Where Success Comes From – Part One

Very successful people aren’t necessary different than less successful people, they just do different things.

Success comes from doing. 

I could leave it at that and this post while very short would still be pretty good. But it’s really not as simple as just doing something to succeed. In order to succeed you must do the right something and you need to do it at the right time. 

Doing something may make you busy but being busy doesn’t make you successful. Doing the right something makes you productive and being productive is very likely to lead to success.

So what are those right “somethings” that successful people do? I’ll share that with you over the course of the this post and the next one. I found the graphic that accompanies these two posts online and I’d give credit to the person who created it if I only knew who it was. While I didn’t create it and despite a few grammatical errors, I think the 12 “somethings” are absolutely spot on. 

Successful people pursue goals. If you walked out of your house in the morning and had no idea where you were going then you would never know when you had arrived. You would never know that you had successfully completed your trip. Working towards success without goals is very much like that. Without goals you’re merely wondering around your day never being certain that what you’re doing will get you where you want to go. Goals, real meaningful, clearly articulated and written goals, are essential in your search for success.

Successful people are productive. They use their goals to plan and organize their day. They know that no matter how busy they may have been if they didn’t do something to get at least a little closer to one of their goals then they were not productive. They don’t fool themselves into thinking a busy day means they accomplished something, they measure their productivity with their goals.

Successful people decide. The have the ability to make decisions and act upon them. They realize that not every decision will be right but they also realize that almost 100% of “non decisions” are wrong. So they get as much information as possible to make their decision, then they act on that decision. Failure to make decisions when a decision is needed will lead directly to failure.

Successful people don’t make emotional decisions. They inform themselves with facts and logic. They seek out advice from those they trust, they use their experience, they use the experience of others, and they are brutality honest with themselves. Successful people know that emotions are temporary and they don’t apply what could be a permanent decision to fast changing circumstances.

Successful people know that good is the enemy of great and that absolute perfection is the enemy of progress. Sometimes they won’t get everything they wanted from their plan but they will move forward anyway. They understand that perfection may yet arrive and it’s okay if it doesn’t come until tomorrow so long as they make progress today.

Successful people embrace the unknown. They are okay with being uncomfortable because they know that comfort hinders growth. They know that in order to succeed they must do things differently than less successful people and that the differences will never stop. Long-term success requires continuous, continuous improvement and they know that all improvement requires change. So change they do!

We’ll finish this two-part post in a few days with the final six “somethings” that successful people do on a regular basis. Until then, do something! 

12 thoughts on “Where Success Comes From – Part One

  1. This is the sort if thing I like to share with my students, all of whom seek some sort of success, but few of whom have realistic ideas about becoming successful and defining, on their own, what success means for them, personally. Thanks for a clear, well-written article, Steve!

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