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The one thing you must do to succeed

“He who searches for something finds it, so dive deep in the water. However, I, like an unfortunate soul, came to the river and just sat on the bank.” ~ Saint Kabir

Most people want success. In fact, I don’t think I have encountered anyone to date who has expressed his desire to be a colossal failure. The trouble is that most people aren’t willing to do what’s necessary to reach that success. There are many prescriptions that will get you to achieve your goals, but one important fundamental ingredient in achieving your potential is going deep into whatever you are striving to do.

The 3 Types of People Who Fail

As George Leonard points out in his book “Mastery”, there are three types of people who fail to become accomplished: dabblers, obsessives and hackers. The dabblers keep dipping their toes in the water, but never jump in. The obsessives jump in with full enthusiasm, but after making a good deal of noise and splashing about, their initial enthusiasm quickly wanes and they hastily retreat to the river bank. The hackers are different; they spend a lot of time in the water, and manage to learn a number of swimming techniques. However, they learn merely how to stay afloat, and never become accomplished swimmers (these hackers are not to be confused with computer hackers who typically attain high levels of expertise in their work).

Diving Deep into Success

In order to become an expert at something, you can’t get there through superficial, short-lived, or half-baked approaches. You need to submerse yourself in that particular craft. And after you’ve dived deep and remained in the swim for a long time, you need to be prepared to be washed down the rapids, scraped along the rocks, alone, with no one to save you or tend to your wounds. And many, many years after your release from the edge, and after being subjected to this painstaking process repeatedly, maybe, just maybe, some glory, fame, and money will come.

But by that point, you aren’t doing it for the fame, glory, or money. Those thoughts were washed right out of your mind when you cleared the first waterfall. No, you’re doing it now because diving deep in the water is a rush, an incomparable exhilaration that is its own reward–one that those standing on the edges of the river will never be able to comprehend. So dive deep–and ye shall find!

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