How to achieve success
We all hope to achieve success in many areas of our lives; however, sometimes the road to success can seem difficult and full of problems, but it does not have to be.
I have a confession to make - several confessions in fact.
I have at times been stupid enough to believe that work is not necessary to make money or achieve success.
A few years ago I joined a network marketing company that promised to create a down line of buying customers for me without any work on my part. I would of course have to pay a monthly fee myself. I was happy to do this. However, after more than a year, no down line had appeared and the company was not doing well. Nothing had happened as promised even though they seemed to be lovely people who meant well.
Reluctantly I ended my membership. I was not alone in losing all the money I had spent on this enterprise. I also paid for health products which ended up being poured down the plug hole.
In the last 5 years I have wasted at least £30,000 ($ 50,000) on companies that promised they could easily double any money invested in them. One of the companies turned out to be fraudulent. I could have found this out if I had done enough work to check them out. They were already listed as suspicious by the financial authorities. To achieve success you need to work out what you do so you can get what you want in life.
Later I found out that over 800 people in the UK had been conned in the same way as me. I was not alone in my laziness and gullibility. I also lent £2000 to a retired stockbroker in England who promptly lost the lot investing in the website malls of an internet entrepreneur based in Jerusalem. This man promised much but did not deliver.
The man who borrowed the money from me and several others felt no obligation to pay me back. I did not pursue the matter because he was old and a heavy smoker. Again I should have done the work necessary to check out the Jerusalem entrepreneur. So should the stockbroker and the others who trusted the stockbroker's judgment. You are the only one that can achieve success no body going to do it for you.
It is easier to trust people without doing the work necessary to find out the details. It is easier to listen to their big promises rather than read the small print. How did I and they come to believe that we could make money without doing any work even the tiny amount of work necessary to check out the people we were trusting with our money?
Many humans, including me, are naturally lazy. We prefer to trust people rather than find out the facts for ourselves. Being lazy we like to believe that money can be made easily by taking the advice of experts. We do not realize that it takes work to find out who the experts are. We also need to realize that experts can be wrong especially when they are not personally involved.
How many expert doctors give the wrong diagnosis? A doctor once told me I was making a fuss when I complained about the pain in my foot. I later discovered that I had gangrene in my foot. I nearly lost my leg and my life. He was an expert but he was not the one feeling the pain!
How many financial experts lose money for us? It is not their money which is at risk.
We might do much better by becoming an expert ourselves. This could well save us time and money in the long run. We are the ones who are really concerned about our interests.
It has been said that an hour's work a day for six months can make a person of average intelligence into an expert at most things. In other words regular work or study can make us experts or can, at least, make us competent.
Many people give up before they become competent because they cannot face being incompetent in the early parts of their studies. But if they continue to work and do not give up they will gradually become competent and eventually expert. Sometimes, in our quest for expertise, it might be useful to travel to hear an expert face to face. Traveling is work unless you love trains and planes and the lazy person will not make the effort to travel.
I have, surprisingly, made the effort to travel to several seminars to hear motivational and entrepreneurial experts like Tony Robbins, Randy Gage, Stuart Goldsmith, Jonathan Mizel, Corey Rudl, Marlon Sanders and Dave O'Connor.
I also have traveled to learn from several great Martial artists like Grandmaster Kwang Jo Choi, Danny Inosanto and Gary Spiers. But I have not done the follow up work necessary to make the most of the entrepreneurial seminars.
Again, I am not alone in this. 95% of seminar attendees fail to follow up and apply what they learn at seminars. They think that attendance at the seminar is enough. It is not. I have boxes full of seminar materials that I have not even opened let alone read. Again I am not alone in this. About 95% of people do the same as me.
One study has shown that only 14 out of a hundred people in a civilized Western country buy books and out of these 14 only 1 person reads beyond the first chapter! Why is this? Why are people so reluctant to accept the fact that work is necessary if you want to achieve success in anything.
