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How To Learn From Sucessful People

Aug 17, 2007
Here's a quick "True" or "False" quiz:

1) Successful people have all been "blessed" with exceptional talents or skills.

2) Successful people are highly educated people with college degrees.

3) Successful people inherit their success.

4) Successful people get where they are by being dishonest.

If you answered "true" to all of the above, you failed the quiz. What's more, you are most likely undermining your own potential for success.

In order to unravel the "mysterious" secrets of success, it is necessary to discard several unfortunate misconceptions. First of all, success does not require superior talents or skills.

It does require certain attributes or traits that are not inborn but learned. For example, successful people are typically goal-oriented, highly motivated, flexible, determined, confident, and self-disciplined.

Secondly, many of the most successful people in the world never attented college. In fact, many never even finished high school. Thomas Alva Edison- whose many inventions include the electric light bulb, the phonograph, and the motion picture camera- had only a few months of formal education. Largely self-taught, Edison learned and developed the attributes common to successsful people. He once said that "genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perpiration". Insert the word "success" in place of "genius", and the statement is just as true.

A third misconception is that most successful people started out with unfair advantages. The thinking here is that successful people never get where they are by starting "from scratch". These people must have inherited financial advantages or influential contacts. The truth is, a great many success stories are "rags to riches". Many of the most successful people in the United States started with nothing and earned their measure of success through hard work.

Finally, most successful people do not get where they are by cheating. Dishonesty is not a prerequisite to success.

Once these misconceptions have been discarded, it should begin to come clear that success is not typically a result of circumstances or aptitude. It is most often a result of "success-oriented behavior" involving certain characteristics or attributes that anyone can learn and develop.

Rather than being secret, the way to success is open to anyone who has a goal and who develops the thinking, attitudes and behaviors common to all successful people.

In order to be successful, you must have a goal- some point you wan to reach. That's the first and most important requirement for success. Simply put, you can't be a winner if there's nothing to win.

Both short- and long-term goals are essential elements in providing a sense of direction and purpose. Without a specific, clearly defined goal, you're like a traveler who has no destination. You have no idea of where you're going or why. You don't know how to use your time and resources to their fullest advantage. On the other hand, goal-oriented people know exactly where they are headed and why. They plan their journey carefully, keeping in mind all the detours they may face along the way, and never lose sight of their destination- their goal.

Once you have set your goal(s) you must have the drive or motivation to reach it regardless of the obstacles in your way.

Successful are all highly motivated people who press forward until their goals are reached. That doesn't mean that in order to achieve your goals you must exclude everything else from your life. You'll still need to socialize and relax, but you must set priorities. Consider how much time you spend each day in unnecessary pastimes that do little more than sap your energy. If you use that time instead to focus on and work toward a specific goal, you'll increase your chances for success dramatically. The bottom line is, in order to be successful, you must want to reach your goal more than anything else.
About the Author
Enrique Villalobos is the owner of
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