I’ve lived many lifetimes in my 75 years on the planet, and I’m lucky enough to have found success in multiple arenas of life.
I’m not sure there is one true secret to success, but there is a lot of advice that can be of value to anyone starting out. To me, there are five fundamental elements of success. I call them CHEAP for short.
How To Be Successful
Confidence is one of the most important elements of success. With confidence, you can accomplish just about anything. But when you’re first starting out, you face a “chicken-egg” challenge.
How can you have authentic confidence before you have achieved success? And how can you achieve success without possessing confidence?
Related: 5 Reasons To Boost Self-Confidence
I have two suggestions. First, find a way to build some success, in whatever arena you can find. Join a club to practice public speaking. Take dance lessons. Play softball. Success, in any area of your life, tends to be contagious and have a snowball effect.
Second, act “as if.” If you are interviewing for a job, or trying to close a sale, by all means exude confidence. Few people ever landed a date by starting with, “I don’t suppose you’d like to go out with me.”
In your daily life, you are likely to have at least two homes: one where you live and the other where you work.
It’s crucial for your long-term success that both of these environments are as supportive as possible. Your physical home, and the relationships with the people who share it with you, must be an oasis of tranquility and support. My favorite part of any vacation is when I return home and walk into my bedroom.
Related: How To Declutter Your Home
Similarly, your “home” at work must also be supportive. During a job interview, I recommend that you always ask your potential future coworkers what it’s like to work there. Are they treated fairly and with respect?
I’m not necessarily talking about a college degree. But you need to bring value and knowledge and know-how.
When Abraham Lincoln decided to become a lawyer, he taught himself law by reading every law book he could get his hands on. Lincoln said about his learning style, “I studied with nobody.”
Study with nobody, study with somebody, or study with everybody, but follow your curiosity to learn as much as you possibly can.
The three A’s of assertiveness are ask for yourself, be authentic when you do, and make yourself as attractive as you can. You’ll never find new opportunities unless you ask. That’s just the way the world works.
Muster up the courage and ask for what you want. When you do ask, make sure you’re authentic. Be honest and sincere about what you want and why you want it.
Finally, be attractive…and I don’t mean in the supermodel kind of way. Attractiveness is a combination of how you present yourself physically and how you “are” personally. The more attractive you can make yourself, the more likely you are to get a “yes” when you ask for something.
Related: The Power Of “Yes”
Last, but certainly not least, is passion. As Georg Hegel wrote, “Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.” You need to figure out what you’re passionate about and pursue it.
What gets you going? My passion is to learn and to help others in any way I can. That’s what gives my life and work extra meaning and purpose. What does that for you? As Ludwig van Beethoven said, “I want to seize fate by the throat. Find your passion, seize it, and follow it.”
The stairway to success is challenging, but it is not too long or too steep for you to complete. Put these five elements of success together and you can achieve anything. And it’s CHEAP.
Alan C. Fox is the president of ACF Property Management, Inc, and the author of PEOPLE TOOLS FOR BUSINESS: 50 Strategies for Building Success, Creating Wealth, and Finding Happiness.
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