Keys to Success

You can become and accomplish anything in life! Your successes, greatness, and potential are determined by you alone; and all of the characteristics necessary to achieve your goals and dreams already lie within you. Never forget that your success and potential is not solely determined by talent or ability, knowledge or money, race or gender, or even circumstance or setting - it is created, developed, and determined from within yourself. Your dreams and goals will be achieved only when you understand and implement the fundamental laws and secrets for success.

Below is outlined the formula or secret to success; and yet, it is no secret at all because these laws of success have been understood and implemented by all the great philosophers, artists, religious leaders, military commanders, and political leaders of every age. It is these same principles that reveal and explain why today's greatest athletes, performers, businessmen, scientists, and politicians have achieved and become what they have. Understand, however, that these laws are simple in theory, and yet extremely difficult in practicality. Far too often people mistakenly disregard the basic simplicity of these attributes and practices and wrongfully assume that the 'how-to' advice from books, seminars, and even mentors will reveal and teach them the necessary knowledge and specifics of how to be successful. And yet, even an understanding of and belief in these principles is not enough; success will only be accomplished and dreams can only be achieved when knowledge of these laws is combined with persistent action and daily implementation.

These secrets for success apply to everyone, and to any goal, dream, or success!

1) Put God & Family First: Regardless of what your dreams and goals are, never forget what success in life is all about. True success is not realized in the accomplishment of the goal, but in the person we become along the journey towards the goal. If in pursuit of our dream we fail to put God first, and do not make time for family, then all other successes will be failures. And when all is said and done, dealing with the disappointment of certain failures will be far easier than dealing with the disappointment that accompanies some successes because they were not the right successes. Putting God and family first will not only eventuate into the 'real' successes of life, but ironically, having these as your priorities will actually contribute to and be the reason for all other successes you achieve.

2) Desire Success: A strong desire to achieve a goal or dream is the fundamental starting point for all successes and accomplishments in life. Do not be confused however, because desire is not the same thing as hope, wish, or interest. Desire is synonymous with motivation, commitment, determination, and a willingness to do whatever is necessary to accomplish the goal or dream.

3) Dream Big, Think Big, & Think Differently: You may have a desire, but do you actually have a dream or a goal? Do you fall victim to the dominating culture of mediocrity and feel limited by circumstance, or do you actually think big and dream big? Until you do, average you will remain. We literally are what we think - so think big to be big! And be forewarned that when you find yourself thinking, speaking, and acting like the majority (in regards to dreams, goals, and 'success' in life) - you are in terrible company. Dare to dream. Dare to be and think different. And think big always. Then, with enough mental conditioning, belief, and persistent action, your dreams and big thinking will translate into actions that eventuate into big results.

4) Believe in Yourself & Believe Your Dreams Are Possible: We can become and accomplish anything! And yet, nothing great has ever been accomplished until there was first belief in self - and then faith and belief that the idea, goal, or dream was possible. We each spend too much time focusing on our own weaknesses and failures, the lack of knowledge or money, fears and doubts, the abilities and talents of others, or on limitations and circumstances that really only exist in our own minds. Our potential is actually what frightens us; and more often than not, mediocrity and being average is desirable because it justifies us not having to put in the work necessary to be successful. Truthfully, the heart of the problem and the number one reason why most people fail to accomplish their dreams, goals, and potential in life is a lack of belief in themselves and their dreams.

5) Eliminate the Voices of Fear & Doubt ... Continually: The only limitations in life are the ones we create, believe, and nourish within our own minds. People everywhere have great ideas, reachable dreams, and unlimited potential, but they spend too much time listening to the voices of fear, doubt, and failure that they never take action. Fear and doubt are unnecessary worry and evidence of a lack of self-confidence. They demonstrate one's inability to control their thoughts and are the underlying reason for most failures. Fear and doubt breed inaction and procrastination, and ironically, these common thoughts are found in everyone. Thankfully, fear and doubt can be controlled and overcome by anyone - but this requires consistent daily effort because these voices never go away. We must discipline our thoughts constantly and remove from our vocabulary such words as: can't, quit, unable, impossible, etc. Living our dreams requires killing our fears and doubts.

