5 Secrets to Success

Many people attribute success to ‘good luck’, and therefore think of it as something outside of their control. But let me tell you a secret, ‘luck’ can be obtained by anyone who understands what’s it’s made of. The formula is quite simple.

Know yourself – First of all, in order to succeed, you need to know who you are, what you’re good at, and what it is that you want to succeed in. What do you enjoy doing the most? What gets you excited and what annoys you? What is your dream job? What are you good at? Do you have a special set of skills or talent that you wish to make a living off of? Success people know exactly who they are, what they are good at, and what they want to succeed it. It could be anything from a technology start-up, professional youtuber, airbnb owner, to self-published author, and anything else you can think of. There are as many career choices available today as there are people. But that doesn’t mean you should jump on the latest trend at every opportunity, and follow what others have already succeeded in doing. You need to find that one or more things that really suit you, and stick with it.

Set goals, and make sure they are achievable – Set clear and achievable goals for your career from the start. Don’t set far-fetched goals that are beyond your capability. And worse yet, don’t rely on the mentality that things will fall into place once you get started. Nothing will fall into the place you want it to go unless you actively place it there. They will fall out of place and fall apart with time. Many people who have laboured for months or even years without achieving anything often blame it on ‘bad luck’. Successful people always set clear and obtainable goals from the start. They check on their progress regularly and re-evaluate along the way. Sometimes, they make adjustments their initial goal(s) because things have not gone as they had initially predicted (which happens often). Sometimes, they have to redefine their goal or go in a completely different direction. This is fine because things can be unpredictable or change with time. But with a clear goal in mind, their vision will always take them somewhere.

Work hard, I mean work really hard – Working hard doesn’t necessarily mean drinking 5 cups of coffee a day and depriving yourself of sleep and rest. What it really means is to put in a number of solid hours of work each day and stick to a set schedule and/or timeline. People who always complain about not having enough time and staying up to complete projects do not manage their time well. Instead of going for long coffee breaks several times a day and getting carried away with gossips, take a short break every 45 min. to let you mind refocus, walk around a bit, stretch and then get right back to work. Successful people take short breaks throughout the day, but they never take extended breaks that take up half the workday. They put in solid hours of work everyday and do their work with thought. They make good use of their time and set daily, weekly, and monthly goals. They don’t envy people who are always relaxing and having fun at their jobs because they know the hard work they put in will pay off one day.

Be persistent and be patient – Success doesn’t happen overnight. Success is like planting a fruit tree. You need to start with a tiny seed, water it, tend to it, and after a while, it will sprout. You’ll need to take care of it some more, give it lots of love, and eventually, it will grow into a healthy and strong tree that will yield delicious fruits. Just like planting a tree, success starts as a tiny seed, it needs to be planted, watered and nurtured. The seed will not grow into a tree overnight. There are many businesses and artist that seem to find success overnight, but with some of research, we’ll learn that many years of preparation and hard work had gone into before the success finally blossomed. Successful people are persistent and patient with their pursuits, they don’t give up easily. In fact, they don’t give up at all, because they know if they nurture the seed they have planted properly, it will grow up into a healthy strong tree and yield fruits.

Keep learning and improving – Many people think once they obtain their University degree, they are well equipped with all the skills they need to succeed in the world. They stop learning and settle into a state of ‘stagnant growth’; sure they are getting better at their job and moving up in the corporate ladder, but that’s about all the growth they strive for. They stop learning new skills related to their job and are content with the knowledge they have. Successful people do not see the completion of a University degree as an end, but a beginning, a springboard to success. The real learning begins when they finish school and step into the world. They not only pick up new skills relevant to their job, they also pick up skills that are not directly related to their job like how to be more efficient and work smarter. They build mutually beneficial relationships with colleagues and mentor young people new to their work field. They never stop learning, because to stop learning is to fall behind.

Why not give this formula a try and see if your ‘luck’ improves. But remember, money is not the only indication of success. I leave you with a quote from Ralph Emerson.

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

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