The One Thing Needed for Long Term Success
Have you ever tried to accomplish a difficult goal or master an expert level skill and ended up falling short? You are not alone. I would say the majority of people will quit at whatever they are trying to achieve because of one thing; TIME. Let me explain. Mastery and long term success can only be achieved with consistency over time. If you are trying to transform your body into a lean, highly capable machine, it doesn't come over night. You must consistently follow a strict diet and workout plan over TIME. Following the plan for the first couple weeks is not difficult but following it over a span of months is. Its easy to be an all star for a day but extremely difficult to be an all star over a span of years.
The secret to long term success is consistently making the right choices over time. This concept sounds easy but as we all know, its not. We want to go to the gym three times per week but we don't. We want to eat healthier foods everyday but we end up making the wrong choices. This happens because of the one thing that makes us unique as human beings; emotion. We have the incredible mental capacity to make decisions based on logic but emotion tends to override that process. Some days we feel like we can conquer life's toughest obstacles while other days we want to give up and only do things that make us feel good. At the end of the day, we are the biggest obstacle for ourselves.
We want things now and struggle with looking past the desire of immediate gratification. I have been teaching martial arts since I was 16 and have owned a martial arts instruction business for almost 12 years. The majority of our students are children and our white to black belt program requires three years of consistent training and class attendance. We have had a few students “fast track” their way to a black belt and the outcome was not the same. Its not that they didn’t retain the knowledge and skills. They actually passed with high marks on that part of the test. The one thing that was missing was their character did not change. Becoming a black belt is more than just learning the moves but a transformation of the mind and most importantly, the character. I discovered that this cannot happen without a minimum amount of time passing by. This concept is true for almost anything in life. Studies have repeatedly shown that people who cram before a test end up forgetting most of the information soon after.
So why is time so important when learning new things or achieving long term success. The answer is actually pretty simple. We must thoroughly experience the process to produce a true result. We must allow ourselves to forget the information and relearn it again which allows it to penetrate our brains on a deeper level. We must allow ourselves to experience the failures in our business ventures so then we experience the valuable process of adapting and evolving. It all comes down to the process and the process requires time. We must become patient and fall in love with the process. Shortcuts are a myth and only lead to frustration and a false sense of confidence. Legitimate experts did not become experts in a short amount of time. Market leading businesses did not get there overnight. They all consistently kept improving and tweaking their craft until it rose above the sea of mediocracy.
Are you like me and struggle with accepting the importance of time as part of the process to long term success? If so, join me and reintroduce yourself to that weak but extremely vital character trait; patience. Like a flabby muscle that hasn’t been used in a while, patience can be strengthened over time. The time is now and lets get to work.
Being consistent over time requires building daily habits that stick. Stay tuned for "How to Build Positive Habits That Stick."