Key to Success

In previous posts, I shared two important elements of success: 1) knowledge with understanding and 2) skills with application. But I stated very clearly there are at least three elements necessary to success. Not one, not two, but three things an individual needs to realize his or her full potential as it relates to the success they desire. So what is this remaining key to success? Let’s take a look.

Key to Success

The truth is knowing (understanding) and doing (skills) are exceptionally important in any venture. But consider this. We’ve all lived long enough to see different circumstances and situations. We’ve seen people be successful. And we’ve seen people be unsuccessful. We’ve also seen a lot of people somewhere in between, trying to figure out which they were.

Have you ever experienced an individual who had great knowledge? They understood well the topic in which they were supposedly the expert or desiring to be successful. And they also had the skills to apply that knowledge in the real world. They’re well on their way, right? And yet they flame out. They have great potential, great possibilities, a great start. But it just never really happens.

To me, this is one of the saddest commentaries about individuals and individual performance and potential, “Oh, what could have been? She had so much potential. He had so many opportunities. They were so good at… And yet they didn’t take what they knew or what they could do — they just wasted the opportunity.”

Missing the Key to Success

So what’s the missing key to success in a situation such as that? I believe it’s the third element of success. The third element or key to success is very simply “attitude.” Or if you prefer, “desire.” Their desire, or lack of it, would not get them over the hump. Their attitude would not allow them or even force them to go that next extra mile. Attitude is the key to elevating performance and success. Desire leads them to apply their knowledge and skills to realize the success that’s available.

So why is that? Some experts will tell us the answer is in our brains. I happen to believe that.

But for many people, they fight with themselves more than they fight with the environment. They can’t imagine themselves going further than they’ve already gone. Or imagine turning loose of something they have as they reach for something they don’t have. They can’t imagine themselves, unfortunately, making the sacrifices necessary to be successful.

But some do, hopefully you do.

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Success Requires Commitment

For us to be successful, for us to accomplish our goals and objectives, for us to realize our full potential, we have to want it. And we have to want it so bad that we not only see it, we not only prepare ourselves for it, we not only work for it, but that we commit ourselves to it.

A commitment requires all kinds of things, among them — time and energy, effort. It oftentimes requires sacrifice. And maybe even a little pain along the way. But the point is very simply this: If our desire to be successful is so great that we’re willing to take what we know and what we can do and commit our attitude and desire to it, then success can be a reality, not a pipe dream. Very little can stand in our way.

It may seem too simple. But if you look back on circumstances and situations in your own life, or if you talk to someone close to you who’s been successful in his or her life, just do a little analysis. Ask them or ask yourself what was the key to success? What happened along the way that allowed me to go from where I was to ultimately where I wanted to be?  To realize success along the way?

I’ll bet you will find 1) you had the knowledge and understanding necessary to take you from point A to point success. 2) You developed and applied the skills that were required at every stage along the way. And 3) through the process of it all, you were focused on staying true to the goal. You kept your eye on the prize. You made the commitment — even the sacrifices — necessary to go from where you were to where you ultimately wanted to be.

Goals Will Change You

I believe this:

Goals change the way you think.
Goals change the way you act.
Goals change the way you are.

My question to you is this. Are your goals in keeping with who you are and what you want? And if they are, are you willing to acquire the knowledge, acquire the skills and continue to focus on the attitude and desire necessary to be successful?

If the three of those are in concert, one with the other, I have every confidence that success is in your reach. You have found the key to success!

Book Recommendation

Success and growth are often uncomfortable. But if you want to shift the trajectory of your life in your favor, I highly recommend the book,  LEVEL UP: Elevate Your Game & Crush Your Goals. LEVEL UP will show you the secrets and the exact steps required to gain respect, increase opportunity, harness the power to crush your goals and own your success! 

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Phillip Van Hooser
Author: Phillip Van Hooser
Phillip Van Hooser, CSP, CPAE is committed to helping organizations transform their business outcomes by building engaged employee relationships. He is an award-winning keynote speaker and author on leadership, service and communication. His popular book, “Willie's Way: 6 Secrets for Wooing, Wowing and Winning Customers and Their Loyalty” recently hit #1 in Customer Relations on the Kindle store. Connect with Phil on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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