To to use your potential, to experience incredible joy, to experience amazing achievement … live your life to the fullest … there are several ingredients that go into the mix. But I’ve found these 4 ingredients are almost always a part of that mix.
1. A good mentor.
You need someone who has gone before you, who knows the way to success, and who cares about you. Inded, they care enough about you to know you … to really know you … so they understand your learning style and potential pitfalls. They know when you need a pat on the back or kick in the pants.
2. Your best effort.
You aren’t “entitled” to success. And you can’t expect someone else to give you success. As Andrew Carnegie said, “There’s no use in trying to help people who won’t help themselves. You cannot push someone up a ladder unless he or she is first willing to climb it.”
A mentor can only guide and encourage you. It still takes your best effort if you’re going to experience high levels of success.
3. A little extra effort.
Very few people have success “dropped in their laps.” Go ahead and read about the most successful men and women throughout history, and you’ll find that most of them had to overcome incredible obstacles. They put in more effort than most of their contemporaries were willing to do. Art Williams said, “You beat 50% of the people by working hard; you beat the other 40% by being a person of honesty … and the last 10% is a dog fight.” If you want to win that fight, make up your mind to always do a little extra.
4. A little extra time.
We live in an instant, fast-food society, and we tend to expect success to come as fast as the fries we ordered. But that’s not how success works. Success usually takes a little longer than mediocre performance or work that’s “just good enough to get by.” Take Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor who spent decades creating Mount Rushmore. When asked if his work was perfect, he said, “Not today. The nose of President Washington is an inch too long. It’s better that way though. It will erode and be exactly right in 10,000 years.”