The Overachiever vs. The Superachiever (1 of 4)


If busyness, long hours and hard work equaled success—I’d be wealthier and more successful than Richard Branson, Tony Hawk and Donald Trump.

I KNOW I put in more hours, take fewer vacations, play less golf, get in less beach time and spend far less time with kids, family and friends than they do.

And yet, in a world where all four of us have exactly the same 24/7/365, I produce nowhere near the results they do. What’s worse, I am not even allowing myself to enjoy as many non-work-related joys of life as they are.

I have to confess, this really ticks me off!

And the only person I have to be mad at… is me. All four of us started out this journey relatively the same—a couple of them in much more difficult circumstances than me—and yet, I’m getting my butt kicked.

I think I’ve finally figured it out a critical distinction of how they are accomplishing so much more than me… and probably you too.

You see, I have always been an overachiever. If you read The Compound Effect you know I was raised by a university football coach, single dad. And the way you got love and an ‘atta-boy’ in our house was to achieve. Do well in school; you get to go to the ice-cream parlor to celebrate. Don’t do well and you’re left home. Hit a home run at Little League and we stopped at the pizza parlor on the way home. Collect a day of strike-outs and it was a cold, quiet car ride—straight home.

Looking back, this is why I think I am such an achievement addict—or as it is commonly known as in polite society, an overachiever. In fact I have worn this title as a badge of honor. I was proud that I could outwork most anyone.

But I now understand the massive difference between an overachiever and a superachiever. They kind of sound the same, don’t they? Yeah, that’s what I thought. But they are worlds apart—or you can say islands apart, as Branson has his own island… and I do not.

As I start seeing the differences between what overachievers do and what superachievers do, I realize how many of us are also probably confused between the two.

We all lead incredibly

busy lives, trying to keep up and get it all accomplished. We feel this pressure to be superman or superwoman and do it all, BE it all! So we overstretch and overreach and in doing so become the exact opposite of productive.

How many of you already feel overworked, overstressed and at times overwhelmed, but you still aren’t getting the results you want? The strategies I will outline in this series are for you if you want to go from being an overworked, overstressed and overscheduled overachiever to becoming a superachiever who produces stunning results with less effort, less stress in less time—leaving lots of time to experience your hobbies and be with your family. How does that sound?

Great! Join me back here next Tuesday and tell all your overachiever friends, family and colleagues to also subscribe to this blog. Let’s all journey together on the road to overachiever recovery and onward to superachiever productivity.

Do you feel you work harder, longer and more tirelessly than others who produce more and are wealthier than you? Why do you think that is? Share your thoughts in the comments below.




71 responses to “The Overachiever vs. The Superachiever (1 of 4)”

  1. Darren,

    Thank you so much for the vital few concept. I watch this video this morning and already making plan to focus on the vital few, the key fundamentals. You are awesome, thanks and God bless

  2. Dear, you’ve given me a sense of belonging. I am proud to be a part of those learning from a selfless mentor like you. I hope and sincerely pray that work in us and God helping us will make us product of great men of wisdom Joel Enife

  3. Dear, you me a sense of belonging. I am proud to be a part of those learning from a selfless mentor like you. I hope and sincerely pray that work in us and God helping us will make us product of great men of wisdom Joel Enife

  4. Using the overall guidelines of The Compound Effect, I have started learning 3 English words or a new English grammatical point every day and I have decided not to miss a day!
    I guess by committing to do so, I can dramatically improve my English knowledge within one year.
    Also I am improving my computer knowledge by working 30 minutes a day, three days a week, on general and professional softwares like Excel & thermoflow.
    Thanks again for your inspirations.

  5. @ prabhat u are very right .i totally agree with u that youngsters are the future of any nation but they have to be guided properly and need to get through faulty education system as well as career oriented training to further nurture the future prospects in professional as well as personal life..
    darren..,man u have to provide some inputs for youngsters on starting their career

  6. Darren,
    This is great stuff (and your subsequent installments are good too). I wrote a similar post about time management which coincides with some of the same topics you touch upon.

    Thank you, as always for your unique take.


  7. Darren,

    I love to visit your blogs for new insights and believe that there is so much to know and learn from the people like you.I am working on a project for past 2 years to develop the “Single Window Solutions” to the challenges faced by youngsters, today. The conclusions of the study are below for your feedback and suggestions —–

    *There are challenges due to faulty Nuturing i.e. Parenting
    *There are challenges due to faulty Pre- school \ Schooling
    *There are challenges due to faulty Career Planning
    *There are challenges due to non availability of any Mastermind Group for the youngsters to help them whenever they feel stuk.
    *There are challenges due to the Education system which is unable to make them Future Ready
    *There are challenges due to the Unpreparedness/ lack of awareness on the part of youngesters regarding the expectations of the prospective employers and the Skills required as well.
    Darren, may I expect your valuable support and inputs so as to help and empower the next generation and to make them capable of facing the future challenges with confidence and lead the life they Truely Deserve AND we are duty bound to provide the solution they are looking at.