Work is not glamorous. Being talented and clever is glamorous. However, even the talented have to work to make the most of their talent. But we do not see them at work behind the scenes. Rock stars eventually give up being stars even though they love appearing on stage. They just cannot stand the drudgery of constant travel. I played the drums in a band once. The actual playing was great but carrying the drums around and setting them up was not.
Speakers who promote business opportunities sometimes give the impression that making money is easy. It may be easy for them after years of experience but it is not easy for beginners who soon run into what seem to be major roadblocks and not all experts are keen to help once the seminar is over. They have their own lives and projects to get on with.
Modern culture encourages the belief in easy solutions. You want a meal? No problem. Five minutes in the microwave is enough. No need for any drudgery like peeling potatoes and putting joints in the oven.
People get used to instant solutions and shortcuts. The idea of steady, patient work becomes less fashionable.
Abundance teaching is partly to blame for people thinking they can get rich without work. People are taught that if they visualize themselves in a mansion with their favorite cars etc, these things will materialize.
I believe that abundance thinking does help achieve dreams but it can make people think that only a little work is necessary. The universe will take care of it. But the universe usually works when you do. God helps those who help themselves.
Michael Angier teaches that you can achieve success the moment you take action toward a worthy objective.
Action is the key word here. Humans can think or take action. Some people only think and some people only act. We need both. Even the spiritual life demands real, down to earth action. The Bible stresses the importance of what people think and believe but also teaches that 'faith without works' is dead.
Clint Eastwood as the gun toting preacher in the film 'Pale Rider' offers to help break up a rock for his host. He is invited to do something more 'spiritual'. He comments:
"Spirit ain't worth spit without a little exercise. Many problems are solved with a little sweat and hard work."
Work is one of those values which should become fashionable again. Work is necessary. Without work and action we will achieve nothing but with it we will achieve success. Even when we are doing a job we enjoy, some boring drudgery is necessary.
At the moment my 'job' is being a writer and info publisher. I love some of this work but I hate logging on to websites. Logging on is boring work. You have to find your user name and password. I have sometimes forgotten both and then need to wait for an e-mail to tell me what my password is or have to get into my password software to find out. This usually involves remembering or looking up another password!
Sometimes you find that the owner of the website you are trying to reach has gone out of business or has turned the site into a membership site where you have to pay yet another monthly fee to access the stuff inside it. The owner may even have no record that you joined his site and you then have to find receipts etc. from years back.
You also have to keep track of how many membership sites you belong to and which credit cards you used to pay your initial and recurring membership fees. If you decide to cancel your membership, you then have to spend time finding out or rediscovering how you do this.
We just have to accept the fact that some drudgery and boring work is necessary in everything we do. Let's not waste time moaning about it. It is part of the reality of the universe just like cleaning our teeth and visiting the dentist. If we have this attitude of just getting on with it, we will achieve success much more quickly than we thought possible. We can then sit back, for a while at least, and enjoy the sunshine or, in my case, the rain. Achieve success and get all you want out of life.
I do not mean by this that all we get in the UK is rain. At the moment we are, in my opinion, getting too much sunshine and humidity. I prefer the rain and the wind and the cold! It is much more motivating!
Of course, it is important to work on high priority tasks. We need to decide which tasks are most productive and then get on with those. If we do not do this we can spend hours working and achieving nothing much. After hours of work on trivial tasks we will feel little satisfaction. After hours of work on key tasks we will begin to feel the excitement and enthusiasm that goes with achievement.
Marketing is a key task that many business men and women find boring. They would prefer to spend time improving the products they are selling. However, the excitement of making sales can soon make up for any boredom involved and good marketing is often the natural expression of the enthusiasm felt for a great product.
Work, then, is still necessary. It can be boring and frustrating but it can also lead on to the excitement and adventure when you achieve success.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Watson is an info publisher on the internet and a martial arts school owner. He taught religious studies and life skills to teenagers in London schools for about 33 years before retiring in 2000 A.D. His own e-books and those of the English multimillionaire, Stuart Goldsmith, can be found on his site at www.motivationtoday.com