6) Completely Commit & Be Totally Determined: Most times, success results not from one's ability or talent, knowledge or money, or even circumstance or luck; it comes from their zeal, drive, and determination to reach a goal or dream. The journey to success will inevitably be difficult, and it is in these trying moments that desire and belief are not enough; it is only a complete commitment and a determination to do whatever is takes to be successful that will get you through when fears and doubts come, failures arise, an easier path is presented, or others mock. When you completely commit to your goal and the accomplishment of your dream, you accept no excuses, you get up after temporary failures, and you persist in action until your desire and dream have been achieved.

7) Establish an Organized Plan & Goals: A cheap pen is perhaps just as important as a big dream! If our ideas, goals, and dreams are not written down, reviewed often, and specifically organized, then we risk becoming like the majority of dreamers who later in their life look back at missed opportunities and failed potential and regretfully say I wish I would have. Our plan and goals must not only be written but also reviewed often, revised occasionally, and be totally committed to. Specific, measurable, reachable and challenging actions must also accompany the goals; but never forget that the long term plan will win despite the short term failures. Challenges, obstacles, and failures are those things that only become reality when we take our focus off our goals. And while our goals literally can be achieved, remember that when setting and seeking to achieve our goals, it is better to aim high and miss than to actually aim low and achieve.

8) Take Action Now & Work Hard: Opportunities in life always come before we are prepared and are gone before we realize it. Success comes, dreams are realized, and potential is reached only by those who have the faith to take a risk and are willing to act. In fact, our dreams, ideas, goals, and even desires and beliefs are nothing unless followed by action. So, make a decision and do it now - regardless of whether you have the time, feel unprepared, or lack knowledge. You may not know what you are doing at first - but the key is to keep doing. Stephen King said it perfectly when he said: what separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work. Mistakes will be made, but ensure they are not mistakes of idleness, inability to decide, and unwillingness to act.

9) Learn From & Get Up After Failures: For whatever reason, in the moment of failure, we often wrongfully assume that we personally are failures, and we thus quit. Failure is not a person; it is an event that is absolutely necessary to achieve success. Failures are detours, not dead-end streets. And when such discouraging streets come, as they inevitably will, we should view them as roadblocks that cause others to quit and us to try harder. Has history itself not taught us this important lesson - from the American Revolutionary War to every World War, from the Mahatma Gandhi's to the Martin Luther King's, from the Abraham Lincoln's to the Nelson Mandela's, to even Thomas Edison whose invention still gives light to the entire globe, despite the fact that it took thousands of failures to achieve the success. The greatest athletes and performers, the brightest scientists and inventors, the most successful politicians and parents are those who experienced discouraging set backs, disappointments, and even failures before they ever succeeded. Refusing to quit or be discouraged was the secret to their incredible achievements.

10) Persist Always & Never Quit: Successful people make mistakes and experience failure, but they do not give excuses and absolutely never quit. Thomas Edison, of all people, had every right to say that many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. Goals and dreams are accomplished, success is achieved, and our full potential is realized only after consistent daily effort and work over a long period of time. Persist and persevere until you succeed, and determine right now that you will never quit, regardless of what happens along the journey.

You can become and accomplish anything - and the formula above is the law for success to achieve your goals and dreams in life. However, in pursuit of your dreams, you must ensure that the priorities of life are not jeopardized and the necessary characteristics that determine true success are developed. Real success in life is not necessarily in the accomplishment of the goal or dream, it is determined by who we eventually become, the attributes we develop, and the people we help along the way. We need to give when we receive, put God and family first, and realize that developing a character of integrity, values, and unselfishness are why we are here; and thankfully, when these same attributes are combined with the laws of success, we will accomplish our goals and dreams and experience true success in life.