  8. Hi Darren,
    I’ve been following your publishing and speaking career for a while. I’m a huge devotee of the magazine and have re-imagined and re-rejuvenated many parts of my life based on the teachings in your publications.

    However, the most valuable information you have shared thus far, was in this blog post. Because you shared about your own journey. It’s wonderful to have a mentor, whether virtually or physically, and it’s fantastic to glean insight from their teachings. But, when that mentor lets down their guard and armor and can admit to needing to refresh ‘his’ own paradigm, then the true learning begins, for all of us. Now, I see you as someone who is on the same journey as the rest of us. Suddenly, you seem so much more real, not any less mentor-y, impressive, respected or hardworking, but now I know you’re also a seeker.

    Welcome to the team!

    All the best,

  9. Hi Darren,
    I just finished your great book,”The Compound Effect”.
    It was completely useful and operational.
    I guess I am the first person in IRAN who have read this book
    This week’s post sounds a fascinating subject.
    Can’t wait until you share the strategies with us.

  10. I think we must be careful and not compare what we can accomplish with Trump,Buffett,Gates,etc
    They are one in a million and not the general rule.Zig Zigler has written that he no longer believes anyone can become wealthy no matter how hard they work.If you read the history of some of the billionaires they will admit that luck was also involved(Bill Gates)
    So should we see ourselves as failures if we cannot achieve this level of financial success?
    We must not equate our net worth with our self-worth.
    As a Christian I also believe that what we have in this world will not matter at all in the next-we should spend time doing things that matter-relationships.
    I am sure many of read the work on happiness-the members of the Fortune 500 companies are about as happy as members of the Bushmen in Africa.The more a person cares about accumulating riches the less content they are as well as suffering from more health problems such as worry and anxiety.


  11. Hello Darren,
    I haven’t been to an ACN convention yet, but I do get the audio series and VIP ALL ACCESS with the subscription to Success. I have been very impressed. This series about overacheive vs. superacheive and priorities it has really got me to realizing that there is a lot of stuff that I need to do in my own life. I have a teenager in my house who listens to the cd’s with me and I am hoping that this cd about Overacheive vs. Superacheive will help him this year in school. He is austistic (high functioning). Thank You for the Success Maganize and the Success for Teens book (which we have a copy of for him). Thank you so much for everything that you do.
    Tracy Kreps

  12. Darren, I am always inspired by your blogs. I am a new step-mother and have the privilege of being a step-mother (mom) to a five-year-old and an eight-year-old. I have to become more effective; hence, become an Super Achiever. I used to work just 40-60 hours a week, and am changing to part-time so that my first priority is my family. I want to be an example of balance for my girls and have a balanced family life. I look forward to your ongoing gift to others… and making a positive change for others to find within themselves intrinsically.
    Until then,

  13. Thanks Darren. I have read The Compound Effect. All the way through once, and I am now going through it again and studying at a deeper level as a part of my morning Hour Of Power. Definitely a book packed with great strategies for success (but I don’t have to tell you that, do I?).

    I’ll tell you this, I love the book. The strategies it contains are working even now in my life to build those GOOD habits you spoke about in your response.

    I highly recommend it to anybody who may be reading this.

  14. Darren,
    I am a recovering under-achiever. As a recovering under-achiever, I think this will be valuable information for me to have in order to avoid the pitfalls of over compensating for lost time with attempted over-achievement. Better, I think, to install effective habits right from the get-go, as I move forward from here. Bring on the super-achievement. I am so ready!
    Rich Proctor

  15. For my money Mr. Hardy, one of the hallmarks of a super achiever is that even though they have accomplished as much as Darren Hardy has, they are never satisfied! I am proud of you for reaching even higher and for striving to become the best that you are capable of becomming! Keep up the good work and have a magical day!!
    Corey J.

  16. Darren,
    Great post, but now I am feeling like you have put all of us Success Magazine worshippers between a rock and a hard place. I love your magazine because it inspires me to achieve more! Perhaps you are being a tad too strict by making us wait until Tuesday to hear more:) Love the Compound Effect! Best thing about your magazine: When I get it, my husband GRABS the CD and I take off with the magazine!
    Can’t wait to hear more..

  17. Thanks Darren for sharing this post!! I can relate to not understanding the difference because I was told that the only way to succeed in life was to get a great college education and get a professional JOB! So that’s exactly what I did…overachieved and got 2 degrees in engineering to work for a Fortune 500 company only to walk away after working the job for 8 years. As I look back at those times, I was sick and tired of working HARD for someone else to get richer for a company that I was never going to own!!! Once I came to that revelation, I had to do two things: change my company and work on mindset to help me do the things that wealthy people do!! So thanks again because your leadership and knowledge has helped myself and many others change our way of thinking as we work on becoming superachievers!!

