Personal Development

Overnight success: My 2 Cents

We are named the “Microwave Generation” because we want and expect success overnight. We have taken “patience” out of our vocabulary and everything has to be quick. We want quick wins, quick fixes, get rich quick schemes and the list goes on. The urban dictionary defines “Microwave Generation” as a term that describes our generation’s fascination with instant gratification. As millennials, most of us have become obsessed with overnight success.

Success is related to any goal that you have set for yourself and have achieved. It could be weight loss, getting out of debt, getting an education etc., and clearly, none of these can be achieved overnight and without applying the principles related to achieving your goal. As an example, you can’t expect to lose weight if you don’t work on your diet, exercise and follow other principles attached to achieving your goal.

My question then is: Can I be successful overnight? This question encompasses a lot of aspects but today I will answer these areas; Can I be an expert overnight? Can I be rich overnight? Can I get over a traumatic experience overnight?

According to a study conducted by Phillippa Lally and her team at University College London in 2009, it takes about 66 days to form a new habit. Why then do we think we can be successful at certain things, suddenly? Is it because we are lazy, impatient, lack principle? This article is for someone with a vision that they want to execute, with a goal they want to reach, if you don’t then this is not for you.

Can I be an expert overnight?

Definitely not! Malcolm Gladwell reckons that to become an expert in your chosen field, you need to spend at least 10,000 hours growing and polishing your skill. However, this 10,000rule has been said to be a myth but we’re not here to talk about that today. You may have the ability to do something but without practice it doesn’t become a skill. As Les Brown would say, “Practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes improvement” [paraphrased]. You need to deposit time into your skill and continually strive for excellence. I think it takes a lifetime to be a true expert.

Can I be rich overnight?

Yes, you can! Through what we call fortuitous gains, for example, winnings from the lotto, gambling and Ponzi schemes. You did not plan for being a millionaire overnight but it happened by chance. If you haven’t grasped money principles, believe me, your millionaire status will vanish in the blink of an eye. We know what they say, “Easy come, easy go”. I personally don’t believe in getting into a business because it’s the in thing or that’s what everyone is doing, it may get you money today but you lose out on acquiring a skill that you want to be known for one day.

Can I get over a traumatic experience overnight?

From my personal experience, no! Trauma affects us more on the inside than on the outside and because we don’t see the scar, we think we are okay until we encounter a trigger. Everything requires our patience but when it comes to dealing with trauma, we need the most patience. You can pray to God and you will think He has not answered because you can’t make headway and you don’t see yourself getting better. When I started seeing a therapist, I thought I would feel better with each session but that didn’t happen. After a few months I had to acknowledge that I really need to be patient. The greatest battle any human can encounter is the battle we have in our mind and it takes a considerable amount of time to form a new thought process that will inform your mind and emotions.


The golden thread in becoming a success at anything is principles. What are the principles we need to grasp and apply?

  • Want to be an expert in your field, learn the trade and improve your skill. Make excellence your goal and always remember there’s always room for improvement.
  • To be rich and financially successful, learn money and business principles, they will take you a long way. Know what you need to do to accumulate wealth.
  • Had a traumatic experience, take it one day at a time and do not rush yourself. You may feel like you’re not making progress but be patient with yourself. Get help! One great place I know is the Christian Counselling Centre and you can visit them at 8 Coltman Road, Mt Pleasant, Harare.

Be inspired to your Ultimate Emergence!

Nonhlanhla Nyathi
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Author

nono@nononyathi.co.zw
I am a weird and wonderful young lady who loves beautiful things. I love writing because as Anne Frank puts it, "Paper is more patient than people".

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