How to conquer ANY challenge
I need to preface this by saying this is a re-post from an article I read written by Rahul Bhambhani from take-20.com. I read it and it instantly caught my attention. I hope some of you can apply this to your lives.
My greatest talent is my ability to quickly conquer challenges, no matter how difficult they may be, and obtain the results I desire while doing so every time.
I’ve used this formula to ace countless exams while in college, become an expert in the field of women and dating, become a solid poker player in a short amount of time, and advance leaps and bounds in my spiritual development.
No matter the specifics of your particular challenge (acquiring a new skill, squeezing out an incredible performance in a short amount of time, gaining control over a chaotic area of your life, etc.) apply this formula and I’m confident you’ll achieve the results you desire every single time.
Without further ado, here’s the formula.
1. Cultivate a Burning Desire for Success
This is the first and most important step of the formula. Without a burning desire for success, you won’t have the fuel necessary to stick to your guns when the going gets tough, and will give up way too easily. You won’t want it bad enough.
With a burning desire for success, however, your drive will become even stronger when facing potential obstacles. Rather than stopping you, these obstacles will serve as additional fuel for your burning desire once you’ve overcome them. There’s no better way to boost your self-confidence than to prevail in spite of all the obstacles that stand in your way.
I absolutely love to cultivate a burning desire for success by deliberately putting myself in tremendously tough situations. When I was still in college, I would purposely never go to class, and would wait until a few days before an exam to start studying for it. I thrive under pressure, and there’s nothing I love more than facing a seemingly impossible challenge. I knew that by intentionally putting myself in the tough situation described above, I would cultivate the burning desire for success necessary to ace any exam thrown my way.
Over the past few years, channeling my frustration has been another great method I’ve used to stoke my burning desire for success. Three years ago, I was extremely frustrated with my dating situation. I felt like I had no control over my dating life, and had no selection when it came to women. If I was lucky, a girl may have looked my way once or twice. I hated that I had to rely on chance to land the girl of my dreams.
As this frustration built up, I became more and more motivated to change my bleak dating situation. Finally my frustration reached its flash point, and a raging wildfire suddenly ignited within. I decided I was going to become a master with women and dating, and nothing was going to stop me.
While these two methods of cultivating my burning desire for success have worked for me, they may not work for you. Different methods work for different people, and the key is to identify the method that works best for you.
Ask yourself, what does it take for you to really start wanting something? Look to your past and identify those times when you wanted something really bad, and figure out how this desire started in the first place.
Did you want to prove to yourself that you were capable of achieving something great?
Did you want to prove to others that you were capable of doing something incredible?
Were you highly unsatisfied with the quality of an area of your life?
Did having your back against the wall in a pressure situation motivate you?
2. Decide You’ll Do Whatever it Takes to Get the Results You Desire
By deciding to do whatever it takes to obtain the results you desire, you’re almost guaranteeing your success before you even get started. Understand you can only fail when you throw in the towel, and that whatever obstacles you experience along your path to success will yield to stern resolve. Therefore, failure is not an option.
I’ll admit, it’s challenging to adopt this mindset under normal circumstances. But these are not normal circumstances, my friend. Your burning desire for success will be RAGING so uncontrollably that you’ll have no problem believing that your success is inevitable.
Here’s an awesome quote to illustrate the mindset you need to have:
“Obstacles cannot crush me. Every obstacle yields to stern resolve. He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind.”
– Leonardo Da Vinci
I’m pretty sure we can agree that Da Vinci was a wise man. You’d be just as wise to acknowledge that no matter how challenging the path to success may seem, your unshakable commitment to success will always triumph any challenge thrown your wayno matter what.
3. Apply Overwhelming Force
Don’t just skim the top of the water with your feet. Dive in head first! Tackle this challenge with your full arsenal of weaponry. Attack it from every angle, and don’t ease off the trigger until it’s been completely annihilated.
When I finally decided I was going to earn a living as a professional poker player, I knew that to succeed I would have to learn how to play the incredibly complex game optimally. I also knew that easing into things wasn’t going to help me conquer this challenge, and that I’d have to hit the ground running right away if I was to have any shot at success.
I immediately applied overwhelming force to my learning efforts.
I started reading poker strategy forums tirelessly, tore through tons of books insatiably, played in nearly a thousand online tournaments, studied and analyzed my hand histories endlessly, discussed tough hands with friends that were better than me into the wee hours of the night, and subscribed to a coaching website and watched hundreds of hours of strategy videos created by top professional poker players.
Can you say overkill?
I estimate I spent 10-12 hours a day, 5 days a week for 2 months learning the game. I ate, slept, and breathed poker. As crazy as this regimen might sound, at the end of the 2 month period I had learned the ins and outs of the game more thoroughly than most people would over the course of 2 years. By applying overwhelming force, I significantly shortened my learning curve, and became a strong poker player in a ridiculously short amount of time. The crazy regimen was well worth the reward.
Don’t dawdle around and spend years conquering a challenge. Your burning desire will most likely fizzle out over such an extended period of time. Instead, decide to apply overwhelming force to the rest of the steps listed below, and conquer that challenge as soon as possible!
4. Learn from the Experts
Actively seek out knowledge from experts who have already conquered your challenge. By doing so, your learning curve will shorten significantly, and you’ll absorb the best knowledge simultaneously.
