Why Success Hacks Don’t Work
Skimming through Medium, Quora, Instagram, whatever — there’s always someone trying to pawn off their “proven recipe for success.” It usually involves some sort of self-affirmation. “Success Gurus” love self-affirmation.
Maybe this kind of advice helps you more than it helps me (although I doubt it), so I’ll let you judge for yourself with this short sampling of some of the advice I’ve come across in my meticulous research (and by that I mean following gurus on social media):
- Drink lemon water.
- Drink cucumber water.
- Drink more water, period.
- Eat a hearty breakfast.
- Skip breakfast.
- Wake up early.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Make your bed.
- Work out.
- Keep a journal.
- Write in a blog.
- Dress for success (but don’t overdo it).
- Read up on current events.
- Unplug from the rest of the world.
Confused yet? Yeah, me too.
Now, I don’t have any problem with life and work “hacks.” Heck, I’ve written my fair share of advice on maximizing productivity because it’s something I genuinely think you can improve with small tweaks to your routine. I also have my own personal routines that help me to be the best version of myself, and I’d encourage everyone to experiment with some of the ideas on the list above if it interests you.
The problem, however, comes from selling people on fake promises of success and happiness with minimum effort.
Drinking lemon water won’t make you a millionaire, and eating steak and eggs at 8 a.m. isn’t going to get you that bonus you’ve been dreaming of.
Listen, there’s no magic routine that will make you a successful person. Sure, some people swear by meditation. Others credit a balanced breakfast for their ability to focus and get things done. And while that’s all well and good, it ignores the fact that you can’t just “hack” your way to success. Most of the time, there’s nothing especially exceptional about successful people besides an exceptional work ethic.
You Can’t Hack Motivation
None of these so-called “hacks” are going to help you if you’re unmotivated. If you consistently feel like you can’t bring yourself to do the work you need to do to be successful, maybe it’s time to rethink success.
Most success hacks assume that everyone has the same vision of success —usually including a high-paying corporate job, a nice car, a big house—but what if that’s not what you want? That may be why you’re feeling unmotivated.
If you hate your job and can hardly find the enthusiasm to get up in the morning, keeping a journal probably won’t do a lot of good. Success hacks promise you that you can achieve everything you want from life with a few small changes. I’m here to tell you that it’s not that easy.
You may need to make some dramatic changes to your life. You may need to quit your job. You may need to start spending less of your free time on video games and tv and more of it on personal and professional development. You may need to move to a different area of the country to seek out the right opportunity.
Yes, these steps are all much more difficult than the conventional success hacks, but you may just find that you’re more motivated to put hard work toward something that genuinely excites you.
The Real Key to Success
If you really want to be successful, there is a way, so hear me out on this.
All you need to do is follow these 5 simple steps:
- Wake up.
- Get your butt out of bed.
- Give it your all.
- Go to bed.
- Get up and do it again.
Rinse and repeat. That is the “secret formula that successful people don’t want you to know about.” It may be simple, but it certainly isn’t easy.
Success is working hard every single day towards something you care about. Your success is not dependent on the way other people view your accomplishments. Whether that means you go to the gym every morning and crush it, or you use that time to read three books a week, success lies in choosing to pursue your passion and make the most of every day.