Your children don’t need material comforts.
They just need your comfort …
of people look for instant formulae to success, not realizing that when it comes to the path of success, there are no shortcuts. Hard work, a dedicated perseverance towards a goal and regular skill practice is what would get you there. You may be intensely talented but to actually reach the peaks, you need to hone that talent by sheer practice, and by deliberate practice. 1
Be you a sports fan or golf aficionado or not, you must have heard of Ben Hogan’s impeccable record and his surgeon-like precision of a golf swing, and he did this by breaking down the game of gold into small parts – each of which he analyzed and repeatedly practiced till he achieved ultimate mastery. That is the art of deliberate practice.
As Ben Hogan so rightly remarked, “As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round.” We all must ensure we make it a good round…
The key to deliberate practice is simple and follows the same pattern, till the time success is reached. The first step is to break the overall process down into parts, the second is to identify your weaknesses, the third is to test new strategies for each section, and finally the fourth step is to integrate your learning into the overall process. The fifth step is to repeat! 2
Most people look for immediate results based on nothing more than the human process of natural growth. But for our growth to be deliberate, our practice has to be equally deliberate too! So the key to how to be successful, is a mastering of your skill set.
Think about it this way, if you ever started out by following your heart, and learning a new skill, say dancing – were you able to master it by merely assuming you would? No, right? You’d have to practice your moves, consult a teacher, get to know and then work on correcting your mistakes in theory as well as in practice and then probably do it all over again till you are able to master the moves, the posture, the expression and finally, the body language!
Remember that deliberate practice is not putting in some extra time at work or working 60-80 hours weeks. Deliberate practice is when you focus on just one aspect of your work and then start to improve upon that – deliberately and repeatedly, no matter how much time it takes, and that is the most important aspect to how to be successful. Here are a few examples of deliberate practice that famous, and successful people have employed to make themselves better at what they do.
John Hayes, a cognitive psychology professor at Carnegie Mellon University, wanted to know that how much practice it took, in terms of time, before you could produce a masterpiece. So he studied over 500 music pieces composed by 76 different composers and discovered that it took all at least ten years of solid practice before they were able to churn out a masterpiece in music – including Mozart. 3
A story pretty well known in sports circle is that of Kobe Bryant’s deliberate practice. As team trainer Robert recalls it after seeing it firsthand, “Kobe Bryant started his conditioning work around 4:30 am, continued to run and sprint until 6 am, lifted weights from 6 am to 7 am, and finally proceeded to make 800 jump shots between 7 am and 11 am. And then Team USA had practice!” For Kobe, his goal was 800 baskets, the time spent doing it was immaterial… For Kobe, his route to how to be successful was simple – to keep practicing.
Jiro Ono is a chef and the owner of an award-winning sushi restaurant in Tokyo and his technique has been the subject of a documentary too. Jiro is no ordinary chef for he has dedicated his life to perfecting the art of making sushi. And he expects the same of his apprentices too if they want to work with him. In fact, each apprentice must master one tiny part of the sushi-making process at a time like how to wring a towel, how to use a knife, how to cut the fish! So much so that one apprentice trained under Jiro for ten years before being allowed to cook the eggs! 4
As a professor of psychology at The Florida State University Anders Ericsson puts it, “the sole reason you aren’t a virtuoso violinist, or an Olympic athlete, or another kind of world-class performer, is that you haven’t engaged in a process called “deliberate practice”.”
Stay Just A Little Above Your Abilities
Think about it this way, you may know how to write a good page or an essay. To go a little above and beyond your current skills, try writing a short story or even a long-from article. Don’t try to go from 0 to 100 in 60 seconds – deliberate practice is not a race – it’s a journey that makes you reach your goal, the perfectionist’s way.
Stay Goal Oriented
Before you try to get better at something, you have to know what it is that you are trying to do. One good way to watch a master or an expert at work – then you have a goal in mind that this is the level of expertise you too want to reach.
Break It Down
Rome, as they say, wasn’t built in a day – and neither will your mastery in a skill. Whenever you attempt something new or even try to get better at what you already “know” – break it down into smaller parts. Attempt it part by part and master the basics before you attempt the more convoluted parts.
