“Most people “say” they want to be successful. But if they really wanted to, they’d be successful. I used to tell people, “I wish I played the piano.” Then someone said, “No you don’t. If you did, you’d make the time to practice.” I’ve since stopped saying that, because he was right.” -Benjamin P. Hardy
How many people do you know who say they want to accomplish something, yet their behavior shows the opposite?
That they want to be a writer, but they don’t write. That they want to be a cook, but never cook. That they want to be a world-class athlete, but never train.
The clear truth of today is that many people talk about doing something, but yet never actually that do that something. And interestingly, Austin Kleon has an idea for this, it’s that:
“Lots of people want to be the noun without doing the verb. They want the job title without the work.”
Why? Often because people think that the work is too hard, and that success eludes them, or they might just say they’re “too busy.” But they couldn’t be more wrong.
Once you stop being a victim to your external circumstances and instead become accountable, you can create whatever life you intend.
This article will explain how.
Here we go.
You Are the Biggest Limit to Your Success
“The biggest obstacle in your life isn’t your boss, your job, the economy, other people, or God. It’s yourself.” -Anthony Moore
You are currently on a path, but the question is: Where is that path taking you?
Is it taking you to where you want to be, or towards an undesirable destination?
If so, the next question is: Who’s going to turn it around? If anyone but yourself, you’ll remain a victim to your circumstances. Until you decide to change your decisions, you won’t be able to change your conditions.
Wrote Benjamin P. Hardy,
“Until we can honestly look in the mirror and admit we are the cause of everything happening in our lives, we won’t have the power to change our lives.”
Indeed, it’s not your boss, your partner, your job, your friends, society, or the economy that controls you. Your mind is entirely free from all of that.
In the end, it is you — and only you that can control the outcome and state of your life.
Thus, it’s time to take responsibility. It is time to stop blaming the world around you and be proactive. It is time to stop being a victim to your conditions and instead create the conditions that you want.
Because while you will be shaped by your context, you get to decide that context. Hence, Jim Rohn has said, “Don’t join an easy crowd; you won’t grow. Go where the expectations and the demands to perform are high.”
Live by Priority, Not Urgency
“We have more than enough time to do an enormous amount of good in our lives, if we use the time we have.” -Benjamin Hardy
Life is a matter of choices, and each choice you make makes you. Every minute spent doing one thing is a minute not doing another.
The issue, however, is many people don’t understand this. They think they can be in everyone place at once. As a result, they end up being everywhere and nowhere with nothing to show for it.
Wrote Gary Keller,
“When you spread yourself out, you end up spread thin. You need to be doing fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects.”
Indeed, being “busy” is not the same as being productive. The question again, is: in what direction are actually going?
Because if you’re not moving towards where you want to be, then what are you doing?
If we’re really being honest, what if you weren’t actually “busy,” but just distracted?
What if you’d forgotten to put first things first and drifted off in all sorts of directions?
Being truly productive means you ignore all the things you could do, and do only that which you should do. You accept opportunities costs and commit to that which is most important.
So, in which area do you want to achieve the most success? How much does your life actually reflect those “priorities”?
Because there’s more than enough time, if you live by priority, not urgency.
Do you really want to be successful, or are you just saying that?
Because you can’t have the title without earning it, and no amount of talking is going to replace the work required to achieve the results you desire.
In fact, talking about the work and actually doing work probably have an inverse relationship. Said Jeff Goins,
“The more you see a person talking about something, the less they are probably doing it.”
Don’t talk about the work; do the work and let the results do the talking for you. Action proceeds results.