The Brutal Truth You Don’t Want to Hear About Success

Things you are aware of about success but would really rather they were not true at all

Danny Forest
May 17, 2019 · 6 min read

When we think about high-profile successful people, we only see their current success, but not their struggle to get to where they are today.

Every successful person had to go through a lot of hardships to get to where they are today. And success is only a state, it changes. Successful people continually have to work hard to keep their “status”.

You may have seen a variation of that image before:

Source

I personally love this image. I like to remind myself sometimes that when things are rough, maybe I’m just one step closer to “success”.

Let’s analyze each point in that image:


1. Disappointment

“One’s best success comes after their greatest disappointments.” — Henry Ward Beecher

By going outside the norm, you’ll disappoint people who live a normal life. You will also disappoint yourself a lot along the way.

What are you disappointed about currently?


2. Persistence

“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success” — Napoleon Hill

This is where most people fail. Persistence is about executing consistently and never giving up. It’s about showing up consistently, rain or shine.

What are you persistent in and what are you not persistent in?


3. Hard Work

“There’s no talent here. This is hard work. This is obsession. Talent does not exist.” — Conor McGregor

Smart work trumps hard work. Once you work smart, work harder than everyone else around you.

How hard do you work?


4. Huge Risks

“If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle from the ordinary.” — Jim Rohn

Getting out of our comfort zone is a habit not many people dare to try. We are not programmed to make decisions that can break us. Successful people make huge bets that ultimately paid off.

What huge risks are you taking?


5. Late Nights

“I would rather work 16 hours a day for myself than working 8 hours a day working for someone else.” — entrepreneurs

Successful people don’t count the time. When they look at their clock, it’s not because they’re eager to stop working — they’re afraid that they won’t have time to finish what they started.

How many hours a week do you put towards your productive activities?


6. Struggles

“Strength and growth comes only through continuous effort and struggle.” — Napoleon Hill

Nobody is perfect. Everybody struggles to do things they’re not familiar with. How you overcome your struggles defines if you’re a champion or not.

What do you struggle with right now?


7. Competition

“Be so good they can’t ignore you.” — Steve Martin

We’re all competing against other people who have the same goals. Sometimes it’s an active act, but a lot of times it’s passive.

What do you compete in and where do you stand in that competition?


8. Discipline

I see discipline as an obsession mixed with intense clarity. Successful people know what they need to do and obsess over their goals.

Do you obsess over your goals by quantifying and qualifying them?


9. Courage

“What defines us is how we rise after falling.” — Conor McGregor

Courage is the ability to do something that frightens one. It’s about having strength in the face of pain or grief.

Do you have strength in the face of pain?


10. Doubt

“Doubt can only be removed by action.” — Goethe

Everyone has doubts about themselves, about the things they’re doing. Doubt, when “used” properly, can lead to making better, more informed decisions.

Do you doubt yourself and the things you’re doing?


11. Criticism

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right — for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

Not everyone will agree with what you are doing. There will come a point where people will criticize your work, your beliefs, etc.

How do you react to the criticize you get from the things you do?


12. Personal Failures

“If you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost.” — Zig Ziglar

Outside of our productive activities, we’re all people. We have “a life”. As we reach a higher level of “success”, more personal failures will occur; broken relationships, staying healthy, staying motivated, etc.

Where have you failed at in your personal life?


13. Adversity

“Adversity is the mother of progress.” — Mahatma Gandhi

We all face events that are outside of our control. Successful people recognize that some things are out of their control, but still prepare for the eventuality that said misfortune could happen.

What adversity do you face presently?


14. Rejections

“I take rejections as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going, rather than retreat.” — Sylvester Stallone

To become successful, you’ll get rejected many many times. You will get many “no” until you get the “yes” you’re seeking. Be persistent.

How many times were your ideas rejected and how did you handle the rejection?


15. Sacrifices

“You will come to know that what appears today to be a sacrifice will prove instead to be the greatest investment you will ever make.” — Gordon B. Hinckley

Every successful person makes sacrifices — Money, relationships, time, etc. It is those who dare sacrifice what they cherish most that will reap the fruit of their labour.

What sacrifices are you making today or on a regular basis?


Reflection Summary

Ask yourself these questions. Do that now, every month, and every year. Only by being aware can you be truly successful.

  1. What are you disappointed about currently?
  2. What are you persistent in and what are you not persistent in?
  3. How hard do you work?
  4. What huge risks are you taking?
  5. How many hours a week do you put towards your productive activities?
  6. What do you struggle with right now?
  7. What do you compete in and where do you stand in that competition?
  8. Do you obsess over your goals by quantifying and qualifying them?
  9. Do you have strength in the face of pain?
  10. Do you doubt yourself and the things you’re doing?
  11. How do you react to the criticize you get from the things you do?
  12. Where have you failed at in your personal life?
  13. What adversity do you face presently?
  14. How many times were your ideas rejected and how did you handle the rejection?
  15. What sacrifices are you making today or on a regular basis?

Conclusion

On your road to success, you will face the above 15 obstacles. It’s how you tackle them that will make you successful.

Fight disappointment, be persistent, work hard, take huge risks, put in long hours, combat struggle, win over competition, be disciplined, have courage, remove doubts, accept criticism and personal failures, understand adversity, fuel off rejection, and make sacrifices.

You can do this!

Thanks for reading, sharing, and following! :)

*if you’re feeling brave, share some of your answers in the comments below!


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Danny Forest

Written by

Status quo’s worst nightmare | Obsessive learner | Productivity beast. Get in touch: https://forestco.co

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