When teaching people how to be consistently successful at any task, I try to break down the activities into small segments of time to do the simple, and often mundane, activities that over time bring success. These principles can be applied to anyone doing any job. Just like Jeff Olson, the author of “The Slight Edge” says, “We must master the mundane”.
He also says, “The secret ingredient [to success] is your philosophy “. The philosophy he’s referring to specifically is “changing the way you think about simple everyday things” so that you are able to persevere through any obstacle in your path, and work thought it until you are successful.
This past week I watched the 2015 movie, “Walt Before Mickey”. I thought it did an awesome job of helping us understand how Walt Disney finally became successful with his “Mickey Mouse Cartoons”,. The movie helps us see the multitude of attempts to be successful met with failure over and over and over again BEFORE the miracle of “Mickey Mouse” came to life. Even his father used the failures to try to convince Walt to abandon his dreams and “get a REAL job”. Each failure was another lesson in the steps necessary for him to be successful with that first real breakthrough. Most of what Walt Disney did that followed “Mickey Mouse” is known to millions of people as fun and entertaining. Before he died, he was able to see the positive impact of reaching his dreams.
There are thousands of stories of successful people in our history – some great and some obscure, but we all to often neglect to understand the failures that led to the successes - the “no” answers, the naysayers the well-meaning loved-ones who tried to dissuade them from their goals before the miraculous breakthroughs everyone talks about.
I have observed many people who give up on their dreams because the road to reaching them is filled with obstacles. If there is one lesson that rises above all others, it is that each of us must learn to continue to do the mundane activities every day through any interruption or obstacle that comes our way. This is not easy to do. It takes a burning desire and a belief the result will eventually pay great dividends. This always takes time. There is no “quantum leap” to any true successful outcome. It’s always a “numbers game”. Stay focused and don’t let anyone or anything distract you from your mundane routine tasks.
The wines I have made are always better and win more awards when I follow the same mundane routines for many years with a vintage before the wine reaches the bottle. There is no shortcut to success. Believe in your dreams, whatever they are, and follow the simple mundane steps over time to achieve them.