I can’t stress to you enough how important this step is. Every single time I’ve conquered a challenge, a major factor in my success was the knowledge I acquired from experts.
When learning about women and dating, I got hold of all of David DeAngelo’s “Double Your Dating” programs, and gobbled up his knowledge on the subject. I then studied the Mystery Method, and completed Zan Perrion’s Enlightened Seduction program.
While pursuing my spiritual growth, I’ve read many books written by different masters explaining various spiritual pathways. I’ve attended a Vipassana Meditation course. I’ve corresponded regularly with a highly evolved spiritual mentor for over a year.
Whenever I was faced with a challenging exam on a subject I knew little about, I always studied with a friend who already had a great understanding of the material. I didn’t waste my time in study groups with people who only had a cursory understanding of the material at hand. Instead, I aligned myself with the brightest students in the class (the experts), and quickly mastered the material by picking their brain.
Who are the experts that have already conquered the challenge you’re facing now? Buy their books, attend their seminars, follow their instruction, and absorb as much of their knowledge as you possibly can. This will clear your pathway to success.
5. Seek a Thorough Theoretical Understanding
Any challenge you face will have a theoretical component, as well as an application component. Theory is the studying part, while application requires you to put what you’ve learned to the test in the real world. Most people tend to neglect theory, and focus their efforts solely on the application component of the challenge instead. These people think theory and studying are worthless, and that real results are only obtained through constant practice and application.
At face value their belief seems to make sense, but in reality it’s only partially accurate. When you examine it a bit closer you’ll come to realize these people are doing themselves a HUGE disservice by choosing to conquer their challenges with this mindset.
An advanced theoretical understanding will lay the foundation necessary to interpret the valuable lessons you’ll learn while tackling the application component of your challenge. Without the theoretical understanding in place, you won’t be able to extract the valuable lessons yielded by your real world application.
Also, a solid theoretical understanding will enrich the overall experience of conquering your challenge because you’ll understand exactly why you’re getting certain results. By understanding the mechanics at work behind the scenes, you’ll have a much deeper experience than someone else who chooses to neglect the theoretical component of the challenge.
During the Vipassana Meditation course I attended in July, there was an extensive theoretical component, as well as an application component of the practice. Every evening there was a discourse that provided all of the theoretical information we students would need to understand what we were learning.
While most students blew off this aspect of the course and only paid attention to the application component of the meditation, I made it a point to thoroughly understand all of the information the teacher was giving us. I used the time allocated for teacher interviews to ask my teacher as many questions as possible to clear up any confusion I had. As a result I was able to reach a deeper stage of meditation than any of the other new students at the course, and the experience was that much more powerful for me.
6. Apply Your Understanding
While theoretical understanding is crucial to your success in any endeavor, it’s only 50% of the equation. The other 50% of the equation is the application of your theoretical understanding.
Reading books and absorbing the wisdom of experts will only get you so far. At some point you’ll have to apply what you’ve learned, and what you’ll usually find is that while understanding is one thing, application is an entirely different animal.
You may have the best theoretical understanding of a subject in the world, but as soon as you try to apply what you’ve learned you’ll crash and burn just like everybody else. Don’t get discouraged! This is a natural part of the learning process, and has to happen. Invite and appreciate failure because it’s your greatest ally on your pathway to success. Success can only be reached after you’ve failed many, many times.
After crashing and burning a few times, you’ll soon find that your thorough theoretical understanding gives you a distinct advantage in the learning process. You’ll learn from your mistakes much faster, because you’ll understand why they’re happening, and will be able to solve the problems causing them at their roots.
When learning how to play poker, I mistakenly believed that by reading tons of books and watching a lot of strategy videos I would get better in no time without any practice. I figured I would be an expert as soon as I hit the virtual felt because of my conceptual understanding of the game.
Boy was I wrong.
Only once I had played in hundreds of tournaments, made thousands of mistakes, and reviewed countless hand histories did I notice a significant improvement in my poker game. I realized that if I was to succeed in conquering the challenge of earning a living playing poker, I was going to have to spend time studying AND practicing.
Balance your theoretical understanding by applying what you’ve learned, and you’ll find that the learning process is much more efficient than it once was when you lacked this balance.
7. Teach Others What You Have Learned
This is the icing on the cake, the final step in the process of conquering any challenge you choose to face.
Teaching others what you’ve learned is the best way to solidify your understanding of what you’ve learned. Find people who are interested in conquering the same challenge you’re interested in, but who don’t yet have the theoretical understanding necessary to do so. You’ll find that in order to teach these people what you’ve learned you’ll need a much higher level of understanding.
The reason for this is because your “students” will ask you many questions you hadn’t considered while learning the material. Their questions will come from all sorts of angles, and your understanding will really be tested. You probably won’t be able to answer all of their questions, and that’s okay! This process is awesome because it’ll expose concepts you previously overlooked, and will give you a chance to further deepen your understanding of these concepts.
When they ask you questions you already know the answer to, that’s great too! This will drill concepts that you already know further into your head, and your understanding of these concepts will become even better than it was before.
After you’ve spent enough time teaching others what you’ve learned, you’ll find that your level of understanding has skyrocketed to previously unknown levels. Also, the application portion of your challenge will be significantly easier because your excellent theoretical understanding will serve as application’s rock-solid foundation.