Truthfully, there are no shortcuts or secret recipes to success. The more I observe the world around me and identify the characteristics and qualities that separate the successful from the complacent, the more I find myself confirming that success is simply the product of daily, consistent hard work multiplied by many, many years of consistency.
A wise man by the name of Frank Sole very often preaches to myself and to other athletes that he works with that it is not necessarily about doing the hard work, but doing the necessary hard work that ultimately leads to success. Simply working hard and doing the necessary hard work are very different. Hard work can often be misinterpreted as simply putting your head down and grinding away, without taking an opportunity to sit back and reflect, recover, and do the other little things that are necessary to realize growth and success. Doing the necessary hard work often includes doing the things that, sometimes, you don’t want to do, but you know you have to do in order to move forward. It may mean going to bed a little earlier and missing out on Netflix late at night so that you feel more rested and focused the next day. Alternatively, it may mean embracing a weekend Netflix show to incorporate some much-needed relaxation. It may mean putting yourself way outside of your comfort zone and doing something that you didn’t think you were meant to do, say public speaking or going back to school to finish your degree. It may mean taking a hard look at yourself in the mirror and identifying your current weaknesses so that you can develop a plan to turn them into strengths. It may mean pushing yourself just a little bit harder in school or in your workouts than most others do, because being like “most others” often doesn’t come with extraordinary results. It may even be accepting your limitations and knowing when to seek out guidance from someone more experienced than you are.
Do the necessary hard work day in and day out. Put yourself in a place that is uncomfortable often and learn to embrace it. Then, set up your life so that you can pursue this discomfort for months and years on end, and I guarantee you will be amazed with the growth and success you achieve. Everyone that realizes success in their life goes through this daily, weekly, and monthly struggle. Successful individuals have bad days, days in which they don't want to get out of bed and would rather sleep in, days in which they try to convince themselves that the easy option sounds better, days in which they wonder why they are doing what they are doing in the first place. Those that end up being successful realize this as an affirmation that they are on just the right track, because if the pursuit of your dreams and goals didn't cause you to have these thoughts and emotions, then the journey simply wouldn't be worth it. In the end, you won't look back on the times of struggle and conflict with regret or remorse, but rather with pride that you pushed through them to get where you are today, and you will smile with joy.