I want to introduce you to a distinction that, when taking to heart and fully lived into, I’ve never seen NOT accelerate someone’s success. I’ve used it countless times myself and with my clients. I regularly include it in my talks and seminars. And the response it gets is always overwhelmingly positive. Here’s the distinction:
Studying Success vs. Creating Success
Ever noticed how we grown-ups love to study success, rather than just go out there and start being successful? And ever noticed how we do it over and over again.
Why? Because there’s safety and security in study. It feels good – education always does. There’s no danger – it’s just us. And it’s an activity that’s easy to convince ourselves is a form of creating our success.
The problem is: it’s just not true. And ultimately keeps us exactly where we are.
The secret power of practice
Now, let’s imagine for a moment that a child – your son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandchild, friend’s child – comes to you and says they want to learn to ride a bike. The fastest and most powerful route to success is to get them on a bike. Of course.
And what you wouldn’t do is go buy them Bradley Wiggins’ latest autobiography on how he won the Tour de France.
The same is true of any success-creating professional skill. If I want to learn to speak in front of groups, I don’t buy myself a book on speaking in front of groups. And if I’m really serious about speaking in front of groups, I don’t go buy myself 3 books on speaking in front of groups. It’s far simpler than that: I go speak in front of groups.
Sidestepping the burden of study
And to know this is not only to have access to a strategy sure to accelerate your achievement of success; it’s a wonderfully freeing act. Because when I JUST GO DO my success activity, I notice just how much baggage (in the form of prerequisite study) I’ve been carrying, hiding behind – and now simply sidestepping.
When study comes alive
Now, we’re going to say there are some activities which require a certain degree of learning the technique. Of course. But that learning only comes alive and adds to the pursuit of success when you’re out there, doing it.
So, fine to offer me challenge on this and insist that study is valuable and has its place. But make STUDY your Priority #2, where Priority #1 is ACTION.
Distinctions that open my eyes
Distinctions – two contrasting and wholly distinct ideas that shift our perspective – are great for their power in simplicity. A way of seeing the world and our actions in it, that completely opens us up to new possibility.
To do that here, I invite you to live into this distinction on a daily basis. And do it with the question:
Is this me studying success – or creating it?