Career Silver Bullets

At one point or another, you’ve probably fallen prey to wishful thinking just like anybody else. Heaven knows I have.

“If only I could just ace this test…”

“If only I could get into this school…”

“If only I could just get this job…”

“If only I could get this raise…or this promotion…”

And on and on ad infinitum.

Most of us aren’t delusional – we know most things worth having take time and effort and sacrifice.

But it’s nice to imagine silver bullets are within reach.

Webster defines a silver bullet as “a simple and seemingly magical solution to a complicated problem.”

Seemingly magical, huh?

But when it comes to our personal, professional, and financial lives…there are rarely (if ever) silver bullets.

Two-week diets and weight loss pills don’t make up for decades of bad eating and skipping the gym.

Get rich quick schemes don’t work.

And “good jobs” don’t fall out of the sky.

We know this – on a cellular level. But look around and you’ll have no trouble finding people who are wishing and praying for some “seemingly magical” silver bullet to swoop them out of their current situation and into a more desirable state.

In fact, a similar mindset leads many people to chase credential after credential. Hoping that one day, with enough letters after their name, they’ll finally be able to get everything they ever wanted. Or maybe the credentials will bring about validation.

But it’s also wrong-thinking.

Most things in life worth having require a lot of wasted ammo and target practice – there are no one-bullet wonders. 

And instead of wasting precious energy hoping, praying and wishing that one silver bullet will transform your life from what it is into something you’d like it to be, you’ll make a heckuva lot more progress by focusing on root behaviors that contribute to your success.

For instance, pretty much every aspect of your life could be improved by developing behaviors like discipline, work ethic, integrity, intellectual curiosity, and initiative.

And the best part? 

All of those behaviors are perfectly in your control to develop.

You don’t have to wish or hope or pray that some seemingly magical solution falls into your lap.

You can choose to cultivate those behaviors.

When you focus on developing “the right stuff”, you’ll start making progress – real progress. 

In addition to root behaviors, you could also accelerate your progress by layering in other useful assets. Like developing foundational professional skills, the ability to create value, real-world experience, learning through apprenticeship, the ability to write and think, etc.

When you start stacking positive behaviors with actual tangibly valuable assets (like skill and experience), then you’ll also become less reliant on luck, while also increasing your likelihood of getting lucky.

In other words, hoping and wishing and praying for a silver bullet makes you reliant on luck to solve your problems.

But by aiming to become the type of person you need to be in order to achieve what you want to achieve, it will seem like fortunate favors you.

And not because of something outside your control – like a silver bullet.

But because you put in the work to get where you wanted to go.