Have you ever wondered why or how people like Jeff Bezos or Indu Jain became what they have become? And when you do, what comes to mind as possible reasons? Mostly I hear people saying things like Luck, Hard Work, Focus, and/or Dedication. Hmm, it makes sense but really is that all? Let’s look at them one by one.
Luck: This is the favorite one! Whenever we look at successful people, we call them ‘lucky!’ But what is luck? Is it just a chance, a good fortune? If yes, then how do people get repeated successes? If I were to say that luck is important too, then I would define luck as a confluence of perseverance, prospects and preference. Opportunities present themselves every day to every person. Do they not? But only a person, who recognizes them and seizes them without delay, gets to convert these opportunities to their preferred outcomes. And we very comfortably tag them ‘lucky’. However, a close look reveals that only those people who persevere to look for prospective opportunities to exploit become lucky. Hey, but this is no rocket science! Still why most of the ordinary folks are not able to do so? Why?
Hard work: “…No, No, it’s not luck, its Hard work or rather Smart work…” This is the answer of most people who don’t believe in luck. Malcolm Gladwell argues in his book, Outliers, that if someone spends 10,000 hours towards any activity, then he can become a world-class expert in it. Or in other words, 10,000 hours of hard work is required to be extremely successful. And I am sure he is correct. No success is achieved without hard work or sweat. Even the child prodigies became world-class experts in their fields, only after working at it for a long time. Mozart had his most famous compilations much late in his career. Sachin Tendulkar was at his best only when he was 24-year-old, although he had started showed brilliance at a young age of 16. I am yet to find a single successful person who hasn’t done his share of handwork. But, why is putting 10,000 hours so difficult? It is only 5 years of work! Still, why do most of ordinary people give up sooner? Why?
When I asked my dad what one skill is the most important when it comes to achieving success, my dad told me, “Your ability to focus,” when I pressed him on his answer he says, “Focus allows you to drown out the noise, it allows you to say no to things that are not going to aid you on your path to success, it’s the one skill that is applicable to any goal, and the skill necessary to acquire any other skill.”
Focus has allowed me to open for Comedians who regularly appear on Comedy Central within my first year of taking up standup.
Focus has allowed me to put thirty pounds of muscle over the last six years and win my weight class at powerlifting tournaments.
So definitely believe that focus is a key to success.
Most people will never live up to their potential because they do not have the courage to take the risks necessary.
Most people will not live the life they want, not because they don’t work hard enough, but because they do not have the courage to risks temporary failure.
Being courageous is like taking steroids for your life. You will see massive growth very quickly, but the more you use the greater risks.
Where focus is your ability to say no. Discipline is your ability to action, whether you feel like it or not. Discipline understands that your emotions are not meant to help you. It is the ability to see through your own BS and do what you know you should do whether you feel like it or not.
Ultimate Success: Knowingly and unknowingly we often do things that are in line with our inner drive, along with other things as well. The important thing to note is that successful people choses to do only those things that are in line with their inner drive, and ordinary people end up doing random things. And quite often, ordinary people end up spending their lives driven by external forces or drives which are not in line with inner drive, and live a stressful and unhappy life.
If you want to be successful, identify your inner drive, and make the relevant trade-offs. When your inner drive becomes the enabler, then the combination of hard work, focus, and luck becomes possible and success and happiness is achieved.