Definition of Success

Success is difficult to define. It is personal and each person attains success in their own way. David Bellamy, the great environmentalist, defined success as being able to do what you set out to do. The former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair believes that “success incorporates more than just your own individual achievement…it has to be about contributing to society or to the world around you.” Likewise, S R Nathan, the previous President of Singapore, said “your success will be measured by your contributions to society, and by a selfless motivation to add value to the lives of the people around you.” To Richard Branson, the flamboyant entrepreneur, “success is achieving what one sets out to achieve.” The author, Richard Denny says that for the majority of people, success “is to achieve our goals, to live in a state of happiness and to have respect from those around us.” Colin Powell, a former Secretary of State for the United States is of the view that “success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty and persistence.”

What Helps Us to Succeed

We all want to succeed at whatever we are doing, be it in our personal or public life. How do we do this? Are there any guidelines, factors or criteria that one should adopt to help us achieve success? Many leaders, be they political or business, writers and people of other discipline have offered suggestions to help us succeed. For example, the South African leader, F W De Klerk maintains that success centres on the five Cs-core-values, commitment, competition, communication and cooperation.

There is no single answer to achievement. However it may be said that achievers have certain personal characteristics and personal needs which influence the way they work and the way they live. Those characteristics also influence the way these achievers pursue their goals and respond to opportunities and challenges. Many successful people have qualities that changed their lives from ordinary to extraordinary. We can also develop these qualities and characteristics so that we too can be extraordinary. After all, the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just that little ‘extra’.

Success Attributes

We all have the potential for success. If we review the lives of some of the best achievers in the world, we will notice some common patterns emerging. Many of these people are very aware of who they are and what they are capable of achieving. They know their strengths and weaknesses and are confident people who have no fear. They know how to handle change and anxiety in their lives and additionally, they focus their attention and work in support of others. Generally these people are passionate about their vision and mission. They are also consistent in their mission and goals and are usually charismatic. Excellent examples of all of the above would be Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore and President Barak Obama of the United States of America.

President Obama’s continues to inspire and motivate people around the world to achieve greater heights. President Obama exemplifies perseverance, persistence and passion, traits which are most desirable for success. Many people are drawn to him because of his cheerful and happy personality and his brilliant smile. Happiness is the foundation for success and we can all learn how to be happy.

Yes, we can all be successful. The “Yes, We Can” slogan adopted by President Obama of the United States during his Presidential campaign is a significant and meaningful one. We can all adopt this in the way we think, in our actions and in our behaviour. A “Yes, I Can” attitude will help us to achieve success in all that we do. A positive mental attitude is essential to the realization of success. We must believe in ourselves and in our future. Only then will we use our ability and experience to the maximum.

To experience success in what we do, we must also have the desire to succeed. We must be clear about what we want. Commitment then to our goals and plans and persistence at realizing them will help us to overcome the challenges and cope with any setbacks. There are many people throughout history who have proven this to be true. Thomas Edison who failed many times before perfecting the light bulb and Nelson Mandela whose commitment to his goal to free South Africa of Apartheid are just two such persons.

There are many other factors, criteria and attributes to cultivate, nurture and develop if we wish to achieve success in what we do. Enthusiasm, drive and passion are three key factors to consider. How do we develop these factors? All you have to do is to apply a few simple easy measures to ignite that sparkle, that magic and that dynamism to generate the success that you desire!

I leave you with these quotations:

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
― Winston S. Churchill

“The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.”
― Thomas A. Edison

“If you care about what you do and work hard at it, there isn’t anything you can’t do if you want to.”
― Jim Henson

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