What is the difference between successful and average? Why do successful people seem more relaxed and less stressed, and yet they accomplish so much more?
All too often we believe that success comes down to willpower. We are brought up thinking of work as having a direct correlation to success. Therefore, more work equals more success. If someone is doing well, we believe it’s because they have the willpower to do more work.
“The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.” – Warren Buffett.
Think of willpower as investing in stocks. We all start the day with a certain amount and invest a little in every activity we do. Most people start their day at work investing their willpower into checking emails, constant interruptions, and trying to accomplish a good day’s work. When they get home, they’ve already invested 90% of their willpower to maintain the status quo. There’s only 10% left to invest in getting ahead.
Your success will ultimately depend on the proportion of your willpower you invest in getting ahead.
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Creating Goals is the First Step
The first step in being more successful is defining your success. Where do you want to go and what it will it take to get there? You need a scorecard to compare your daily activities to. You need to be able to ask, “Is this activity going to get to where I want to be, or should I say no?” Only once you have this idea in your mind should you read on.
Do Your Activities Help or Hurt Your Goals?
Make list of all of the activities you do in an average day. Every one of them. Now, put “+” signs next to the activities that are helping you get to where you need to be. Put a “-” next to the activities that are taking you in the opposite direction. What “-” activities can you say no to so you have more time for the “+” activities? This isn’t an easy task, but that’s why so few people end up successful.
Willpower is Strongest in the Morning
You have the most willpower in the morning and slowly spend it throughout the day. If you want to learn about real estate investing, get in shape, or do something amazing, start working on it in the morning when willpower is the greatest. Have you ever wondered why most jobs start in the morning? Employers want to maximize your willpower to their benefit. Waking up and doing important tasks in the morning will help you invest more in yourself. Let your job get what’s left over, not your future.
“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planed for you? Not much.” – Jim Rohn
Saying yes to everything is being lazy. It brings a false sense of accomplishment and importance. If you say yes all the time, you are investing your willpower into someone else’s success. It’s no different than going on a long road trip and giving gas to every person on the side of the road with a sign. Bad idea.
Bronnie Ware was a palliative nurse whose patients only had only a few months to live. She would ask them what they regretted before they died. The number one answer was: “I wished I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” And in second place: “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”
You only have one life to live. If you invest all of your willpower into activities that aren’t helping you get where you want to be, to live the life you dream of, then you’re wasting it.
What are you going to say no to?
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