Success is an iceberg and what lies beneath shatters the myth of being an overnight success. Not in the sense that it floats alone out in the icy waters – although it may feel that way on some days. Instead, it is like an iceberg because there is so much that happens below the surface where nobody can see.
It takes a lot of work to become an overnight success. In this article, we’ll share some of the ingredients that are the hidden power underneath the success iceberg and tips for working through the messy middle to reach the top of the iceberg.
Only 10% of an iceberg is visible above the surface, they are also old. Each year, snow builds up on a glacier and compresses until it creeps under its own weight and crashes into the ocean. The whole process can take up to 10,000 years.
The good news is your success won’t take 10,000 years, but you will have to work and compress until you crash into your success.
What’s On The Bottom Of The Success Iceberg
The Success Iceberg has two parts: 1. What people see (above the surface), and 2. What people don’t see (below the surface).
Here are some of the below the surface things that go into building that surface image everyone sees:
- Dedication – you need a strong loyalty to your goals. You have to believe so much that nothing and nobody (including yourself) can talk you out of it. You have to have a willingness to give a lot of time and energy to make it happen.
- Hard work – the daily grind of physical, mental, or emotional effort combined with high levels of focus and purpose.
- Good habits – doing what you know to do even when you don’t want to do them. When you do things consistently then they become a natural part of your day.
- Disappointment – it won’t always go the way you think it should, and that might hurt. It’s okay to be disappointed, but avoid dwelling on that disappointment. Remember to adjust your attitude.
- Sacrifice – you can’t stay where you are and get to where you want to go. You will have to give up something to get the success you desire.
- Failure – you’ll fall. You’ll miss the mark. It’s only failure when you either choose not to try or you don’t learn from your fall.
- Persistence – continuing on even when the going gets tough or when others tell you that you can’t. It is the art of preserving.
- Focus – be zeroed in on what you want to achieve so you don’t end up chasing squirrels instead of taking those purposeful actions to reach your destination.
- Flexibility – being able to maintain focus on the goals while adjusting to the changing scenery and circumstances of the moment. Practice focused flexibility.
- Consistency – you have to keep going even when you don’t see the results immediately. Keep doing what you know to do until
Success takes work. Is your dream worth the cost? If not, get a better dream. If so, get back to work.
The Myth of Overnight Success
It happens in the movies. The person dreams of being a star and then stumbles on the stage one day and suddenly they are a star. Or the entrepreneur has an idea that the corporate big wig just happens to want to buy the next day.
The myth of being an overnight success has been perpetuated in 30-minute segments on television and 2-hour marathons in the theaters. But it is a myth or worse, it is a delusion.
It’s good to dream, but a dream without purposeful action is nothing more than images floating in the imagination. Being a
What Does Success Is An Iceberg Mean?
The illustration of the iceberg illusion of success gives some insight into what goes on behind the curtain. For every win, there were hours of workouts, practices, sacrifices, and falls. People only see the end goal and not what it takes to get to that place.
David Perell said, “We see trophies, not sweat. We see diplomas, not homework. We see performances, not rehearsals.” Greatness isn’t handed to you. Instead, you build your greatness success one block at a time.
Success Is Made In The Messy Middle
Your success is a journey into your best self. It is defined by you, pursued by you, and lived by you. And your journey won’t be like anyone else. The journey to success isn’t paved with a perfect system. Instead, you have to find your way by working through the wisdom, guidance, and lessons of others and then applying them to your path.
Endure The Lows
“I don’t regret what I’ve been through. I’ve had ups and downs, super highs, and some really low lows. I’ve been so blessed that I could never say, ‘I wish this didn’t happen.’ There’s nothing in my life that’s so ugh.” – Jennifer Lopez
You are going to go through things. You are not going to be perfect. The only way you will ever reach your business success will be if you are willing to endure the lows.
Optimize The Highs
“Nothing will work unless you do.” – Maya Angelou
Make the most of your peak times. Whether that means you are doing your most challenging tasks when you have the most energy during the day. Or you are harnessing your power to get things done when you have been successful at getting things done.
Adjust The Attitude
“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement; nothing can be done without hope.” – Helen Keller
Your focus will drive you in that direction. If you want to get through the messy middle then you have to focus on the positives and the possibilities. You may not be able to change the messy middle you’re going through but you can adjust the attitude you have towards that messy middle.
Prepare For The Rocky Places
“You keep putting one foot in front of the other, and then one day you look back and you’ve climbed a mountain.” – Tom Hiddleston
Every journey goes through rocky moments – the times when the path becomes bumpy or the way is covered with stones. You may have to watch your step but keep stepping. You get through the messy middle and reach the top of your success iceberg when you expect the rocky places so that you can be prepared to keep going through.
Let Go Of Your Need For Perfection
“Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardi
When you obsess over being perfect or creating perfection, you lose sight of the bigger picture. You will also exhaust yourself trying to reach a mark that can’t be reached.
Success isn’t easy. If it was then everyone would do it. You have to be determined enough to do the work, stay persistent in your doing, and believe you can until you do.
People only see part of the journey and usually, that’s the part that happens just before the goal is reached. The success iceberg illusion makes people believe in overnight success, but that is the true myth. Your success will take hard work, persistence, and sacrifice. It takes what is under the surface to reach the point above the surface.
Kathryn Lang believes it is simple, and as an award-winning author and natural-born hopesmith, she shares tips on how to find your why, pursue your purpose, and live a bold, intentional life – always with a dash of twisted encouragement.