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Over the past few months (and many years), I have watched my boyhood sports team (Limerick Hurlers) taste the ultimate success of winning the coveted All-Ireland Hurling Championship. As we / I watched in awe, it struck me the level of hard work, dedication and perseverance that it took to win and the taste of success was so much sweeter. We (the supporters) have waited 45 years for this victory and we have had more downs than ups but the belief and passion never left the team. But you look at the victory and try to understand from a players perspective what it takes and it made me think … success that is based on hard work and determination must taste so much better than success that comes easily?

A good friend once told me … the hardest part of success, is when you are about to succeed and the perseverance and belief that it takes to get across the line. Hard work is not required to be extremely successful but with hard work the taste of success is that much more sweeter as now we can appreciate what it takes to get there. To be honest and in my view, no success is achieved without hard work or sweat. Even the child prodigies became world-class experts in their fields, only after working at it for a long time. I am yet to find a single successful person who hasn’t done his share of handwork. But here are some of the factors (within the hard work area) that can drive success:

  • Focus and Dedication: – Hard work without focus leads to only a contentious performance curve with lots of peaks and valleys. It doesn’t yield a consistently improving performance. So focus and dedication should be the key to success. We all know the importance of focus and dedication, yet most of us find it difficult to maintain it over a long period of time. As my friend said to me, we often give up at the toughest points and this is the point at which we will achieve the success.
  • Achieve an Inner Drive: – All the above mentioned things are required for success but they are there is one thing that is paramount and that is your own inner drive. Every individual has a strong Inner Drive but it is to harness that inner driver and in doing so, achieving success becomes a reality. The unfortunate part is that most of us, do not recognise this inner drive and we can spend our whole lives without realising their true inner drive. This can often limit us from reaching our true potential.
  • Create a Passion and Obsession: –We often use words like passion, obsession to drive a success mantra within ourselves to drive and visualise success. You can look at any successful person and you will see a very strong inner drive which led to the success. It is not so difficult to identify the inner drive but that inner drive is consumed with a passion and in some cases an obsession to get there. You have to ask yourself without feeling pressure, do you believe to the level of wanted and is this desire fulfilled with that passion. Simple questions to ask but this is what fuels that success.
  • Making the right Trade-off’s: – Successful people make trade-offs in day-to-day actions to align their lives with their passion and obsession. The objective can very often to eliminate all non-aligned external drives from their lives and focus on what is required and essential to achieve the objective. If you observe the successful people around you, you will identify that they have one inner drive which is guiding their every decision.

If you want to be successful, identify your inner drive, treat it with passion and then make the relevant trade-offs. So back to the Limerick team, to me on that great day when they won the All-Ireland, they showed an inner drive but with a passion and a complete obsession to win that I have rarely seen before. As a fan, the taste of success was / is sweet and for this group of men / women who are part of the extended team (players and backroom staff), the taste of success must be so much sweeter. Thank you.

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