I’ve been reading a fair amount recently on whether successful people are successful because they had circumstances that helped them, are stars and have more talent than anyone else or have a mindset that allows them to learn, make mistakes and go on. Each author seems to think that their own theory on success is the only one that gets results.
Those who think that talent is all would think that we are just lucky to be on earth with the truly talented. Those who think success is around facts and circumstances would say that without those who came before and situations that one is in, success would be very difficult. Finally, we have those who believe that real success only comes from those who have a mindset of learning, getting better and experimenting.
My observation tells me that each is a part of the puzzle. In my opinion those who are publically successful have the following traits:
They are willing to make mistakes and learn. Yes, having a learning mindset is really important. Those who won’t take personal risks to learn new ways of doing things never get years of experience. Those who don’t are the ones who have one year of experience twenty times.
The truly successful have a great deal of talent. Talent or ability is important. No matter how hard I tried, I would never become a basketball player in the NBA. I just didn’t have the talent. My talent is in how I conceptualize things and I’ve taken advantage of that world-class skill during my entire life.
Facts and circumstances are important. Being in the right place at the right time with the right people is always important. The fact that Bill Gates had access to a terminal tied into a main frame when no high school student had that tool helped him become a very competent computer programmer before he graduated from high school.
Ambition is a major part of success. My father has a great saying. Success comes to those who have a large amount of ability with a huge amount of ambition. In other-words, those who practice very hard and work for a long-time become at least marginally successful. If they work hard and have ability, they will become hugely successful.
If you understand your talents and are willing to put yourself in the right position and then work like crazy, it’s hard not to be successful. I’m interested in hearing your ideas on this topic. Please send me an email at Jpatrick@stage2planning.com with your ideas.
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