Success today cannot be achieved by being sorta interested; it’s not a part-time affair.
There are simply too many people seeking too few opportunities to warrant any other approach. Academic credentials are at crazy levels; doctorate degrees and MBA’s are commonplace among job candidates.
Consistent winners don’t lead to a balanced existence. They either insanely commit 1000% or they don’t. They don’t take an afternoon off because they’re stressed and they don’t look for potential employers that sponsor a work-style based on family values.
They expect to push and be pushed by the organization they’re all in; they neither expect nor are they given space to have a complete life.
As I was writing this piece, I heard a talk radio segment discussing the importance of allowing young people to have mental health days for self-care, to escape and recover from the stresses and strains they endure on a daily basis: bullying, two working parents, drugs, and school homework were cited as reasons they need a day off.
I chuckled; maybe I’m old school but I’ve never seen a successful person who got there by taking time off to rest their brain.
You Must Have Limitless Energy
Success escapes many people because they are not prepared to make the ongoing investment in the emotional energy necessary to continue the climb.
You may feel mentally and physically exhausted after the uphill battle you’ve waged so far, but pausing to rest is not an option unless you are ok with having your friendly competition (who are patiently waiting for you to falter) pass you by.
The committed career climber needs the power of addiction to keep going despite the wins they achieve on the way. They know that it’s the consistent string of individual achievements that define ultimate success, not single wins.
You Must Learn Insatiably
Success has a learning curve that shows no point of inflection nor does it show any signs of moderation; it rises exponentially with time and the relentless advances in knowledge that characterize the times we live in.
Triple or quadruple what you’ve had to learn up to now and that’s probably what you have to commit to learning over the next decade of your work life; the knowledge space shows no sign of leveling off.
The addicts to success have an insatiable desire to keep up and soak up every learning opportunity around them that is relevant to their end game. And it’s not something they can turn on and off; their drive to learn functions like one of their other involuntary body organs that keep working regardless of whether they instruct it to or not.
You Must Decide to Serve Others
Successful people rarely achieve anything on their own; they get incredible things done by engaging others in their journey. They paint a compelling picture of their intentions and they rally people around them by the sheer force of emotion. Followers follow because they are emotionally committed; not merely because of the intellectual worth of an idea.
Stirring strong feelings in people is not a task for the faint-of-heart; it is a grueling experience and a draining one for the person looking for support.
Addiction to success provides the necessary fuel and stimulus to stay with the task until it has reached the intended conclusion; non-addicts simply don’t see it through because the undertaking is too formidable.
You Need ‘Been There, Done That’ Mentors
Just like successful people need an entourage of emotionally committed followers and supporters, they also need a stable of avid mentors who give of themselves unconditionally and who actively recommend them to others.
To the successful individual, their mentor has accepted the role of lifetime support; it’s not a casual relationship. For some reason, the mentor takes on the baggage and challenges of the aspiring professional, and that doesn’t come easy.
Success demands not just mindless attention to treating ‘mentor gathering’ as a top priority, it requires a commitment to spend the boundless hours required to deepen and maintain the mentor relationships that have been started.
So much time and energy are needed to build relationships; just ask a standout sales professional and success addicts get it and put in the time no matter what.
Success doesn’t happen by serendipity, luck, or by accident notwithstanding the occasional exception which, unfortunately, can’t be counted on by the general population aspiring to have rewarding careers.
Success is built on the back of a pattern of behavior that is focused on, and relentlessly pursues, the goal of standing out from others and making the decision on who gets the brass ring easy for the person looking to hire new talent.
Addiction does have a dark and downside, but in propelling someone to reach higher levels of achievement, it’s all upside.