This article by Srikumar Rao was originally published on The Rao Institute.
We, unfortunately, live in a world of individual accomplishment and reward for ‘hard work’. There are any number of successful entrepreneurs who attribute that success to their hard work. They attribute the failure of others to lack of hard work.
We are encouraged to to burn the midnight oil to get ahead. We have to apply elbow grease to our problems. We have to buckle down and get to it.
The underlying mental model is that we, somehow, have to wrest this ‘success’ away from the world which is determined to hold it from us.
Quite likely you have this model and hold on to it grimly.
You got good grades in school because you worked hard many nights and weekends while your friends were partying. You got promoted because you put in long hours and studied your field. You became well known because you deliberately went to social functions and trade conferences and made it a point to cultivate people who could help you advance in your career.
Struggle, struggle, struggle!
Get rid of the ‘I made it happen’ mindset!
Instead think of all the good things in your life as something that you ‘allowed’ to enter.
So, you are a successful entrepreneur. Yes, you had a great idea. Yes, you did your research to determine the viability of that idea. Yes, you used your savings and borrowed money to get started. Yes, there were many touch-and-go moments and you were often awake at nights wondering if you could make payroll and whether you should throw in the towel and walk away.
Simply think of all this as normal, everyday stuff. Don’t get sucked into the drama of it.
And then you succeeded beyond your wildest dreams.
Think of this success as something that you ‘allowed’ into your life. Not something that you somehow captured in the face of overwhelming opposition.
There are plenty of would-be entrepreneurs who start companies and are smart and work hard and do all the ‘right’ things and fail. There are many authors who write books that you think are fantastic, but sales languish, and the books vanish from stores and are even difficult to find online.
There is always an x-factor at play and your success is due to that in conjunction with your effort. So, stop thinking of your herculean endeavor and acknowledge your good fortune. Think of it as something you gave permission to enter your life.
It will take some time for you to become comfortable with this notion. Persist till it happens. You did strive, but that was simply something you had to do.
Now here is the funny part. Also, the best part. If you ‘allowed’ your current level of success into your life, then you can ‘allow’ even higher levels of success to enter.
And indeed, you can do so.
This is how you reach levels of accomplishment you never dreamed of without working harder or putting in insane hours.
‘Allow’ it to happen.
Don’t try to ‘force’ it to happen.
Don’t try to ‘make’ it happen.
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