Why spending more time and energy won't make you successful

By Fleming Gracious

There are various reasons people find themselves frustrated or even on the verge of giving up when they cannot reach their goals for success. They dedicate so much time and energy, and even sacrifice, which often results in failure and disappointment.

People often view hard work as virtuous. It signals commitment and focuses on the job at hand. But working too hard can also negatively impact how people perceive you. Eventually, a line is crossed, and people start to wonder why you have to work so hard to create a specific outcome. If you can generate high performance in a more relaxed manner, you look much more professional than the person who works 70 hours a week.

And being able to perform without expending as much energy as the next person also means you have a greater capacity to deal with new, uncertain, or cutting-edge issues at work.

Here I will introduce three areas in which we spend a lot of time and energy and instead receive too small of a return on this investment for success.

First, the most time-consuming part of a human's career is searching for one’s passion and life's purpose.

But what is the difference between passion and purpose, and how can we discover this?

Have you been finding it challenging to discover your true passion? Does it feel you have given up on your dreams because of recent events, maybe personal or global, such as the pandemic? And now, it seems like it is not even your priority to find your true purpose.

Billions worldwide ask these questions today: What is my true purpose? Is my passion leading me anywhere?

Many also spend a lot of time stressing themselves out, trying to unearth their passion. But what if you don't have to find it? Rather, you should simply summon it because passion is an evolutionary process of reflecting on your gifts, values, and what you want to contribute.

As Seth Godin said in one of his podcasts, "If you believe that you are ordained one thing to do, to be something you think was your purpose, you are always going to be dissatisfied as you bounce from one thing to another." Instead, we simply say, "I am choosing to be passionate about what I do, and my purpose is whatever I am doing."

So, if you have been looking to find your purpose or passion, the good news is that you can stop looking. They are part of you and in your life already. You need to step back, reflect, realign your life as needed, and keep building.

“Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” - Harriet Tubman

Why won’t hard work make you successful?

We were taught, "Just work hard at whatever job you get, and things will work out." As for me, this is a false statement. Working hard at your job does not get you much. When you work hard at a job where the boss does not value your efforts, you - and all of your hard work - is taken for granted. Just working hard alone will exhaust you and shorten your lifespan without any lasting benefits.

There has to be more to success than merely working hard, or millions of people worldwide would be a lot more successful than they are! If you are at work right now, think about the investment of time and energy you are making. Imagine that you only went home to sleep for four hours a night and gave up all the rest of your time to get more work done. Imagine that you practically lived at your desk and worked your tail off for the next five years. What would that extraordinary effort get you?

If you're working for a fixed salary or hourly wage the way most people are, you won't see economic benefits from pouring all of your energy into your job. Your boss may be grateful to you for all your extra effort, but they are not going to give you a pay raise every month just because you are putting in extra hours.

We can see that there's more to career success than just hard work -- so what's the magic ingredient?

The magic ingredient to success is not the good fortune to come from a wealthy family. It isn't an excellent education, either, as plenty of underemployed but highly-educated people can attest. The magic ingredient for career success and satisfaction is self-determination. When you are the captain of the ship, you get to decide which way to sail. That's the only way to be successful in your career.

Why beating yourself up serves no purpose

Now we come to the most important part: How many times did you feel like giving up but later realized you missed an opportunity to make things right? You instead focused on self-loathing and not succeeding in many attempts leading to failure. We all have doubts about our abilities from time to time and wish to develop some aspects of our personalities, behaviors, appearances, or skills. It's perfectly natural. Constantly thinking of ourselves as worthless or not good enough, on the other hand, is very different. Treating ourselves with contempt and self-loathing regularly can negatively affect our mental health, physical well-being, and relationships with loved ones. Nobody is perfect, and even the best and brightest make mistakes. Instead of dwelling on failures, learn from them and move on. Silence the inner bully that persistently goads you to hurt and neglect yourself

Below are five things you can do - and I practice! - to become your best self:

1. Focus more on positive self-talk.

2. Practice kindness towards yourself.

3. Stop comparing yourself to others.

4. Think of mistakes as learning opportunities.

5. Be patient with yourself.

In conclusion, being successful is measured by when you reach your goals. The time and energy you put into reaching them, define your journey. Being the hardest working person in the room doesn’t promise you success either; you may gain a certain amount of positive results, but at what cost? Is achieving success measured in sacrificing your health?

Success comes from your willingness to repeatedly try for a breakthrough. Train your mind and steer it towards focusing on the milestones you create to reach your goals. Self-determination is the key.