Monday, May 11, 2009

10 Things it Takes to be Successful

This week I will be writing a series of post giving advice for recently graduated and graduating college seniors. When I graduated college I got a lot of advice from different people, from family members, professors, friends and even a few strangers. I have to admit I thought I knew it all and that no matter what was thrown at me I would make it. I definitely didn't know what it took to be successful and I am still learning every day. Its like creating wealth, it takes hard work everyday, you have to work at it and remind yourself to stay focused. I had a few people that gave me valuable pieces of information, but no more so than my fathers personal letter to me(might release one day) and my friend's father who gave me the 10 things it takes to be successful:

1. Goals - “Set realistic, attainable goals.” Happiness is the ultimate goal. You make your choices; your choices make you. Once your goals are set; commit yourself to them. Review them often.

2. Action - “Do todays work today.” Remember that action cures fear. It’s not how much you do, but what you choose to do. If you are master of the small things; you will matter over larger things.

3.  Excellence - Do your best at whatever you do; then do not worry. Worry is nothing more than negative goal setting; it is thinking about what you do not want to happen. “Don’t worry; be happy.” Success is a journey not a destination. Enjoy the trip.

4. Love - Love your work. If not, find work that you love; this love will energize and excite you. Be enthusiastic. It is the winner’s secret.

5. Listen - Take time to listen to others. Walk a mile in their shoes. You will learn greatly from their work, words, and actions. Network. Take joy in others success.“Love one another.”

6 - Honesty - “Have impeccable integrity; be honest in all dealings.” What an entangled web we weave, when at first we practice to deceive.

7. Grow - Make every effort to be a little better tomorrow than you were today. Grow by reading, listening, and studying. Be an expert in your field. Grow your finances by always spending less than you make. “Learn to live within your means.”

8. Health - Take care with your health. You only have one body. A high energy person is hard not to follow or buy from.

9. Renew - Renew yourself on a regular basis. Think, exercise, rest, and pray.

10. Thankful - Be thankful. “I was sad because I had no shoes; then I saw someone who had no feet. “Life is a journey of diminishing needs; when we are born, we need everything; we when die, we need nothing. In between, be thankful for what you have.

I truly believe that if you and I follow these steps and believe in them, that there is no way that you can fail while making this world a better place. We are going to have bumps in the road and things are not going to go our way, but we have to remind our self's of these 10 steps on a regular bases. Print them out and put them at your desk, on your mirror in the bathroom, on your refrigerator. My I make a suggestion, if you know someone who is graduating simply print out and put in a frame as a gift. My parents have always had motivational articles, posters, quotes, pictures, etc...around the house and in their offices. I have always learned from them and even though I thought they were cheesy. As cheesy as motivational posters are they keep you motivated and keep you reflecting on your inspirations, goals, and dreams. 

I really think that number 10 sums it all up “Life is a journey of diminishing needs; when we are born, we need everything; we when die, we need nothing. In between, be thankful for what you have." We live in the best country in the world and we all know how freedom feels, this is one of only a few countries in the world where you can go from nothing to one of the most important people in America. 
Do you have any advice for college graduates or for people like me who want to know what it takes to be successful? Leave me a comment, I want to start getting some conversations going with my readers! Let's grow together!


  1. 10. Thankful

    Two profound experiences in my life were visits to the Phillipines and the Dominican Republic. What you realize quickly there is how little is available and how much something is used. Cars run til the wheels fall off, then they will use those wheels as flower pots. It made me realize what was really important and that what I already had may have been way too much. Knowing what you really need in life is a big step to growing up.

  2. Yes I agree, we are all so fortunate to live in such a great country. Great point on realizing what is important, I think we all end up not sitting back and realizing what we have.