We just don’t see the story unfold from day one

“People don’t rise from nothing. We do owe something to parentage and patronage. The people who stand before kings may look like they did it all by themselves. But in fact they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot.” — Malcolm Gladwell

Our culture celebrates the myth of the “self-made man.”

Consider several big-name software billionaires: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and co-founder of Sun-Microsystems, Bill Joy. All of them were born with an extraordinary gift for logical reasoning as well as ambition, practical intelligence and opportunities to practice their skills. Mystery of the wildly successful solved?

Not so fast. To achieve world-class mastery at anything, studies show you need to spend a “critical minimum” amount of time — around 10,000 hours — practicing. So it’s not just that they had opportunities. It’s that they had a precise series of opportunities that let them get their 10,000 hours of computer programming practice in at exactly the right time in history.

In order to capitalize on the rapidly changing software industry, they had to be born at just the right time: late enough to have access to a new computer model that made it easier to work out programming bugs, but not so late that others could get to their ideas first. They also had to be just the right age when starting their companies. If they had been much older, they might have been more interested in “settling down” rather than in taking the huge risks that allowed them to succeed. So the fact that these successful software tycoons were in the right place at the right time, matters.

There are a great deal of misconceptions when it comes to successful people. They’re seen as a mystery in a way, and naturally many people make assumptions about their lives that aren’t necessarily true.

This can make some people nervous about their own path to success because they don’t feel as capable as the people who have achieved it before them. However, that wasn’t always the case in their lives,

we just don’t see the story unfold from day one — we see it once success has already come to fruition.

Some People Seem To Have It All So Easily

It’s easy to look at successful people and be a bit jealous or envious. They always seem to be living the lives that you want to live. They don’t seem to have a care in the world. They have plenty of money, plenty of time, and they’re living the way that they want to.

We always only see them in a positive light — there rarely seems to be something going wrong in their world.

Think about the life of someone successful. It could be someone famous or wealthy, or just someone happy and fulfilled that you know of.

It seems like such a fantastic life to live — full of enjoyment and without any significant struggles. They seem to know how they want to live their life and they’re doing it with relative ease,

and social media showcases it all for us in real time — the yachts, the luxury purchases, and the endless smiles.

They’re happy with who they are and they’re comfortable with just coasting from here on out, not having to worry about how they can advance themselves to that next level. Successful people almost always seem calm, cool and collected.

They tend not to have too many worries in their life because they’re at the point that they want to be at. You’ll rarely find them stressing out about their day to day existence because the struggle is in their rear-view mirror, not something they’re facing head-on.

This is such an ideal goal for so many people because nobody likes overcoming obstacles to achieve goals all the time. When you’re successful, you’ll find that many of your dreams seem to have come true.

If you’ve always wanted to spend time travelling or pursuing a certain hobby, you’ll have the time as well as the resources and money to do it. Not only will you be able to pursue your dreams, but you’ll be able to do it stress-free, not having to worry about spending too much or not getting back to work in time. In all aspects, this

seems like a simply ideal life to live.

Backstory Is The Hidden Formula For Success

As much as it might be nice to see the lives of these successful people and imagine it as your own, something that’s very important to realize is that they weren’t always at that point.

While you very rarely see the struggles of these individuals’ journeys, they were always there.

It’s not always visible, necessarily, but just about everyone who’s become successful has gone through their own trials and tribulations in order to get to that point.

This is a concept that tends to escape many people, and not understanding it can lead to a lot of frustration when they face adversity and problems of their own. They don’t see these successful people dealing with problems like stress and frustration, so naturally, that must mean that they’re doing something wrong.

However, this isn’t always the case. Many people who are successful now don’t go into detail about their days of struggling. They’re more concerned with enjoying the life that they’re living now, without the stresses of always having to fight their way to a place where they’re happy and content.

They tend to have a more positive outlook and focus on their present more than anything, so it’s rare to hear their tales of struggles. However,

you can be sure that everyone has had their low points.

Some have had more than others, but they’ve all had them. Everyone has points in time where they doubt themselves, when they face adversity, and when they just want to give up.

Regardless, the success stories all persisted through tough times and became the person you see them as today. Don’t worry about whether or not it’s obvious that they had their hardships — just know that they were there, too at one point.

Don’t compare your journey, resources and tools that are available to you to anyone else’s. Whatever they saw and did with their lives has no bearing on how your path to success is going to look.

They mightn’t show their worries and stresses, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have them deep down inside.

Everyone’s going to have their low points, and you’re not going to be an exception.

The sooner you realize that obstacles are inevitable and vow to overcome them no matter what, the sooner you’ll achieve your goals. If you’re ever hesitant about your ability to pass the finish line, read some biographies of people who’ve overcome hardships to achieve greatness.

They Put Just As Much Effort Into Mindset As They Do Action

Successful people are sometimes quick to talk about the moves they’re making. They always preach about taking action and how important it is to building your success. But what they don’t often tell you about is how important your mindset is to success.

Arguably, mindset is just as important as action, if not more.

Knowing how to get yourself in the right mindset is key to living a successful life. Even though it may seem like successful people just have it all figured out intuitively — and all they have to worry about is a formidable task list, that’s not really the case.

