Let me ask you a question, what does success mean to you?
For some, success means getting rich, while for some it means being in a position of great power or with social recognition.
You see, success is a subjective term. Everyone defines success differently. But the media and society have influenced the majority of us to believe that success means 3 things:
- Social recognition
These are the 3 things that the majority of us want when we talk about success.
When you ask someone what they think about success, most probably they will tell you about living a luxury lifestyle, being rich, driving fancy cars, houses, fame, and power.
However, success isn’t always all about good outcomes. Success comes with struggles too.
For every success you have heard about, perhaps, there are 10 more that have failed which you have never heard of.
Think about starting a business. It is said that about 90% of small businesses never make it through the first 5 years.
For every Michael Jordan you see on TV, there are much more that have tried to be successful but failed and never make it in basketball.
The same goes for everything in life.
There is another side of success you must accept in order to move forward. And in today’s article, we will talk about the 7 uncomfortable truths about success no one loves to talk about.
But I believe we must look at success as a whole, from both the pros and cons, the good and bad, so that we could anticipate what’s coming.
So, here are the 7 hard truths about success that you may not like, but must accept…
1. Not Everyone is Going to be Successful
Yes, not everyone is going to be successful. I know this is hard to swallow. You are working hard on your goals but I’m here telling you that not everyone is going to be successful.
But hear me out.
If you look at everyone in the world today, you will notice that the majority of people are not living a successful life. Most people are living an ordinary life.
According to Wikipedia, here are the facts about wealth distribution in the world:
- half of the world’s net wealth belongs to the top 1%,
- top 10% of adults hold 85%, while the bottom 90% hold the remaining 15% of the world’s total wealth, and
- top 30% of adults hold 97% of the total wealth.
As you can see, the majority will share the minority of the wealth in the world. So, not everyone is going to make it.
Everyone loves the idea of becoming successful, but the fact is not all of them are going to end up being successful.
Because if everyone is successful, then no one will be.
Just like in sports, only the best of the best will make it to the Olympics. And even in the Olympics, only 3 will be chosen to win the medals.
But luckily, it doesn’t need to be all doom and gloom.
First, it depends on how you define success. Not everyone wants to be financially rich and not everyone wants to start a multi-million-dollar business.
And most importantly, success has a lot to do with happiness and fulfillment, both are the inner feelings that you can create.
And how do you manufacture happiness and fulfillment? Through the practice of gratefulness.
The more grateful you are for what you have in your life, the more successful you will feel.
If you want to practice gratitude, check out this article from Mindful.org.
2. Success Doesn’t Mean Being Rich
That’s right, success doesn’t always mean being rich. While being financially successful can be a part of success, but success doesn’t always mean being rich.
Being rich or being financially successful is just a subset of success.
First of all, what makes you link being successful equals being rich? Where did the thought come from? Think about that.
There are a lot of individuals who have accomplished extraordinary results in life, but they are living a modest life.
Think about teachers who nurtured students who become astronauts, inventors, and doctors who save lives. Are those teachers not successful?
Therefore, success has nothing to do with getting rich. That’s just a picture the media and society gave to the general masses.
Here’s another truth about success – extremely successful people like Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, etc., have a bigger purpose than just making money.
Warren Buffett, the successful investor who has amassed over $100 billion in wealth still chooses to work as a CEO and chairman for Berkshire Hathaway.
If Elon Musk’s purpose is to get rich, he could have sold everything and enjoyed life right now. He doesn’t need to continue to work and hustle every day.
That just shows successful people don’t do it for the money. They do it for other purposes.
And if you want to achieve similar success, you must change your goal of financial success to other bigger and more meaningful purposes.
I strongly suggest you read this article to discover your purpose in life: The Power of Having a Purpose Driven Mission
3. You Are Going to Fail
Failure is inevitable. As long as you are pursuing success, you will face failures, rejections, and setbacks.
Listen, when I say you are going to fail, I’m not saying that you are a failure. Rather, I’m saying that you will face many failures, but you must overcome them and treat them as stepping stones to success.
When you pursue a goal and you fail, it doesn’t mean that you are a failure. It just means that your approach isn’t working and you need to try again with a better strategy.
Here’s another truth you must understand – failure is not the opposite of success, it is part of success.
Many people got it wrong and think that failure is the opposite of success. And hence, they try their best to avoid failures.
