Will it be too far-fetched if I were to tell you that there is a guaranteed path to success? The path, should you choose to accept, will ensure enormous success. Now if you think that I am drunk or gonna talk BS, well I can’t entirely blame you. But before I tell you about “the magical path to success”, let me first tell you the other two extreme paths which most people choose which become the major reason for their failure in this game of life.
The unfortunate part is that more than 99% of people, knowingly or unknowingly are walking down these paths only. So it’s time to change the status quo.
What are these two extreme paths leading to guaranteed failure?
- Thinking without action
- Acting without thinking
Let us take an example of a swimming pool to understand the above two paths. Say there are 3 friends, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis (the 3 musketeers), who are sitting along and chilling near the pool. It is their ardent desire to learn to swim.
Athos—Thinking Without Action
Now all the 3 are watching people swimming, and after a while, Athos starts to wonder. He is completely perplexed and baffled to see people half his age swimming effortlessly in deep waters as he has been afraid to swim since his childhood and this fear is still getting the better of him.
Now, he surely wants to learn to swim but his fear has chained him pretty badly and he is unable to break free. Every time he wanted to take a dip, his fear would come back haunting him, and ultimately, he never really learned to swim.
The path he chose (thinking without action) led him to failure.
This one simple thought, “swimming is hard for me”, got engraved in his mind so badly that it became almost impossible for him to get out of this trap. This fear stuck with him till the very end and didn’t let him take that first step to learn.
Porthos—Acting without Thinking
Now comes Porthos. He is the exact opposite of Athos.
When he saw people swimming, he became over-excited and thought that it was a child’s play to swim, and if they can do it, so can he. He has never tried swimming in his entire life but is over-confident about his so-called “abilities and skills”.
So, he straight away jumped into the deeper side of the pool, and as you could have probably guessed, he failed miserably. This path too (action without thinking), leads to failure. One can’t and shouldn’t, without knowing anything about the work, straight away jump into something substantial, only to fail later.
These two are the two extreme situations that can’t possibly be termed as the ‘path to SUCCESS!’ And if you look closely, most of us are walking down these paths only, consciously or unconsciously.
Either they are trapped in the analysis paralysis, leading to no action.
They take action without thinking anything, giving in to the heat of the moment.
Even if someone comes and saves Porthos, this particular incident will haunt him for the rest of his life, and he will probably never try it again. In fact, this fear can have a profound effect on him in every phase of his life, because every time he will have to make a decision, this particular incident will make him question it again and again.
Aramis—The Path to Success
So now who’s left? Aramis.
Needless to say, you need to follow the path he did, which very well is the guaranteed path to success. What did he do? He patiently observed people who were good at swimming and thought that if they can do it, then so can he.
But the catch here is that he wasn’t all over-excited or over-confident about it which didn’t make him straight away jump into the cold water. He first talked to the people who knew about swimming and asked them how they learned the whole process. Common sense.
And they pointed out this one thing that though they are swimming in the deep waters right now, they learned swimming in the shallow water.
He understood the importance of this one little tip and took it to heart!
Now, he starts his practice in the shallow water, where there is almost no risk of any kind for him. Why is there no risk for him in the shallow water? Because he is grounded here. Slowly and gradually he got better with time, and once he got better in the shallow water, he slowly stepped into the deep water.
But still, he took his precautionary measures. And now, when he finally practiced enough and gave in the adequate amount of time needed to master the skill, he was able to swim effortlessly, just like any other skilled swimmer.
What seemed to be impossible to achieve for Athos and Porthos, became insanely easy for Aramis because he chose the right path to success which indeed made him successful in doing what he wanted to do.
A Simple Fable but Teaches us some Key Lessons
If each and every one of us, before starting anything substantial, first learn about it from the experienced people of that field, take baby steps towards it, practice it in the shallow waters first and then go into the deep side, your chances of being successful grows exponentially.
Look at anyone who is successful in any field. They never take any big leaps when they are getting started, instead, they take small consistent steps in the shallow water, and gradually make their way to the deep side.
Unfortunately, most of the people behave like Athos or Porthos.
Not taking any actions can never lead to success, and neither can taking actions rashly. The path in the middle of it, the path, chosen by Aramis, is the path to success which is precisely what you need to opt for.
Do you know the biggest problem with this?
Most of us know this already. Think about whichever sports you have learned, or are good at, you must have done it the Aramis way. I just gave you an example by telling you that story, nobody really dives right into the deep water on the first day (well, if we set aside the crazy ones).
We all learn to swim the Aramis way only.
The thing is that we tend to remember these rules only while learning sports, but we forget them when it comes to our practical lives, and knowingly or unknowingly, we choose the path of failure. We gotta first learn the thing the right way in order to be successful. But before that, we need to learn how to learn anything properly.
The 3 Simple Steps to Learn Anything the Right Way
If you want to learn anything, first you have to observe those people who are already successful in whatever you aspire to do.
We need to observe not just for show, but patiently and perseveringly. Observation is nothing but being present in the moment completely. Focusing in one direction and subtracting anything that’s depriving you of your attention.
