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The Number One Thing All Successful People Do

Success can be summed up in one verb.

For decades I’ve been fascinated with what makes some people strive while others struggle.

What makes a child who is raised in a horrible environment, suffering from extreme poverty or neglect, grow up to be a responsible, thriving adult?

On the other hand, what about the child who is blessed with good fortune, showered with love and nurturing, who lets those advantages slip away?

After years of mulling this over in my brain, I reached one conclusion.

I’ve learned that success doesn’t stem from an upbringing, the amount of money in our pockets, and not even our passion for life. Every successful person I have met or read about had one thing in common– this ability to RECOMMIT themselves.

Think about it. It isn’t that difficult to commit to a task, goal, relationship, job, parenthood, etc. You know that feeling when you get pumped up to take on a new challenge. Those times when it feels just right to take a risk and go for it. What is happening in this “honeymoon” period of success?

  • You have INTENT.  You’ve selected the challenge or set a goal.
  • You have FOCUS.  You create an action plan.
  • You have ACCOUNTABILITY.  You tell others.

Now what happens?

  • Those shoes taking those action steps that had you so fired up in the beginning are now seeming a bit heavy.
  • Those pals that patted you on the back for committing to this goal have moved on to patting other backs.
  • The fire in your belly has to be rekindled only by you and it starts to feel like you’re at a one man campfire.

That fierce intent is now a foggy dream.

You have now stepped behind the curtain as part of the stage crew and you never realized how much work these people really do. After all, the front of the curtain is where the excitement is.

It’s easy to lose weight. It’s hard to keep it off. It’s easy to sign up for a marathon. It’s hard to train for one.

It’s easy to get married. It’s hard to stay married. It’s easy to get pregnant. It’s hard to raise children.

It’s easy to start a business. It’s hard to make money. It’s easy to take a test. It’s hard to get an A.

It’s easy to care. It’s harder to give.

Success is not about commitment. It is about REcommitment.

So what does that look like?

  • It’s continuing to study for that exam alone at the library when all your friends are out partying.
  • It’s cleaning your house for the hundredth showing because it hasn’t sold yet.
  • It’s eating healthy on Sunday after going on a binge on Saturday.
  • It’s lecturing your teenager one more time about texting and driving when all you see are rolling eyes.
  • It’s hugging your spouse after years of marriage and saying, “I am so in love with you.”
  • It’s finishing that last part of a run when all you want to do is just stop.

What about those who commit to climbing Mount Everest? Just imagine how many hundreds if not thousands of times they would have to RECOMMIT to that goal. Imagine their frozen extremities, severe dehydration, oxygen-deprived lungs, and total depletion of all energy reserves. I’d say anyone who reaches the summit has mastered recommitment.

What about our military? A system specifically designed to constantly test commitment so when adversity strikes, there is no internal debate within the mind of a soldier.

Recommitment takes practice.

I’ve often asked myself why those I admire most, whether they be professional athletes, business people, family or friends, appear to get to where they want to go easier and faster than I do. You know how some people just seem effortless?

They understand that success is a series of recommitments. They don’t freak out when they fail because it’s all part of the process. They expect it rather than react to it. They skin their knees too but smile when they put the band-aid on. While we’re over thinking the reasons we can’t do something, they’re miles ahead truckin’ right along.

Failures, objections, bad judgments, uncertainty, loneliness and hurdles are part of a successful trek in life.

It is easy to get in the habit of saying, “Maybe I’m just not cut out for this.” Not so fast….

  • A negative result or feeling is our signal to recommit ourselves.
    • Doesn’t always require a redirection or new strategy. Sometimes we just have to keep going.
  • Immediate results should not be a distraction from going after what we want.
    • Improvement is not always steady. It can come in waves, zig zags, or random dots.
  • The measure of our success is independent of others.
    • Comparisons are dependent on where you decide to look.

Next time you want to give up, recommit at that moment. Restart your engine.

Those who are in the front of the curtain did that thousands of times.

"I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed." Michael Jordan

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  1. Linda Glass #

    WOW! This is an AWESOME post, and so true!! Never really thought about it this way. Makes such good sense!!!

    May 26, 2012
  2. Hi “Skitz”. I found your stuff this morning while searching for the phrase ‘what successful people do’. I wound up spending some time looking around at other topics as well. You have some great information here, and I’ve added you to my rss feeds. btw… my wife of 30 years and I met and got married in KC. She worked at Hallmark and I worked in Crown Center.

    April 1, 2013
    • fitskitz

      Welcome, Stan! Too funny about the connection to KC. The fact that you would search that particular phrase tells me you’re already ahead of the game! I love to mingle on the web with those who seek personal growth and new ways of looking at things. 30 years of marriage–you’ve got some success secrets yourself!! Glad to have you here:)!

      April 9, 2013

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