If you’re like most people I know, you think about how to be successful.
I’m going to tell you what no one has told you about success and what you have to do to get there, and I’m interested to see if you’ll agree.
First thing to know though, it doesn’t matter what success looks like for you.
Maybe your idea of success is you sitting in a 10,000 square foot house in the Caribbean with nothing to do all day but master the perfect margarita.
Maybe it’s the corner office and employees who look to you for leadership. Could be that you dream about traveling, or having a family, or changing the world. . .
There are as many definitions of success as there are people, and your definition of what it is doesn’t make any difference when it comes to the roadmap of how to get there.
The Conventional Guide To How To Be Successful
What many people will tell you about how to be successful is two things:
One: that you need to work hard,
And two: that you need to follow your dreams.
But there’s a little secret about success that most people like to skip over, and that, my friends, is where the rubber meets the road. It’s the difference between the people who succeed and the people who don’t.
Why am I sharing this with you?
Because I want you to be in that first group – the successful ones.
And I believe you can be.
The Dirty Little Secret That Success Keeps Hidden
When you’re following your dreams, the thing you want most in the world, it’s easy to go all “sunshine and rainbows”.
Believe me, I do it too.
There’s nothing I love more than being happy, having fun, and being comfortable.
But if you’re going to be successful – even when you’re chasing rainbows – there’s going to be some pretty bad stuff in your path.
Success has a dirty little secret.
[Tweet “#Success has a dirty little secret”]
It’s not just that success takes hard work. That’s hardly a secret, though many people would prefer to skip over this reality.
No, I’m talking about bad stuff. Distasteful stuff.
What’s the difference between hard work and distasteful stuff you have to do to be successful?
To me, hard work is doing what you like to do, but doing a lot of it, all the time, in an effort to get where you want to be.
The distasteful stuff is doing stuff you don’t like (and maybe a lot of it) to get where you want to be.
There are always going to be things outside of your comfort zone that feel distasteful to you. Maybe you hate staying organized, maybe you can’t deal with technology, or maybe it’s your boss or your entire job that feels bad to you.
Whatever it is, sometimes distasteful things are part of our reality today. They are necessary evils on the path to success.
That bad job? It helps you finance your start up for now until it’s got legs.
Your terrible boss? He’s teaching you assertiveness.
You don’t have to stay in distasteful situations forever, but the road to success isn’t just hard work and chasing your dreams. It’s also doing stuff you don’t like to do – making sacrifices – with the goal of growing towards something bigger tomorrow.
Being In Bad Situations Is Sometimes Okay
Now, no one – ok, almost no one, enjoys being uncomfortable.
But there are two layers to the discomfort in situations like these.
First, it’s the discomfort that the situation itself brings, the actual stress or the pain.
Then, there’s your evaluation and feelings about what it means to be in that situation to begin with.
Your self-dialogue might go something like this:
OMG, I can’t believe I let my boss talk me into working this weekend again! Who does that? I seriously need a new job. What is wrong with this picture? Something has to change, or I might just quit! I mean, I can’t believe I’m letting this happen!
I apologize if I made you sound way too dramatic just now, but I think you get the point – not only are you stressed, but you’re stressed because your situation isn’t sunshine and rainbows.
But here’s the thing: It’s ok to not be sunshine and rainbows all the time. In fact, sometimes things are crappy.
You don’t want them to stay that way for one second longer than necessary, but don’t judge yourself for being there – we’ve all been there.
Just recognize that the road to success has some pretty bad situations sometimes, and sometimes some necessary evils, like a bad job, or doing the accounting for your business, or cleaning your bathroom floor.
In order to do what we love – to get to that level – we have to accept that sometimes we have to do things we don’t love, too.
What do you think? I’d really love to hear your thoughts about this in the comments below!