Your concentrating needs to be laser-focused. But our habits are the complete opposite. It may look like we are listening, but sometimes we are actually thinking about a whole another situation in our minds. Our observation powers are not strong enough. We don’t actually know how to LISTEN properly. If you have to look closer, the word LISTEN shares the exact same letters as that of the word SILENT.
In order to listen and understand something, we first need to be silent, both from the outside and the inside. Our minds need to be silent as well in order to give our undivided attention to someone or something important. Otherwise, it would all be a waste, if you just pretend to listen. You will neither be able to focus entirely on whatever it was you were thinking, nor will you be able to listen properly.
If you wanna be a cricketer, then you gotta observe outstanding cricketers. If you wanna be a businessman, you gotta pay attention to people who are already running successful businesses. Read their autobiographies, watch their videos, understand their thought process, analyze their actions.
Observing, just for the heck of it, isn’t gonna be enough. You can observe anyone or anything all day long, but it would mean nothing if you are not understanding it completely.
It would be like watching a Korean movie with utmost attention, but not actually knowing the language. Once you observe someone patiently and understand the person’s actions, thoughts, and visions, then you have to see, what can you learn from him and apply it in your lives TODAY.
It is not necessary that everything they do today, you also have to imbibe all of it. The more important thing is to get started with whatever resource you have at this very moment, instead of waiting for something big to happen.
Whatever amount of information you have amassed so far and understood it (from the experts), you have to see the things that you can also apply in your work or life TODAY, not 10 years from now.
It may be possible that the actions they take are out of your reach, for now, so you gotta look into their thought process and see how they tackle a problem. You can learn the way they act in a particular situation or the way they manage their emotional quotient. One can grasp how they manage their time and energy.
What are their habits that you can also follow? Like this, you gotta figure out the perfect permutation and combination that fits best for you and your goal. If we just observe and understand their actions, but are not applying them in our lives, even then it is all useless.
Knowledge is only potential power. You gotta put that knowledge into action to make something wonderful out of it. Again, 99% fail to learn this and are unsuccessful.
They either observe but don’t try to understand; observe and understand, but don’t act at all; or the most common one, they act, without observing and understanding anything.
So, in order to learn something, the right way, you need to follow all the three steps judiciously and in the right sequence. You can’t skip any step here, it doesn’t work that way. You can read my blog all day long, but it won’t matter if you are not applying anything in your life.
On the flip hand, if you can just apply even one thing from my blog, then you will feel the real magic happening. To put it in a nutshell, you gotta practice like hell what you understand.
And once you start practicing, you will go through both good experiences and bad experiences. Once you start learning from both kinds of experiences, i.e. your success and your failures, then that is called REAL LEARNING. And once this learning attitude gets dissolved in our blood, sweat, and tears completely then there is no stopping you.
To sum it all up, we all have 3 paths in our life, and only we can choose which path to follow. No one else can make that decision for you.
The first path is the path of fear. The fear of failure.
Millions of people are already walking down this path, knowingly or unknowingly. The only thing that you will find here is ‘failure’ and nothing else. If you don’t do what you desire to do, what you were born to do, what your heart always wanted to achieve; then you will be a dead man walking.
You will always live under this huge shadow of regret that will completely swallow you and suck up your soul. And this regret will grow multi-fold over a period of time into a black hole, that will squash you like a cockroach and will slurp your happiness and peace of mind. You don’t wanna experience this.
The second path is the path of greed.
The “get success with a snap of finger” path. Earning without learning is something only a foolish person will aspire for, and even if you earn this way, it won’t stay for long. Getting success without hustling and grinding is meaningless, temporary, and shallow. You may get temporary satisfaction for a period of time, but the end result will be guaranteed failure only.
The third path is the path to success. The path of learning.
The path of becoming a player in your field is the only path that will make you successful. You will get everything you ever aspired for if you choose this path. Even you will be dumbstruck looking at your own success.
But first, you gotta master your field in every way possible.
As soon as you embark on this path to success with absolute sincerity, honestly, and perseverance, your whole life is gonna turn upside down.
You will transform yourself into the best version of yourself, effortlessly. What the world perceives to be impossible, will be just a game for you. You will become a magician, performing such magic tricks that will make the whole world will go bananas. Take anyone who did something extraordinary in his or her field. Their actions are nothing less than a miracle for the rest of the world.
Be it Einstein, Newton, Tesla, Jobs, Musk, Buffet, Bolt, Mozart, Beethoven, Tendulkar, Kohli, Bruce Lee, Gandhi, Mandela, Lincoln, Vivekananda and so many more.
They either revolutionized the game by becoming outstanding players or created a whole new category of games for themselves. Their actions seemed impossible for the rest of the world because they have mastered their field by walking on the path of learning.
Whatever work we are doing, we are just playing different games in different fields. We all are players; the only difference is that some players observe and act better than others. And because his observation power is better than others, he is able to see what others can’t and is able to do what others won’t.
Some players have practiced a particular game 1 time, some have done it 100 times, and some have done it 10000 times, which is why they are able to play better when it’s showtime.
So, now you know which path you need to choose to be successful!
Success is no accident or luck. It is a combination of Hard Work, Persistence, Passion, Learning, and Sacrifice.