The sinews of success

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I spent some time this past weekend with some successful people. Do you know how to spot success? I guess in some cases you might be able to look at the ‘trappings’ of success… nice cars, big house, lavish vacations… and assume that they are successful at whatever it is they do. But that isn’t always a clear indication, as it might just mean they have big debts. I love being around successful people, no matter what they do, because I can always learn something from them. So what does it take to be successful? What sets these people apart?

There are certain things that I have come to believe are the keys to success for just about anything you do. These are things that hold it all together, kinda like the muscles and tendons that hold your body together. This is why I call these the sinews of success.

Do you know someone who is driven? Even when they fail at something, they never give up. Even if they reach their goal, it doesn’t end there because there is always something else to do. A person who is ‘driven’ is one who never stops looking to the future… where they want to go, who they want to be, what they want to accomplish.

I absolutely love being around passionate people. Listening to someone who is passionate talk about their passion is invigorating to me, and contagious. I heard Mette Norgard speak one time about the passion that drives her, and she transferred that passion to me. I walked away from that experience with a deeper passion for the things that I love and want to do with my life. If you have a true passion for what it is that you do, you will have some measure of success, I truly believe that. If you don’t have a passion for what you do, then quit and go do whatever it is that you are passionate about.

This is often where business leaders fall down. What do you do when people aren’t looking? That’s integrity. Do what you say you will do. Treat people fairly. Do the right thing even when it’s tough. If you have ever dealt with someone who has no integrity then you know how you felt about that person. Yeah, you don’t want to be that person.

Hard work
Successful people get into work early, and they stay late. When others are goofing off, they are working. You can’t be successful at anything, in my opinion, if you aren’t working to put the work in. Too many people today are just plain lazy. Want to set yourself apart? I believe without a doubt you can’t be successful if you aren’t willing to work for it. Yeah, that might mean you are working nights and weekends while others are out partying. If you want to get ahead, then you gotta do it. Truly successful people all have this in common… they are hard workers.

Desire to learn
Finally, I think that truly successful people never stop learning. Even if you are an ‘expert’ on something, I think you can still learn more about what it is that you do. Seek out others who have a differing opinion from you because they just might know something that you don’t. Read everything you can get your hands on. Go places where you can learn something new. And hang around people who also have a desire to learn. This is one of those things that is contagious too. I consider myself a ‘lifelong learner’ and have a true desire to learn things, and I try to do this daily.

So am I successful? In some aspects of my life, I am. In others, not so much. But I believe I know what it will take to be successful and I work at it every day. What about you?

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