🌼The Only Thing All Successful People Have in Common
The key ingredient of success.
So you want to be a millionaire?
Or start a business? Or invent something everyone wants? Or write a bestseller? Or just make your own unique contribution to humanity?
Then stand by. Because we’re about to delve into the one thing — the only thing — all successful people share.
And it’s something you already knew.
The Success Equation
Like more than a few bloggers I suspect, I began to study the ingredients of success a long, long time ago.
I wanted to know what makes some people stand out — what helps them to get their head above the pack. What propels them to be out there living the dream while most of us are down at the train station every day waiting for the 7.36am?
But success is not an easy thing to nail down. That’s because successful people come in myriad packages. And there’s no blueprint you can follow (even though there’s no shortage of charlatans trying to sell you one).
A personality trait that oozes from one successful person will be conspicuously missing in another. A business strategy that made someone rich will send someone else broke. Where dogged persistence pays off for one, a spontaneous pivot reaps rewards for another
Some successful people work long, long hours; some don’t. Some take good care of their bodies and health; others are dangerously out of shape. Some successful people are nice, some are people you should probably run from. Actually, not just run, you should sprint.
Like I said, no blueprint.
But when you look closely the one consistent thing — the thing you’ll always find in the success mix — is the willingness to feel uncomfortable.
Or, put another way, being up for tolerating discomfort.
And, then, the ability to thrive in it.
“I wish for a world where everyone understands that discomfort is the price of legendary. And fear is just growth coming to get you.” — Robin S. Sharma
Living at the edge of your comfort zone
A few years back I went to Tony Robbins seminar.
It was three days of late nights, pumping music, hugging strangers and shimmying across firewalk pits.
I confess I’m cynical about such things. It’s probably why I burnt my feet on the hot coals.
But the one thing I remember — and I still believe now — is that it’s healthy to live in stretch mode. To think in new spaces. To go where you have not been.
If you don’t — if you are happy to remain cushioned, to go about your days without ever feeling the burn of discomfort — that’s fine. You may even be successful in your own way.
But you will never make your life as big as it could have been. You will never find out what you were capable of.
And that may — one day — be a deep source of regret.
It’s easier than you think
Many people think leaving their comfort zones involves grand gestures and huge risk.
But you don’t have to toss in your job, ditch your marriage or go exploring deep into the Amazon forest.
All you have to do is focus on pushing up against your own particular cushion of comfort. That may be something big and scary, but it may also be simple, like choosing a different item on the menu at your favourite restaurant. Or wearing a colour you know will make heads turn. Or busting out of your “this is what we do every weekend” routine.
If you’d read much of my work you’ll know I’m big on routines and habits to hang your day on, and as a way of building momentum. But they can also be a trap. They can turn us into such creatures of habit that we miss out on activities and people that bring colour and light into our worlds.
Especially as we get older. If we’re not careful, life stands still. And instead of getting bigger, the room gets smaller, and darker.
Is that what you want?
Getting beyond the comfort zone
Successful people probably don’t think about this consciously; they just adopt it as a way of life.
But for those of us who have a tendency to live inside the cushion, with what makes us feel comfortable, here are three things to think about.
Stand still in the face of anxiety.
When we feel anxious, it’s natural to flee from it, or to seek ways to be free of it those feelings. When anxiety flares, don’t react. Instead, sit down, ground yourself and take a few slow breaths. Then get up and press on with what you have to do. Let anxiety walk alongside you.
Because here’s the secret: You don’t have to be free of anxiety to perform well — or even at your best. The first time you realise it is a wonderful moment.
Read also: 6 things that make life effortless
Call stress out as excitement.
When you pull them apart, stress and excitement produce the same physiological reactions: a racing or pounding heart, shakes, sweats, breathlessness, light-headedness.
But how we frame them can make all the difference. Try it: When you next feel stressed say “Ah, I know that feeling, it’s excitement.” It won’t always produce the results you want, but you will begin to get familiar with, and welcome the feeling as a positive one. And, ultimately, that will enhance your performance.
See discomfort as growth.
Feeling uncomfortable isn’t fun in the moment. But every time it happens, you’re training yourself to deal with it. Every time you get to the other side, you’ve stretched yourself. You become a bigger person with a bigger world view. You grow.
If you want to be successful you have to join the Discomfort Club. You have to build a tolerance for feeling uneasy, even scared.
If you do, you’ll find your ability to rock and roll with discomfort won’t just be a personal triumph. It’ll be the measure of your life.
Contributed by Karen Nimmo
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