What does it take to be successful?
Ask all the self-help Gurus, Life Relationship Career Coaches, and anyone who promotes personal growth and self-development, and you will most definitely get different answers as to their formula for success.
The truth is success does leave clues. You can achieve the success you desire by observing some basic principles, paying attention to them and putting them into practice.
One of my favourite quotes about success is from Collin Powell. Here is what he has to say about success:
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.”
These principles are actually quite simple; in fact they are considered to be common sense, but most people do not take the time to follow them.
Let’s take a look in more detail at what Powell is actually saying.
Do you know where you are going, what you are doing and why you are doing it?
People who are prepared do.
Preparation means having a vision, a destination, a purpose, a goal and putting a clear action plan in place to move you in the right direction.
You don’t have to be rigid about your action plan; some flexibility is often required. Regardless, however, to achieve the success you desire, you must focus and put positive energy into what you want to achieve and then, through your action steps, work towards preparing for the moment when the opportunity knocks on your door.
You don’t have to wait for everything to be perfect. But you do have to move and take that first action step and then just keep going.
“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”
Famous words from Benjamin Franklin.
Reading, attending workshops webinars conferences, acquiring new knowledge and skill
Connecting to a mentor or coach to improve accountability, learn new skills
Joining a Master Mind Group to integrate learning and to gain ongoing support.
You can prepare for success or you can prepare for failure, but those most likely to succeed are the ones who invest their time and energy in doing what it takes to succeed – and this includes preparation.
2. Hard Work
Success needs hard work. Hard work means taking bold actions, working smarter and going the extra mile. It is about working on the right things and doing them in the right order. Another Collin Powell quote:
“A dream does not become a reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”
In the final instance, nothing worth having comes easy; if it does, you will not value it as you will not see it as being important.
Having a powerful vision is crucial to focus your energies and inspire and motivate you; however, it is “hard work,” a willingness to learn and go the extra mile, and a dedication and commitment to working on yourself and your goals that will lead to successful achievement, as well as building your character.
3. Learning from Failure
Successful people do not shy away from failure, they do not see it as such. Failure to them is just information – important information on what is not working.
Thomas Edison found 10,000 different ways of how a light bulb doesn’t work before he successfully found the right way.
Had he not continued on with his experiments the world might still be in darkness.
Failure provides us with lessons, it gives us insight into what we need to do differently. The failure comes from when we do not heed the lessons; this is when we fail to learn, fail to change and fail to grow. Failure is thus success, if we take the time to learn from it.
By adopting this mindset, by turning each failure into a learning lesson or opportunity, we will always succeed.
There is no failure unless we actually give up.
“Your dream does not have an expiration date. Take a deep breath and try again.”
Preparation, hard work and learning from failure are the fundamentals to building a successful, bright future. Armed with these three powerful principles identified by Collin Powell, you now have a potent formula for success. Use it and you will be well on your way to achieving the success you desire.