After looking at “Be so good they can’t ignore you,” the question really was, how does one become THAT good? How do some people achieve such astonishing levels of success while everyone barely seems to get by. We are drawn to these people and marvel at them because they appear larger than life even though they have the exact same biology as us.
So seeing that this is a new year, I wanted to write for people who want to be larger than life and give a little context to this. My assumption is that you’re reading this and you’re already psychologically in the top 10% of humanity and want to go even higher so these truths will be blunt as all my other writing is because my writing caters to high performance individuals who have a disdain for average living. But first a little story:
There’s a tradeoff between doing the work that pays most and the work that forces you to grow:
Person A chooses money at every turn. Person B chooses growth at every turn.
After 3 years: A is comfortably ahead.
After 9 years: they’re even.
After 10 years: Person B is on another planet – “overnight success”
What happens to people over time? The only difference between the two is the choices they make earlier on in life. If we are walking the same direction and I turn my body 15 degrees to the right, even though initially we are still walking together, over some years that tiny convergence compounds and years later we will both be in totally different realities and this is the premise I speak to you from today. This is the foundation for understanding why people become so good that the world can't ignore them and I can now go into how you can turn yourself into a gold mine.
1. Decide and clearly define your overall mission in life
In my final year at university/college, I remember telling my friends that whether I passed all my courses that year or didn’t, I wouldn’t be coming back to school the following year so it was better for me to pass and finish. My point here is that I had come to a strong conviction about my life and how I wanted to do my own thing which I didn’t really know how to but I was at least clear. I did manage to finish that year and in the following year I began my journey and got so serious with what I wanted to do that I didn’t attend my own graduation and deleted my CV/resume because to me it was win or die and not win or lose. So the degree was not “something to fall back on.” Years later I have built my own things and continue to do so, I get to write, speak all over the world and help clients and CEOs grow their companies and revenue. I have literally created my own career that utilizes and maximises the things I am really good at.
This will be true for you too, when you can get brutally honest and clear about what you want for your life, if you don’t do this you can never begin to have it. Your overall mission gives you clear direction and helps you select what is for you and what is not for you because you intuitively have set a direction and that helps you decide how to get there and what roads won't get you there. Indifference cannot breed effectiveness, you must get clear on your intention and overall mission in life, without this, you are doomed before you begin and you will drift through life.
2. Follow your efforts not your passions.
A lot of philosophies and online gurus out there tell people to follow their passions for a happy life. I’m not saying that what they say is true or not true but what matters more than passion is your productive efforts. If your passions happen to be in line with your efforts then you’ve won but a lot of people have passions that they only perform or do when it’s convenient to do so. Some passions will get you nowhere and people also refuse to accept this. I’ve seen people talk about how they’re passionate about reading and call themselves avid readers but where will this take you? If you aren’t actively reading to help other people maybe discover the books you read or building on that passion with a specific direction, then what you have is a hobby.
You have to allow yourself to follow your curiosity in such a way that you’re led to improve and build on the things that you’re doing. This is why point 1 is so crucial, because without it, you’re once again just drifting. I followed my curiosity for information, for writing, for solving problems and for communication and that led me to improve and build on these over time.
In this game consistency is the key. What can you be disciplined enough at that it automatically causes you to be consistent, f**k talent and perfection; perfection is procrastination dressed up to go nowhere. It is also important that you do work that you admire, even though it might not be really good at the moment but as long as you admire it, it will improve.
3. Contextualise your life
Another important point is for you to be able to contextualise your journey FOR YOU! Understand that we are all created equally, but not all of us are born equally. Where we are born in terms of country, economy, environment, parents and time determines the immediate opportunities that are available and open to us. The world will constantly throw in the Bill Gates’ and the Elon Musks’ in your face who live in the USA that has a built economy of over 300 million people that has developed over centuries. You can’t look at these people if you live in Brazil and let what these people have done be your measure of what success needs to be in your life to such a point where you now drop out and set out on a mission to make billions of dollars like them. I’m not saying that this is not possible, but what I am saying is that you have to be honest enough with where you are and where you’re starting out in life. This means submitting to your reality and building from there. Otherwise you will set unrealistic expectations without having the tools and access other people you look up to have.
What you will find is that there are more things that add to a person's success than what the media chooses to glorify and you have to understand that we all have some sort of privilege, some people have more privileges than others. You're either going to use your privilege or you're going to moan and b***h about someone else's privilege. The idea for putting everything into context is that you get to grow where life decided to plant you. This is key.
I know that I’m going to be one of the top players in Africa because I’ve submitted to my reality instead of measuring who and what I can become based on people who grew up with different resources and access than I did. You can use people as guides to inspire you but you will find that we all have our own journeys to pursue and once you unlock yours, you can become unstoppable. It doesn’t help you live your life wishing you were someone else, living somewhere else and doing something else. You have to create that.
