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The Keys of Success


Techniques > Self-Development Methods > The Keys of Success

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One of the basic assumptions of the Western world, and the USA in particular, is that anyone can succeed. The only thing holding you back is you. The only one to blame for your failure is you. We each hold the key to our own destiny.

Here are three basic requirements for success, including sub-components of each. They are not all required in equal quantities in all activities, yet they are often all needed to particular degrees and can each add a great deal to the chance and speed of success in many situations.


A key determinant of success is that we put in sufficient effort to win. Some may have to work harder, while others can scale the slope faster. Yet, with determination, we can climb most mountains.


Attitude is a critical foundation for motivation. With a 'can do' belief, with optimism and kindness, we can achieve far more than those who are lazy, pessimistic and callous.


People who are reactive, rushing from task to task with little guiding purpose, achieve little in many places. Success, however is often more about making significant difference in individual areas. This need a consistent focus on a specific goal, which itself comes from a clear purpose.


One of the key reasons people fail is that they give up or otherwise give less than their very best. Persistence starts with a determination to succeed, and includes picking yourself up when you fall, and powering through pain, boredom and other distractions.


The world is not equal. While many work hard, the spread of opportunity is not even. The steps up in life may be placed before you. Yet, with good motivation, you can do much to create your own opportunities.


Sometimes opportunity falls in your lap. The right job turns up just when you need it. You stumble over the answer to your problems without even looking for it. Yet many people do not see the opportunities in front of them or are ill-equipped to take advantage of them.

Being ready often means learning and skill-building long before opportunities come along. It means being alert for possibility, constantly scanning and intelligently evaluating. It means considering what could be done even as others dismiss the non-obvious.


Opportunity often comes through other people. It helps a lot if you have a whole network of friends who know what you want and are actively searching on your behalf. Better still, if even one of these people are able to use their position to directly give you a chance, then you may be lucky enough to have a golden path forward.


Just as your friends and family may help with opportunities, they may be able to provide further support to help you get on in life.


Early in life it can help a lot to have parents who can afford the best education, summer activities and other help that boosts one's career chances. Sometimes money doesn't help and does not replace parental affection, but overall, having rich parents is better for you than having put parents.


When we get into scrapes, difficulties and scanner, it helps a lot if there is someone who can help rescue is from such problems. Whether it is friends standing up for us in a bar brawl or parents weaning us off drugs, rescuers keep us from harm and save us from ourselves.


A great way our supporters can help us is to use their networks to help us succeed, for example where college alumni associations bend the rules to get members plum jobs or influential parents leaning on others to give us a chance.

See also

Motivation, Power, Relationships


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