successful (or not)



We will be more successful in all our endeavours if we can let go of the habit of running all the time, and take little pauses to relax and re-centre ourselves. And we’ll also have a lot more joy in living. 

– Thich Nhat Hanh

Everyone is chasing success.  I don’t know why.

Imagine the journey to become the best you can be.  To do so requires years and years of input, doing the same thing over and over (and over).  It’s fine to experiment and trial a few things but you will have to be super-focused on the minutiae and detail.  Some people spend over 40 years doing the same thing.  Same job, different day.  Yawn.

You can become the master at anything in just 10,000 hours.  That’s not 40 years.

How about working out the minimum possible effort you need to take to become fantastically brilliant at something.  Practice makes perfect, but as Tim Ferriss says…

‘By working only when you are most effective, life is both more productive and more enjoyable. It’s the perfect example of having your cake and eating it, too.’

Stop doing the busy work and the box-ticking stuff.  Ferriss also says…

‘Doing less meaningless work, so that you can focus on things of greater personal importance, is NOT laziness. This is hard for most people to accept, because our culture [American] tends to reward personal sacrifice instead of personal productivity.’

For years I chased the standard model and put in the pain, sweat and tears – the personal sacrifice to work for the big machine, a series of corporate high consultancies.  I did my more than my 10,000 hours and didn’t become the master.

So, I failed…

Well not quite.  I decided to escape the 40 years trot towards standard old retirement.  Golf on Thursday’s, bowls on Saturdays and playing bridge on Monday’s.

I escaped.  That’s success.

Now I can do what I choose.  I’m unchained, unencumbered by the 9 to 5 race.  For me though success comes when I have made the DEAL – to have put in place the constructs that lead to living a life of freedom.

To have freedom from doing the things that I just do not like doing.   And the freedom and courage to pursue my dreams without doing work for work’s sake.

When I’ve managed that I can say that I am successful.