3 Golden Rules to Slow & Steady Success

By Ellesse

I was flipping the local papers a few days ago and one seemingly insignificant article caught my eye. The dean of our national university was conferred an honorary membership to the National Medical Council. He was the only non medical director on the board although he did graduate with a doctorate in applied medical research from Harvard.

What fascinates me isn’t the fact he’s the only director from a non medical field. Nor is it because of his impressive post graduate credentials. What interests me is this – he’s the dean of the university which once rejected his undergraduate application!

The Long Arduous Journey

Can you imagine that?

The underdog turning the tables to become the leader of the pack. Sweet revenge, isn’t it? His story proves one point. You may not achieve success as fast as you’ll want to at any moment in time. But as long as you persist in what you believe, you’ll definitely win.

Sometimes in a much more amazing fashion than those who have a headstart.

Take a look at Steven Spielberg. He was rejected by two top US colleges famous for their film making program but ended up learning on the job for years at Universal Studios. Not only did he become one of Hollywood’s top movie directors, he was also conferred an honorary doctorate and a seat on the board of trustees at University of Southern California. One of the schools he was once rejected admission to.

But who wants to be the tortoise when the lure of fast success is so tempting? It certainly doesn’t help with the many overnight silicon valley successes we hear in this era. But what you see is the time they took to be rich and famous. Do you know the sacrifice they put in to achieve that kind of success?

And are you willing to put in that kind of effort?

If you’re not ready for that, it doesn’t necessary mean success is beyond you. By taking the slow and steady approach, you can still be the winner. Just like Steven Spielberg and the Dean. Take a step at a time with the end in mind and savour what you experience in the process. Trust me, not only will you reach there, your journey may be even more interesting and colourful than if you’re on the fast track. Here are 3 golden rules to bear in mind :

(1) Work With The Compass, Not The Clock

Delay your gratification but keep your eye closely on your objectives. Most importantly, don’t compare with your peers. It’s easy to get frustrated if you’re constantly watching how long your pal take to graduate, generate his first $10,000 or move up the corporate ladder as compared to what you’re doing.

Spend more time instead evaluating if you on the right track in the beginning. For example, are you’re embarking on the right course of study? Is your marketing strategy effective for your business in the first place? Do you like what you’re doing in your job? Once you’re clear of the direction you’re heading, you’ll be less focused on the urgency to perform “up to speed”. Remember. You work with the compass. Let others work with the clock.

(2) See How Far You’ve Gone, Not How Far You Have To Go

Staying motivated throughout this seemingly long route to success can be quite a challenge. Especially if you’re working on it alone. Instead of counting down the number of years you’ve to go before graduation, the amount of dollars to reach $10,000 or the days to the next promotion, take a moment to flag down the milestones you’ve accomplished thus far. Celebrate each one of them with a nice pat on the back and top it up with a nice reward. Don’t forget to practice the art of daily motivation too. As you continue to do so, you’ll find that you’re still counting.

But this time, you’re counting your blessings. Not what you’re missing.

(3) Don’t Doubt Your Beliefs Or Believe in Your Doubts

At times, you may be tempted to judge if you should have taken this route instead of that seemingly quick and easy path. Don’t. Because although you may able to find a lot of quick and easy schemes, it’s very unlikely you’ll find one that sustains. By doubting that you can achieve success working a particular slow but impeccable plan, your resultant actions can ruin the efforts that you’ve put in so far.

Take for example, liquidating a well designed index funds portfolio to invest in riskier instruments or giving up a course of study just because you’re not performing well in the first year. At the end of the day, those who succeed are the ones who persist, never once doubting their beliefs in the process.


25 Responses to “3 Golden Rules to Slow & Steady Success”

  1. Tejvan Pettinger at 10:08 pm

    Belief is important, no matter what other people may say. Good article

  2. Ellesse at 1:18 am

    Hey Tejvan, thanks for popping by. Yes, belief is extremely important. If one’s belief is easily wavered, at the end of the day, he’s just subjecting himself to manipulation.

    By what other people think. By what other people say. I think we need to ask ourselves, is it your life or theirs?

  3. Albert | UrbanMonk.Net at 1:57 pm

    My favorite is #2! It is so easy to lose track of how far you’ve come, and then beat yourself up for not making much progress. I’ve begun keep a journal of all my goals, personal, financial, spiritual, etc. And it really helps to keep me focused. Thanks for the good article.

    Modern personal development, entwined with ancient spirituality.

  4. Ellesse at 2:56 pm

    Absolutely Albert. Mastering the art of motivation AND contentment is the key to staying upbeat. Losing steam at times is inevitable but always fall back to your basics. What you’ve learned so far. What you’ve gained so far.

    I remembered motivational speaker Chris Widener’s words on a TSTN show. He said he took 18 years to achieve his goal/dream of becoming a speaker, author but never once did he ever regret nor kept his eyes away from that objective. 18 years! I’m sure it sounds like “forever” for some people. But to people who knows they’ll definitely reach there, it’s a matter of perception.

    Isn’t it?

  5. Albert | UrbanMonk.Net at 3:40 pm

    yeap! That was actually the biggest lesson I got out of Think and Grow Rich, not the thinking, the visualisation, and all that – but the persistence.

