Yes, this is a strange juxtaposition and no, this is not a gimmick.
The principles behind getting six-pack abs and an exceptional career are indeed quite similar. In order to explain this, let's take you through the process of getting six pack abs.
(for those with 0 background in fitness, don't worry we'll explain this in the most basic way possible)
How to get six pack abs
Simple, you need to have a low body fat percentage. How can you get a low body fat percentage? You need to be in a state of caloric deficit over a specific period of time. What does a caloric deficit mean? It means burning more calories than you consume.
Why do people find it so hard and frustrating to get six pack abs?
See, in life, there are always two ways to achieve a goal.
Method 1: Specific (I want to get six pack abs in 6 months)
Method 2: Vague (I kind of want to have a six pack, but I also want to look big, I'm not keen on sacrificing too much muscle mass for weight loss)
Let us take you through the execution of the two methods to give you a clear picture of what happens and let's assume Individual A (implementing Method 1) and Individual B (implementing Method 2) is equal in all aspects (weight, body fat %, discipline, mental focus, work ethic, etc.).
Let's say I'm 75kg with 17% body fat. To be able to see your six pack, you will most likely need to be at the 10-13% body fat range. Let's target 13% body fat.
Goal Weight = Target Lean Body Mass (LBM) /1 - Goal Body Fat % (BF%)
Target LBM = Current LBM x (97%)
Current LBM = Weight x (1- BF%)
Skipping the calculations... you will need to to eat approximately xxx calories a day to get a daily caloric deficit of xxx to get a six pack abs in 6 months.
Individual A will then track his caloric intake everyday and exercise moderately to minimize muscle loss.
I will go the gym 3-4 times a week and eat like he would normally eat.
Now in 8 months (2 months buffer time for individual A), it it almost guaranteed that individual A will have six pack abs, whereas individual B? We're not sure, he may have gotten a little bit leaner, or stronger, but the chances of him having six pack abs is significantly less than that of individual A.
And how does this relate to careers?
Now we're getting into the interesting part. Let's assume both Individual A and Individual B will apply the method they used in getting six pack abs in their careers.
Let's assume both Individual A and Individual B work in the same company as a digital marketing specialist.
Individual A: "I want to build an online learning platform that carries over 1000 users in 5 years time."
Individual B: "I kinda want a career where I'm free to do whatever I want, but we'll see how things go"
Which one do you think has a higher chance of achieving their goals in 5 years?
Now try asking people around you on what they want to do in their careers, you'll be surprised to hear how many people answer like Individual B.