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What’s Behind The Success You See?
As we talked about last week, success (your version of success) will equal happiness.
Now, how do you get to the success and those goals you laid out is the question.
And that’s one step at a time or like mentioned in the title, one snowflake at a time.
Success From The Outside
Close your eye’s and picture what the stereotypical version of success is in Western culture.
Big car, big house, fancy suite, good looking husband or wife, six-pack, whatever it maybe I’m sure we are all thinking relatively the same thing that person that’s just swimming in money and good health.
And when you see someone with this type of success, what is the general consensus?
That maybe they’re lucky, that they were born blessed with good looks, charm, and intelligence, or maybe that they just became an instant millionaire through daddy’s money. And for some that may be true.
But for 99.9% of the success stories you see, it wasn’t this way. It was a roller coaster ride, it was a struggle, hardship, and constant challenges along their way to success.
When we see success, we see what they have now, we see the surface. But there’s so much more under the surface that most people never see!
The Iceberg Of Success
I’m sure we’ve all seen something like this before and if so, hang tight, this will be a great reminder.
From the surface, we only see the tip of the iceberg. But an iceberg holds 90% of its mass underneath the surface.
Same is true for success, achievement, and your life.
Others only see what happens on the surface, but very few see the little things, the daily grind, and struggle that went into the surface level success others see.
What Makes These Individuals Different
What’s underneath the iceberg is what sets these individuals apart from the rest.
Now, what’s underneath all that surface-level success?
The little things!
The little things they did and continue to do on a consistent basis to get them to that point and continue to push themselves higher.
Success One Snowflake At A Time
Now one thing to note, is the majority of these individuals are no smarter, stronger, or better than you and I. They were born on this Earth screaming and crying just like you. But these individuals understand one core concept about success that most don’t.
It doesn’t happen overnight.
Success and reaching your goals is the accumulation of doing a bunch of little things over time that comes together to produce something big.
Just like a snowball or snowman doesn’t just form itself.
It’s made up of a million little individual snowflakes to come together to form something larger than itself.
As you continue to push the snowball through the snow (putting in the work on the little things) you continue to collect and collect more snowflakes.
Until you have a large enough snowball to where you can create your snowman.
Without the effort of continuing to roll your snowball and pick up little achievements along the way, your snowball can never grow.
The Beauty Of The Snowball Effect
As you continue to roll the ball and do the little things every day to reach your goals a few beautiful things form that make pushing that snowball even easier.
- Habit Forming
1. Momentum Towards Your Goals
According to the law of inertia in physics, what’s moving will continue moving until acting on by an outside force. So once your ball is moving and you are progressing is easier to continue moving it. And you would have to make a deliberate choice to stop the ball or stop pushing it for it to stop!
Now in a more real-life context, the number one and easiest way to build confidence in yourself is to set yourself up for little achievements.
As you continue to take steps and continue to succeed in your small achievements your confidence will grow. As you complete one challenge, you’ll look at the next challenge saying to yourself, “If I can complete that last task, I know I can complete the next one.”
When I made my original life transformation from a 270-pound overweight alcoholic that was failing out of college to who I am today, this is the exact process I took.
I used small achievable goals in one part of my life (fitness and weight loss) to transfer that confidence elsewhere.
So once I was able to drop 55 pounds in 9 months and transform into a 200 lb fitness model, I was able to look at every challenge I’m facing and continue to face in the future with ultimate confidence. Saying to myself every step of the way, “If I can do that, I can conquer any challenge life throws at me.”
As you continue to tackle smaller challenges, momentum builds, confidence in your abilities skyrockets, and you start to become obsessed with the growth and progress.
This makes each step forward easier and easier.
2. Habit Forming
According to scientific studies, it takes on average 66 days to form a long-standing habit and some individuals were able to form them even earlier at 18 days.
When you are doing the little things consistently, you’ll start setting positive habits that continue you along that path.
Once you start to hit those thresholds of 18-66 days, your brain starts to form habits. This is our bodies response to conserve cognitive ability and energy.
We form habits to make ourselves more efficient and lower decision fatigue, aka these habits, then become second nature to us. So if you’re consistently doing little things that push yourself to your goals, moving towards them at a certain point becomes automatic to us!
You can legitimately automate tasks that get you to your goals quicker and more efficiently without even thinking about it! That’s how spectacular our brains are.
Then the same exact law of physics comes into play. You will continue to perform these tasks and keep up with these habits unless you deliberately do something to stop. Once habits are formed the ball is rolling, so keep on letting it roll!
The Tough Parts Of The Snowball Effect And How To Overcome Them!
Creating habits, gaining that momentum, and taking consistent action towards your goals is easier said than done, am I right?
