Self Improvement

3 Hard But Useful Attributes to Help You Succeed

Sometimes we have to do hard things to become great. If we do easy things, our lives become hard in the future. If we do hard things our lives become easy in the future. Doesn’t this remind you of the John F Kennedy quote about going to the moon in 1962, ” We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things (accomplishments and aspirations), not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that challenge is one that we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win”. To progress in life we have to constantly do things that we perceive as hard. I would like to share with you three hard things for you to do that I wish you commit to in order for you to improve your level of effectiveness and productivity.

These three things will help you as you work towards reaching your goals – whatever your goals are, whether you have career goals, business goals or a personal goal to exercise or become healthier.

(I) Getting up early at 5am

A study done by Texas University in 2008 showed that students who identified themselves as morning people achieved better grades than those who were the “night owls”. Further research has shown that early risers are more productive, are better planners and better goal achievers. Getting up early has immense advantages. Imagine being able to exercise early consistently every day and meet your fitness goals, meet all your deadlines at work and be able to take on a new hobby. This is what you can be able to achieve if you make a firm resolution to identify yourself as an early riser and get up early at 5am.

(II) Working long hours

Gone are the 60s where there were no mobile phones, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the internet. We are more distracted these days than we ever were. It is easy to lose focus because our focus has shifted due to the ever changing technologically advanced world.

Working long hours can help you shift your focus from distractions and turn your dreams to reality. How many people dream of writing a book, how many dream of achieving fitness and look like health magazine models, how many people do you know that would like to start a serious business or obtain a qualification? All of these things require focused work that will take long hours.

Unfortunately few people these days have the ability to switch off from the world and do four to six hours of focused work. Harness your ability to grind for long hours and possess a rare attribute that most people lack in today’s world. This will set you apart and enable you to achieve all your goals.

(III) Thinking in the long term

Live in the present but think in the future. Too many of us get caught to pleasures of the moment and forget the future that we want to create. Human beings are the most intellectually capable of all species in the world but remain limited by the inability to think beyond the present.

I encourage you to develop a 5 year plan for your ideal self in all key areas of your life i.e. career, spirituality, health, finances and relationships. Take a moment every day to remind yourself of what you want to achieve in the long term. This will help you not only live in the present but psychologically and subconsciously prepare yourself for the future you want to create.

Living this way will help you create a meaningful life and not get caught in day to day activities that do not help you create the change that you want to see in your life. If you do this you will thank yourself many years later and you won’t have to look back in regret and wonder what you did with your life.

Phillip Ramphisa is the most sought after South African Motivational Speaker and Philanthropist. He helps people and organisations achieve their goals faster than they thought possible. His life mission is to end suffering and help people thrive in their lives. Phillip speak in conferences and events. To contact him please visit

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I’m Jane, interior designer, and organizing fanatic. I’ve been transforming spaces and organizing the lives of people’s homes for over a decade.