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Read Letter

On Achievement And Other Matters

My dear Jack, don’t blame her for going for him rather than staying with you. You didn’t give her assurance – and I don’t mean THAT type of assurance!

Accomplishments matter to women. She went for a guy with a clear path to accomplishment. He seems more focused and more determined to succeed. Don’t forget she’s essentially staking her life on your future if she marries you. Your outcome will affect her outcome so she has a right to choose whom she feels will deliver more value in future. You can argue from now till midnight as to the proprietariness of such a mind-set but there are things you don’t argue about in life. You just accept them for what they are. This is one of them. You can’t morally judge her for going for a guy with better prospects, anymore than anyone can judge you for dating her because she’s a naturally occurring beauty specimen. Works both ways. But beyond the issue of relationship you ought to focus on accomplishment. It’s a mind-set.

There are those who luxuriate in process, don’t really care about outcomes. Think of an artist who enjoys painting but never completes a painting and so can’t earn an income. There are those like that. Another analogy is a football team full of dribblers that never score. And yet it’s goals that count at the end of the day, dribble all you like. There’s no trophy for dribbling. It’s the same thing. If you’re not focused on accomplishment you’re life’s dribbler. However dexterous you are you won’t be an accomplished person.

Accomplishment starts with clearly defined goals. What exactly do you want to accomplish? Where are you going? What do you want to become? Women can sense these things. They can sense an accomplisher, the serious guy. And whilst most women will be sacrificial towards your life ambition, if you’re not serious they’re just going to give up at some point. You’ll be frustrating. Nothing as sad a woman leaving you having given her all towards your success and you yourself aren’t serious. Fills a woman with regret.

Like I said, accomplishment is a mind-set. On a quotidian basis it starts by listing what you want to accomplish in a day. That’s the first thing you ought to do when you get to your desk – list what you intend to accomplish for that day. Being able to tick those goals makes you feel accomplished at the end of the day. Your day is not wasted. Indeed you should start much earlier in the day.

Don’t jump out of bed in the morning. Spend some time meditating. Which means spend some time thinking about what you want to accomplish that day. What issues are you confronting? What solutions can you proffer? Who do you need to see? How do you intend to solve that problem? What’s the outline for that presentation? Think through. Jumping out of bed every morning without a plan for the day is akin to a headless chicken bouncing with depleting energy and vigour all over the place. You ought to have a clear idea of what you aim to accomplish in any one day.

Now, here’s where laziness comes in – the inability or unwillingness to think through, to be thorough in approach to issues and challenges. If you must do research do a thorough research. Don’t just go through motions. If you’re presenting a paper be thorough in your presentation. Whatever you’re doing be thorough. Give thorough thought, apply yourself thoroughly, think through all the angles. Same thing with a business proposal. If you’re pitching an idea be prepared for all angles of questions. That’s what gives you credibility. That’s what makes you investible. Be sure about your quantities, be exact. Don’t keep saying, “About 200.” Be definitive. Shows you’ve done your calculation. Go back and re-measure if you have to. Don’t skimp on exactitude. Be sure of your facts and figures. Avoid intellectual laziness – the unwillingness to apply oneself to deep thought on an issue. Close enough is not good enough. In any race someone’s going to come first. Why not you?

If you want to succeed, work hard. There’s no shortcut to success. You’ll be shocked how hard the successful have to work. In fact the more you succeed the harder you need to work. You’ve got to be on your toes, you’ve got to fend off competition, you’ve got to innovate. Innovate the future. Think. No one makes it and just folds his hands. You work harder. Achieving success is one thing, maintaining success is another.

There’s also the thing about excellence. You must be dedicated to excellence. You must aim to be the best, to put in the best not just your best. Excellence is hard work. Easier to present mediocre performance, but then your life becomes mediocre. And you won’t make much headway at work if other people have to complete your tasks for you. You’re obviously not manager material. You need to be managed. And so if you don’t want to lose your next girlfriend to another guy you better demonstrate seriousness about life. You can’t just be coasting along expecting things to magically work themselves out. Life takes effort. If your life is dedicated to excellence, you put in your all. Meditate on things that define excellence. Think of your iPhone for example, or any Apple product. Look at the amount of effort put in debating design features. Not to talk of mock ups. To build the first Apple store a full scale model was built. They were that dedicated to getting things right. They were close to launch when they realised a strategic error in the logic of the mock up and they had to start all over again. Those Apple stores are not accidentally successful. Think of the Apple Park, Apple HQ. Take time to study the level of thinking that went into the design. They sweated the small stuff extensively. There was an insane amount of time debating the trees that will grace the park for example. An arborist was hired. That’s what achievers do. They spend a lot of time thinking through. Then they execute.

Execution is critical. If you have all the plans in the world but don’t execute, those plans amount to nothing. Wasted effort. Execute your plans. It’s why you make lists. Make a list of all the steps you need to take to accomplish a project. Sync them and you have a plan.

You don’t fold your hands and allow life to happen to you. You take the battle to life. When your woman sees that desire in you, the desire to succeed, she’ll feel encouraged to stake her life on you. She knows you’re going somewhere. She won’t want to waste her qualities on a non-achiever. Call it Darwinian but that’s life.

So what do you want to become? And what will it take? Are you willing to pay the price? Even if you can’t precisely define it you must be able to say, I want to be successful in life. That hunger matters. Success is never an accident. You must be prepared to put in the effort.

As per your ex-girlfriend, you drove her to the limit. You exhausted her patience, exasperated her. So she signed off you. When a woman gets to that point it’s hard to get her back. Learn from this experience and input the knowledge into your next relationship. But women want serious men. If she’s your daughter you’ll insist she brings home a serious young man. Be that serious young man.

We’ll discuss the other issues in my letter next week. In the meantime, face front. That’s the direction of the future. Stop moving forward using a rear view mirror.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

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Tags : accomplishment, achievement, Success

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