Find A Good Teacher
We cannot be objective about ourselves so if we want to improve ourselves, we need a teacher, guide or friend who can point out our flaws, or missing gaps so that we can improve everywhere we lack. Get someone, be it your teacher or mentor to keep giving you feedback and remember to take criticism constructively. This is very important in you search in how to be successful.
Remember that if you truly want to better yourself and reach 100% proficiency in something, you have to keep trying and keep practicing without bothering about the time or the effort spent. And you have to be patient and persevering about it if you do want to rise above the average and truly master what you so desire to! 5
School doesn’t prepare you to be an entrepreneur. Actual in-the-trenches experience does. These nine super successful business people, and members of The Oracles, share the No. 1 skill you need to succeed in the world of entrepreneurship that traditional schooling never taught you.
The most important trait you won’t learn in school is to get out there and try 100 things to build a business and get over the fact that 98 of them won’t work. And then get right back out there and try another 100.
“kalaulah seseorang terbunuh di Jalan Allah kemudian hidup lagi kemudian terbunuh lagi kemudian hidup lagi kemudian terbunuh lagi sementara ia mempunyai hutang, ia tidak dapat masuk syurga sampai hutangnya terbayar”
-HR An Nasai, Shahih Targhib No.1804-
or in English
“If a person is killed in the Way of Allah then lives again then killed again then live again and then killed again while he has a debt, he can not enter heaven until his debt is paid”
-HR An Nasai, Shahih Targhib No.1804-
When it comes to success, I’ve always believed in the saying, The length of our life is finite, but its wideness depends on us. This philosophy just means that our purpose is to achieve grand things and widen the scope of our lives in the short time we have.
The same can be said of any business; every company has control over their level of achievement, but to reach a higher level of success means to lose our fear of failing. No matter how much money or success a company has, that fear is a constant barrier to widening the scale of those achievements.
Here are five tips to help you abandon your fear, grow your opportunities for success, and run a successful business.
People are constantly changing and, as a result, the world is constantly changing. Running a business in which a lot of time is spent on decision-making and measuring consequences is a waste of resources. It doesn’t do anything but increase anxiety and fear of failure. Even with all of your planning, the winds will change and you’ll be back to worrying again.
Instead, understand that failure is an opportunity, a chance to overcome challenges. Companies that quickly meet problems head-on are better equipped to minimize future errors. Dormancy is the worst possible outcome of any challenge. The only bad decision you can make is to make none.
Among the lesson from Napoleon Hill, Think & Grow Rich, is that successful people reach decision fast and very slow to change their decision if they ever did change their decision.
I call this the “The Green Fluorescent Umbrella” philosophy. Consider that being the best umbrella maker in the world might be difficult to achieve. But being the best green fluorescent umbrella maker is probably much easier, even if it means having to create your own road map to success.
It’s very easy to fall into the temptation of commoditizing a company, fitting it into the existing spectrum in order to chase temporary economic success. But we live in a time of shifting paradigms, so it would be a huge mistake to take advantage of an existing market rather than try to create a new one. Investing in macro goals is the biggest and most important commitment any business can make. Don’t be afraid to create your own lane.
Time has proved that processes can help define companies and give them structure. At the same time, this forces them to work in a determined and systematic fashion. In my opinion, the best process is not having any defined process; instead, remain continuously flexible.
Rather than just focusing on ways to optimize, test and accelerate results, companies should inspire employees to be open to redesigns and encourage them to abandon fear of change, becoming more flexible and unpredictable.
As Carl Sagan says in his book Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space: “Everything comes down to a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.” This might seem dire, but it’s just a call to widen your scope.
Company objectives should reflect something deeper and perpetual than a profit and loss. They must define a humanistic, societal role where the goals transcend the needs of employees and the company as a whole. This bonds the company in a common cause and creates a unified culture.
Whether it’s an environmental cause or something more personal, if a business commits to objectives that can’t be tackled alone, the only way to transcend is to work together. This redefines the way the employees relate to the company and each other while making any future problems seem manageable. A strong, unified, connected team striving to be better individual people is vital to any business.
The sensation of being at the edge but never really falling is the best way to describe how it feels being fearless of uncertainty in business. It’s a feeling all companies should embrace.
Being aware of the void and possible failure forces us to keep moving forward. It is the driving force convincing every business to take the next step in order to keep gaining momentum and grow. Each step provides the company with needed confidence and comfort with uncertainty, clearing the way toward a more successful future.