The one thing that successful people do differently

They’re impossible to miss.

Set big goals. Dream even bigger. Work hard. Get up early. Put in the extra hours.

I’m certain you’ve heard them before.

The keys to success are plastered everywhere, from books to podcasts to articles. Anywhere you look, you’re bombarded with constant reminders of how to get ahead in life.

Because of this…

Most of us have a general understanding of what it takes to be successful. That said, knowing how and actually doing it are two totally different things.

  • We know we should be getting up early. But it’s not easy to get up at 6 am when every fiber of your being is telling you to go back to bed.
  • We know we should set big goals. But it’s not easy to dream big when life is pressing down on you with all of its weight.
  • We know we should be saving money. But it’s not easy to live in a 1 bedroom apartment with 3 roommates.

The Monk in the Himalayas

The Monk That Sold His Ferrari is a tale that details the extraordinary odyssey of a powerful lawyer who is forced to confront his out-of-balance life after a serious medical condition.

To lead a more fulfilling life, he travels to India where he lives with a tribe of monks high in the Himalayan mountains. There, he discovers powerful, wise, and practical lessons about living a more fulfilling and balanced life.

Among one of the many lessons throughout the book, the enlightened monk recounts his true keys to success. While the principle may be simple, the sentiment could not ring any more true.

“What sets highly actualized people apart from those who never live inspired lives is that they do those things that less developed people don’t like doing — even though they might not like doing them either.”

What this means for you

This means that successful people are no different than you or me. They too don’t like doing the things they have to do to be successful.

It’s not that successful people are superhumans and never struggle to do these things.

No — they too sometimes don’t like doing things that will help them achieve more in life. However, despite not wanting to, they do it anyway.

The true separator is that successful people do the things they don’t like to do anyway. They’re willing to sacrifice in the short term to achieve long term success.

They give up short term comforts and pleasure for long term happiness and fulfillment.

That’s the key — successful people do things even when they don’t want to.
While the monk’s guidance isn’t anything monumental or groundbreaking, it’s a great reminder that successful people are human too.

They too struggle to wake up early. They too get tired. They too sometimes don’t want to do the work. But they do it anyway.

That’s the difference.

So don’t be discouraged when you don’t want to do something you know will make you better. Lean into it. Accept it. And understand that the road to success is going to require a couple of short term sacrifices.

This article originally appeared in Medium.