When I think about sustaining success there are three phrases that come to mind instantly…
And I am absolutely certain that these are the traits you must embrace in order to stay at the top of life and business.
Once you have arrived at a level that provides significance and prosperity that you once thought impossible, then the most important things you can do are to recognize, appreciate, and keep working. These three concepts are precisely how.
To stay hungry is to not get fat and happy and squander all you’ve done. The farmer, and we’ve used many farm analogies here over the years, can’t say after a bountiful harvest “all done, as I’ve got enough for this year.” For next year’s harvest begins now. Whether feast or famine, the farmer is always planting.
Today’s ‘enough’ is tomorrow’s ‘not so much.’ Decide to be hungry for and crave all that makes possible your success in the first place. Complacency is the enemy of sustained accomplishment.
This also means that you can’t lose your edge and still remain at peak performance. It’s just like working out. You don’t check it off a list and you’re done. It becomes part of you. Your routine. Your mindset. Your life.
And that’s why staying focused matters so much. We’ve invested time together talking about preventing, avoiding, and escaping distractions of any sort by using your own conscious awareness to know whether something or someone should be let in or kept out of your mind, life, and business. You can’t afford to let anything take away from your focus on your greater objectives and goals… if they are important enough for you to sustain.
Staying focused is about remaining on offense as a creator and sticking to the game plan that works. It is easy to be distracted or enticed by something new – but that’s not the goal here.
During the Monday Night Football broadcast this week, Peyton Manning gave advice to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. He said, “Don’t get bored.” He was referring to running the football and gaining 4 yards at a time against a passing defense. I would add some context to it… “Be boring but don’t get bored.” Stick with what delivers the outcomes you’re after and don’t chase interesting or thrilling at the cost of results.
It is also about as much as what you don’t focus on as what you do. And by the way sometimes that is the way to get there and to sharpen it, is to literally say what you will let go of and then by default what you will focus on instead.
Here’s the bottom line: show me someone who is focused on the top priorities the majority of the time and I will show you a peak performer who has sustained success.
Finally, we have “stay humble.” That saying about pride before the fall is true. It gets so many but it doesn’t have to.
No matter the heights of your success, always remember where you came from and what it took to get here. Know, respect, appreciate your roots and know, respect appreciate your success thus far. Always have a prove-it attitude so you are willing to earn your achievements every day because nothing is guaranteed.
Being humble also means being empathetic to others because you don’t know their journey, you don’t know how far they’ve traveled.
There is always more than meets the eye. Does anyone really get what you do, what it takes, all that has been required, the depth of sacrifice? View others absent of hubris, just as you wish others would view you.
People often lose sight of this reality and reasons why they are successful in the first place. It’s not where you are at, it’s where you are going. Hold this sentiment close and you’ll continue on a never-ending journey of self-discovery and new rewards.
You can learn from others’ mistakes. If you pick a titan of business or an amazing athlete or even a company that has fallen from the mountain top and you can identify which of these three things (or a combination of them) that led to their demise and lack of sustainability. To each one of them, failure never seemed possible let alone likely. Betraying one of these three principles is all it took.
Of course, there’s a fine line to all of this even staying hungry, focused, and humble. There’s a flip side that you have to remember and caution yourself against.
You don’t want to be in pursuit with reckless abandonment just because you are always hungry for the next thing. Hungry is more your tenacious desire to get better, to win, to achieve and sustain excellence. I heard a great story from a brilliant doctor about that very concept about a famous athlete. We’ll circle back to in the next couple weeks.
And you can’t be so focused on something, mainly your business, that you have no mental capacity for other things (mainly people) that are the point of the business in the first place. Hyper-focus often clouds judgment, leading you to miss more than you see.
Then of course there is also some rationing of just how many slices of humble pie you need to consume. You want to always remain bold, strong, courageous, and confident about yourself and your own abilities.
You see, every coin has two sides. The high performing Entrepreneur works at least as much on themselves as they do their business in order to find a balance that allows for their sustained ability to lead, grow, manage, innovate, dream, and achieve.
Next week, we’ll move straight into actual business strategy around sustaining success and standing the test of time. You’ll find staying hungry, focused, and humble equally applies to your daily business life and its very own existence.