August 26, 2009 at 2:36 pm
I was at a conference recently and there was a lot of chatter about success. When I got home I took a reflective moment to figure out all the things that make us successful in all aspects of life and in love.
From my early life on a farm without electricity to my life now there have been some clear things that have helped me along the way.
1. Risk taking. What do Gandhi, Steve Jobbs and Rick Hansen have in common? They all took a huge risk. What if nobody cared about their political cause, computers or wheelchair ride across the world? What if....there are so many “what if's” that make us second guess and stop in our tracks. Only risk takers follow through and expose themselves to the “what if's”......
2. Innovation. Doing the same thing over and over again will rarely get you different results. But doing something new or changing something slightly makes all the difference. Look at Starbucks - they didn't invent coffee, but instead they looked at coffee drinking as something different, more like an experience, and sold it accordingly. Some of us have the creativity to come up with a completely new idea, others of us can improve an existing idea - either way doing something different makes all the difference.
3. Talent. Notice this is not number one? It never is. Talent is the natural ability to do something well and it's something you have or don't. Talent alone won't get you far, but talent combined with all these other parts make us successful. Don't know what your talents are? Expose yourself to new things and also look at the things you love doing - usually, we enjoy things we are talented at.
4. Courage. Courage my love, you have done me well! I would not be the same person at all if I didn't have courage. After university I picked up and moved to France....without speaking any French, and the experience helped mould me into a better person. Sometimes courage places us in foreign territory well outside of our comfort zone, but it's what keeps us going on, and on, and on, to find greatness.
5. Honesty. Being honest enough with yourself to admit what works, what doesn't or why you succeeded or failed at something will get you far. Only after you look honestly into success and failures can you learn from them and move on to bigger and better.
6. Luck. Ever been in the right place at the right time? Met a pivotal person in your life by chance? Sometimes we take all the right steps and it's not until something happens that's a little out of our control that we truly make it big.
7. Happiness. This one is usually overlooked, but is so critical. Would we ever realize we were successful if we weren't happy? Likely not. Happiness allows us to not take it all so personally, to stop responding to everything in a hurry, and instead be more planned and strategic, and happiness also allows us to step back and smile at what we’ve accomplished. Ever met one of those people who has everything yet they are full of complaints? This went wrong, that is working, this guy is a dummy, and nothing is ever their fault – it’s just bad, bad things that keep on happening to them. They may have everything that qualifies them as a success, but without happiness they’ll never realize that they actually are a success!
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