“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” – Maya Angelou
Everyone knows success requires hard work. While I’d like to say you can just follow the crowd and be successful, the truth is this will only get you average results. We all know you are better than that. When people think about being successful, a lot of people think about doing better than average and standing out from the crowd.
So how do we become successful?
We have to acknowledge that the typical path people take to become successful, isn’t necessarily the best approach. Think about what most people do – We set impossible expectations for the day, then multitask to try and get it all done. When this fails, as it typically does, we get frustrated, begin to doubt ourselves and give up.
Spoiler alert: Multitasking doesn’t get the job done. Multitasking is when our brain switches rapidly between tasks, and we waste a ton of time, attention, and energy in the process. To get real results, do one task at a time. It allows you to put all your time, energy, and attention into the current task and gives you a better chance of creating the amazing results that you’re looking for.
Remember how I said we use a ton of energy when we multitask? How do we replenish the energy? We drink caffeine and get addicted to it. Instead of sleeping more, we stay up late and get up early until we have to depend on caffeine like our life depends on it. Get more sleep every night, and watch how much happier and energetic you feel throughout the day.
Most people try to escape their workday because they feel stuck with their job. They look for a job that will give them the biggest paycheck, instead of a job that brings them meaning and a big smile. If you don’t like your job, you are more likely to get distracted and avoid doing your work. When we get behind on work we have to find ways to catch up and we end up spending extra time in the office or even bringing the work home with us. If you really want to change your life, look for work that you can enjoy, that’ll still bring in some income. It’ll still support you, yet it’ll feel a lot less like work.
Now that we realize the typical path, we can create our own path by working on habits and goals that will lead us to a better life. Being different requires looking from a different perspective than most people, and being able to question the status quo. Look at an area of your life that you want to improve. What approach do most people take in this area of life? What works and what doesn’t? Take what works and build on it, then take the weaknesses and inspect them. How can you develop a system that helps give you the advantage you’re looking for?
Look for the effective route instead of the easy route. Find out what works and what doesn’t. Allow yourself time in the day to do what’s meaningful, rather than just busy work. When we make these small shifts in our day, we can see some big positive changes in return.