So many people today are in a rush to become successful.
They want to earn 7-figures in 12 months even though they have no marketable skills, no network, and no business acumen.
They want to build their dream body in 12 weeks even though they haven’t set foot in a gym in years and don’t really understand the current state of their physical body.
They want to magically find the man/woman of their dreams even though they themselves are completely undateable and have 0 social skills.
And I get it…
Human beings are inherently impatient.
But the great irony of success (in any area of life) is that an approach that is overly focused on speed will actually force you to go slower.
Trying to achieve too many things too quickly or changing too many aspects of yourself and your personality in too short of a time span will detriment your results.
Don’t believe me?
Then let’s take a look at two (semi) hypothetical examples of Success.
Example #1: Speedy Sam
Sam is just like everyone else.
He’s earning $50,000/year in a job that he doesn’t really like.
He isn’t fat, but he also isn’t in great shape and probably has 15–20 lbs. that he could lose.
He’s dating Sally from Accounting but their relationship is “meh” and he doesn’t feel the spark or connection that he’d really like.
After attending a personal growth conference (that he paid for on credit) he comes home and he’s on FIRE!
He’s ready to change his life and he’s ready to change it now.
So he makes a plan and decides to take action.
He decides that starting tomorrow, he’s going to:
- Exercise 5 days a week for an hour a day
- Eat only whole foods
- Quit smoking cigarettes and marijuana
- Work for 5 hours on his side hustle
- Take Sally on a weekly date night and have sex every day (instead of once a week)
- Meditate every day
- Journal for 30 minutes a day
- Read 60 minutes of personal growth literature
- Wake up at 5 a.m. (3 hours before he normally wakes up)
He sets lofty goals for himself and decides that he wants to build multiple 6-figure businesses in 6 months, lose 15 lbs. of fat and gain 20 lbs. of muscle, become “Zen” like a monk, and feel abundant joy on a daily basis.
He wakes up the next day before his alarm goes off and for the following 24 hours, everything is perfect.
He does everything he’s supposed to do and goes to bed smiling and happy with himself.
The next day, he wakes up on time again, this time much more groggy and fuzzy-headed.
He still accomplishes all of his tasks for the day, but he’s beginning to feel more tired and burnt out than he has in a while.
On the third day, he hits the snooze button for “just a few minutes” and oversleeps by 2 hours. He spends the rest of the day beating himself up and feeling like crap for being such a lazy p.o.s. He doesn’t make it to the gym and eats a cookie at the office.
By day #4, he’s tired, drained, and wondering why in the hell he even wanted to change his life in the first place.
After the first week has gone by, he’s sore, grumpy, and stuck in a pit of self-loathing because he’s “Such a loser” for not being able to stick to his goals.
He quickly reverts back to his old patterns of behavior for a few months before casually picking up a copy of Awaken the Giant Within, getting a huge dump of motivation and trying to do it all over again.
He goes on like this for YEARS!
Setting big goals, getting really intense, burning out quickly, and ultimately accomplishing nothing.
After more than a decade of this behavior, he’s no closer to a life of joy and freedom than when he first started.
In fact, he’s worse off than before because now he feels worse about himself, and his finances, health, and marriage have all deteriorated.
Speedy Sam has royally screwed himself over and paved the path to failure with his own good intentions.
Now let’s consider the inverse of this approach with Slow Steve.
Example #2: Slow Steve
Steve is very similar to Sam.
He’s slightly overweight, working a middle management job earning $50,000 a year, and stuck in a relationship that isn’t all that inspiring.
Steve knows his life isn’t working and he decides to do something about it.
But after reading The Compound Effect and The Slight Edge, he realizes that the key to success is to slowly but surely take SMALL actions every day towards his goals.
He sits down and looks at his life and realizes that two things are holding him back more than anything else.
- His health – his energy levels suck and he’s always tired and feels incapable of working on a side hustle or going to the gym
- His finances – He’s buried in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and stuck in a rut of being unable to earn any more.
Steve knows that his life isn’t going to change overnight and so he creates a simple 12-month plan for himself to get unstuck.
But here’s the thing… His plan isn’t all that crazy or audacious.
In fact, it seems too simple for most people.
For the first month, Steve only makes three small commitments.
- He’s going to walk for 30 minutes three times a week
- He’s going to spend 45 minutes a day researching side hustles and new ways of earning extra money
- He’s going to spend only 10% less on going out than he has been in previous months (a total savings of about $70)
At first, it doesn’t look like he’s making any progress. He loses only 2 lbs. during the first month, saves $70 in his War Chest, and narrows down his side hustle to 3 potential options.
Then, the next month, he adds on 3 new shifts.
- He commits to going to the gym once a week and doing a full-body workout
- He commits to calling freelancers/small business owners in the 3 potential side hustles and asking them questions about what they do and how they do it.
