People seem to think, if I follow the exact footsteps of a successful person, I’ll be successful too.
If I go to the gym everyday, I’ll get a toned body.
If I read how-to-love books, I’ll become an expert on relationships.
If I write a thousand posts, I’ll get instant fame.
If I drop out of school and run my own business under my parent’s roof for the next few years, I’ll make my first million dollars.
We seem to be obsessed with success the same way Olympic athletes gaze at a gold medal. Especially if it’s someone else’s success because it shows us what‘s possible and what’s achievable, in a matter of x time.
We just need to analyze their efforts and execute the same way. And BAM, we achieved what they achieved.
However, life doesn’t always work the way we expect it to be. Sometimes we fall out of luck getting the right opportunities at the right time. Sometimes an obstacle stops us. Or maybe our abilities never quite matched up to the person we so admire.
For instance, my dad’s friend (we’ll call him Bill) has admired my dad for over 50 years, following his every move towards a prosperous life.
He graduated with a degree in computer science.
He became a software engineer.
He married a lovely Chinese woman.
He even took my dad’s fruit trees and planted them in his yard.
He pretty much covered every major step my dad took, except he made less than 100k a year, argued daily with his wife, and had to weed out dead trees from his yard.
Bill wanted to become a successful engineer, a loving husband and a great gardener but ultimately he failed to do so because he didn’t try as hard as my dad to improve himself.
He just followed.
And that’s where I think people go wrong with their ambitions.
Success doesn’t happen because you completed a task from somebody else’s manual. You succeed by putting in more effort (than everyone else) to do what you ultimately love to do or what you’re recently fascinated with. With consistency and with patience.
Sure, you might be required to walk on different trails to get to where you want. After all, what works for someone else might not necessarily work for you.
But if you keep trying, you keep dishing out 120% of your efforts towards your work and yourself, very soon you’ll become the next big thing.