So many people are always looking for the easy ways to obtain success, the quick fix, the shortcut to have success in their life. After thirty-plus years as a successful executive, I found there are none. There isn't a perfect formula to be successful. While some people are born with a predisposition to be more successful than others, everyone has the capability to become successful. Success is something that you create for yourself, something that you are intentional about if you strongly desire it if you are willing to work at it.
The University of Edinburgh conducted an interesting study in 2012. After studying more than 800 sets of twins, they found that genetics were more influential in shaping critical traits than a person's home environment, experiences, and surroundings.
University psychologists, who carried out the study, say that genetically influenced characteristics could well be the key to how successful a person is in life.
Fortunately, success isn't exclusive to a few; success can be learned and attained by you, me, and everyone else as many people have proven it. I've learned to carefully study and surround myself with successful people, to consider the success of other people whom I respect, admire, and trust. My mentor John Maxwell is a highly influential leader who has helped millions of people become successful leaders in their companies and their lives.
John had shared his seven keys to success as I sat before him and listened, but most importantly, applied. These seven keys that he has shared has made a profound impact on my life and on who I am today. I want to share with you his seven keys for success, so you can choose and apply what you believe will work best for you to be the successful person that you want to be, the person you want to see in the mirror every day of your life.
Success Key #1. Make a Commitment to Grow Daily.
Success comes from growing, not from achieving, acquiring, or advancing. If you commit to growing each day, you will soon start noticing positive results in your life. Every action that you take towards growing will bring you closer to success, and it doesn't matter how small your step is or how slow you go as long as you keep going.
Success Key #2. Value the Process More Than Events.
If your goal is to go to the next level in life, then strive for continuous improvement. Events in life are temporary; they teach you how to make better decisions. However, it is the process of change and growth that has lasting value. Choose to embrace the process and learn from both the process and the event.
Success Key #3. Don't Wait for Inspiration.
People who advance far in life, find ways to motivate themselves and live the best they can, regardless of how they feel. At times, they even have to push themselves to do something. Successful people persevere. Basketball great Jerry West said, "You can't get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good."
Success Key #4. Be Willing to Sacrifice Pleasure for Opportunity.
There are two paths to follow: "You can play now and pay later or pay now and play later." You can choose whether you will first want to pay or play. Regardless of the path you decide to take; life will always demand a payment. If you choose "to pay first," you will be more pleased with your results and enjoy greater and sweeter rewards
Success Key #5. Dream Big.
If you're going to dream, dare to dream big. Dreaming small may keep you from discovering what you're truly made of. We don't have a clue as to what people's limits are. All the tests, stopwatches, and finish lines in the world can't measure human potential. When someone is pursuing their dream, they'll go far beyond what seems to be their limitations. The potential that exists within us is limitless and largely untapped. When you think of limits, you create them.
As John has reminded me,
"If your dreams don't scare you, then they aren't big enough."
Success Key #6. Plan Your Priorities.
Successful people have many things in common, and one of them is that they have mastered the art of how to manage their time effectively. More than anything, they have organized themselves. Henry Kaiser, founder of Kaiser Aluminum and Kaiser Permanente Health Care, says, "Every minute spent in planning will save you two in execution." Time cannot be retrieved, so live every moment the best you can.
Success Key #7. Give Up To Go Up.
Everything that has value comes as a result of making sacrifices. Life will present you with countless opportunities to trade something you value for something else. Keep your eyes open to identify those opportunities, and once you do, make sure that what you decide to trade will be a trade up, not down.
Success isn't a matter of words; it's a matter of actions. Your success is uniquely yours; your only competition is the person you were yesterday.
Arthur M. May AIA Assoc. President