Success does not necessarily have to be difficult! You see, most people believe that achieving their goals is something hard, a tedious task they have to put all their efforts into, and then wait for the right circumstances or lady luck to favor them. In fact, getting what you want out of life, be it a professional or a personal goal is neither easy nor difficult... There are specific rules or principles if you like, which if followed can lead to success in a natural way. Moreover, the question of difficulty or easiness is a rather misleading one; it provides an easy excuse for non-effort and withdrawal: "-if success is easy, why should I try hard?"; similarly, "-if it is difficult, what's the point of trying?" (!) The right question we should ask is "-what are the principles and mechanisms one should follow, to make his/her goals a reality?"
What I believe is that this world operates in accordance with specific laws:
a) The law of cause and effect (or the causality principle): “if you do A and B your result will be C…”; from this point-of-view, succeeding is a matter of doing the right things the right way. Of course, this is easier said than done, since doing something implies both a decision and a choice (for instance, if I want to lose a few pounds of extra weight, I have to make up my mind to reduce the daily calorie intake and avoid sweets and candies). Hence, if we continue doing the same things, chances are we are going to get the same results (e.g. if we talk to prospective customers using the same words, phrases, and having the same attitude, our closing ratio (deals / efforts) will remain the same –unless we try something different...). So, to sum up, the law of cause and effect, simply states that there is no “magic recipe" for success: to have, feel or be what we desire, we should follow a series of appropriate steps and take action.
b) The law of probabilities (or the probability principle): everything in the universe happens in a probabilistic way! Certainty is the exemption rather than the rule. For instance, we cannot forecast weather with 100% accuracy, nor can we predict if the person we are attracted to will fall in love with us..! But, uncertainty gives rise to stress and agony, therefore humankind has developed science to encapsulate the mechanisms of natural phenomena in order to feel “safe”. Yet, ironically, modern science has proven that predictability is in fact a utopia: Werner Heisenberg, a theoretical physicist, one of the pioneers of quantum physics and a Nobel prize winner in 1932, put forward the “uncertainty principle”, stating that we cannot measure with accuracy the exact position or momentum of sub-atomic particles such as the electrons and photons.
Hence, uncertainty is the “default” natural state of things (unless reason, effort, or emotion, i.e., energy is poured into the system). On the other hand, this is the beauty of life, as if everything was predictable our life would be boring; we would have no challenges to face, no goals to pursue, no happiness to anticipate (imagine a world where you’d know whom you'd get married to, how much money you would earn, and so on). Furthermore, in a totally predictable world there would be no personal choice and no free will; we’d become robots...
c) The law of attraction (or the attraction principle): “whatever you think tends to expand”. This is the most controversial one, as although it is not a scientifically proven theory, it adds an interesting perspective with regard to the mechanisms of success. In essence, the law of attraction underlines the importance of thoughts and emotions. The way we think and feel can attract or repel the outcomes we want in our lives. Negative thoughts such as anger, sadness, anxiety or shame give rise to a series of negative reactions and events, thus affecting both our professional and personal success; conversely, positive thoughts and optimism bring about positivity and abundance in every aspect of our lives (work, relationships, and well-being). Of course, those ideas can be found not only in the law of attraction, but also in areas such as cognitive psychology, which puts emphasis on thoughts and beliefs. Furthermore, nowadays there is a growing research interest around the impact of emotions on the results we get in the context of both personal and organizational life.
The way employees and managers feel affects their performance and a company’s total output. Angry, dissatisfied and unhappy workers are not in position to provide good customer service to clients nor are they willing to “go the extra mile”, persist in their efforts despite the difficulties, overcome everyday challenges and bring profitable results. Nevertheless, emotions are a key ingredient of our success: enthusiasm, confidence, and passion are needed to pursue anything of value and to keep us motivated in the face of adversities.
All three laws mentioned above (causality, probability, and attraction) should be taken into account, because, in my view, they are working simultaneously. Reason / causality, probability, and emotion are the 3 prerequisites for success creation and sustainment. Therefore, to achieve your goals, you should know how to do it (causality), work methodically (to increase probability), while maintaining a positive attitude and a burning desire (the attraction element).