The Lost Art of Relentlessness
We live in a world where we are constantly exposed to the results of successful work. Television shows focus on the results of our actions rather than the actions themselves. They concern themselves with drama and change as do the many videos and social media posts that compete for our attention. We are being trained to believe that a decision almost immediately leads to results and this could not be further from the truth.
To add to this, we are taught that some people have an almost magical quality that they are born with which leads them to success. They are naturally gifted. Naturally gifted leaders, naturally gifted entrepreneurs, naturally gifted athletes or naturally gifted salespeople. We ascribe these natural gifts and use them as an explanation as to why some succeed and others do not. Now while I agree, indeed, that some people tend to be more ‘talented’ than others naturally, I have also seen many less talented people succeed because of three main qualities.
These three qualities are strategic thinking, discipline and relentlessness. Let’s focus on relentlessness here. Relentlessness is your ability to bounce back from setbacks and continue to push forward regardless. It is about how you can keep moving forward and having the discipline to implement your strategy. It is the engine that drives you to success. Relentlessness is a way of acting rather than being an emotion. We describe someone as being relentless when they do not stop. They continue to move forward no matter what. But what can make us more relentless? Well I have three suggestions that might help:
First, understand why you want to achieve whatever your goal is. Focusing on ‘why’ makes you ultra-motivated and can keep you going no matter what challenges you find yourself facing. WHY is the question behind powerful motivation. If you know the WHY you will have the motivation to keep going.
Second, plan for the setbacks and challenges. Most people go hell for leather towards what they want only to be knocked off course by something unforeseen happening. Some event interrupts their momentum and they start doubting themselves. This leads them to falter and struggle. They start to doubt themselves. If you plan ahead for the problems that you will face, you will find yourself bouncing straight back from them.
Finally, change how you see the whole experience. Most people think of it as a goal that they want to achieve and have to deal with failure along the way. Begin to see that the failures, setbacks and rejection are all part of the whole experience. The experience itself is making you into a tougher, stronger and better person. You are continuously learning, growing and developing and the harder it is the more you know this is happening. Understanding this can make you feel better able to handle the toughest challenges at the hardest times.
Relentlessness is something that anyone can work on and improve. It is the single most important quality you can develop. In the real world, results come from massive amounts of continuous action. Such action needs to be sustained in the face of many challenges. That is what leads to true success.
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