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Small Choices Equal Big Success

ISSA Show keynote speaker preaches the power of consistency

November 1, 2018

When you think of highly successful people do you think of people who perform heroic feats or grand acts of bravery? Darren Hardy, a success mentor who was the keynote speaker Wednesday morning at the ISSA Show North America 2018, in Dallas, TX, said the most accomplished people gain their success through a serious of small, seemingly insignificant choices.

“Small choices add up to big results,” said Hardy, using everyday scenarios as an example. “Do you choose to order the salad at lunch or the cheeseburger with fries? Do you choose to stop at the gym and workout on the way home or watch a television program on the couch with a bag of chips? Do you choose to stay at work to make a few more phone calls to contacts or do you call it a day?”

Although making the correct choice seems easy, Hardy said there are four traps that stop people from making them:

  • The results are invisible at the time the decision is made.
  • The actions spurred by the decision are deceptively subtle.
  • Making the wrong choice leads to instant gratification while making the correct choice leads to no immediate result.
  • Although easy to make, the correct choices are also easy to neglect.

But over time, making these small decisions in the short-term leads to forming good habits in the long-term. “Would you rather have the pain of discipline or the pain of regret?” Hardy asked.

Hardy, who spoke to a packed room, reminded his audience that it doesn’t matter how fast you start a race, but how long you last. “Consistency wins every time,” he said.

The former publisher of Success magazine and author of a best-selling book, “The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success,” Hardy overcame adversity early in life. His parents divorced when he was 18 months old and he was raised by his father, a strict disciplinarian who coached college football. But Hardy credits his hardships for his helping him learn self-reliance and persistence.

“Don’t look at the past as wounds you need to heal from,” he said. “Your adversity is your advantage.”

Hardy warned the audience that even after making good choices, the road to success is paved with hard work.

“Don’t believe any marketing, gimmicky messages that take people for fools. There’s no silver bullet, no magic pill, no secret,” he said. “Success is earned by hard freaking work. It’s mundane, unexciting, unsexy, and laborious. You don’t get something for nothing.”

He said that although knowledge can help people get ahead in life, knowledge by itself is not enough. “It’s not what you know, but what you do with what you know,” he said. “There are lots of broke geniuses.”

Hardy recommends following a success operating system, which entails choosing a plan of action and following it consistently.

“Once you set your plan, ask yourself three questions,” he said. “Am I doing it? Have I mastered it? Would my results prove I have mastered it?”

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