3 Golden Rules to Slow & Steady Success
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.