit. One does not need to break one's back to reach the top of Mount Everest. Any activity can be completed easily when we don't have to work hard at it. In fact, hard work kills us, causes loads of stress, competition and negativity sets in, tendencies of procrastination seeps through our veins, and it becomes awfully difficult for us to complete any task when we have to keep working hard at it every single day. What I'm saying might not make sense to all my readers so I shall share a few examples to help illustrate this vital factor to you....
There are 2 close friends who want to lose weight so one of them signs up for an Aerobics Dance class (for 8 months) near her home. The classes are held in the evenings (each weekday) for 2 hours (duration). At the beginning, she attended all the classes regularly. But after 4 weeks, she started bunking classes almost every week. And after 2 more weeks, she started missing most classes each week until finally (after 8 weeks) she just stopped going for her classes.
The other friend, chose a different way to lose weight. She had read about the 'Kyoto Bamboo Principle' and realized that a little progress each day could add up to big results in the long run. So she started exercising at home itself. That too, for just 15 minutes per day, 5 days a week.
She could easily manage to maintain her exercise regimen since it just took up fifteen minutes of her daily time. She had her weekends free as well. She successfully lost 10 pounds in 8 months without making any major changes to her schedule. All she did was put in a little effort each day to reach her desired target. She didn't spend a single penny on losing weight and neither did she ever have to discontinue her exercise habit since it was something she loved and enjoyed doing.
Another example of the 3rd factor in goal achievement is my own. I write articles online for a hobby. I could easily sit here at my computer and write articles from morning to night but I ain't that stupid!
I love content writing so much that I am smart enough to keep aside just 3 hours each day, 4 days a week for this hobby in my life. I successfully write close to 180 pages of top notch and original content (like this post) because all I do is work on this task for few hours each day.
Also, kindly don't work on anything in a single go. What I do is that I write 500 words at a time. Then I take a break for a few minutes. After that, I do something else. Then I come back to writing more pages later. Once again, I don't write 10 pages in a single attempt. I write 500 words, then take a break, write another 500 words, take a longer break, write another 500 words, and then I take a much longer break where I meditate or relax or do something else that's completely different from content writing.
As a result, I enjoy a fairly leisurely and relaxed lifestyle where I never push myself to the limits anytime. I love what I do and can easily be fully focused on the task at hand since my mind and body are always feeling fresh and new when I begin an activity. I would add that "relaxation" is the key in this 3rd factor. The main reason for me being able to write close to 200 pages of unique content each month is not just focused work and discipline but the ample amounts of time spent on relaxation, meditating and daydreaming.
Working hard on anything will surely end up giving you a heart attack much before it's due. Your bones will break, life will pass you by, and the quality of your life will be pretty pathetic if you believe in putting in loads of hard work into your career. It shocks me that most people still believe that hard work is the only way to success. It's sad that the definition of hard work is completely wrong in the dictionary.
Hard work is focused effort. Anyone who focuses fully on his or her job is a hard working person. It's foolish to equate the number of hours put in as the definition of hard work for there are far too many examples of highly successful people who have reached the pinnacles of their careers without burning the midnight lamp.
Tennis players would injure themselves if they played tennis for more than 5 hours a day. Musicians would die young (and many of them do) if they work on their music from dawn to dusk. Soccer players would have to retire at the age of 24 if football matches were played for 360 minutes instead of the existing 90.
Hard work helps you go 6 feet under much faster but it definitely won't help you achieve your goals faster. The only time were hard work matters is where slaves are required. You know, those ancient times where laborers were whipped and starved in order that they worked non-stop. Most of those laborers had no fun in their lives since all they did was work all day. They were so tired when they returned home that they just eat some food and fell asleep. Wait a minute, there are still over a Billion people (estimated) that still work like slaves in the modern world. That too, they do it out of their own free will.
Anyway, bottom line, focus on what you want to do, love what you are doing, spend enough time on relaxation and recreation, enjoy and spend time on all the major areas of your life, be disciplined and harness a deep interest for each activity that you engage in, and most importantly, don't spend hours on performing a single task. Break bigger goals into smaller ones, crush large tasks into tinier and much more easier tasks, create an easy and relaxed schedule for your daily life where you work less and rest more.
Focus, discipline and little efforts each day can help you complete even the most difficult tasks on the planet with ease and enjoyment. You should live a well balanced life, that's much more important that whether you succeed or fail. The trip towards your desired destination should be relished, cherished and enjoyed every step of the way. Don't just focus on the end, focus instead on the little steps that take you till the end.
Little by little adds up to a lot, drop by drop fills the ocean, large pools of water are formed out of tiny little droplets of water, a raging waterfall is made up of drops of water moving forward together in the downward direction. You cannot reach the top and survive to tell the world about it unless you truly love what you do and have a great time waking up each morning and doing it.
Do what you love (its been said a Zillion times before), love the finer things in life, spend ample daily time in rest and recreational activities, have hobbies, spend time with your near and dear ones, and if any time remains then do a bit of work as well.
A few more times of reading this post is highly recommended. Only then will you be in the best position to fully understand whats being shared and the incredible lessons that are present inside the depths of these lines.
Audio Book Creator. Life Coach. Soft Skills Trainer. Counselor.
Meditation Practitioner. Food Technologist. Frugal Marketer.
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