I believe we’ve all been there on January 1st, saying that I’ll lose that 20 pounds or make $2,000 more this month. And as time goes on, the motivation slowly fades. You start hitting the gym every other day instead of every day and that quickly turns into twice, once, then zero times a week once February hits.
I know for a fact I’ve been there more times than I can count and it’s okay.
Our bodies and minds are naturally resistant to change. We are creatures of our current habits so it takes an excessive and consistent effort to create new ones. (Remember habits are what make us efficient so technically when you are making changes your body comes inefficient for a short period of time.)
The Start Is The Hardest
We’ve all heard it so many times, the first step is always the hardest.
And that’s due to the two factors of momentum and habits. You don’t have that when you first start.
According to a UK study on diets, 2 out of 5 people quit within the first week. And 4 out of 5, quit within the first month!
But something interesting is that the 1 out of 5 that make it past the first month, over 90% of them continue to month 3!
Showing that the start is clearly the toughest part but once habits and momentum start setting in, results and consistently doing the little things to push towards your goal becomes easier.
Even according to the law of inertia, an object that is standing still will not move unless acted on by a greater outside force.
And in the beginning that greater force needs to be you!
How To Overcome The Hard Start
The first tactic is having long-term goals. Most changes and task you’ll complete today for your goals won’t have instant gratification.
But you need to find gratification in taking steps towards your long-term goals. Without having that long-term goal and that perfect picture of your future success, it’ll be hard to overcome that initial challenges.
Here’s an in-depth article on how to set up your long-term goals.
It’s Lonely And Not Fun
Some might say that chasing your dreams or taking time to do these little things is lonely.
Sitting at home on a Saturday night to quit alcohol, or passing on that new Thai restaurant because you’re trying to lose weight may seem lonely on the surface. You’re sacrificing some of the old habits and things you enjoy for that future goal you have set in your mind.
But it’s only lonely if you’re surrounding yourself with individuals, not on the same path.
How To Combat Loneliness
The best way is to enlist others you love into the same mission.
When you are dieting with others, it’s shown that it’s easier, more fun, and you have a much higher rate of success. Why?
Because you have accountability. Someone else is watching over you and you are the same with them, keeping you both on track.
Secondly is because you are the same path and can enjoy each others company. It makes it 10x easier to pass on dinner when you are your partner, friend, or family member can sit at home and cook an enjoyable healthy meal.
Now for some inlisting a loved one can be difficult, as it’s your goal and not theirs.
The second is to start to surround yourself with others on the same mission.
The easiest ways to find others on the same mission or interests are as follows:
- Join an online community or forum
- Attend a meet-up or event
- For many, just online interaction won’t do! So if you can’t meet up with others in the online communities (I’ve been able to with an awesome nomad community called Nomad List) the best is go to an event or meet-up that happen all the time.
- Facebook is another great place for this as you can find nearby events by just searching certain key terms.
- Eventbrite is another where you can purchase tickets or attend free events that will allow you to meet others with the same interests or goals
- Meet-up is another and although starting to get a little old can still provide some great events that incorporate out-going individuals so even if you are not they will invite you in warmly and happily into the community.
The key to going to these events or joining these online communities is to be open and honest about your goals! Let people know where you are and where you’re trying to go so they can provide encouragement and help when you need it the most.
Bring It All Together (Conclusion)
As we’ve discussed previously, achieving your version of success will equal lasting happiness with yourself and life. The first step is to have these goals set so you know exactly what you’re working towards.
Once you have that, the only way to get to that success is to complete and focus on doing the little things that continue to push yourself to those goals.
Businesses aren’t built overnight but by individuals continuing to work and push every single day. A great marriage and love doesn’t form after one extravagant date. But through the process of showing your love and care for your partner through the little actions, you make every day.
You don’t climb a mountain in one single leap, but get closer and closer with each individual step. And your goals and success have to be treated in the same exact way.
If you haven’t done so, write out your goals so you know what success means to you.
Once you have those, you should have weekly and shorter timeframe goals that you can use as your “little things” and next steps towards your overall goals (your long-term life goals you wrote down).
Knowing these first initial steps may be hard, it’s not enough to write them down. But to take action immediately.
Take the first task no matter how small it is NOW!
This will start the momentum right away so it’s easier to continue the next day and the next and the next to the point where it’s a habit.
Lastly, set yourself up for success by doing two things:
- Constantly remind yourself of your long-term goals and vision you have of your future. (I love to have a poster, daily mantra, or photo I look at and read to remind myself)
- Surround yourself with others on the same mission through online means or events for continued support and guidance. (no one in life is self-made and we all need help including me)
Get After It This Week,