Principles of Success

Anthony Salter writes about success.

He basically found what I found: that most productivity and success gurus all know the same things. Clearly there are some basic principles to success.

Essentially success can only come to those who have a specific goal. After all, how can you succeed when you don’t know what success looks like? The next step is to make a definite plan for achieving that goal. Definitely planned work saves a lot of time and effort. Finally, take action on that plan. It really is that simple, and yet most people aren’t taught this procedure.

Salter notes that self-discipline is necessary and rare for success, but he finds that the same authors and speakers that talk about success don’t seem to say much about motivation except to have faith in God. That’s fine, but what if you don’t believe in God? Obviously atheists have had success, so what gives?

I haven’t read the same authors that he has. For motivation, Steve Chandler’s “100 Ways to Motivate Yourself” audiobook is the only productivity audiobook I have currently. Listening to it always makes me feel motivated. It even helps me feel motivated if all I do is have it on while I am driving and not paying attention to it. I think the reason is that I am feeding my mind positive thoughts. Anyway, one of the coolest things Chandler mentions is “knowing that you are enough”. No one is coming. It may sound lonely, but it is really quite empowering to realize that you are all you need. I believe in God, but I am a firm believer in Benjamin Franklin’s assertion that “God helps those who help themselves.” Rather than abdicate responsibility for your life, you should embrace it.

Will power gets you started. Self-discipline keeps you going. Motivation reminds you why you’re doing it in the first place. And all of these things will be most effective when you define success, make a plan to achieve success, and have something to start in the first place.

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