  18. Darren, that’s Lovely picture of you and your Dad!

    I used to do lots of overtime for double pays early in my career and stopped doing it. Now, I invest more my time in myself, have fun with my spouse & family, yoga & meditation, travel, cooking…learning new skills because what’s important to me is balance of my personal and career with great lifestyle.

    At the end of the day, I never wished I worked longer hours for more money. Just like my 91 year old Grandpa told me “most of the things we buy, we don’t need”.

    Thank you Darren :-)

  19. I am approaching 60yrs of my lifespan. I find myself working harder, longer, and more tirelessly now because of all the time I wasted through the years, up to this point. Looking back before marriage and children, I had more time to continue self-educating myself, more time to set and achieve goals, more time for self improvement; but I didn’t have any conception of these things back then. Fast forward to now, after working 8 hours a day, I have to juggle the few hours I have left in the day for self-education, attaining my goals and self-improvement. Word to the wise, everyone. If you have a lot of spare time, take full advantage of it. You will never get it back!!

  20. This a very transparent blog post, love it! It’s comforting to know we all think the same thoughts sometimes. Looking forward to more info…

  21. Mr. Hardy:
    I have taken your challenge you gave to us at the ACN International in San Jose this past June. From your advice, I now get up 1 hr earlier, plan my day, read more positive material and at night before bed I journal 10 minutes of all my blessings.
    Joyce Gergen
    IBO – Meridian Idaho

  22. Thank you Darren. Your effort have helped me improve my life and I am grateful. You have a gift my friend.

  23. Wow! I thought it was just me! Reading this article I felt you were looking inside my head as that is EXACTLY and so precisely me!!
    Thank you and phew what a relief, things can and will change!!
    I cant wait to tune in for more to change this crazy busy non stop work mode I am currently in!
    Nicola (Australia)

  24. Darren,

    Bravo to you for having the courage to tell us about your very personal connection to this topic. I used to smirk at my touchy-feely uncle when he would tell his daughters, “I love you for who you are, not what you do,” but now I know better.

    I, too, was an overachiever going in 10 different directions at full speed and getting nowhere. I was inspired by the works of Wayne Dyer and books like “The Secret,” which taught me about “inspired action” that moves us toward that which makes us whole (this is the part of the Law of Attraction that many fail to understand). I look forward to the rest of the series.

    Carl G.

  25. I definitely hear you there – I’m currently in medical school full-time and trying to run a blog/start an online business part-time. I realized recently that while I was always going, going, going, I really was spending a significant chunk of time overthinking, planning, and stressing – not actually even working. And that was valuable time that I could not only be spending with my family, boyfriend, and friends, but also be recharging and becoming a whole person. So that was definitely a huge wake-up call. I’ll definitely be tuning in for the next entry!

  26. I guess it all comes out in the wash, Darren.

    Your father’s obsession with an “all or nothing” paradigm worked for you (perhaps) and maybe made you what you are – a high-profile, handsome, articulate model of success.

    However, unless that conditional love of your father’s was there unconditionally more than for a fleeting second, the result for most folks with a more modest DNA than yours would lead to lifelong low self-esteem and an unwillingness to try anything new which could lead to failure. That means essentially everything!

    The conditional-love scenario is often a lethal spiritual cocktail and not one I would promote nor feel pride in, even while making a sound point about overachievers vs superachievers.

    Clearly you want to teach us that this style of child-rearing was/is warped and leads to undesirable results. Right? Or are you saying that “All or nothing!” is a good way to build character?

  27. Jim, I appreciate your comments and book suggestion.

    All the best…


  28. Darren,

    I’ve followed you for awhile now and this is one of the most down-to-Earth articles I’ve read from you. I appreciate the sincerity in which it was written and look forward to seeing where you have arrived. I believe we are tolling along in similar paths.

    There is a difference between getting things done and doing a lot.

    My best,


  29. Hi Hector, thanks for your input. I’ll check out your book/web. Another good book along this line is by John Mason titled – Your An Original, Don’t Die A Copy. It’s a good read. More later…thanks again, Jim.

  30. Jim, thanks for your perspective…..” You don’t need Talent to Succeed, but everything else Counts” is a book I wrote about a year ago that I think help you put another perspective on your thoughts…

    I appreciate you sharing it with all of us….

