Want Big Success? Make PROGRESS Your Most Important Priority
Focusing on Progress ensures success in every other area
“It isn’t so much what you know when you start that matters. It’s what you learn and put to use after you open your doors that counts most.” -David Schwartz
The biggest success happens to those who keep setting higher and higher standards for themselves.
When you’re constantly asking yourself, “How can I do better?” you’ll quickly become better versions of yourself. Remember, entering into the top 5–10% of performers often only requires a few small lifestyle tweaks.
In the words of prolific blogger James Altucher:
“Every day, check these 4 boxes: Have I improved 1% on physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health?”
Tim Ferriss once made the point that there is far less competition for big success. Most people are content to remain average, so there is widespread competitions for all the average, middling opportunities.
Rarely do individuals invest in themselves so much, they begin to believe big success is possible.
Once you make “Progress” your most important product, every part of you begins to fall in line.
See, Progress is infectious.
If you start eating healthier, you start sleeping better. If you have more energy, you start producing better work. When you produce great work, you’re given opportunities to be the best. Soon, you become the best.
If you want Big Success, make “Progress” the ultimate priority.
Everything else will fall in place.
“Small, seemingly inconsistent steps completed consistently over time will create a radical difference.” -Darren Hardy
How Much You Grow is Completely Up To You
“Capacity is a state of mind.” -David Schwartz
How much you improve depends largely on how much you think you can improve.
This is why the power of belief is so important. In his book The Magic of Thinking Big, David Schwartz explains when you really believe you can become more, your mind begins creating solutions and finds new ways to succeed.
James Allen once famously penned, “As a man thinketh, so he is. As he continues to think, so he remains.” Whatever you think you are is who you become.
If you think you’re able to experience enormous improvement, your results will be extraordinary.
But if you don’t think you could ever really improve that much…you almost certainly won’t.
Most people don’t think they can experience massive, exponential growth. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, of course. If you don’t believe you can, you surely won’t!
Sadly, many people don’t realize their attitudes, beliefs, and mindset are fluid. They’re flexible. They can be changed at any time.
How much you improve and grow is completely up to you. Your only limits are the ones you set for yourself.
“The size of your success is determined by the size of your belief. Think little goals and expect little achievements. Think big goals and win big success.” -David Schwartz
Most People Actually Aren’t Interested in Progress
“Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better?” -Dr. Carol Dweck
It may be surprising, but most people actually don’t really prioritize learning or improvement.
In his famous book Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki revealed a key mindset shift that directly helped him become extraordinarily wealthy.
When talking about a big purchase — a real estate investment, a nice car, a lavish vacation — Kiyosaki noticed most people would simply say, “I can’t afford it.”
Kiyosaki decided to shift the question. Instead, he asked: “HOW can I afford it?”
By flatly stating “I can’t afford it,” the brain stops thinking. The answer is final. Nothing more to discuss.
But by asking the brain, “How can I afford this?” you trigger your brain to begin subconsciously working on solutions. Your mind begins working on the problem. “What do we need to do to succeed? How can we get there?”
Improvement is hard. It requires self-reflection and action. It requires becoming uncomfortable.
But improvement, even enormous growth, is available at all times. In fact, your mind and body thirst for it. They’re waiting for you to start the show.
You just need to embrace getting uncomfortable.
“Growth and comfort cannot coexist.” -Ginni Rometty
As Dr. Carol Dweck explains in her iconic book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, most people prefer to stick with a “fixed” mindset, believing any actions to improve are probably futile.
For most people, comfort is the priority. Growth never happens.
This is great news for the rest of us. An enormously successful lifestyle is entirely within our grasp. It’s right there. All we need to do it take it.
The way you do this is by prioritizing learning and education.
Said Hal Elrod:
“ Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become.”
If you want Big Success, all you need to do is make “Progress” your top priority.
Top-Level Performers Don’t Give Advice: They Ask For It
“There is no point at which performance maxes out and additional practice does not lead to further improvement.” -Anders Ericcson
Average people spend most of their time talking.
World-class people spend most of their time listening.
“Once upon a time, there was a wise Zen master. People traveled from far away to seek his help. In return, he would teach them and show them the way to enlightenment.
On this particular day, a scholar came to visit the master for advice. “I have come to ask you to teach me about Zen,” the scholar said.
Soon, it became obvious that the scholar was full of his own opinions and knowledge. He interrupted the master repeatedly with his own stories and failed to listen to what the master had to say. The master calmly suggested that they should have tea.
So the master poured his guest a cup. The cup was filled, yet he kept pouring until the cup overflowed onto the table, onto the floor, and finally onto the scholar’s robes. The scholar cried “Stop! The cup is full already. Can’t you see?”
“Exactly,” the Zen master replied with a smile. “You are like this cup — so full of ideas that nothing more will fit in. Come back to me with an empty cup.”
Most people walk around as a full cup, so to speak. They already know everything; there’s no room for improvement or growth.
This is pride personified. It’s arrogant. It’s like declaring your life is so great you don’t need any help.
In the 12 months after college, I conducted around 30 informational interviews. I would find an interesting contact on LinkedIn I wanted to meet, and asked them to coffee. They almost always agreed.
I was shocked to hear from many of these professionals they had rarely been asked for such a meeting. These were CEO’s, founders, creators — amazing people doing incredible work, entirely willing to share their knowledge.
And nobody was asking for it!
I gained an immense knowledge in that 12 months. In less than a year, I became decades more knowledgable and savvy than most of my peers.
I saved myself untold years of wandering in the desert because I decided to get the map first.
“We learn nothing from telling. But there is no limit to what we can learn by asking and listening.” -David Schwartz
Every Day You Keep Going, Hundreds of Others Quit
“Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really: Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, so go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.” -Thomas J. Watson
The formula for success is simple. It’s not a mystery.
You just need to fail a ton of times until you get it right.
If you prioritize Progress, that means you’re constantly improving. And an inherent factor of continuous improvement is constantly failing. It’s just how it works.
This is where most people give up. They don’t like failure — it’s painful, humiliating, and exhausting. So, after a few attempts at progress, they stop.
Seth Godin once remarked that if someone is better than you at something, it’s likely they’ve failed at it more times than you have.
It was through those very failures that those individuals became so talented.
Did you know:
- Kobe Bryant holds the all-time record for most missed shots at 14,481 misses.
- Babe Ruth was once known as The King of Strikeouts, leading the league in strikeouts for 5 seasons.
- Gary Vaynerchuk has admitted he’s posted thousands of videos that never got more than a couple hundred views.
Every day you keep going, hundreds of others quit.
It is not the strongest, the smartest, the sexiest, or even the most qualified talent that succeeds.
The ones who succeed are simply the ones who kept going when everyone else quit.
“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are unwilling to do.” -Jim Rohn
“If you keep on living the way you are now, you will continue to produce the same life you already have.” -Jim Rohn
Focusing on Progress is what sets apart truly successful people from everyone else.
You have so much to learn. You need to become so much more if you ever want to reach that enormous success you keep thinking about.
Most people don’t prioritize Progress. Learning and education aren’t that important. Entertainment and distraction are far more popular.
If you decide to become someone that focuses on learning and Progress instead of distractions and entertainment, you’ll quickly find yourself ahead of the herd in every category.
Start small. Stay simple.
Commit to Progress, and everything else will fall in place.
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