Keys to Success

“Success is dependent on effort.”-Sophocles

 The term “hard work” is widely used. Society prides itself in the “American dream” philosophy. Retailers profit off of inspirational quotes on cards and coffee mugs. People are constantly striving to work hard, but for what reason?

The answer lies in a simple word: success. Everyone wants to be successful, but the truly successful ones are the people who put in the hard, grueling work to get to the top. The others will find comfort in excuses instead of putting in the legwork. Our world measures success in material belongings, but true success is worth more than that. Genuinely successful people are the ones who form ideas for themselves and take responsibility. So what is the mindset of a successful individual, and how do they perceive the world and its challenges?

Here are the ten key characteristics:

  1. Integrity. A successful individual is always honest. He knows his values and he stands by them, no matter what the situation.
  2. Determination. A successful individual has decided to be successful. He sets his goals and pursues them despite challenges and obstacles.
  3. Openness. A successful individual is open-minded. He embraces people, ideas, and situations that open his mind and widens his perspective.
  4. Initiative. A successful individual knows when to act independently. He can make a plan and begin the work on his own. He is aware of competition and does not wait to take action, but takes risks and shows initiative.
  5. Time Management. A successful individual can manage his time wisely. Time management coupled with self-discipline allows him to work on what is most important, not what is most pressing.
  6. Resilience. A successful individual can pick himself up when he gets knocked down. He can recommit to his vision despite disappointments. He can reaffirm his confidence and then move on toward his goal.
  7. Imagination. A successful individual can see his future and dream of endless possibilities. He can develop and maintain the perspective of a child, constantly wondering “why not” and “what if.” He finds success in seeing an old idea in a new, creative way.
  8. Gratitude. A successful person goes out of his way to thank others. He is willing to pass on the same help and prosperity that was given to him.
  9. Humility. A successful individual recognizes his success as a gift and as a result of the effort of many people in his life. He knows it is seldom the product of solitary actions, and is not quick to take credit.
  10. Selflessness. A successful individual thinks of others before himself. He utilizes his abilities for others, and to make a meaningful impact in someone’s life.

The key to success is hard work, but this far exceeds one’s own individual strength. True success is born when someone is able to credit others for the idea, or take the risk of innovation. This type of hard work takes a lifetime to grow, but with each experience, a truly successful character is being built.