Have you ever found yourself watching someone you admire, and thought to yourself, ‘Damn that is impressive - how did they get there?’ They are so much cooler than me. They must be some kind of savant. How else could they be so much further ahead of me and accomplished so much?

First of all, be careful not to fall into the envy trap. Secondly, trust me, they are not super heroes. We all have 168 hours in a week. We all have belly buttons, and a lot of excuses to go with them too.

The main difference between you and them? They learned how to be miserable, realized that their barriers are self-inflicted, and mastered the game of persistence.

Let me start with one truth nugget:

‘There’s no such thing as glamourous growth but only painful growth. The glamour comes later and only in hindsight.’ – Shu Hattori.

There’s no way around it, if you want to achieve something, you’re going to sink before you swim. Get used to drowning. Embrace it. Laugh at yourself. Dig deep and put in the reps. You’re going to get better. Success will come. But you have to learn to suffer first and foremost.

You need to teach yourself, especially when stretching the limits of your capacity and capability, how to be patient and take action. You might even tell yourself; I don’t know how to do it today, but I will know how to do it tomorrow.

When you think you’re at your limit, the first thing you need to do is take a second and tell yourself that you can do this. Because you can.

We are emotional beings. Usually when we feel overwhelmed it is because we’re stressed and our negative emotions take over.

Don’t beat yourself up for this, it is perfectly natural. You just need to practice overcoming these feelings, and develop tools to kick it in the ass. All you need to do is move forward. Even if only by an inch. Take incremental steps.

Don’t allow yourself to think of past failures or potential future mishaps. Focus only on the present - on moving the ball down the field one small piece at a time.

Take whatever you are doing and quickly define the smallest increment of completion. For example, if your writing something, focus on just that one paragraph or even just one sentence, not the entire paper.

Whatever it is you are trying to accomplish, concentrate on only finishing one small piece. Once you do, congratulate yourself. You deserve it. You told yourself you could do it, and you just proved it to yourself. Congratulations. Rinse and repeat.

‘Feeling sorry for yourself, and your present condition, is not only a waste of energy but the worst habit you could possibly have.’  - Dale Carnegie.

Admittedly this is something I struggle with. As a matter of fact, sometimes I get so bogged down by my self-pity I can’t accomplish anything and am convinced I should give up. I think most people go through this at one point or another. The trick is, you have to learn how to recognize it when it comes.

In my experience, you have two options: you either fight it and win, or you accept temporary defeat and go do something that takes zero willpower – like see a movie or hang out with a friend – and try again tomorrow.

Obviously, you shouldn’t make a habit of accepting defeat. I usually assess how severe the bad attitude is, and if it’s not that bad I’ll push through. If I decide to tally one in the loss column, I give myself 24 hours, nothing more to get over the funk.

Some people might disagree with defeat, but I find that if I just keep pushing and failing and pushing and failing when I don’t feel like doing something, I get incredibly frustrated and my attitude gets even worse. This is the productivity death spiral. It’s the absolute mind fuck.

If this sounds like you, learn to recognize it. The earlier you catch it, the less of a funk and upset at yourself you’ll be. Just let it go and get your mind off it by doing something different or fun.

Persistence is the key to success. Most of us have heard the old adage, ‘if it was easy, everyone would do it’. There’s a reason we’ve all heard this a million times. Because it is a universal truth.

Success comes to those who have the guts to push through when the going gets rough.

If I have disappointed anyone reading this who was hoping for an easy win, sorry but you’re shit out of luck. There are way too many motivated, smart and driven people out there for you to be truly successful while sitting on your ass without any effort.

Your success in life is directly correlated to your ability to consistently give effort over the long run.  Consistent action over time – this is the secret of the universe my friends. Don’t believe me? Go read Angela Duckworth’s, Grit. You’ll be convinced, trust me.