At the risk of sounding all old and philosophical, I’ll say it – life can be mysterious. I mean, how do you explain the painful death of a business after years of slaving away at it while another stumbles on what seemed like a cool idea and boom!, they’re hauling home the millions (sometimes billions) in no time?
How do you comfort the frustrated job hunt veteran who’s been in the market for 25 months yet watches a fresh-faced rookie (with no other advantage than ‘just being lucky’) sign off on a plum offer barely 14 days after youth service?
Sounds old. Feels philosophical. Rings true. Life can be mysterious.
As we seek to advance and enter new spaces and better experiences, sometimes we get trapped in that frustrating region where our results are not commensurate with the effort deployed. We look around and get irritated to find that everyone else seems to be working half as hard but winning twice as much. What could be wrong? Where are we missing it?
Three quick thoughts on the subject and I’ll be gone.
A price paid with a bad attitude is better left unpaid.
If you’re going to be grouchy about paying the price, I’d suggest you don’t bother at all. A bad attitude ruins everything. It delays the returns on input (and sometimes completely kills it), it blinds you to masked opportunities for moving to the next level and ultimately repels the right people from coming your way – the same people who could help you get where you want to be.
Sure outwardly, everyone can see you’re such a hard worker. You’re getting up early, staying up late, you’re the perfect example of diligence.
But you know your heart is in a bad shape.
You know there’s envy in there. You know you’re not really r-e-a-l-l-y happy when others get ahead and you seem stuck. You know you think you’re better qualified to have the kind of results others are getting. You know there’s anger and resentment under that coat of resilience. You know these things.
I wish I could give a scientific explanation, but I can’t. One thing I know though is this – a bad attitude ruins everything – including all your hard work. Want to accelerate your life? Lose the bitterness within. It’s killing your results.
Pay in season or it gets collected for nothing.
All of life runs in seasons and cycles. When it seems like others are winning without working so hard, it’s mostly because they did all the hard work in your absence. There are timelines to capitalize on opportunities. Once they show up, it’s already too late to prepare; you either take it or wait for the next one.
Here’s the ‘annoying’ thing about life. It will NEVER reject your efforts. You may be seeking to get in when it’s already too late, exerting yourself to make some progress, but life will never tell you straight up that you’ve missed the bus. It will just keep on absorbing your efforts until you wise up enough to stop and reevaluate. Ask me how I know this.
There’s a time for everything. When it seems like you’re putting in the work and you’re getting air in return, could it be that maybe, just maybe, you’re working out of season? Think about that.
Success is not about giving all you’ve got. It’s about giving all it takes.
Realising this truth revolutionized my understanding of success! Have you ever heard someone moan about ‘giving their best’?
Let’s say your goal demands Level 8 input but you’ve really killed yourself and somehow pushed out a Level 6 effort.
Did you give your best? Yes.
Did you give your all and then some? Yes.
Is that what’s required? No. You’re still 2 levels short.
It’s not about ‘giving your best’. It’s about giving what’s demanded. Therefore, if you’ve given your all and it seems not to be enough, go get some more and give to it.
Although life does feel mysterious, sometimes it isn’t. Maybe we just need to back up a bit, reevaluate our activities and find new wisdom to get where we’re going.
So here’s the conclusion today:
Pay with a smile.
Pay on time.
Pay in full.
Cheers to your success!
Live by Design.