  6. Ellesse at 1:52 am

    Think & Grow rich is a very good book! Though I attest to the part about persistence, I’m actually one of those who’s impressed with the autosuggestion technique. :P

  7. Albert | UrbanMonk.Net at 2:06 am

    Really? I was a big fan of it, and after a while I switched to something else. Tried it hardcore for a few months though :D

    I’m just curious to see what a well respected author thinks of affirmations and so on. Thanks, loving this convo!

  8. mariam at 2:12 am

    Nice article.

    I liked the way you tied it into investing.

    Your points are applicable in so many aspects of life.

  9. Ellesse at 2:26 am

    @Albert, Haha… I’m loving it too. Well, Think & Grow Rich were one of my earlier reads on personal development. The concept of autosuggestion (and the likes) were kinda new to me then and hence more “impressionable”. I like The Power of the Subconscious Mind by Dr Joseph Murphy too.

    @Mariam, nice to have you pop by. I’m an investor myself so I tend to tag a lot of my quotes around subjects I know and liked. Another one I wrote on turning adversity to opportunity touched on investment strategies too.

  10. fortuneteller never handsome at 2:19 am

    Fabulous article
    Now I am preparing for the upcoming Graduate Entrance Exam.I have to work with clock and compass. Time presses,’cause I am a Engineer of a state-owned enterprise.
    I’ll never doubt my belief:)

  11. Martin Saenz at 10:15 pm

    Nice post.


  12. Ellesse at 2:23 am

    @fortuneteller, thanks! Good luck with your Graduate Entrance Exams. It’s really fantastic to get to know so many people like yourself fighting and pursuing hard for their dreams! Where were you people when I was still in the corporate world? Haha. Keep it up. Your strong faith in your beliefs will bring you to where you wanna be. Guaranteed!

    @Martin, thanks for the kind words. I nearly deleted your comment!

  13. Martin Saenz at 2:28 am

    I’m not letting you off that easy. You mentioned your brother and a 5 million dollar check. How is he progressing? Does he have multiple streams of income?

    I know it is a work in progress.


  14. fortuneteller never handsome at 9:49 am

    Ellesse,thanks for your encouraging words.
    Actually, I’m not familiar with this website. But I can see that people here are really passionate.Aside from being motivated by these articles,I am really shocked by the using of English.

  15. Ellesse at 1:09 am

    @Martin, I’m scared indeed! Haha. Well, I’ve not seen any concrete action from him yet but perhaps it’s still brewing somewhere in his mind!

    @fortuneteller, shocked by the using of English? like to elaborate? Just pop by more often and I’m sure you’ll get to know some nice folks! You can also sign up for the email alerts and you’ll be sent new articles posted here. Really hope to see you often here!

  16. fortuneteller never handsome at 2:29 am

    Ellesse, I mean the using of English is marvelous,especially some colloquial ways to express sth. I am really curious about where you’re from.

  17. Ellesse at 4:56 am

    fortuneteller, thanks for your kind words! I’m from Singapore. English is our official language in our educational system & corporate environment. I speak and write Chinese too. We get to learn both languages in school so it was kinda handy when I had to travel to Mainland china for business last time.

    What about you? Where are you from? I’m very interested in knowing where my readers are from…

  18. fortuneteller never handsome at 1:35 am

    Ellesse?Thanks for your reply.
    Singapore is a good place to stay.It’s a pity I’ve never been there.To tell you the truth,Sun Yanzi(Stefanie Sun) is my favorite singer.

    And I’m from mainland China,which I think is within your guess.

  19. Ellesse at 1:26 pm

    hey fortuneteller, I didn’t know you’re from Mainland China! Were you referred here from btw, Stefanie Sun went to the same University as I do! She was one year my junior batch.

  20. fortuneteller never handsome at 1:35 am

    I came here because of a post reply on campus BBS,where it gave praises to this website.
    You’re from NTU? No wonder you’re so excellent.

  21. Ellesse at 11:00 am

    Fortuneteller, you’re most kind. I’m not that excellent :) Still have lots to learn from everyone including my readers! Hope you’ll frequent Goal Setting College and share with me your 2cents!


  22. Cipher at 5:14 pm

    A very nice article indeed. The path to success can not be described in a few points or even a few pages… but the article surely guides the thought of how a wrong approach can be harmful. People in real life actually compare themselves with the other persons best and in order to mprove on certain things they usually forget what they are really good at. The pursuit of wrong goals hampers their success. I really appreciate you bringing these points to notice. Debates and further discussions are bound to make this article more interesting.

    Keep up the good work

  23. Ellesse at 1:34 pm

    Cipher, thank you very much for your comments! Healthy competition is indeed a good way to for us to know where we are and propel us to move forward. But the sad fact is, many people tend to focus too much on the results that they’re disregarding the beauty of the process.

    The fact that you’re actively pursuing something passionately in itself is already an achievement. Why sabotage yourself further than thinking you’re never not as good as someone yet?

    This is something that I’m also still learning. Easier said than done. But once you master it, it will open up one to many things he has missed when competing in the race.

  24. Keith Johnson at 9:51 pm

    Indeed, we need vision to experience success and we must look beyond any immediate or seeming obstacles and related doubts. Very well written article, here. Many Thanks! Regards, Keith J, Webmaster & Author.

  25. Ellesse at 2:32 am

    Absolutely, Keith. In my point of view, anything worthy of pursuing is like a marathon. You probably don’t see the end so soon. But as long as you’ve strong burning desire to win, earnest faith in reaching the finishing line and consistently pace yourself… You’ll get there.

    And thanks for the kinds words on this article. Really appreciate it!


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