There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure – Colin Powell US general (1937 – )
Are there secrets to success? Are there hidden things that if they were open to one could make one a millionaire, progress faster at work, win, lead e.t.c? Are there things that are known to the successful that are unknown to all else? There are currently about 2000 books on Amazon.com promising the secrets of success. Searching for these secrets have become the preoccupation of many… but do these secrets truly exist?
First let me establish a definition of success that goes down well with me. I believe that success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. Key words here are, progressive, realization, worthy and ideal. I believe that the difference between the successful and the unsuccessful is not essentially knowledge, neither is it talent, it’s action. Someone once said that successful people are people who make an habit of doing what failures hate to do. The essential difference is in doing.
Lately, a mother asked me a question that has gotten me thinking. I answered her on the spur of the moment back then, but I have taken time out to really think about it, and answer practicable ways. This will be the first article in a series on “Secrets to Success”. She asked me, how have you been able to get to what you are now, what did you do? How were you like growing up? I saw in her eyes a strong desire for the best for her children.
The first Success tip I’ll like to share about today, is “Showing Up”
“80% of Success is Showing Up” – Woody Allen
In case you are wondering how showing up is responsible for success, think about it. Once you set yourself up to a particular routine, all you need to do is show up. Some months back, I started golf lessons, and what do I need to do today to be good at golf? Just show up, my coach will handle the rest. I wanted to learn how to trade Forex, all I needed to do was show up for the class, and make it a daily routine to show up on the trading platform. Showing up doesn’t guarantee success, but there is no success without showing up.
When you show up for something, you are giving yourself an opportunity to build a habit while a system that takes over automatically. If you think about it, to get a degree, all you needed to do was show up in school and show up in class, every other process becomes almost autopilot. Look back at everything you have learnt in your life, it was a product of showing up to a process. By showing up in a music class, you learn music, by showing up at work, you get a career – and a monthly salary, by showing up in the gym, you get a good build and good health, by showing up consistently to a friend, you build an exceptional relationship. Showing up is not all you need to do, but it’s sure more than 50%. The actual activity might be difficult, it might be on the contrary be a lot of fun. You might learn because of competition, or just because you have to. Once you commit to showing up however, the die is almost cast.
While on a search online I found this useful piece of information from a friends site, I think it carries the essence of this particular post, rather than quote him here are his thoughts verbatim.
“You can also stretch this concept to apply to other areas:
* Show up to your relationship — set aside time for your partner, go on dates, etc.
* Show up to your spiritual practice — meditate, read, attend services, etc.
* Show up to success – make decisions, set goals, commit
* Show up to give — volunteer, share, help others, etc.
* Show up to opportunities — write a book, start a business, create a web site, etc.
* Show up to growth — read, journal, take time for introspection
– Steve Pavlina”
We human beings find it easier to make short term commitments than long term commitments. It’s easier to say I’ll not eat meat for the next 30 days, than to say I’ll not eat meat again forever. Interestingly however, committing to an activity for as little as 30 days is enough to make it a lifetime habit. The coefficient of static friction is always higher than the coefficient of kinetic friction… this simply means it will be tougher to start than to continue. It requires mustering up inner reserves to show up… but as soon as you show up… it’s almost done. Someone said beginning is half done… how correct!
Do you need to show up for a certification class, do you need to show up for an Msc. Do you need to show up at the golf course, music class, salsa class. I’m online today because I think I have a date with you… I’m showing up… where do you need to show up to succeed… and where also do you need to stop showing up…lol?