But do you know that failures are an important part of success?
Think about how people become successful. They are able to achieve great results because they have the experience.
And where how did they gain experience? Learning from failures.
So, don’t be afraid of making mistakes or failing. Because that’s how you get to learn, improve, and become successful.
Here’s a quote from J.K. Rowling that perfectly illustrates why failure is important:
“You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”J.K. Rowling
Here are additional resources to help you work through failures:
- 10 Great Ways How to Overcome Your Fear of Failure
- 3 Fundamental Principles How to Turn Failure Into Success
- 8 Golden Lessons: What Can We Learn From Failure
4. You Will Have to Make Some Sacrifices
If you want to achieve greater success in life, you must be willing to make some sacrifices. No one loves to listen to this, but it is a truth about success that you must accept.
Everything comes with an opportunity cost. Meaning, you can only choose to do one thing at a time, and you must sacrifice the thing you choose NOT to do.
If you want to build a successful business, you need to sacrifice your leisure time. Instead of watching Netflix or playing computer games, you will have to work on your business.
If you want to lose weight, you will have to sacrifice fatty foods and sweets. You will have to say no to ice cream and chocolate fudge that will make you gain weight.
You know I’m talking about. It is all about opportunity cost and choosing what is the right thing to do.
Most of the time, when we see the success of other people, we only see the surface. We did not get to see the struggles, the hardships, and the difficulties that they have gone through.
Watch on YouTube: Why Work-Life Balance Will NOT Work | The Four Burners Theory
Hence, you have to decide on what you need to do. Only those who are 100% committed will make it.
5. Hard Work is Inevitable
There is no way you can achieve success without hard work. It is true that your direction is more important than hard work, but still, you need to put in the necessary work to produce the results you want.
I started this blog in 2015. And from then on, I make it a commitment to keep publishing at least 1 or 2 articles per week. And I have been doing it even until today.
The result? This blog receives over 1,000 visits per day. I have seen a lot of bloggers want to do the same, but most of them are not consistent and they are not willing to put in the work.
How did this blog able to receive 1,000 visits per day? Through consistent hard work.
I get it, hard work is not a nice word and people are looking for easy ways to succeed. They want to succeed, and they want it quick, without any work if possible.
That’s not going to happen.
Even if you want to win the lottery, you need to put in the work to buy a ticket.
Yes, building a system helps. And yes, working on the right plan is important. But at the end of the day, you will still need to execute and put in the work.
Here are 2 great guides you should read:
6. You Must be Passionate with What You Do
You have heard about this repeatedly, if you want to succeed, you need to have passion for the things that you do.
Steve Jobs was right. He said these words in one of the interviews…
“You have to have a lot of passion for what you are doing because it is so hard… If you don’t, any rational person would give up.”Steve Jobs
If you don’t love what you do, you are going to give up and call it quits whenever you face difficulties.
Passion may be overrated, but it is still one of the requirements for success.
Here’s another great quote from Steve Jobs:
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”Steve Jobs
Do you get it?
You are going to spend 50 years of your life working, so why don’t choose to deliver something you believe is great work?
And the only way to deliver great work is to love what you do. Hence, have passion for what you do.
7. The Journey Will be Tough
And finally, the journey to success is going to be tough.
As I mentioned above, if success is easy, everyone would be successful. And if everyone is successful, no one will be.
The truth about success is that it is hard. But hard doesn’t mean impossible.
- Going to the Moon is hard, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
- Running a mile in 4 minutes is hard, but it is doable.
- Completing a 42km full marathon is difficult, but it can be done.
- Building a business and earning a million dollars every year is tough, but there are plenty of people who have done it.
Success is hard, but it can be done.
Whatever you want to achieve, someone has already accomplished it. And that means it is possible to achieve what you want.
And if it is possible, what you need to do then is to figure out how to get it done.
But remember this, the journey will be tough.
This is why personal development is important. You want to constantly upgrade and improve yourself so that you will be worthy of the success you desire.
And the one great way to improve yourself is by changing the way you think. I suggest you take this web class, learn from the expert to change your brain and hence, improve your life. You will discover techniques to let go of your limiting beliefs and fears that are holding you back from achieving your financial goals and dream life.
These are the 7 truths about success no one loves to talk about, but must accept because knowing these truths will better prepare you for achieving the success you want in your life.