Nov 23, 2010
The knowledge required today is vastly different than the knowledge you needed 20 years ago and in 5 years time most of what you know today will be obsolete.
Through all this there is one thing that is constant. One thing we can trust. That is the principles that drive achievement. The keys of success never change because people don’t. Noah Bennet in the TV-series Heroes puts it well “Things change, but people do not.”
As long as people control the world, the principles that set the successful apart from the regular will remain the same.
When playing baseball as a kid I noticed these principles at work. We used to play a pickup game every day after school. As in every group some of the kids had a knack for baseball and others didn’t. What was interesting to watch was how the group evolved. Some of the kids would improve at a faster rate then the rest, they seemed to improve in everything quicker than average. Both in school and sports.
I saw the same thing happen again and again when working in sales. Some of the salesmen hired just did better than others, even though at the outset they might have been much worse.
The reason is that all these people either actively or instinctively followed these 7 principles.
1. It isn’t how much you work, but how you work that makes the difference
Being at the office for 10 hours straight doesn’t mean you got the most done and, what is more important, it doesn’t mean that you brought the most value to your employer.
If you are going to be successful it is important that you spend your time as wisely as possible. Make sure you are always working on your highest value task, bringing value to your employer and yourself.
Working on time management skills that make you able to produce more in less time is a shortcut that will boost you on your path.
2. Hard work pays off
With step one understood, hard work does pay off. Spending an hour more at the office than your colleagues does mean that you get more done. Working the whole day, instead of taking breaks by the coffee machine, makes you a lot more productive. And being the first into the office every morning so that you have time to plan your day will give you the ease of mind you need to produce.
3. The only thing holding you back is your imagination
We can do anything, as long as we set our mind to it. I want to give you an example from the movie “A Knights Tale” with Heath Ledger. When Heaths character, William, is a young boy he is apprenticed to a knight. His dream was to become a knight himself, something that should have been far out of reach as he wasn’t of noble birth, which was required to compete.
His father tells him that he can, if he believes. If he believes it so strongly and works with all his might, it will happen.
As it turns out, he becomes a knight and his dreams are realized.
Of course this is a story, but the moral of the story is based on fact. If you believe something powerfully enough, you will find a way to make your dream reality.
4. Leading a balanced life is the key
A trap many fall into is that they don’t find balance in their life.
You are not successful if you aren’t successful in all 4 major areas of your life: finance, career, family and health.
Succeeding in one doesn’t compensate for failure in another. Spend time on all 4 areas and the synergy effect will help you become more successful in each area as well.
5. Improve every day
Constant improvement is crucial to your success. If you are to become the best you have to continuously improve. Life is a race and if you aren’t running, someone else will pass you.
6. It isn’t your genes that determine your level of success
This was at first hard for me to grasp before I understood it. It isn’t what you are born with that determines how far you will go. It is your discipline, your motivation and your hunger that will make you successful.
Just like I saw with my friends, the only one of us to make the minor leagues was the kid we used to stick out in right field because he could neither throw, catch or run.
7. Be proactive
Always be in charge of your own life. Be in the driver’s seat. Don’t let the circumstances you find yourself in, the stimuli thrust upon you, control you. Control the circumstances and create your own brakes.
By following these principles you have the basis on which you can form your success, the foundation on which to build and realize your dreams. Never give up because whatever and whoever you want to be, you can succeed, if you chose to.