The Fundamentals of Success
In life and in business, there are only a few fundamentals that make life work out well, and they have never changed. Too often, we pretend that technology and education have created "new rules" or that modern systems permit us to cut corners and find shortcuts that didn't exist in the past. While there may be examples where that is true, in general, I don't believe it.
The fundamentals of living well, achieving our dreams and creating wealth have not changed. The path to success today is remarkably more or less similar to the path walked by generations in the past.
What are the basics? You might have your own list, but I would suggest at least the following:
1. Personal Integrity:
Socrates recommended, "Know thyself" and Shakespeare added, "To thine own self be true." Knowing who we are, what we value and making sure that our words and actions match is fundamental. Doing unfulfilling work or living in an environment that doesn't suit us will surely undermine our long-term success. Too many of us live "lives of quiet desperation" and that is NOT a foundation on which to build a life!
2. Clear Thinking:
Many of us grew up in the "feel good" generation and we are confused about the role of thought (education, planning, skills and tools) versus emotion. We let our hopes, wishes, fears, or "hang-ups" run our lives. High achievers take the time to think clearly, seek expert advice, plan wisely, and learn from the mistakes of others. The Old Testament says "wisdom comes from a multitude of advisors." Some strategies just work better than others. Buildings are always designed and "blueprinted" in advance. Our lives should be designed just as carefully.
3. Unfailing Optimism:
This is not shallow "positive thinking", but a clear-headed, conscious faith in the future and in your own potential. "Where there is a will, there is a way," or as Hannibal said over 2000 years ago, "We will find a way, or make one." High achievers believe in their skills, in their plans, and in their futures. They forge ahead with confidence built on integrity and careful planning.
4. Hard Work:
I've heard people say achievement should be "effortless" and I agree that sometimes, enormous amounts of work can flow easily and quickly, but I also know that creating a great life usually requires dedication, personal discipline, attention to detail and effort.
5. Patience and Persistence:
A great life is rarely built in a day. It takes the time to develop a life of one's own. There will be mistakes and wrong turns along the way, and highly successful people are neither surprised nor disheartened by this. They simply get a good night's sleep and start again in the morning. They learn from their mistakes, correct them, and move on with better skills and more effective strategies.
There are more fundamentals than we have room for here, but they have not changed, and there are no "new" fundamentals! Creating a great life does not take extraordinary luck, unusual talent or skill. Building a great life does, however, require that we follow the "rules" that make life work out well. The fundamentals are not sexy or exciting or sophisticated, but they are tried and true. Use them to create the life you truly want.
"In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing." --- Theodore Roosevelt
"In each of us are places where we have never gone. Only by pressing the limits do you ever find them." --- Dr. Joyce Brothers
"Man is so made that when anything fires his soul, impossibilities vanish”. --- Jean De La Fontaine
"Most of the things worth doing in the world have been declared impossible before they were attempted." --- Earl Nightingale
Last Updated - 17 Feb 2017