Success Requires Effort!

By: Ken Keis

"Whenever I hear, "It can't be done," I know I'm close to success."
Michael Flatley, Creator of Lord of the Dance

Success Requires Effort!

Success: A degree or measure of succeeding; favorable or desired outcome or results; the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence.

Effort: Conscious exertion of power; hard work; a serious attempt; something produced by exertion or trying; the total work done to achieve a particular end.

Thereís no shortage of discussions on how you can become successful -- especially all those secret strategies to get you there overnight.

I have overheard individuals make comments that a certain personís success was simply luck -- and that luck is the route to achievement in life.

Of course, those notions misrepresent reality. Success rarely happens by accident and it certainly takes time. The old saying, it took me 10 years to be an overnight success, applies to most people.

Effort is the currency of success . . .

Yet many individuals get caught up in a culture overtone of entitlement -- they expect success, but donít apply sufficient effort to get it.

Twenty years ago, I was one of those individuals attempting to fight the principle that time and effort precedes success.

Donít misunderstand me. I have always had an intense work ethic but I thought I had the right to bypass the time factor.

A professional development specialist, I felt I did not have to wait -- to endure 10 or 20 years of time and experience -- to realize the success level I envisioned for myself.

But I was wrong. It does take time and experience to build your skills and wisdom to ultimately achieve higher levels of success.

Oddly enough, I am a much better speaker, trainer, and facilitator after 2000 presentations.

My writing has significantly improved, because I have written over 2 million words in the last 15 years.

What does this mean?

Success is not about any single event. It represents the entire process you go through to achieve your success. Here are some examples.

- The athlete who wins a Gold Medal invested a significant amount of practice -- prior to achieving that goal.
- The team that wins a championship dedicated itself to excellence over time -- not just for the championship game.
- The parent who has well-grounded and adjusted children put years of effort into his or her childrenís success.
- The teacher who inspires students to greatness did not just show up -- untrained.
- Before a company realizes success, the leader and the team put focused effort toward their goal.

The examples are endless -- authors, actors, entrepreneurs, not-for-profit organizations -- and on it goes.

Note: The opposite is not true. Time and experience do not necessarily equate to increased success. If you are not learning and improving, you have simply repeated 1 year of experience 10 times, rather than creating 10 years of experience.

So, if success takes time and effort -- the amount will vary, depending on our goal -- what can we learn from these principles?

As a society we need to acknowledge that regardless of the pace of change, we still must earn the right to our success. Entitlement does not produce success -- only the right efforts do.

Even though the time and experience you must dedicate to your own particular success will vary, there is no replacement for them. People who deny this principle become frustrated; they always want something yesterday.

If, by definition, success takes time and effort, it is critical that we embrace the journey as part of our success process -- rather than see the journey as a burden to the fast achievement of a specific goal.

The objective of this process is to obtain a development level worthy of the success you desire.

How could a company maintain high levels of sales with poor product quality?
How could an incompetent parent raise quality children?

The reality is, they canít.

If success requires effort, make sure you are doing something you enjoy. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to achieve long-term success if you dislike your work.

Action Steps for Success

1. Success Requires Effort!
2. Effort is the currency of success.
3. Any attitude of entitlement will hinder a personís level of success.
4. Real success takes time. Donít buy into the idea that you can be an overnight success -- thatís a lie. But thatís not to say you cannot experience immediate results; just be careful of "overpromise" and "underdeliver."
5. Thereís no replacement for time and experience for realizing success. The opposite is not true, however. Having time and experience does not mean you will realize the results you seek. Make sure you are investing your time wisely.
6. Because success requires effort, it is important that you enjoy what you are doing. Confirm your natural talents, gifts, and interests.
7. Rarely does luck have anything to do with a personís level of success. When you observe successful individuals you want to model, investigate what they really did to achieve their results. Learn from their journey.
8. Success is as much about the journey as the outcome or the prize. Make sure you are enjoying the process. If you are not, adjust your circumstances so you can respond positively to that statement.
9. Generally speaking, the bigger the goal, the more effort it will require to achieve your outcome. But, in the end, the reward and feeling of contribution will be increase exponentially.

Until next time, keep Living On Purpose,

Ken Keis

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Ken Keis, MBA, CPC, is an internationally known author, speaker, and consultant. He is President and CEO of CRG Consulting Resource Group International, Inc., Many professionals herald CRG as the Number One global resource center for Personal and Professional Development.

For information on CRG Resources, please visit

For information on Kenís Training and Speaking Programs, please visit

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