The meaning of success may be different to everyone, but the principles for achieving it are always the same. Whether you ask an accomplished mom, an acknowledged entrepreneur, or a rocket scientist, their stories of failure and triumph will in their essence be identical.
Discover your talents, they’ll say. Follow your dream, focus on your quest, and work as hard as if there were not tomorrow. Oh, and whatever you do, never give up. It’s simple as that.
Still, there’s one tiny word of wisdom more, the one that most successful people forget to impart. Maybe it’s in there that the secret ingredient hides. Perhaps this is the reason why the aforementioned recipe for success doesn’t always work.
It’s revelation time, so listen closely.
The road to success is paved with zillion tiny tasks. Complete them all, and the goal will be at the reach of your hand. Skip only one, and the ground will start shaking and crumbling underneath your feet. Though kept secret, the missing ingredient is just as simple as the formula itself.
Success starts with performing every little task as if it was the last one on your way.
Here’s what it means in practice, along with dos and don’ts of chasing your dream.
1. Don’t Ever Pass on a Job, It Doesn’t Matter How Small It May Seem
If you’ve ever been in a committed relationship, you surely know that it’s only after you’ve fallen for somebody new that the old love interests begin to notice how incredibly amazing you actually are.
It’s the most irritating law of attraction there is, and it’s often applied to the business world too.
The moment you find a new job and start building your career is the very moment when other job proposals will start filling your inbox. Some of them you’ll have to pass on because your current position legally requires you to, but what about those that you can do in your spare time?
Should you pass on them as well? As a matter of fact, should you pass on any job ever?
The simple answer is no.
Big or small, challenging or not, every job is an opportunity to learn something new. Even if it’s similar to the work you already do, it will give you a chance to acquire different skills, and a possibility to broaden your horizons and become a better professional.
And, if there’s nothing going on at the moment, the answer is an even firmer negative. Never decline a job offer because it seems small or unfitting, since doing small and unfitting things is how you climb the corporate ladder.
There’s a favourable lesson in everything, even in petty jobs.
2. Why You Should Always Work More Than What You Get Paid For
The following question at hand is – should you always work just for the money? Only a handful of people can honestly say that they love what they do, but that still doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try and make that happen for ourselves.
A job is more than a wage, it’s an opportunity to grow.
When you work only for what you’re paid, you’re missing the point. More importantly, you’re skipping the steps that lead to success, and here’s how. Your daily to-do list should always include a challenging task or two, because that’s the only way to learn and move forward.
Stay focused only on those that get you paid, and you’ll never discover anything new, nor will you find purpose and joy in the position you’re currently at. Instead of a growing, developing person, you’ll become a slave to money, and a prisoner of your own lack of ambition.
Besides, money can never be a proper motivator – it’s too expendable and fickle.
The only effective motivation is the one that comes from the inside, so turn your life not towards material wealth, but towards human capital. You’ll never earn more if you do less, after all, not in terms of personal accomplishments, and not in terms of professional ones either.
3. Always Be Curious about Each Task That You’re Asked to Perform
Our modern-day quest for success isn’t a novelty. People have been trying to discover that secret ingredient ever since the dawn of consciousness, and few of them actually dared to ask for help. To one of them, Albert Einstein revealed the most important spice from his personal recipe for success.
I have no special talents, he said. I am only passionately curious.
We can hear similar claims from his followers too, so we cannot but wonder – what’s so special about the proverbial curiosity, when every child knows that it is the very thing that killed the cat?
It appears that curiosity opens your mind. The more you tackle the unknown, the more you’ll get to understand it. Whatever the task, diving beneath the surface of things allows you to unravel the whole wealth of knowledge. Once discovered, this well never stops giving.
That’s good, since learning new things is highly addictive. In everyday life and beyond, a curious mind thus drives you forward, urging you to feed it with yet unexperienced experiences. The more of these you collect, the faster you’ll get to reach your ultimate goal.
And, since curiosity loves details, it’ll open your eyes for both the bigger picture and its essence. You’ll learn better and faster, be more productive at work, and shortly learn to approach every task with an intense desire to understand it, and a right mindset to complete it.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Little by little, you’ll walk far, even farther than you’d dare to imagine. There are many tasks on your road to success, so never be too naïve, hasty, or vain to skip any of them.