Money? Fame? Travel? Relationships? Or the freedom to do whatever, whenever, and with whomever you want? However you characterize success, it’s something that nearly everyone is after. While our definitions of success might differ, the desire to succeed at one thing or another remains constant.
Success is the achievement of a high position in a particular field, for example in business or politics. Nearly all of the young people interviewed believed that work was the key to success.
Still, even though we might all want to succeed at something, we don’t always do what it takes to follow through. Sometimes, we just get fed up, and we end up throwing in that proverbial towel. We give up when the going gets tough. But not everyone does. So what separates them from the rest of the world’s population?
How is that one person is willing to do all that it takes to reach their goals, while another person gives in to silent resignation at the first sign of resistance? Why is one person willing to sacrifice nearly everything in order to live the life of their dreams, while others are too afraid to take the next step in fear of suffering through a catastrophic failure or embarrassment?
It’s quite clear that success has nothing to do with our initial set of circumstances. Some of the most poor and disadvantaged people in the world have achieved the greatest successes of all time. Oprah Winfrey was born to a single mother on welfare and was physically and sexually abused as a child. J.K. Rowling was divorced, had a daughter, and was living on government assistance before publishing the first book in the Harry Potter series.
Success in life has nothing to do with where you start. Sure, people who start advantageously in one area or another might have a leg up, but it has almost nothing to do with where they end up in life. Success transcends circumstances.
So what is it then? What’s the magic formula? What’s the secret to success in life, if you will? How can we go from a living a mediocre life, to one of excellence in every manner possible? Can anyone do it? Or is it just some pipe dream that lives in the hearts and minds of the foolish populous?
Everybody loves a good secret. In fact, the juicier, the better. Why? Because we all love being insiders. We love the feeling of exclusivity, of knowing something that’s just ours and no one else’s.
But in business, secrets do more than just stroke our egos.We love having the upper hand. We love having the “unfair advantage,” to borrow entrepreneur Jason Cohen’s term.
So when someone like Dr. Ivan Misner, founder and chairman of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization boasting 5.4 million referrals and more than $6.5 billion in resulting revenue, asks, “Do you want to know the secret to success?” you listen.
What’s “the secret”? Well, there isn’t just one. But think about this: “Success is the uncommon application of common knowledge.”
In other words, when it comes to success, what matters isn’t so much learning something new but putting into practice what we already know.
Four not-so-secret secrets of insanely successful people:
1. They have a vision.
According to Warren Bennis’s classic On Becoming a Leader, leadership is “the capacity to translate vision into reality.” This means that success starts with answering a fundamental question, What do I really want?
Whether you call the answer to that question your mission statement, core values, brand identity or just your goals doesn’t really matter. Because “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
Here’s how Bennis unpacks the idea: The leader has a clear idea of what he or she wants to do—professionally and personally—and the strength to persist in the face of setbacks, even failures.
2. They are honest.
Successful people tell the truth.This sounds so obvious that you might think it doesn’t even need to be said. But in a climate where the pressure to look good, perform well, eke out profits and win by any means necessary is constantly increasing, honesty is becoming a scarce commodity.
And yet, honesty pays.
According to research in Robert B. Cialdini’s Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive, when companies “explained failures in their annual reports, those that pointed to internal and controllable factors had higher stock prices one year later than those that pointed to external and uncontrollable factors.”In other words, taking responsibility for our mistakes and admitting when we’re wrong isn’t just relationally smart—it’s financially savvy.R
3. They show gratitude.
Without gratitude, you aren’t being mindful or totally thankful of the good things in life—and your perspective is probably skewed to the negative as a result. You might even have less motivation to go after more good things, if you aren’t grateful of the ones you already have.
We tend to think of gratitude as a spontaneous emotion, something that just happens to usin moments of triumph or success. In reality, though, gratitude is something we develop.And just like all the other not-so-secret secrets on this list, it is something we choose, something we make a wide-eyed, premeditated, self-determined decision to experience.
4. They are adaptive.
Success isn’t about avoiding failure. It’s about learning from failure.
Take Thomas Edison’s famous quote about inventing the light bulb: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
The key is to cultivate what Eric Ries in The Lean Startup calls “validated learning.”“Validated learning is not an after-the-fact realization or a good story designed to hide failure,” he says. “It is the principal antidote to the lethal problem of achieving failure: successfully executing a plan that leads nowhere.”
For Ries, this antidote comes down to one skill: the ability to adapt.“What differentiates the success stories from the failures is that the successful entrepreneurs had the foresight, the ability and the tools to discover which parts of their plans were working brilliantly and which were misguided, and adapt their strategies accordingly.”
All this means is that instead of hiding from failure, insanely successful people anticipate and integrate failure into their lives in ways that transform it from an end into a means.
We all love a good secret. But the truth is, when it comes to success, there’s no such thing.So start small, but start today. Pick one of these four “secrets” and put it to work.
5. They have perseverance.
Perseverance is persistence in sticking to a plan. An example of perseverance is working out for a two hours each day to lose weight.
Jack Canfield is the creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series. He’s also one of the best motivational speakers, professional coach, and an incredibly inspiring author who published The Success Principles.
Jack and his co-author Mark Victor Hansen pitched the original Chicken Soup for the Soul to over 130 different publishers. But none of them were interested and said no one “wants to read 100 inspirational stories.”
After 100+ pitches, their agent dropped them as well, but they were determined to get the book published.
Luckily they never gave up and continued to persevere until their book was picked up by a small publisher in Florida.
Now there are over 250 Chicken Soup for the Soul Books and over 500 MILLION copies sold worldwide. If they had given up these inspirational stories wouldn’t have been read across the world and they wouldn’t have made millions of dollars.
Ultimately success is within us and all people have their fate of success. Success differs to each persons perception of success in life. Some events or happenings maybe a big success for others but small for some. Success have no boundaries and no ownership to claim as their own a success is for everyone and anyone who have the will to live and believe in one’s worth in life. Success have different story and different time frame but one thing is certain success matters to all and success is their it just the way how to achieve it.