The Common Denominator of Success

We're raised believing that the secret to success lies in hard work. This is a myth. Several studies have confirmed the secret to success, and it's not what you think.

The Common Denominator of Success

I write a lesson I wished I had learned 10 years earlier, to feed our brains with intelligent content to start our week. I also share interesting articles, book quotes, and the occasional speech or TED talk to help us all get smarter, wiser and live better.

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Happy Sunday!

I came across a speech this week that has forever changed the way I view success. It’s an old speech that was delivered to life insurance professionals in 1940. But it has the most important life lesson that I have ever come across and remains relevant today.

Throughout our lives, we’re told that the secret to success is hard work. Yet, many people are successful without working hard. While many work hard, but remain largely unsuccessful. Therefore, hard work can’t be the secret to success. Working hard does not guarantee success.

“The common denominator of success --- the secret of success of every man who has ever been successful --- lies in the fact that he formed the habit of doing things that failures don't like to do.”

In other words, you don’t become successful by only doing what you want to do. You become successful by doing the things that nobody else wants to do. And making this thing a habit in your daily life.

It’s not that successful people like to do these things too. They hate doing them just as much as everyone else. But they just get on with it. This is what separates the successful from everyone else; the successful do what nobody else is willing to do.

The resemblance between this finding and Chamblis’ extensive research is striking. In his study of amateur, professional and Olympic swimmers, he concluded that the only thing separating swimmers of all levels - from amateurs, right up to Olympic gold medalists - is that the elite swimmers enjoyed doing what other swimmers hated the most. Things like the super early morning monotonous swim along the lanes to improve their technique and endurance. I’ve written more about this study here.

If you spend 10 years doing the things that no one else in your field wants to do, you will be successful. Make it a habit, and eventually, you will enjoy it.

Have an awesome week ahead,

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Tweet of the Week

This Week's Wisdom

“...genius often really is just persistence in disguise.”

— In the book, The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday

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