Ralph waldo Emerson had a quote that said:
“If a man builds a better mousetrap, writes a better book or preaches a better sermon than his neighbour; even if his house is in the woods, the world will pave a footway to his doorstep.”
This means that the world will always follow value, it doesn’t matter where it comes from. Bloom where you’re planted and thrive there.
4. Learn things nobody is willing to pay you to learn - make connections
What person B did in our story was something simple, he/she followed their curiosity in such a way that they were able to collect enough data points from different experiences. You have to be willing to learn things people are not willing to pay you to learn even though it will lower your earning potential in the immediate. It will significantly increase your earning potential in the long term. This is very important to understand. Your overall mission works in such a way that it is able to combine all of your actions and efforts in such a way that they all converge into one major river that nobody saw you preparing for during all those years of practise. It’s about how many connections you can make in order to create new forms out of old and existing forms. This is how innovation happens, it is called synchronous imagination.
5. Be disciplined enough to play the long game
The previous point is really alluding to the fact that you are playing the long game. Person B surpassed person A in our story simply because he played the long game and not the short game. Understand that this requires discipline because you are doing things you cannot win off of in the immediate. This will cause people to have an opinion about you, criticise and sometimes laugh at you and this is to be expected. Look at the image below:
The short game VS The long game:
The easy path is only easy in the short term & the long path is only hard in the short term. If you stick with them over time, the paths switch. The short game becomes a headwind (resistance) & the long game becomes a tailwind (automatic support).
Endurance Pays off.
You will eventually win but you have to be in it for the long game and be patient enough to trust the process. Remember that the dots connect backwards but you have to have faith that as long as you keep going and never give up, they will connect in future, you just have to be bold and trusting enough to hold on. The compound effect is what every major success story uses behind the scenes. Long term people always beat short term people in the long run.
6. Seek out to create order in the world – Solve problems
Your overall mission must drive you to create order in the world. There’s a concept in science called “entropy” which means that everything, when left alone, reverts back into chaos. It is this chaos that creates problems in the world. The people that are the most successful in the world, are also the people that solve the most problems by creating order where there is chaos.
When you can be a person that can create order in the chaos and can also navigate the complexities well, you automatically become a valuable individual and things and people WILL be drawn to you like gravity. The only difference between a garden and a bush is order, so be a person who seeks to create order starting with your own life and then expanding on this wherever you go. Order is the first law of heaven.
7. Shamelessly promote yourself and Monetize!
It doesn’t help that you get good at doing things for years on end and you fail to let people know about it. You don’t invent a candle and light it, only to hide it under a table! No! You go out into the world and you package what you have in a neat way and show this to as many people as possible. The people of the world don’t have time to search for you and come knocking at your door to get what you have. This means you need to acquaint yourself with some marketing techniques and learn how to sell yourself and what you have. This is yet another thing you must learn that you might not get paid to learn initially.
You also must not be afraid to charge money for what you have. The Joker said:
“If you’re good at something, never do it for free.”
If you have some sort of value for the world, shamelessly promote it via as many channels as possible and unapologetically charge for what you have to offer. Remember there are no limits except for the ones you impose on yourself. Money is a guide that lets you quickly gauge how well you’re doing and how much you need to improve.
The goal should not be to get rich by any means but to become such a valuable individual that the world rewards you with riches.
8. Aim to be a rockstar in your industry be a 1%-er
Another very crucial point when it comes to money is also to understand the economics of it all - demand and supply. You must actively work yourself into a space that there is a demand for. It doesn’t help you to develop yourself to be the evangelist of fax machines in 2021.
Something else to also be intentional about, is to make sure that you become the rockstar/celebrity of the place you have chosen to occupy. You must want to absolutely dominate and dictate the space you want to play in. These are the people that earn the most and do the most. A top 1% mindset will make sure you get so damn good that nobody can ignore you even if they wanted to. This will force you to become the expert and the go-to person which will increase your earning potential exponentially. Yes this will come with attention and you must expect this. You didn’t read all this to be average, remember.
Law 6 of the 48 laws of power says: Court attention at all costs.
“Everything is judged by its appearance; what is unseen counts for nothing. Never let yourself get lost in the crowd, then, or buried in oblivion. Stand out. Be conspicuous, at all cost. Make yourself a magnet of attention by appearing larger, more colorful, more mysterious, than the bland and timid masses."
9. Be fruitful and multiply
Remember that the main mandate we were given in life was to be fruitful and multiply, and this means understanding that you’re an organic being that can expand in as many directions as you choose. Purposes always crosses disciplines and this is the key. Don’t be boring and don’t be bland. Be loud, be colourful and be bright knowing that adversity is a part of this process and so expect it because all these pressures will help make you better for the overall mission you have chosen in point 1.
Remember: You might not have millions but you can bring millions of worth to the table. Be person B and turn yourself into a goldmine. Go forth and conquer!
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