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The 7 Critical Keys To Success

Aug 17, 2007
Having studied successful people in all walks of life -- in business, sport, the arts, science, politics, and other fields -- it seems clear to me that successful people share a very similar mindset.

In fact, this "success mindset" has 7 critical elements or keys that virtually propel such people to achieving the loftiest of goals.

It follows that if YOU absorb and harness these 7 key qualities, you too will accomplish success in your endeavour.

And fortunately, these success factors aren't secret or exclusive -- they are latent qualities you already have within. You just need to harness them in pursuit of your current goal!

So what are these 7 critical keys to achieving success?

Let's discuss each one in turn.

1. Commitment

Commitment is about deciding exactly what you want and being willing to do whatever it takes to achieve it.

Being committed is more than being "motivated" or even "determined." While motivation and determination indicate a willingness to succeed, commitment is stronger: it allows for no alternative.

If you are committed to achieving something -- you MUST achieve it, no matter what!

2. An Open Mind

Now, being committed to a goal is all very well. But what if your goal is, to put it bluntly, unrealistic? Or what if your strategy for achieving that goal is flawed?

What if you lack key information, skills, talents, contacts or other resources that are essential for achieving the success you desire?

Let's take the issue of unrealistic goals first.

Contrary to what some self-help gurus seem to suggest, there are some goals that are out of your reach, no matter how much you may "commit" yourself to achieving them.

I, for example, am simply never going to be a champion swimmer. I simply don't have the physique, the talent, or the years of training under my belt. Being open-minded, I can see and accept this fact.

Likewise, having an open mind allows YOU to distinguish between what is worth committing yourself
to and what isn't.

Open-mindedness also helps you find the best strategy for achieving your goal.

In your quest to succeed, you're almost certain to make mistakes... or, as I like to regard them, "valuable learning experiences"!

This is not only fine -- it's invaluable.

As long as you do, in fact, learn from your mistakes. And better yet -- you learn from other people's mistakes (a much less stressful and less costly way to learn!).

So while being committed without being open-minded is akin to "backing the wrong horse" -- having an open mind and being willing to learn almost guarantees that you'll find the best possible strategy for achieving your goal.

3. Persistence

Success doesn't come easy.

Okay, it depends on how you define "success" and "easy" but from what I've experienced and observed, it takes a lot -- in some cases mammoth -- patience, endurance, resilience, courage... in short, persistence, to achieve anything worthwhile.

You're going to make mistakes. You're bound to suffer setbacks. You will confront challenges...

But to succeed, you need to get right up after you've been kicked to the ground.

That's persistence.

4. Flexibility

On the other hand... just as being committed without being open-minded is a recipe for failure, so too is being persistent without being flexible.

This is called being "stubborn" or "pig-headed".

What good is it if we "persist" in making the same mistakes over and over?

No good at all.

That's why you need to be flexible -- to adjust your plans when circumstances change.

To take advantage of unexpected opportunities.

To account for unforeseen hazards.

5. Faith

You might think that commitment, having an open mind, persistence, and flexibility are enough to succeed. But I've found that three remaining factors are essential for maintaining that commitment, open-mindedness, persistence and flexibility!

Not to mention helping us enjoy the day-to-day journey towards accomplishing our goals!

The first of these is faith.

In many cases, it takes days, months, sometimes years of chipping away at the old block before you have a work of art to show off.

In other words, you may be working day and night on something, without seeing or experiencing any "evidence" that you're making progress.

How do you keep going when it feels like you're making absolutely no headway?

The answer is: faith!

Faith that with commitment, having an open mind, persistence and flexibility, you will succeed!

6. Thankfulness

Chances are that simply by being on the path that you're now on -- even having the opportunity to read this article right now -- you have more opportunities than most people in the world.

There is much to be thankful for.

And what a great frame of mind it is to appreciate each day, each hour, each minute, each moment you have on this Earth!

Being thankful is also great for "opportunistic" reasons. By being thankful for the resources and opportunities you have, you're more likely to value and get the most out of them.

And you'll also be able to cope with difficulties more easily. After all, you're still better off than most people, right?

7. Passion

Finally, the seventh critical key to success: passion!

When you're passionate about what you do, you enjoy the journey -- you enjoy the training, the practice, the research, the seemingly tedious and difficult tasks, in short, the "work" involved in achieving your goal.

And when you enjoy the journey... you keep going!

In fact, when you're passionate about what you do, you don't see difficulties as difficulties... you see them as challenges in a fun and rewarding "game".

And when you're passionate about what you do, you also do all those little, teeny-weeny things that make all the difference between big-time success... and mediocre success... or failure.

Simply put, passion is the fuel that not only keeps your motor running, but keeps it running at its absolute peak.

Commitment, an open mind, persistence, flexibility, faith, thankfulness and passion - these are the 7 critical keys to success!

Now you might think these are a little abstract -- not practical attributes or resources (things like practice, or contacts, or money) that are necessary to accomplish your goal.

But if you think about it, the more practical or material attributes and resources all become available to you once you have the 7 critical success keys.

Think about it a little...

And then focus on developing these 7 critical keys to success. You'll achieve your goals much faster and more enjoyably than you ever thought possible!
About the Author
Anna Johnson is the creator of the inspiring 1 minute movie: A Bit Of Inspiration. Enjoy the movie and get
inspired! Then claim your free A Bit Of Inspiration screensaver - your daily reminder of the power you have within.
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