The 7 Essential Qualities of Success
By Vikas Malkani
Best-Selling author of 'The Little Manual of Success'
All the high achievers of this world know that success in any area of life is not simply an activity but an understanding too. All successful people anywhere in the world seem to share a common mind-set that differentiates them from the masses. Success begins inside them, in their inner thinking, long before it becomes real in the external world for all to see.
The following seven qualities, incorporated in our day-to-day actions, provide an insight into the laws that success depends upon. Use them and see the results.
1) Super strong Self-Belief - You are capable of those things you are capable of believing. Or, to put it another way, you should always “act as if you can.” With this right mental attitude, you can then find out the truth regarding your innate potential by living out the experience.
Far too many of us do the opposite: We decide ahead of time that we cannot achieve or be truly successful in life. We think we are too old, too young, too poor, too hopeless, not blessed with the right parents. Such negative thinking limits performance. Turn the negative around, and suddenly the impossible becomes possible.
When you believe and think “I can,” you activate your motivation, commitment, confidence, and concentration, all of which relate directly to maximizing achievement. If you think, “I cannot,” on the other hand, you sabotage your chances of achieving your goals.
Experts agree that all of us have deep reservoirs of ability that we habitually fail to use. We fail to make use of our talents because we are caught up in the absurd and impossible game of imitating others who, unfortunately, are not worthy of emulation. Since there is no one on earth just like you, how can you be inferior?
Men and women who have made the greatest contributions to humanity were often scorned by others. So do not be afraid if you are criticized – you are in good company. You are in the company of Gandhi, who was criticized for preaching non-violence against the most violent military power of the time. You are in the company of Galileo, who was criticized for postulating that the earth revolved around the sun, and of Nelson Mandela, whose unquenchable thirst for freedom liberated a nation. You are in the company of those who believed in themselves when the world did not believe in them. But today, the whole world believes in them and cites them as an example for others to follow.
Your whole success depends on what you believe is possible. In the famous words of Henry Ford, the founder of the legendary Ford Motor Company “Whether you believe you can, or you believe you can’t, you are right!” Everything begins with your belief!
2) Vision - The successful person has a guiding vision, a dream and a sense of focus. The achiever believes that it is his birthright to dream. The achiever believes that Nature provided us with control over the power to shape our own thoughts and the privilege of placing them into any pattern of our choice.
We have deep inner potential hidden inside us. We are not just human beings simply trying to survive in this world. We are beings of pure potential (spirit) going through a human experience on the way towards our complete expression and fulfilment. We are here to thrive and bloom to our highest potential. In this belief lies the seed of greatness.
Without a guiding vision nothing great was ever achieved or created. It is vision that gives direction to the action that follows.
3) Passion - Chiselled upon the tomb of an inept, disappointed Pharaoh in ancient Egypt is the epitaph: “Here lies a ruler who, with the best intentions, never carried out a single plan.” Many of us go through life searching for breakthroughs. We would do better if we went through life backed with the power of a single aim, and persisted with patience to achieve it.
Passion is one of the most important ingredients in the recipe for success. “If you set yourself on fire,” said the inimitable Don King, “the world will come to see you burn!”
4) Courage - Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. This is a spiritual truth! Courage means the willingness to take risks, to accept challenges. Courage means you have the ability to stretch your comfort zone, literally to make your self uncomfortable as a conscious choice.
Men and women of courage do not worry about failure; they focus on the path to success. High-achievers accept setbacks on the path to success courageously, understanding that one cannot stretch his limits without encountering some rough moments along the way. Setbacks are viewed as nothing but lessons along the way to success. Achievers do not take failures to be fatal or final.
It takes courage to stand firmly while others move back or give up in fear; it takes courage to forsake today for tomorrow; it takes courage to stake the known for the unknown; it takes courage to let the one bird in hand free for the two (or more) in the bush, and it takes great courage to stand alone and fight for what you want.
All successful people demonstrate strong inner courage.
5) Character - The successful are always open and honest in all business dealings. Integrity is the basis of their trust. Character is the one quality that cannot be acquired, only earned.
Every thought that enters our mind, every word we utter, every deed we perform, makes its impression upon the inner-most fibre of our being, and the result of these impressions is our character.
It is been anonymously written: “Fame is a vapour, popularity is an accident, and money takes wings. The only thing that endures is character.”
Successful people have character in abundance!
6) Competence - Sometimes good is not enough. At a final interview with the president of a major corporation, a highly recommended young woman was asked two important questions: “Exactly what can you do for us?” and “What are your specialties?” “I can do almost anything,” the young lady replied. “Well,” said the president, rising to his feet, “I have no use for anyone who can do ‘almost’ anything. I’m looking for someone who can do one thing to perfection.”
Everywhere, there are men and women who are “almost” successful. You will find a man who is almost a lawyer but not quite; a woman who is almost a doctor but did not finish medical school. The world is full of well-meaning efforts that end up as half-completed results. There is a great crowd of humanity who can “half-do” many things but cannot do one thing to perfection.
Competence is the difference between excellence and mediocrity. And all successful people are unwilling to settle for mediocrity.
7) Discipline - “The first and best victory,” Plato wrote, “is for a man to conquer himself.” Men and women search their entire lives looking for fame and fortune without attaining either. Why is this? It is so because they do not understand that the real source of wealth and achievement rests within their own minds and can only be released by the power of strict self-discipline.
Discipline is indispensable in all leadership. Discipline and determination together guided by a vision pave the way for unimaginable wealth and success. The mind that is properly disciplined and directed to a clear-cut objective cannot be defeated.
An ancient Hindu proverb says, “There is nothing noble in being superior to some other man. True nobility is in being superior to your previous self.” Discipline yourself just for today to do the actions that you need to do to follow your vision. And when tomorrow comes, remember its today again, and repeat your discipline for another day.
The achievers of this world know the powerful truth “Inch by inch, life is a cinch. Yard by yard, life is hard”. Success is always built one action at a time, over a long time, and this requires tremendous discipline.