Success is almost guaranteed to elude you if you answer wrong.
I think it is safe to say that everybody wants to be successful at something. The question is, how successful do we want to be? Just successful? Very successful? The most successful? Talent helps, but it alone falls short every time to enthusiasm and persistence. In fact, after reading Geoff Colvin’s book Talent is Overrated I was left with the notion that although “talent” exists, it is irrelevant to higher achievement. This can be a pivotal revelation for most people (it was for me), because most people have convinced themselves that they don’t have what it takes to succeed. The suppressive influences that most people experience growing up could have conditioned you to believe success is for the talented, the lucky or the “already successful.” If this is your belief, even remotely, you will want to read the chapter in Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Outliers about the 10,000 Hour Rule. You will never entertain that notion again.
With the pursuit of success so ingrained in our society, why do so few people achieve it? I have personally found that very few are prepared to make the sacrifices success takes. So many are in search of a solution, a method, a program, a coach, a “silver bullet” way to become successful. There are no shortcuts. It will be more work than you want to do, and depending on your goals, cost you more money than you want to spend. Is success a priority for you? For the masses, being nice to be liked is higher on their list of priorities, whether consciously or subconsciously, than being successful. A predominant need to be liked will hinder one’s attainment of success. Strength and resilience are required. Most when faced with a decision to stand their ground congruent with their goal will not because they feel by doing so they will not be liked, which is a ridiculous belief. As Geoff Colvin writes in Talent is Overrated, and I will concur that, “being liked” is even more ridiculous. Success escapes the majority of people because they; 1) feel it takes talent to succeed, 2) are endlessly searching for an easier way, and/or 3) are being nice to be liked. Do any of these apply to you?
You have to put in the work. Nobody is going to do it for you.
Now the question is… Would you rather be liked, or respected?