There are all kinds of advice for success because that is one of the values we most cherish: to make something of our lives that we can be proud of; that we can look back on with joy and satisfaction and we can bequeath to the world as our own individual contribution. But what really makes a successful person in whatever strand of life one chooses? What makes the successful person different from one who has had problems in achieving their desires? If one studies the lives of many millionaires and billionaires certain qualities stand out above others.
It seems there are seven key attributes that are important for real success and they occur in the following order
1. Purpose and Vision
One cannot be successful without some kind of vision or purpose. It would be like getting into a car and heading nowhere. You might see some great sights along the way but you are sure to get lost or to be distracted by trivia and you will not really get anything to bring back with you. Having a real purpose and the vision to exercise that purpose will lead to definite objectives in achieving it. This is the foundation for all success, especially a purpose that will benefit others and ultimately benefit you through being credited for it.
2. Belief and Expectation
These underpin purpose and vision. Belief is the cornerstone of achievement. If you believe in yourself that you can make anything possible, you might not achieve the ultimate but you'll come pretty near to doing it. With belief comes optimism that it will happen and the expectation that it's just a matter of time before you get it. One cannot believe without being optimistic and expectant. That is not possible. That would suggest a lot of fear in the process, and fear and success do not go together. Having purpose and vision is like placing an order while belief and expectation ensure delivery.
3. Risk Taking and Flexibility
If you truly believe and expect, you have to be prepared to take risks. You cannot believe and cower in inactivity and fear. Taking any risk necessary to achieve that goal, and being flexible in the risk-taking, are the only steps forward. Flexibility comes through reviewing your progress at every stage and being prepared to adjust, to correct or even to change course, if necessary. We are always learning and changing every step of the way. We are not the same person on Friday that we were on Monday because our experiences during that week would have added to our knowledge and perception of ourselves and our world. Hence we have to take risks and to be flexible if we want the risks to count. We have to accept that all of life is trial and error and be prepared for some false starts before our engines are fired up to run the way we expect. As the saying goes, one has to speculate to accumulate. If you're not prepared to take risks, success is likely to prove elusive.
4. Determination and Persistence
This element concentrates your effort, keeps the motivation and optimism going, and prevents you being distracted from your purpose and aim. Determination coupled with persistence is a very powerful force because they are about commitment and sticking to that belief and expectation. The effort you expend and the sheer belief will end up giving you what you desire. Without determination, you would easily give up, yet success and failure both share the same boundary of thought. It's determination that keeps success in sight. Intention with determination always get a result. It might not be the exact result you want, but it will be a key step along the journey of success.
Discipline helps to keep that determination going. Without discipline, there is no consistency, no routine, no real effort or commitment to achieving those aims. Discipline turns words into actions and bring intention into reality. Discipline comes into its own when motivation and enthusiasm are flagging because it will keep you going through the dark times of doubt and the times when you begin to wonder why you are still working on that idea or project.
6. Prolific Reading
Reading is essential to success, especially relating to materials that are of relevance to your vision and purpose or to your interests. The more you read, the more your knowledge will grow, the more you will be exposed to similar and alternate views, the more you will identify allies and rivals. Most important, you will discover new things relating to your vision, and what is already in view. Furthermore, as you read, the more confident you will feel in achieving your aims. "Leaders are readers", as one writer said, and reading is certainly an indispensable activity. Without constant reading you cannot build your vocabulary, you are dependent upon old and outdated knowledge to guide you and you will be limited in your thoughts and intellect. In short, we turn into fossils being left behind by the rushing tide of time and events.
7. Mastery of Opportunities
Successful people master the potential for spotting opportunities by keeping an open mind, believing in themselves and trusting both their intuition and their head (especially when their intuition is never wrong and there'll be lots of people to discourage them). Our subconscious knows more than we do. Once we trust that part of us to act while keeping a firm footing in conscious reality, the results can often be magical. Trusting our thoughts and intuition means that we are more open to what is possible, more open to recognise our talents and what we could do to affect a situation, more prepared to allow real success to come to us - and with the confidence to make the most of it, too.
You can use these attributes to assess the weakest links in your quest for success. Which of them is missing from your daily effort to achieve your desire? By identifying what you are not doing at the moment you will ensure your success for tomorrow.
How do these essential success elements apply to you? Try this QUIZ now.
©Elaine Sihera (Ms CYPRAH) 2012
Emotional Health and People Management Consultant
"Happiness is a state of being. We are the ones who decide whether we wish to be happy or not, by the script we use inside our heads."