3 Clues to Achieving the Impossible

There is no one secret formula to doing amazing things - to achieving the impossible.  Timing, a lot of effort, and good old-fashion "luck" have a way of making what someone else has already done pretty hard to reproduce.

Which is why I have problems with a lot of the sales books I read.  They don't tell the true story about what was the real cause of the success that happened.  Most of the time, it's not a single, simple formula.  Like a giant game of Clue, you have to piece together a lot of different variables to make sense of what happened.  And if you do that right, usually you walk away with a coupleof clues about how to do those couple of things right. A case study on what it takes to achieve the impossible.

Making big sales, running up the career ladder, being at the top of your class, winning the Tour de France 10 times -- they are all possible.  You just need to know how.

Here are three clues that I have learned over the years:

1. Put in (massive) effort.

Big goals take massive effort.  Even small goals take big effort.  For some reason, we have decided that the 21st century is a place of "working smarter at all costs".  We try to replace gut-busting, tired-as-heck effort with intellectual reasoning about project targeting and resource allocation.  There is nothing logical about working yourself to the bone to achieve the impossible.  So if you want to talk yourself out of it, it's pretty easy.  Just don't expect to achieve the impossible.

2. Always be different (in a big way).

Don't try to compare yourself to the competition, your industry, or what the wonks say you should be doing.  Be different.  Lead.  Go the opposite direction.  As a matter of principle, you need to literally change course to polarize those around you.  Achieving the impossible starts with you being different.

3. Live with discipline.

You won't conquer in a day (or two or three or four).  It will be the result of you practicing greatness for thousands of hours over many years of your life.  You can't be sloppy and do that.  Discipline is demanded of you.  It keeps you headed toward your goal.  When you get tired and your body screams to give up, discipline keeps you doing the handful of things that you need to do to be successful.  Day after day.  Month after month.  Discipline is what separates you from your build-in mediocrity engine.

There are a lot of formulas that don't work.  The days of selling vacuum cleaners door to door is over.  But these three clues seem to stand the test of time.

How you could you NOT achieve the impossible by putting in massive effort doing something different, and living with discipline?

I don't think you can.

Try to prove me wrong.