When looking at all the hard things you need to do to be successful, you have to keep in mind that the word "hard" has a bit of ambiguity. Does hard mean difficult to understand, or does it mean difficult to sustain?

The secrets to success have been published and discussed by successful people over and over again, from Norman Vincent Peal to Napoleon Hill, and these secrets can be summarized as gaining self-knowledge, and concentrating on making that self-knowledge work for you. That is a relatively easy concept to understand, but it is the second part that makes success "hard."

Perhaps the core of the problem is discipline, and the concept of delayed gratification. In order to reap the benefits of applied concepts, we have to endure the tedium of repeated behaviors in the absence of immediate results.

If your marketing strategy involves placing content in several different media outlets and keeping the copy fresh, then this isn't necessarily a task involving your highest creative skills. But it is necessary in order to maintain your presence in the market.

If your camaraderie is dependent upon constant interaction with your team, then your presence at training sessions is required, even though you would rather be watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones instead of being on a conference call.

If researching the implications of a product modification involves a tedious Internet search, as well as contacting business associates and initiating training, then that is work that must be done before you can assume that those that rely on you for information understand the concept. It isn't necessarily difficult to revise procedures regarding your own product line, but it might be tedious, especially if you would really rather be drinking a beer with your next-door neighbor and discussing the upcoming college football season.

Success requires a sublimation of self to the requirements of others. It requires a passion for understanding your emotions, your pride, and your priorities, so that you can schedule your time so as to spend it on what is necessary, not on what is necessarily pleasurable.

Success isn't achieved until your priorities have assumed the proper place in your life, and that means excluding those aspects of your life that involve achieving fleeting comforts. It means cultivating a higher level of growth in your mind and your aspirations.

When the quality of your commitment involves a dedication to respecting the contribution of those whom you rely on, then it becomes less an act of duty, and more a labor of love, to attend to the little things in your business that make it possible for your systems to function. The development of your own character involves participation.