THE TOP 10 LESSONS OF 2018 (PART 2)
This is the second part of the “Top 10 Lessons of 2018”.
You can read the first part here: The Top 10 Lessons of 2018 (Part 1).
The first part included the following four lessons:
1) Set goals that inspire you, not paralyse you
2) Patience is everything
3) Lack of time is rarely the problem
4) Emotions are a bad compass
So without further ado, here are the remaining six lessons.
5) Hard work beats talent 9 times out of 10
There is a lot of literature out there about what talent is and the impact of it on human performance. Let’s define talent as a genetic predisposition that gives one an advantage in a particular discipline. So talent should not be called a skill or capability that is acquired but only “something” we’re born with.
I’ve worked with quite a few extremely successful people who were in the top 1% in their profession. What they all had in common was that they have worked extremely hard for years and years to perfect their craft and to climb to the 1% in their field. Interestingly, none of them consider themselves “talented”. It’s the hard work got them through 99% of the way and if there is such thing as talent then it made a real difference only at the very top 1%.
I encourage you to study or befriend someone who you believe is exceptionally talented/successful in what you’d like to be successful in as well. Find out how they got so good, and you’ll see that “talent” had very little to do with it. It’s because they’ve developed superior knowledge, skill, understanding, and flow in their expertise.
Nobody I know who is a true expert at what they do just picked it up and voilá!
One of my clients who is in his early 20s and plays cello spent several hours a day for nine months practicing an eight minute piece.
The more you believe something is within your control (and hard work is 100%) the more motivated you’ll feel to keep working on it. In the same way, as research showed, the more people believe they are talented, the less work they put in.
I don’t consider myself particularly talented at anything, but I know I can outwork most people. I prefer that over talent.
6) Exciting things happen when you follow your heart
Ok, you’ll need to be open-minded for this one.
With that said, I’m one of the least woo-woo people you’ll ever meet, but I’m also humble enough to accept that I don’t understand everyting.
There is something peculiar happening out there. I’ve seen it too many times to count, with my clients as well as experienced it myself, that when people sincerely and seriously take the step forward towards their dreams and goals, amazing and serendipitous things start to happen.
It’s a bit like when you have a chat your friend about something you like, and all of a sudden ads for that particular thing start popping up on your Instagram and Facebook!
When it comes to your goals and dreams, it’s as if, when you wholeheartedly commit to them, life just goes “Ok, I get it. You really mean it this time. Here is a little help.” and the right people and opportunities start appearing in your life. You still have to make the most of them, but they are there.
Some may call it the law of attraction.
I don’t know what it is and how it works, but as with electricity, I don’t need to understand how it works. I’m happy it’s there making my life better. I just need to flick the switch and pay my “bill”.
I hope you’ll get to experience it, too.
Pick up all your courage and start moving towards your goals and dreams and have your eyes open as great things may be coming your way.
7) We’re underestimating ourselves
The truth is, we have two opposing biases.
Firstly, we tend to overestimate what is possible in the short run. This makes us overly ambitious as we think we’ll manage to do xyz in a shorter period that is required. This also makes us procrastinate till the last moment when we feel like we cannot afford to waste any more time.
Secondly, we tend to underestimate what we can accomplish in the long run. So then, relating it to goals and personal development, we don’t quite see the possibilities, how our actions would add up over time and how much can be achieved with consistent effort over a longer period.
This bias can be reduced with experience.
So, plan your days, weeks, and months. Over time you’ll develop a good sense of what can be done. I’ve been planning and setting goals for years now. While I have a good sense of what I can do in a short time, it still amazes me what my clients or I have achieved over months and years.
8) Going the extra mile goes a long way
I’m pretty stubborn when it comes to getting what I want. Over the last few years, I’ve got into the habit of going the extra mile(s) to earn/get what I had my eye on and most of the times I’ve got it.
In 2018 I’ve capitalised on this strategy so many times.
I assume that most people do only what’s expected. So I always think; how can I go above and beyond to stand out from the possible competition?
I have a few rules.
a) Rather than think “is this enough?” ask yourself “what more I can do?”
b) Find a way to get what you want so that it’s a win-win for you and the other party.
c) Always be polite and respectful. Some people turn into real A-holes when trying to get what they want.
9) You cannot win in other people’s game
This, in particular, refers to dramas and the little games people play but can be generalised into other situations. I don’t do drama. I don’t want drama in my life (That’s one of the reasons I don’t even watch TV series).
There are many drama queens (or kings) out there. It’s their strategy for life. It’s the energy they operate on; gossip, arguments, tension, guilt-tripping, blame, victimhood etc. These people are very good at their game, so unless you’re really good, too, you won’t be able to win with them.
Think about it as a card game. You play with someone, and the person created the rules of the game which they didn’t share with you, and even if they did, it doesn’t matter because they are changing them as they go. How would you win over someone in such a game? They are always a step ahead.
The best (and the only way) to win over them is to get them to play YOUR game! There, you can be a step ahead. It may be a game of “I’m not going to discuss this until you calm down” or “I’m not going to be part of this drama”. Simple as that.
Playing other people’s game is exhausting and should be avoided.
Life gets much simpler.
10) Success is not complicated
Whatever success means to you, it’s not that complicated to get it. If someone else has already achieved it (likely many people) then it only means it’s possible.
The problem is that we complicate things in our own mind.
I’ve seen through my own journey and working with hundreds of clients, that those who made amazing transformations and accomplished great things have earned them through consistent work and focus.
Of course, there is an element of strategy. But the success is earned one day at the time through self-discipline and action. As mentioned in one of the previous insights, we underestimate what we can accomplish in the long run through consistent progress.
One of my clients is just 20 years old and is in 1% of earners and probably 0.001% in terms of accomplishment. How? Through six years of daily hard and smart work and taking risks (mostly ego), you may know it as hustle.
Perhaps you think, “but I work hard!” And you’re probably right. But are you working hard to complete the assignments someone (your employers) gave you (so not smart) or are you working hard on building the life you want? In addition to working hard and smart, you must be willing to risking your ego, a.k.a. being courageous. That’s what will make the difference.
But from my experience, most people are not combining these three elements; working hard and smart and being courageous. They prioritise weekends off, evening TV, sleeping in etc. And it’s ok if they are ok staying where they are. But to make a change, it takes self-discipline to win over your mind that wants to be comfortable.
Just remember that getting what you want and becoming the person you want to be is not complicated, but getting yourself to do what needs to be done is not easy.
Take a bit of time to ponder these insights and learnings, see how it may apply to you and how you can implement it in your life to be more effective and happier.
If you need the support of a life coach, you’re always welcome to contact me and let’s find out if we’d be the right match.
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