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17 Keys to your success

I’ve long been a fan of the classic work done by Napoleon Hill, author of Think & Grow Rich (in my view a must read for anyone serious about achieving their full potential) and his colleague W. Clement Stone.  Having studied the behavior and characteristics of dozens of the world’s must successful people they identified 17 success principles that all of them possessed.  Much of the things these old texts talked about have been regarded cynically by people who believe that they sit in the realm of a fanciful “positive thinking” movement that is long on talk and short on results.  However, in more recent times, a highly respectable branch of human development called Positive Psychology is giving more than “respectability” to these ideas, it is pointing to the fact that they are the key to personal and business success particularly at a time when people, not machines, are the source of most added value in the knowledge economy.

Take a quick look at the list of success principles and rank your own “strength” on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is bad and5 is great.  It may give you some food for thought about what you might be able to do to improve things.  I’ve taken the liberty to add a couple of thoughts in parentheses)

The 17 principles are:

  1. A clear and definite sense of purpose (Know where you’re going and WHY it’s important to you – this is the only way to avoid drifting aimlessly through life.)
  2. A positive mental attitude (Negative people always get what they fear most)
  3. Being willing to go the extra mile (Need I say more? “You can have everything you want when you give enough people what they want” ~ Zig Zigler )
  4. Accurate thinking  (Don’t confuse opinions with facts, confront the brutal reality – The Stockdale Paradox ~ Jim Collins in Good to Great    – click here to listen to some interesting audio clips in this from Jim Collins)
  5. Self discipline (Do what you know must be done to succeed no matter how unpleasant, boring or difficult it may be)
  6. Surround yourself with a mastermind alliance (join the Principa Alliance – become a Principa Insider)
  7. Have faith and a believe that success is inevitable (Believe that your goals will be realized as a consequence of your actions)
  8. A pleasing personality (Who likes to work with turds?)
  9. Personal initiative (Covey’s 1st habit – be proactive – is all about exercising resourcefulness and initiative)
  10. Enthusiasm for what you do (Passion is contagious – if yo really do not like what you do do something different – refer to all the other principles especially #’s 1, 2, 4, 9, 13, 14)
  11. Controlled attention (Focus on the things that move you in the direction of your goals and don;t allow yourself to be distracted by peripheral issues)
  12. Team work (One is too small a number to achieve great things – see Covey’s 6th habit Synergy)
  13. Learning from failure (Everything hat happens is the result of a choice we have made in the past, and there are always only two outcomes – success or a learning experience)
  14. Creative vision (Start with the end in  mind – Covey’s 2nd habit.  Everything that has ever been created was once an idea in someone’s head)
  15. Budgeting time and money (Leverage your time and your financial resources to best effect)
  16. Maintaining sound physical health (THE most important and easiest way to start a personal and business turn-around.  You’ll be amazed at the impact this can have on the other principles.)
  17. Using cosmic habit force or natural law (The Law of Attraction – what you focus on is what you get.  What distinguishes humans from other life forms is the ability to make choices rather than act instinctively.  We have the power to choose and when we consistently make choices that are aligned with our goals they will be realized.)
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