No B.S Friday: This is the root of failure.
People often ask me what the quickest road to success is.
But people almost never ask me what the quickest road to failure is. And perhaps it's the more interesting question.
I came across this quote by the writer Franz Kafka the other day. It said:
“There are two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness.”
This struck me as being pretty much bang on the money.
Now I feel like I've written about laziness before. Laziness is the unwillingness to do the work that success demands of you.
It's that part of you that wants to minimise effort – cut corners, take shortcuts, or just do nothing and hope you can get away with it.
Humans have a natural instinct to energy preservation – we are wired to expend no more energy than is absolutely necessary. It’s not so important now that we live in Big-Mac rich environments. But back in the day, the lazy worm got the babe.
And so because this is part of our evolutionary history, this means that we all have laziness demons we have to deal with.
But whereas laziness is the unwillingness to give things the energy they need, Impatience is the unwillingness to give things the time they need.
When we want something it's natural to want it now. Would rather not wait if we don't have to.
But most things worth having take time.
And humans in general are just not that good at working with time. As the saying goes, people overestimate what they can get done in two weeks, and underestimate what they can get done in two years.
And so impatience is what stops us from putting our heads down and slowly chipping away, which in my experience, is how great success is built.
And it's the classic trap when it comes to wealth. People want to get rich quick. I heard a story the other day about a guy who emptied out his super and put it into a lithium miner.
He got a hot tip and he felt good about it.
(Note: impatience and laziness always ‘feel’ good. That’s how they get you.)
Anyway, the stock went up for awhile, and then it crashed. Now it’s effectively worthless.
He got rich quick, but he got poor even faster.
So these are the two cardinal sins – impatience and laziness. And so we need to lean against our instincts here, and cultivate discipline and patience.
If we have that, then we really can do anything.