- He’s going to go on 2 dates with his girlfriend and pay for them by spending less money on clothes.
Again, there aren’t many noticeable changes.
He loses a few more pounds of fat, boosts his energy levels by only 10%, and still isn’t earning any more money.
Slowly, but surely, he continues this trend over the following 12 months, and by the time the year is over, he’s successful:
- Training at the gym 4 days a week and eating an 80% whole foods diet
- Lost all of his excess body fat and gained 5 lbs. of muscle
- Started earning an extra $1,000 a month doing freelance writing for 60 minutes on the weekdays
- Improved his relationship and started consistently dating his (now) fiancee.
His life hasn’t changed all that much in 12 months.
He’s earning a little bit more money, he’s in better shape, his energy levels are higher, and his relationship is more connected.
But he isn’t a millionaire or fitness model and he doesn’t have some magical relationship where he screws like a rabbit every day and never fights with his girl.
But he commits to continuing the process.
Another 12 months go by and another and another.
By the time that 5 years have passed, his life is COMPLETELY unrecognizable from the life he was living before.
He’s a lean, mean, fighting machine and weighs 185 lbs. with 8% body fat. He regularly competes in Jujitsu matches and Spartan Races, and he feels amazing.
He quit his corporate job and is earning $150,000/year as a marketing consultant and he’s in the process of self-publishing his first book.
He’s happily married, feels deeply connected to his wife, and has a stellar sex life.
He put one foot in front of the other and changed everything.
Another 5 years go by and now, Steve is a world-renowned marketer earning more than $3,000,000 a year. He has a budding personal brand, 3 best-selling books, tens of thousands of dollars of passive income, and a career that he loves.
His body is a weapon and he’s in better shape than the guys that are 10 years younger than he is.
His relationship with his wife is a point of power in his life and spending time with her rejuvenates and inspires him (instead of draining him).
In other words… Steve is a badass.
But he didn’t get there overnight.
He did it in small steps that helped him prepare for HUGE leaps (like proposing, quitting his corporate job, and competing in his first physique show).
Steve has changed his life SLOWLY. Success
But ironically… He changed faster than ANY of the other guys trying to rush their way to success.
Success takes time.
But If you think that success becomes too much slowly then I have something for you.
Five things you can do when success comes too slowly
It seems counter-intuitive to go slowly when you already feel you’re going at a snail’s pace, but taking your time with a careful strategy could actually speed up the process.
If you’re struggling with the amount of time it’s taking to reach your ultimate goal, then here are five things you can do that might help along the way.
1) Remember that slow and steady wins the race
There’s a Chinese proverb that says ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’. Patience is hard, especially when we’re so used to the pace of modern life. Take your time, tackle each small step one at a time and a series of little victories will follow, which will eventually lead up to the big event.
2) Focus on what’s working
If you keep dwelling on life’s disappointments, they’ll take over and start holding you back. Tune in to the good things: What’s making a positive impact? What feels good to you? What are you making significant progress towards?
Write them down and build on those instead. It’ll give you reasons to carry on and put a new spring in your step. Also, make sure your goals aren’t too big to accomplish in the time available and check to see if you have the right skills to achieve them. Be realistic and don’t waste time on things that don’t work.
3) Make the most of your time
Procrastination is the biggest stealer of time. Of course, we all need to wind down now and again, but avoid getting sucked into Netflix surfing or being consumed by social media for hours on end.
Spend that time more productively by swapping out motivational videos, audios, and coaching books. TED Talks are a great way to inspire action. There’ are plenty of online courses too. Not only will this improve your knowledge, but it will also give you the tools to fast-track your success.
4) Get fresh
Einstein said that “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it”. So one of the reasons you’re not seeing results might be because you’re repeating the same old patterns.
If this is you, then it’s time to shake things up a bit. Take a fresh perspective on things or modify existing processes. Get some feedback so you know if they’re working or not. Continually renewing your vision keeps the momentum going and prevents you from getting stuck in a rut.
5) Look after yourself
If you’re serious about turning your dreams into reality then persistence is key. But watch out, don’t get so wrapped up in making your vision work that you neglect the most important aspect – you!
Stress affects your health: physical, mental, and emotional. And if you slow down when everything around you slows down too. When you feel you’re struggling, reboot and recharge. Boost your energy by going for a run, or a walk on the beach. Meditation is proven to de-stress, and help you think and work more effectively.
Take baby steps to the success you desire
Despite what we’re led to believe, attaining your ideal life doesn’t happen overnight. Yes, it will feel challenging, uncomfortable, and unbelievably slow at times. But understand that every tiny step you take along the way is something to be acknowledged and experienced in order to make you stronger and bolder. Keep going and good luck!
So chill out, trust the process, put one foot in front of the other, and eventually… You’ll get the Success that you want.