Friday, January 23, 2015

Revisiting "Insights for Success"


Successful people possess or exhibit the combinations of some of the following eight (8) elements.

When reading newspapers on daily basis, I do always make it a point to browse through the various advertisements. Indeed, many of them are educational in nature. Believe it or not, many of the advertisers are using a common word “success” in their advertisement copy.

For consistency, I will write down some of the advertisements. These examples are taken from that of institutions of higher learning; public and private colleges and universities. I did collect them over the past few years.

- Climb the ladder of success with our MBA.
- Our graduates are proof of our success.
- Successes built upon constant strive for excellence.
- Foundation studies; A stepping stone to success.
- X College; Your partner for success.
- Your trust & our commitment for lifelong success.
- Y’s Foundation in Science; The formula for success.
- Your Foundation for academic success.
- Computing for success.
- Today’s hands-on experience moulds tomorrow’s success.
- Knowledge is the key. We’ll lead you to the gateway of success.
- To be successful in a tough job market, let our degree speaks for you.
- You can’t climb the ladder of success if it’s not based on something solid.
- Z College built on the success of students.
- Briefcase of success; XXXUC gives you the extra edge in the corporate world.
- Set for success with our experience.

Having said that, what is the meaning of success then?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines success as “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose; the attainment of fame, wealth or social status; a person or thing that achieves success”.

We can say that successful people as those individuals who purposely set higher goals in their lives. They also work progressively toward the completion of these goals and who enjoy a dynamic, well-balanced life in the process.

Earl Nightingale used to say, “Successful people form the habit of doing what failures do not like to do”.

The writer has his own definition of success. His definition is, “success is when my two daughters are better off than me”.

Successful people are clear about their goals, write them down and review them on daily basis. In order to be realistic, your goals should be in line with: your background, work-related or personal; your level of experience; your education; your physical condition or health; and your monetary worth and cash flow (although that is not always being a factor).

In addition to the above, your goals will have to be specific, measurable and achievable. They must also be realistic, that is, attainable within a certain time frame.

You need to break your goals down into smaller ones called objectives, and attain one objective before moving on to the next one.

Having good relationships with others is also part of success. Successful human relationships are really the art of making other people feel good about themselves. 

Building relationships is an important key to personal success. No one is truly a self-made person. Human society is built on cooperation, and we need to be able to count on the assistance of others.

People who are truly successful take time to nurture their relationships with spouses and children. The payoff is in solid support on the home front when things get tough in businesses and careers.

It is a fact that successful people have a positive attitude. Your attitude determines your actions, and your actions determine your accomplishments. You may or may not like to think about it, but the person you are and where you are today are the results of your attitude.

People with a positive attitude focus their time and attention on solutions, not problems. When you have a positive attitude, it’s easier to be persistent.

Now we touch on the aspect of time management. How good are you in managing your time?  Time management people suggest organizing one’s time by breaking the 24-hour day into three broad segments: 8 hours’ work; 8 hours leisure (eating, travel, entertainment, others); and 8 hours’ sleep.

Often work hours overlap into leisure hours, and leisure hours sometimes rob hours from sleep – that is, unless you take control of your time.

Good time management is not just an issue of work; it is an issue for all of life. To spend your time is to spend your life; to waste your time is to waste your life. To spend your time wisely is to spend more time doing the things you enjoy.

Effective is doing the right things while efficient is doing things right. In our working and personal life, we waste time in two ways, that is, being ineffective and being inefficient. Remember to eliminate ineffectiveness first, then work on inefficiencies. When effectiveness and efficiency work hand-in-hand, they create tremendous results.

Jeffrey J. Mayer (1999) in his book, “Success Is A Journey” stated that a good follow-up system is also one of the most important tools you need in order to be successful. With that, a person is able to spend more time working on the things that keep him or her busy.

In business, honesty is absolutely essential. The best principle is “under promise and over deliver”, as stated by Richard Denny (1997), in his book “Succeed For Yourself”.

When people love their work, they are often willing to put in more than the standard eight-hour working day. One characteristic of high achievers is that they tend to show up earlier and stay later than their colleagues.

Here is something for you to ponder: loving what you are doing certainly helps; but to love all aspects of what you are doing is not necessary.

In summary, some of the elements of success as described here can be abbreviated into a positive mnemonic – GRATEFUL. It stands for Goal; Relationship with others; Attitude; Time management; Effectiveness & Efficiency; Follow-up; Under Promise and Over Deliver; and Love.

We do not have to go to Harvard or Cambridge to learn about this powerful mnemonic.

2 Rabiulakhir 1436H


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