Successful people rely heavily on the mindsets that they’ve built up over the years in order to overcome all obstacles and adversity. Having a strong mind is a major factor when it comes to dealing with stress, planning out your to-do lists, and your responses when things go wrong.

Having the wrong mindset or a poor mindset in these kinds of situations can be very dangerous for your success efforts. If you’re in the wrong mindset and you suddenly face unexpected adversity, you’re going to react poorly and handle it badly, which could impede your dreams.

You might make a hasty or irrational decision that could end up being your downfall. To avoid times like that, the most successful people tend to spend a lot of time that you don’t see concentrating on their mindset.

They spend a good deal of time reading books focused on having a go-getter attitude, or attending conferences and seminars in which they learn how to effectively deal with their problems. They make a significant effort to improve themselves so as to avoid any potential problems in the future.

Another aspect of this kind of preparation is facing up to problems and fears. While they rarely show it, successful people do have genuine fears and worries just like everyone else.

That might seem absurd, considering that they’re so rich and happy on the surface, but everyone has their serious, deep-seated concerns. Successful people don’t just tuck these worries away though.

They deal with them on their own time to the best of their ability. They focus greatly on becoming aware of their weaknesses and how they affect them, so they can be less susceptible to being overwhelmed by them later on.

Whenever you encounter or study a successful person’s habits, you’ll realize they do a lot of self-help work behind the scenes.

They read motivational books, subscribe to inspiring podcasts, network with other like-minded individuals, and shut out negative influences.

Surround Yourself With The Right Influences

A major aspect of your success revolves around your ability to surround yourself with those who are also geared towards positivity and success. Many successful people wouldn’t be where they are today without some kind of positive influence from those around them.

Nobody just ends up being successful on their own. By surrounding yourself with the right people, you set yourself up for a much better chance at success. Consider for a bit what your life might look like if you didn’t surround yourself with good influences.

Perhaps you hung out with people who weren’t geared toward success and were instead content with just being mediocre — or worse. Maybe a lot of the media you consumed painted life in a negative manner.

These kinds of outside influences mightn’t seem so bad, but they can have a very real effect on your mentality, which in turn affects your success. Negative people and negative media choices will bring you down in terms of your mood, and if you’re not in high spirits, chances are that you’re not very excited about life.

If you’re not excited about life and about the direction in which your’s is headed, you’re much less likely to have an enjoyable time working towards success. If you don’t like what you’re doing, you’re not going to be very good at it — or at the very least, you’ll want to stop putting in much effort.

You always want to be surrounding yourself with positive influences in any way you can.

This means that you should be talking to positive people, reading material on how to improve your quality of life, and thoroughly encasing yourself in a support system that’s focused on helping you achieve success, rather than weighing you down.

By surrounding yourself with this kind of upward-thinking support system, you’re giving yourself a much better chance at having the life you’ve always dreamed of. Whenever you have doubts or concerns, you’ll be able to look at any of these resources and feel at least some form of reassurance.

Positive influences help keep you on a steady path towards success. Nothing’s more important in terms of success than consistency and perseverance, and if you don’t have that kind of support system around you to help keep you going, then it’s not a good outlook for you if you end up facing some rough patches.

To create this type of system, start by putting boundaries in place to keep negative ones on the outer perimeter.

Limit your time and exposure to those who drag you down or introduce a great deal of stress in your life.

Then carefully hand-pick the influencers who lift you up and inspire you to do great things. There are many people to choose from, so make sure you select those whose attitude corresponds to what you enjoy and don’t settle for someone just because they carry the label of “motivational expert.”

Always Be A Work In Progress

When you first begin your path to success, you’ll often have a very clear goal in mind. Perhaps it’s to own your own business, make a certain amount of money or something broader like just being happy with your life.

No matter what it is, you know what point you want to reach to be able to call yourself successful. The thing is, very few success plans go anywhere beyond that goal. In order to be truly successful, you always need to be improving yourself.

When people become successful, they don’t just stop all progress and think that they’re finished.

There are always parts of your life that could use improvement, whether that’s in your relationships, your mindset, or furthering your own career.

There’s never a point where you stop improving. You should always be striving to improve some area of your life. The only difference is, once you reach your goals, the work will be a lot easier — maybe a completely different, new and exciting challenge, but you’ll have proof of your abilities to get to where you want to in life.

Successful people are always looking for new ways to improve. For example, look at any popular music artist. Once they achieve fame and success, they don’t just stop making music.

They continue to work at their career and strive to become the best that they can be, even developing new sounds and styles to introduce to consumers. This same idea pertains to all successful people around the world.

It’s always a task in motion to be the best version of yourself possible. There’s no reason for you to suddenly sit there stagnant after years of working to become successful.

Use the momentum that you’ve built up to work towards even more success. The most successful people seldom see any particular end goal in their minds. They might have a checklist of small goals that they want to achieve — almost like a bucket-list — but no grand end goal. Their only real goal is to see how far they can push themselves to continue improving.

Don’t put a cap on your success.

You don’t need to stop at a certain point just because that’s the finish line you imagined for yourself early on. You can always set new goals — either after you’ve achieved one or along the way to achieving it. All you need to focus on is improving your life to the best of your ability on a continual basis.


George is a writer focusing on writing, books, self-improvement and personal development.
George is a writer focusing on writing, books, self-improvement and personal development.
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