There’s a popular quotation attributed to G. K. Nielsen that reminds me of all the success stories I have read or heard since the start of my career. I won’t deny — I was quite obsessed with the concept of luck. It seems so unusually good that there are successful entrepreneurial heroes with inspiring sagas of having nothing to achieving everything. If not “gifted”, then what else explains such incredible success for such average people?
Shortly after starting my first job, I started to search CEOs, celebrities, authors, politicians and even an astronaut for their luck. I wanted to replicate their special qualities and habits so that one day I might become a successful entrepreneur myself. Well, I did good — but as it turns out, my success has nothing to do with the luck I was so obsessed with.
So the question is: What truly creates success?
While being gifted might give you the idea that you will get lucky everywhere you go, it doesn’t give you the drive or endurance to bring new ideas to the table and execute them brilliantly. At the end of the day, it’s all about an individual’s ability to work harder, longer, and smarter.
If you aspire to be successful in your career (or life), you’ve probably already spent a lot of time reading and learning from other’s success stories.
My advice? Don’t get the idea of “they’re definitely lucky” or “they must be gifted” get into your head. Recognise what truly creates success from the way they work and the skills that make them better than those around them.
I’ve also got a few tips that might help you along the way. Lately, I have been digging up a lot about how can one find the motivation to work hard at work. Here are the best answers I have got so far.
- “… Once I’ve made the choice to do something, I try not to think so much about how difficult or frustrating or impossible that might be; I just think about how good it must feel to be that, or how proud I might be to have done that. Make hard look easy.” — Marie Stein
What are you going to do? Don’t think about it as hard work, think about it as part of making yourself into who you want to be.
2. “… Set a realistic quitting time for yourself, and stick to it most days of the week. Stop answering emails after 8 PM, or take Sundays off. You’ll feel more refreshed and more productive when you allow yourself some downtime.” — Matt Holmes
What are you going to do? Give yourself rest so that you can work harder and smarter in the hours that you do allot for work.
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3. “You must not think about anything else, suppressing all other thoughts, keeping your mind blank, acting like a robot. Yes, it sounds weird, but it does work! Otherwise, you will debate whether you should do it now or there were too many issues with doing it, or there are other more pleasurable and exciting things to do over this boring task.” — Bob Win
What are you going to do? Instead of waiting around, willing yourself to feel motivated—just do what you need to do.
4. “Start acknowledging all the good you are doing. Don’t discount the little things … You need more wins in your life. This will motivate you, encourage you, and help you see how brilliant you truly are.” — Kai Ashley
What are you going to do? Start celebrating wins (even small, bite-sized ones).
The bottom line is — Don’t waste your time regretting whether or not you’re gifted, just do your share of hard work.
What do you think? What is the real key to success? Hard work — or luck?
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