Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The missing key to success

Book after book tells you how to be successful. First you get a clear idea of what your goal is. Then you get a mental picture of the goal. You see as if it's already complete, in vivid detail, and with an emotional tone of excitement. Then you muster a state of confidence, brush aside all distractions, and work relentlessly until your goal is achieved.

This advice is somewhat accurate, but it's completely unhelpful! These success authors have gotten things completely backwards! What they're describing is a state of inspiration. People who act from inspiration are more confident and more effective than other people. They have clear goals, they get more done with less effort, and naturally they are more successful in life.

This misguided success formula comes from authors who have carefully studied the most successful people they can find. It's no surprise that the most successful people are all driven by inspiration. But it doesn't help you at all to have a success plan that begins, "Step 1: be inspired." You can't willfully enter a state of inspiration — or if you could, you would already be very busy and successful, and you wouldn't be reading a self-help book!

If you've heard this success formula before and tried unsuccessfully to follow it, don't feel bad. No one can! But there is something you can do: Learn to recognize when inspiration is at hand, and make the most of it every time, for as long as it lasts.

No comments: