4 Practices That Hinder Brave Leadership

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The Law of Success" by Napoleon Hill. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

Like this article? Sign up for a free trial here.

Do you struggle to follow through with your goals? How can you stop falling off track and keep showing up for your goals?

To make your goals a reality, you’ve got to take consistent actions toward them. Provided your goals are realistic and your actions are constructive and systematic, achieving them is only a matter of time.

Here’s how to take action on your goals, according to self-help author Napoleon Hill.

Take Constructive Actions to Achieve Your Goal

Alongside practicing visualizations and affirmations, take constructive actions to achieve your goal. This will align your behaviors with your positive thoughts and focus your subconscious mind on exactly what you need to do to make progress. In his book The Law of Success, Napoleon Hill explains how to take action on your goals using a three-step process:

  1. Break your goal down into daily tasks.
  2. Create a daily schedule.
  3. Expand your knowledge and skills.

Let’s explore each of these steps in detail.

1) Break Your Goal Down Into Daily Tasks

The first step toward taking constructive actions to achieve your goal is to break it down into a series of daily tasks. Hill explains that this process will help you prioritize your time and increase your productivity, which will help you build momentum toward achieving your goal.

(Shortform note: Brendon Burchard (High Performance Habits) expands on this step with in-depth advice on breaking your goal down into constructive tasks. First, write down five major steps you need to take to achieve your goal. These are big steps that require many smaller tasks to achieve. For example, if your goal is to start a business, one of your five major steps might be to develop a business plan. Then, under each of your five major steps, write down a list of tasks you need to complete to accomplish that step. For example, to develop a business plan, your tasks might include researching your target market and analyzing competitors. Finally, create deadlines for each of these tasks and factor them into your daily schedule.) 

2) Create a Daily Schedule

Once you’ve broken your goal down into daily tasks, create a daily schedule to accomplish them. According to Hill, you’re more likely to complete each task if you set aside uninterrupted time and avoid multitasking and distractions.

(Shortform note: In Deep Work, Cal Newport explores how scheduling uninterrupted time improves your chances of achieving your goal. When you only give tasks partial focus—by multitasking or giving in to distractions—you interrupt your brain from accessing and applying information stored in your mind. This slows down your progress and makes your task feel laborious. On the other hand, writes Neil Pasricha (The Happiness Equation) intense, full focus helps your brain effortlessly sift through and apply information stored in your brain, speeds up your progress, and makes your task feel enjoyable—increasing your ability to achieve your goal.) 

3) Expand Your Knowledge and Skills

After completing your daily task, focus your attention on expanding your knowledge and skills. According to Hill, the more you improve your capabilities, the faster you’ll achieve your goal.

Efficient Methods to Expand Your Knowledge and Skills

If you’re not sure how to effectively expand your knowledge and skills, consider adopting the following two methods.

According to Jim Kwik (Limitless), you’re more likely to retain information and expand your knowledge if you take effective notes. He provides a three-step process to achieve this:

1) Before you start a learning session (for example, reading or watching a presentation), ask yourself what you’re specifically hoping to learn from it. 

2) Keeping your goal for the session in mind, filter through the information you’re getting and write down only what’s relevant to that goal. 

3) Once your session is complete, highlight the most valuable information and make an outline of the key points.

Additionally, Take on Unrelated Challenges and Responsibilities

In addition to taking constructive actions to achieve your goal, Hill recommends taking on extra challenges and responsibilities unrelated to your goal. For example, offer to complete additional projects at work or provide support to your colleagues. Hill explains that consistently going above and beyond what you need to do will impress upon your subconscious mind the idea that you’re capable of successfully taking on more responsibilities. Additionally, Hill claims that this proactive behavior will benefit you by:

  • Broadening your knowledge and skill set. This will help build your self-confidence, and it will also inspire new ideas and insights that will help you achieve your goal.
  • Demonstrating your value to others. People will notice and appreciate your efforts, and this will create opportunities for advancement and success.

(Shortform note: While it’s true that taking on extra work can help you feel more capable, broaden your transferable skills, and lead to new opportunities, be aware that increasing your workload in this way comes with risks. First, it doesn’t always create tangible results, such as promotions. Second, people may begin to expect your extra help and fail to recognize or appreciate your efforts. Third, expanding your skillset can cause you to lose focus on your primary goal. Fourth, overextending yourself can lead to burnout. Career experts suggest that you can minimize these risks by distinguishing between the type of extra work that will benefit you—for example, by directly contributing to your skill set or network—and the type that won’t.)

How to Take Action on Your Goals: The 3 Steps to Success

———End of Preview———

Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Napoleon Hill's "The Law of Success" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full The Law of Success summary:

  • How your subconscious mind creates your life experiences
  • Why the only way to achieve success is to realign your habitual thoughts
  • Actionable advice on how to retrain your subconsciousmind for success

Darya Sinusoid

Darya’s love for reading started with fantasy novels (The LOTR trilogy is still her all-time-favorite). Growing up, however, she found herself transitioning to non-fiction, psychological, and self-help books. She has a degree in Psychology and a deep passion for the subject. She likes reading research-informed books that distill the workings of the human brain/mind/consciousness and thinking of ways to apply the insights to her own life. Some of her favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow, How We Decide, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.