    The premise of the book is to shine the spotlight on your abilities—my abilities—anyone’s abilities. We all have the ability to be kind, to strive for excellence, and to keep commitments. We’re able to be on time for appointments, willing to learn new things and share. The list of our abilities is as long as a giraffe’s leg, and this realization isn’t rocket science. Yet, the phenomenon of discovering you already have what it takes to acheive and succeed is as potent as any fueled rocket at blast off! I try to offer eight simple yet powerful solutions that will unlock your abilities to ahieve/succeed:

    1. Reaching your higher self
    2. Rehearsing victory
    3. Feeding your thought processor
    4. Shifting your thinking
    5. Buoyed by the source
    6. Number one and number two: do not disturb
    7. Welcome new experiences
    8. Understanding HAVE versus GET

    The book is like a safe containing something precious. Imagine that it’s secured with a combination lock. As you acquaint yourself with each chapter, you’ll virtually be turning the dial. Before you know it, you’ll crack the entire code and confidently map your journey to a successful future.

    Hector Hernandez

    Thank you…

  31. Darren,

    You are a remarkable, successful person and you certainly hold a unique position to share insight for improving peoples lives. I enjoy Success publications and read The Compund Effect cover to cover non-stop and loved it. In fact, I bought additional copies for friends and family members. The information you share with your readers is quite valuable and I thank you for I have made improvements for myself based upon what you share with all of us. I’m anxious to read the other parts of this article regarding Overachievers vs Superachievers. It is an interesting topic. However, there is a real issue for me in this four part series. I’m guessing that most of us have not personally known anyone as driven and wildly successful as yourself and I think it would be interesting for people to know what that is really like in the first place. Overachiever vs. Superachiever is a little hard to releate to. Perhaps the other bloggers/readers are around more wildly successful people everyday than I am, however, I don’t think people really understand what that experience would really be like. It would be interesting to just see how differently people such as yourself are from the rest of us. I don’t think it would be like a regular day in the office for me, ha. Finding that type of mentor would prove to be quite valuable. Regardless, I’m looking forward to the very interesting insight you will share regarding the gap between these two groups of achievers and to understand how to apply the information to my life. One last thing. Please know that most of us don’t care that you don’t have an island or the wealth of Trump. You are most likely 100 times more successful in many areas of your life than the rest of us. To me, the real wealth is in the releationships you mentioned in part one. Please, just keep giving us information to apply to help us advance our lives. If I’m going too far off track for the other bloggers/reader please let me apologize in advance.

  32. Thanks, this was an extremely timely message for me! Working Hard, Working Overtime, Working All The Time! That’s been my life as an Educator! And then Having NO Time, for anything else!

  33. Please tell me we dont need to invest in real estate….hahaha. Thats how Trump has made his money.

  34. Everything we need to be an achiever, over-achiever or even a super-achiever is inside of us.
    Along the way you will have up’s and down’s, even failures….but as long as you advance confidently towards your worthy ideal you will be okay. With confidence you are well on your way to becoming the “achiever” that Darren is referring to and that I know was always inside all of us.

    N = NO (able to say no)

    Thank you…

  35. I have to admit I am an addict too but my addiction is more around productivity. I feel I have to always be productive. To overcome this I have a weekly goal to get rid of one “obligation”. The interesting thing is that these obligations are self imposed and generally not that important.

    Josh Bulloc
    How can I help?

  36. Do you feel you work harder, longer and more tirelessly than others who produce more and are wealthier than you? Why do you think that is?

    Darren,here are my answers to your question:
    1. At times I feel that I work harder & tirelessly only when I am distracted my purpose, goals, and important priorities at any given moment.
    2. At times when I feel stressed I take on too much myself versus including our family and team to help overcome the challenge.

    As my confidence and skills in these areas continue to build, today I both see and experience a pathway / results to world class health, family, career, and helping others.

    Have a happy, healthy, and terrific week!

  37. Do this too long, you will find yourself just carrying on. Like a cockroach after the bomb.

    Because of that this series will be very important to many of us, even if you don’t thnk this applies to you, read it and learn.

  38. Something I know for certain: the harder I work the more effort I expend, the slower I go.

    If, however, I am in true alignment with the work I’m doing, if I am doing it for the right reasons, if it is propelling me in the direction I have chosen, well, then it seems effortless by comparison. And I “finish” in half the time.

    That may be what you refer to as the difference between overachieving and superachieving. For me it’s the difference between effort and flow. Same difference perhaps!

  39. Mr. Hardy,

    I find this blog post to be absolutely brilliant.

    In our day-to-day lives, we constantly find ourselves overwhelmed with the things we feel like we must accomplish.

    However, it is always important to recognize that “doing things” is not the same as “getting things done”.

    There are so many menial tasks in our lives that we do to merely satisfy our desire to think that we are being productive, when in all reality, all we are doing is procrastinating.

    I look forward to reading the subsequent posts in this series.

    – Jared Silver,
    The Teenage Internet Marketer