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Success Is A System, Not A Secret

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell

Most people think there is some sort of secret to being successful, but there is no secret to success. Success is all about having a system for applying common principles to your life.

It is not rocket science, but it is more like a recipe for baking a cake or making a delicious entrée. You simply have to have the ingredients of discipline, commitment, and persistence, a willingness to perform fundamental tasks, a willingness to sacrifice the lesser for the greater, and the aptitude to apply basic principles over and over again until you get the result that you want.

It is far from glamorous and it certainly isn’t always fun, but the world will reward you for the execution of your ideas and not for your dreams alone. Although, dreaming big and wonderful dreams is a great place to start. Just keep in mind that dreams alone will not get you to your final destination.

Also keep in mind that your success may not happen in exactly the same way as your role models’ success. More than likely, it will have the same underlying themes of discipline, commitment, sacrifice, and persistence, but since the world is ever-changing and evolving, the routes in which one uses to become successful may change as well.

Success comes to those who are willing to commit day after day and keep their eyes on the ball even when excitement and passion fade into the background or go away altogether and morph into frustration and disappointment.

An additional attribute of successful people is that they are more than willing to invest in themselves in order to improve their skills. They will carve out time specifically dedicated to making their dreams come true, even when it appears that they don’t have much time at all. They tend to seek out and participate in masterminds (groups of like-minded people), hire life and career coaches, take courses, and attend relevant workshops in order to get themselves to the next level. They don’t care what anyone else has to say or think about it either. They know that self-investments are the best investments that you can make because they give you a platform to develop your gifts so that you can serve others better.

Ironically, most people believe that there is no reason to learn anything new after they complete their high school or college education, but if you want to achieve success, you must always continue to grow.

I recently read an article that stated that the average American reads only two non-fiction books once they have finished school. If that statement is true, then I feel sorrow for the future of our country. Compare this to Bill Gates, who, as reported by Business Insider, reads approximately 50 books per year and yet people will wonder how it is that he got to be so “lucky.” This doesn’t sound much like luck to me. I think the better question would be: How did he become so driven, purposeful, ambitious, and inquiring? All of these qualities have contributed to his success more than luck. Like Bill Gates and others, any person desiring more success should thrive to learn more and be more curious about the world and the problems that people need solved.

Even with a terminal degree and board certifications, I see education as a life-long process. I often ask myself: How can I implement continuous learning into my own life? I find that the cheapest and easiest way to implement this—if you want to be inspired or learn new skills—is by listening to podcasts. There are literally millions of podcasts that are readily available and they are free. You can find a podcast on nearly every subject your brain can think of and if you can’t, then you should be the one to create it. Additionally, internet spaces like Khan Academy offer courses online for free. Udemy is a great place to get plenty of courses for under $20. There is literally no excuse for not investing in your personal and professional growth.

Listening to a podcast the other day, I heard someone say that your income is directly correlated to how much you invest towards your own personal development. I’m not sure where they got this from, but it totally makes sense. Develop and follow a system that includes discipline, commitment, persistence, sacrifice, and self-investment/life-long learning and you are sure to find success and your destiny along the way.

Part 1 of 4 in a series called The Mindset of Success. Contributed by Dr. Tangie Watkins, Success Coach. You can learn more at Dr. Tangie | Going Deeper | Living Happier

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