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The ABC’s of Success (Part 1)

The ABC’s of Success (Part 1)


‘Success’ is one of the most frequently discussed topics anywhere in the world. Everyone wants to be described as ‘successful’ or having achieved ‘success’, however it’s measured. And yet, it is one of the least understood concepts. While people may discuss ‘success’, very few can agree what this means as it has both subjective and objective elements to it.

The most important things are

  1. When you are the one measuring it, DEFINE it for yourself and determine the qualitative and quantitative measures that will help you determine whether you have been successful or not. For example, if success for you is accomplishing a goal, determine in advance the What, When, How, Why of that goal.
    1. What is the Goal? What does completion of the goal look like?
    2. Why is it important to you to achieve it?
    3. When does it need to be accomplished?
    4. How will you know that you have been successful? i.e. what do you need to see, hear or feel to know that you’ve been successful?
  2. When others are involved, AGREE on the definition and the measures that will be applied. For example, if the goal relates to a work-based objective agree with your employer what will constitute success to them and how they will assess whether you have been successful or not.

‘A’ is for Attitude

One of the important foundations of success regularly used is what is referred to as the ‘ABC of Success’.  While we can’t always simply box life into a formula, keeping these basic ideas at the forefront of one’s mind can be of great assistance in most facets of life.

So firstly, A is for Attitude.

One of the elements that successful people have in their lives is the capacity to maintain resourceful thought processes.  One of the exciting things about this is that your attitude is one thing that is 100% in your control. 

There are three facets of a healthy attitude that I would like to highlight today:

Coachability:  The reality is that all of us are in some way imperfect and are still learning more about how to manage life.  An important mindset to have is that we still have more to learn and then to surround ourselves with opportunities to develop and grow.  People who think that they already know it all and resist opportunities to learn will soon cap their potential and fail to reach great heights.

Are you reading regularly?  Do you have a mentor?  Are you surrounded by people who assist you in developing certain skills?  Is there a short course that you can do that will help you in your development? 

Make sure that you continue to be conscious of the need to learn, not to put yourself down and feel insufficient, but to keep you humble enough to look for ways to develop.

Optimism:  Henry Ford once said, “If you think that you can do something, or if you think that you can’t, you’re right.” 

Having an optimistic outlook on life will assist you in many ways, but especially if you want to be successful.  There would be many people who would have thought that there would never be a black President, but Barack Obama had an optimistic outlook that enabled him to live out his dream and move beyond stereotypes.

Enthusiasm:  Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”  I suspect that he’s probably right.

The next time you go into work, school, church or home just start to imagine yourself with 10% more energy than you normally have.  Imagine yourself contagiously and deliberately impacting others in a positive way.  Imagine tackling the most difficult task that you have with passion.

In business, sports or the home, the most successful people are generally the ones with the most enthusiasm. 

A few questions for you to consider and reflect upon

  1. Who do you spend the most amount of time with? What are you learning from them?
  2. Who are your role models or mentors and why?
  3. How have you grown over the last 12 months? How have you measured this growth?
  4. What have been the most important lessons you’ve learnt?
  5. Do you consistently set goals for yourself and if so, do you consistently achieve them and if not, why not?
  6. How much time and money have you invested in yourself and your personal development?
  7. How would you describe your ‘teachability’? Would you consider yourself open to new ideas?
  8. How would you describe your attitude to life? How would others describe your attitude to life?
  9. What are your general levels of ‘enthusiasm’ like on an average day? Do you tend to see a glass as being half full or half empty?

Anietie Eka

Executive & Business Coach

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