The following article was originally published on August 17, 2018.
“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” – Steve Jobs
Success is simply purpose fulfilled. It is the realization of a goal, vision, dream or aspiration. Success is the realization or manifestation of the latent power within us. Each person on the Earth is seeking some sort of success. A prime minister of a country may be seeking to balance a budget or revitalize a community. A student in college may be dreaming of completing his or her degree and graduating from college. A homeless person may be looking for a place to sleep or something to eat. We all are seeking some form of success.
I am of the strong belief that everything on the Earth is governed by distinct principles. Water is unequivocally one of the greatest needs of people on the Earth. If we were to examine the water cycle we would ascertain that the movement of water throughout the Earth’s environment is not capricious, but is governed by unique principles. Some of these principles are evaporation, condensation, precipitation, sublimation and surface runoff.
In order for the Earth to function properly, it must follow the same process it has been following for thousands of years. The Earth does not get up one day and change how water moves throughout its environment. This is due to the laws built into the Earth that keep it functioning well, given that external forces do not impinge on its vitality. Similarly, there are ancient truths that are built into existence to ensure the success of individuals.
There can be no specific blueprint to success, but there are universal principles that can be adopted by individuals to achieve personal success within their distinct situations. These principles are: attitude, knowledge, experience, character and healthy relationships.
Dr. Myles Munroe said that, “The lion is not the smartest in the jungle, nor is he the largest in the jungle or even the strongest in the jungle, however in the jungle he is king because of the way he thinks.” There is a popular quote that says, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, most times you are right.”
Despite the ambiguous perception that the term attitude has taken over the years, it is simply your internal beliefs and evaluations you have about yourself, your situation and the world around you. In order to be successful you must first of all think you deserve success. Everyone on the Earth has a past and has done things he is not proud of, but the past is gone and the only life it has is the power you give it.
Confidence and courage are always attractive to the gatekeepers in your life. Zig Ziglar stated that, “Positive thinking will allow you to do everything better than negative thinking would.” Most times in life our attitude will determine our altitude. Persons who have strong self-efficacy are most times the people who succeed in life.
Benjamin Franklin stated that, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” If you are to be successful or reach your full potential in life, you must be very knowledgeable about your industry or realm of gift. A doctor who does not know medical practice or is not learned in medicine can never be a successful doctor. An electrician who does not understand electrical engineering can never be a successful electrician. A teacher who does not know the teaching material can never be a great teacher.
Gaining knowledge is one of the best investments you can make in your personal success. Knowledge makes you more valuable and opens doors for you that will lead to your personal success. The ancient King Solomon of Israel penned, “A man of knowledge increases strength.” (Proverbs 24:5). Knowledge is a great key to success and also a key to personal fulfillment.
When you have been down a road before, you will have more confidence and be more knowledgeable about that road, if you choose to return. Experience is a teacher in life, but I believe that it is not necessarily the best teacher. Many persons who have failed in life will use experience as an excuse to give up and not try again.
Experience gives you a level of influence and makes you more valuable. People feel more secure if you have previously done what you are attempting to do. You will also feel more secure if you have done before what you are attempting to do. The key to gaining experience is simply trying and not being afraid to fail. Failure will always occur in life. There will be no growth if there is no failure. Always use failure as a learning experience and exercise failing forward.
Being a person of integrity simply means being true to what you say. People invest in and follow people they trust. Keeping a good name is a long-term investment. When you have a good name you will always have less explaining to do and will attract the resources needed for you to achieve your personal success. Always think: Is this ethical? Would I want someone to do this to my daughter or son? Would I be content if the whole world knows about this?
Earlier this year I hosted a successful business conference for entrepreneurs and business professionals. We were honored to have Raymond Winder, the now president of Commonwealth Bank Ltd., speak to our registrants about managing finances. He stated that he once had a client who was facing legal issues abroad and his client said that, “Once he has his contact book he will always be good.”
Relationships are an essential key to reaching personal success. In life we will always need other people. Always genuinely care about persons you are looking to assist you to accomplish your vision. A genuine heart is a rare commodity in today’s world, and always remember that being rare is a key to becoming a person of value.
Success is not a destination but a journey. It is the culmination of many victories and also many defeats. When we choose to be successful, we choose to stand out, take risks and aim for excellence. Success is realized in phases that are woven together for a divine purpose. Dr. Myles Munroe said, “If you want to be successful, don’t chase success, and pursue becoming a person of value.” You become a person of value by developing a gift and serving it to as many people as possible.
Through utilizing the keys of attitude, knowledge, experience, character and healthy relationships through a commitment to excellence I am sure we will see you at the top!
• Malcolm Foulkes is a published author of two personal development books which are being sold internationally. He is also an experienced motivational speaker, leadership and corporate success coach, and chairman of the Business and Marketing Community Institute. He is the recipient of the 2015 National Youth Award in religion, and also the recipient of Dr. Myles and Ruth Munroe Award for Outstanding Leadership. He holds a bachelor’s of business administration in marketing from The University of The Bahamas, where he was named the top marketing student in his graduating class. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.