The 2 Principles of Guaranteed Success
Everyone has heard the mantra, “It takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at your craft.”
That’s partially right. I would tweak it a bit:
It takes 10,000 hours of consistent practice to become an expert.
Consistency is the most undervalued and misunderstood trait of successful people.
Consistency means doing something every day.
It means practicing whatever it is you do with maximum effort, emphasis on detail, and relentless passion.
Those who reach elite status in their respective industry do it through constant, quality repetition. For example, an expert body builder does not reach elite status for poor lifting form and low quality reps just because he or she accumulates 10,000 hours at the gym. A body builder reaches elite status through 10,000 consistent, quality hours of near-perfect form and maximum effort.
Consistency means capitalizing on your strengths and eliminating your weaknesses. It means fixing mistakes made the day before and improving each time you practice. It means holding yourself accountable to reach and exceed your goals for the day, every day. Consistent, quality practice is directly linked to improvement and eventual success - without question.
I write 10,000 words every day. Don’t believe me? Here (link to “how I write 10,000 words per day.”). This type of consistency has led me to reach 3x Top Writer on Quora, 50+million views, articles featured in TIME, Forbes, among others, and the recent launch of my own ghostwriting agency, Digital Press.
Okay so the link is clear: consistency leads to quality improvement and eventually, success. But where does this desire to be consistent come from?
My whole life I’ve been surrounded by obsessively passionate people. Everyone in my family has reached success in one form or another through consistent quality practice. Their work ethic and drive motivated me to do the same. As I got older, I continued to surround myself with likeminded people. The majority contacts in my phone consist of CEOs, business moguls, mass influencers and other highly successful people -- most of them at least 10 years older than me. Through establishing great relationships with the best in the biz, I’ve gained more insight than I ever would have hanging out with people my age.
That’s where my desire to be consistent comes from. The people I surround myself with ultimately shape who I become. To hang out with people that bring you down is to be inconsistent, and to be inconsistent is to be average. You see, I’m attracted to certain people: the highly-motivated, self-driven, no-sleep-for-72-hour hustlers that are as passionate about their craft as I am of mine. That’s because I relate to these people; I am one of them. They understand that to truly be the best, you have to be consistent -- even with your friends.
If you want to be successful, be consistent (with everything).
But how do you know consistency will pay off?
Remember when you were a kid and all you cared about was growing taller? You’d stand on your tippy-toes in the morning and streeeettttccchhhhh out every limb at night to ensure maximum growth for the day. You’d drink your milk and go to bed early to get that extra umphff your body needed. You wanted to be taller and were consistent in your ‘practice’.
We all know changes in height are not something that can be measured overnight. Sure, maybe a few growth spurts are noticeable here-and-there but for the most part, height isn’t measurable on a day-to-day basis. Nonetheless, we continued trust that we would -- without a doubt -- get taller.
That is trusting the process.
You have a passion that you consistently and relentlessly practice. You stay consistent in every aspect of your life, including the people you hang out with, but you’re not seeing day-to-day improvement. Don’t be discouraged. I promise you, improvement is there. You just have to trust it.
For example, I played classical piano growing up. At first, I couldn't read the keys. Then I could read the keys and play some chords. Then I was able to play my first piece, then many pieces, so-on-and-so-forth. I quickly understood the catalyst to my progression was consistent practice. I realized that practicing everyday could only improve my skills -- I began to trust the process.
Trusting the process requires incredible patience. There will be times when you feel nothing is being accomplished. You’ll begin to question your methods. Doubt will creep in. All of these fears are overcome through patience. Trust that your work ethic and drive to improve are immensely impacting your abilities. Keep your end goal in the back of your mind and remind yourself why you do what you do. No matter how long it takes, you will meet your goals if you remain consistent and trust the process. Just like the belief that you would grow taller as a kid, reaching success in your craft ultimately comes from the belief that, even if you don’t know how, you can and will succeed.
Be consistent in all facets of life. Believe that your consistency will inherently bring you closer to success -- trust the process.