The Dirty Secret About Overnight Success They’re Hiding From You

“…it takes years to become an overnight success.” – Richard Branson


Have you ever watched a movie where you have the hero and he prepares to go into a fight or battle, but rather than spend 90 minutes on that, they skim through it with a montage?

Like Rocky 4 for example. Of course he beat the Russian (uh…spoiler alert)! The dude spent all of 3 minutes before the fight preparing by running in Russian snow, lifting bags of rocks, and chopping wood.

rocky celebrating on top of a mountian

Why are we talking about this?

First of all, because Rocky 4 was amazing! More importantly, because people expect success to happen overnight. They think that the work, focus, and determination can be “montaged” like in the movies.

And why wouldn’t they? Overnight success is hyped up constantly. To be successful in very little time? Heck yeah! Give me some of that!

But here’s the PROBLEM – when people see an incredible success story of someone or some thing that comes out of nowhere they think it’s the whole story. It’s NOT. It’s just the tip of the iceberg. What people don’t see or hear about is the process that led to the success.

And it’s easy to allow ourselves to fixate on success without truly recognizing the effort that goes into it. It’s natural to chase after your overnight success to get your desired results. People set their sights on an overnight success they see or hear about like “so and so lost 100 pounds in no time”, and they focus on trying to achieve those same results just as fast.

BUT, no matter what your life goal is, chasing overnight success usually leads to the same result. You go FAST and FURIOUS, doing too much, too fast and you just CRASH and BURN.

You want to know another reason why you focusing on overnight success is a mistake?

Because comparing yourself to these “overnight successes” can negatively affect how you feel about yourself. When people see others achieve rapid success, they tend to unfairly compare themselves wondering “why can’t I seem to succeed.” They feel like “losers”, like “there’s something wrong with them”, or as “failures” but we know NONE of that is true. And obviously, we’re not cool with who feeling this way!

Marie Forleo isn’t down with it either! In her “3 Real Truths About Overnight Success” video, she talks about why overnight success can actually be the worst thing that can happen to you. I highly recommend you take the 5 minutes to watch the video. Marie does a great job demythify the concept of “overnight success” with wonderful examples and a splash of humor.

So, obviously overnight success isn’t the answer. What is, then?

Better, daily habits.

Ugh, I know, I wish I had a better answer for you. But understand this – your habits, both good and bad, are the results of hundreds and hundreds of teeny tiny daily decisions you made over time. And as time went on these decisions became more and more natural until they turned into your habits.


[Tweet “Your life is the result of your habits.  “]

Your habits didn’t magically appear out of nowhere. They took time, so doesn’t it make sense that it would take time to undo these habits?

lindsay lohan saying yes to overnight success being bad

Where to Go From Here

There’s no montage to awesomeness.

The path to awesomeness (health, energy, happiness, etc.) will take the same hundreds and thousands of daily decisions. It doesn’t happen overnight. You can’t skip the part where you have to run through the Russian snow!

When you obsess with achieving your goals, and doing it quickly, you don’t think about the process that will get you to the finish line. The only thing you care about is how to get to your goal.

  • Need to lose 20 pounds? Easy, I’ll run 10 miles every day.
  • Need enlightenment? I’ll meditate an hour every day.
  • Need to stop smoking? I’ll quit cold turkey today.

The obsession with fast results tricks you into thinking that you can actually achieve the results quickly. You also become fixated on the result that you’re shooting for. It’s a “Go BIG or go HOME” kind of mentality.

But as we discussed, those results won’t happen overnight. They won’t come tomorrow. They won’t come the day after. OR the day after that. They’ll take time. And you need to realize that in order for you to become the person you want to be.

There’s a daily routine that you must commit to in order to achieve your goals. It’s easy to forget this when we’re motivated by the end game. Commit yourself to the daily grind and avoid chasing overnight success.

Stick to your daily habit changes.

It’ll take patience, but patience is a virtue. Over time, after all those teeny tiny daily decisions, you’ll discover that your commitment will ultimately shape the person you become, the things you’re able to achieve, and the fulfillment you experience in life.

I think this quote from Marie Forleo sums it up best:

“If you want to be an overnight success, you need to be an everyday hustler.”

I couldn’t have said it even better (that’s why I copied and pasted it from Marie’s website). tee hee

SCREW overnight success. It’s all about LIFETIME success!

keanu reeves giving a thumbs up

Thanks for Reading!

If you enjoyed this, share it with someone else who thinks overnight success is the real deal.

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