The common denominator of success — the secret of success of every man who has ever been successful — lies in the fact that he formed the habit of doing things that failures don’t like to do.
~ Albert E. N. Gray
Want to experience more success?
Doing the things we hate is the habit that separates successful people from those that fail. Therefore, to experience more success you must learn to love what you hate.
This has to be one of life’s greatest contradictions! It seems puzzling at first, but trust me it makes total sense once you fully grasp this timeless truth.
Learning to love what you hate is the common denominator of success
Albert E. N. Gray was a very successful life insurance salesman. He also trained a lot of other people to achieve a significant level of success in sales. The secret that Mr. Gray discovered is that successful salesmen develop the habit of consistently doing the things average or below average salesmen won’t do.
As Mr. Gray points out so clearly in The Common Denominator of Success, many people think hard work is the secret to success. However, we have all observed that there are a lot of people that work very hard, but never achieve much of anything. Conversely, other people don’t seem to work hard at all and yet experience a high level of success. What gives?
This was exactly the contradiction that Mr. Gray set out to solve many years ago. He arrived at the conclusion I’ve already stated. This explains why some that seem so destined for success fail while others with obvious weaknesses go on to succeed.
What in particular did Mr. Gray determine was the common dislike amongst life insurance salesmen? It was that they did not like to call on people who didn’t want to see them and didn’t want to talk to them about something they didn’t want to talk about.
Those that formed the habit of overcoming this mental attitude became very successful and rich!
The things we generally hate doing, but that lead directly to success
The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.
~ Vince Lombardi
What kind of specific things are we speaking about? Well, here are some of the things I would suggest we often avoid and that if we did by habit would often lead us to success:
- Cold calling
- Taking risks
- Living on a budget
- Acting on our ideas
- Disciplining our children
- Eating right
This list could go on and on, but you get the idea. When we anticipate that an action might cause us pain, we naturally avoid it. We procrastinate. We make excuses. We blame others. We use all kinds of tactics to refuse to do the very things that could make us successful.
Three ways to start loving the tasks you hate
It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.
~ William James
1. Start with the right attitude.
We psych ourselves out with fear and worry. We begin with a bad attitude. This usually dooms our efforts before we even try. Change your mind – literally – about the thing you need to do. Ask yourself the following four questions as suggested by Dr. Ben Carson:
- What is the best thing that can happen if I do this?
- What is the worst thing that can happen if I do this?
- What is the best thing that can happen if I don’t do it?
- What is the worst thing that can happen if I don’t do it?
This kind of Best/Worst Analysis can help you overcome irrational fear that holds you back from doing the things you should.
2. Link the task to a definite purpose
Define a reason to do the task that is bigger than the reason you avoid it. Mr. Gray recommends linking these tasks to a practical life purpose that carries a strong emotional value in your life. For instance, decide to do the things you hate so your children will have a better childhood than you did.
The purpose has to be personal and powerful. Write it out. Fully develop it. Make it a clear and compelling vision that you can taste, hear and feel.
Once you fully embrace your definite purpose with passion, then procrastination will no longer hold you back. Your vision will drive you forward. It will give you the will to succeed propelling you onward.
3. Track your results
Keep very good records of the results of your efforts. Once you see success coming from the tasks you previously hated, you will likely feel much better about them. Seeing positive results will keep you motivated to do the things you hate long enough for it to become a habit.
Set a goal to do the thing you hate consistently for at least two weeks. You can do anything for two weeks, right? I bet you can especially if it will start moving you over the hump and toward outstanding success.
Document the progress you achieve while doing the thing you know you need to do, but dislike doing. No matter how small a result you get, write it down. Keep immaculate records of what happens. I think you will be pleasantly surprised and at the end of two weeks you will be well on your way to making this a true habit.
It really is possible to teach yourself to love what you hate doing
I have been practicing this technique myself recently and I’ve found it works very well. Just imagine how much better you’ll be doing after just a few iterations of using these three steps! It is truly amazing how fast I’ve made significant progress on some of my goals that didn’t seem to be going anywhere. I think you’ll see the same results if you’ll just give it a try.
What one thing should you learn to love to achieve greater success?
Photo by gliuoo