"The Overlooked Success Principle Used by Every Master"
Dear Success Seeker,
The other day I had a coaching session with one of my business coaches, Satyen Raja, who is highly-trained in martial arts and an expert in the area of personal development. I was lamenting that my ten year-old daughter doesn't have any staying power. She hops from one activity to another, won't practice anything and honestly believes she has mastered each new skill after trying it just a few times.
Satyen laughed and said that in his experience very few people learn the importance of sustained focus until they are in their 40's and that the vast majority of people never learn the importance of it at all. That is the primary reason why so few people ever manage to achieve their goals.
He went on to say that in his experience, the 'Principle of Duration' is one of the fundamental principles behind the success of every master no matter what their area of expertise. As soon as he said it I knew that he was right.
The ability to stay focused on a single endeavor and to maintain a sustained effort over a long period of time is more likely to take you to the top than any other factor. It's more important than having capital to invest, than having an education, than knowing the right people. Believe it or not, it's even more important than talent.
You can test this for yourself. Make a list of 3 - 5 people who are considered to be masters at the top of their field. How many have been in their industry or endeavor for less than ten years? If you research their history I'll bet it is none! More likely most of the people on your list have been honing their expertise in one field for 20 years or more. True, having capital, education, connections or talent can give you an advantage when you get started. But none of them will make you a master of your realm unless you focus consistently on developing yourself and your expertise.
How do you dedicate yourself in this way? To start with, you must be passionate about what you are doing. Far too often I meet people who are struggling because they are doing something to make money rather than because they enjoy it. It may seem like a good idea when you see a great opportunity but you won't succeed long-term unless you love what you do. There are multiple reasons for this. One is that it is hard to get motivated to take the necessary actions when you don't enjoy the work. Another factor is the fact that when you encounter challenging times, as you inevitably will, it is your passion that gives you the strength and commitment to go on.
Even if you don't have a desire to be at the top and just want to be more successful than you are today, you still must apply the Principle of Duration. If you keep jumping from one thing to another you are almost certain to spend your time splashing around in the shallow end. You may need to change your strategy or business model at times, but you must maintain a consistent direction if you wish to achieve your goals.
When I was coaching T. Harv Eker, author of the Millionaire Mind, he used to say, "80% of success is showing up." Yes, showing up is important but it is not the only thing required. You must also be able to deliver value. In order to do that you must dedicate yourself to continuous personal and professional development. If not, you will become stale and others will pass you by.
I know the Principle of Duration works because I am reaping the rewards of it myself. I was 36 years old when I attended my first personal development seminar and discovered, to my genuine surprise, that I had choice about the direction and quality of my life. If someone had told me then that I would be where I am today I never would have believed them. However thanks to duration I am at the top of my profession and genuinely successful in every way.
I know that the Principle of Duration is not a very exciting or sexy topic. But it lies at the core of all success. So no matter where you are today in age, finances, health or circumstances, I challenge you to commit to do what it takes for the long-term and not hop from one thing to another like a ten year-old.
Andrew Barber-Starkey, Master Certified Coach
Founder and President, ProCoach Success System
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Andrew Barber-Starkey is a Master Certified Coach residing in Vancouver, Canada. His coaching program, the ProCoach Success System, is designed for entrepreneurs, small-business owners, self-employed and commissioned sales people who want to double their income while simultaneously doubling their time off within 3 years.
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