Monthly Archives: November 2017

Success is a process – what will you do next?

Success is an elusive goal that’s fleeting and requires constant focus and effort.  Have we ever really “made it?”  By accomplishing the goals you set for yourself, you were successful.  But notice the word “were.” Success is a process of achievement that we must strive for on every effort.

In the book Grit – The Power of Passion of Perseverance Angela Duckworth discusses her research and findings on the psychology of human accomplishment.  In the formula below, Duckworth points out that while “talent” is important, “effort” appears twice in the equation. 

Talent + Effort = Skill.  Skill + Effort = Accomplishment.” – Angela Duckworth 

The process of success is made of three steps:  Do what you can – Learn more – Do the next thing. 

Do what you can.  Why aren’t we willing to do something if we can’t do everything?  It’s as if we believe that nothing worthwhile can come from what we offer unless we can’t offer the best there is.  Part of that is true but with a qualifier.  There is great value in what can offer, if it is the best we can do at the moment.

Don’t compare your best with that of anyone else, use your talent and skill to do the best you can right where you are. Recognizing when we do that, we will continue to improve and out best will get better. 

“Leave your ego at the door every morning, and just do some truly great work. Few things will make you feel better than a job brilliantly done.” – Robin S. Sharma

Learn more.  With every action, there is an opportunity to learn and improve in preparation for the next action.  No matter the result, whether it worked just as planned or not, take away something that you will do better the next time.

Invest in your growth: read a book, listen to a podcast, ask questions, practice, and keep a look out for ideas you can use.

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” – Benjamin Franklin

Do the next thing.   Now that you have done your best and learned some more, it’s time to do your new best.  Strive to apply all that your talent, skill, and effort has brought to this effort, and the next, and the next… 

“One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.” – Marie Curie

Be careful what you wish for, you just may get it.

If you get something you only wish for, will you be ready for it when it happens?  In the area of wishing, Jim Rohn says it best, “Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.” Great success doesn’t come easy, it comes from great effort. 


If you want to achieve your goals – don’t wish for it, plan for it, prepare for it, and work for it. 

Plan for it.  “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” – Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso is known for his success in multiple styles of art. His paintings covered a blue period, rose period, African influence, cubism, surrealism, and realism.  His is also known for being able to create art in any style that was popular for a time.  Over 78 years he created 13,500 paintings among many other prints, illustrations and sculptures and his artwork sold for higher prices than any artist of his time.

Picasso was not chasing or inventing the most popular styles just to stay relevant, this was how he expressed himself, “Whenever I wanted to say something, I said it the way I believed I should,” Picasso said.  He was able to re-invent himself over and over as a result of his plan for continuous learning, “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”

Prepare for it  “It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.” – Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Jackie Joyner-Kersee is the most decorated female athlete in Olympic track and field history winning three gold medals, a silver medal and two bronze medals in the long jump and heptathlon events.  She was voted the greatest female athlete of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated.

While watching the 1976 Summer Olympics, Joyner-Kersee, then 14 years old, saw sprinter Evelyn Ashford and thought, “I want to be the Olympics. I didn’t know if that was going to happen. But I dedicated myself to see if it could be possible.”

She went on to win the National Junior Pentathlon championship four years in a row and excelled at many sports in high school including, track, basketball and volleyball.  In her junior year, she set the State high-school record for the women’s long jump.  While in college, Joyner-Kersee focused her training on preparing for the Olympic heptathlon event.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee gave this advice on preparing to achieve success: “Set short term realistic goals. Be consistent. Believe what is possible is probable. Never give up on yourself. Be receptive and open to people being honest with you.”

Work for it.  “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” – Pele

Pele scored 1,281goals over a career that spanned 1,363 games.  He was member of the Brazilian international team that won three World Cups. He was voted the Football Player of the Century in 1999 by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics and was elected as the Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee and Reuters News Agency.

At the age of 16 he began his professional career on the Santos FC and became the top scorer in the league.  He was called up to the Brazilian national team that year and scored his first international goal making him the youngest player to score a goal in an international match.

Pele was raised to play soccer.  He was taught by his father and they could not afford a proper soccer ball so he played with a sock stuffed with newspaper to hone his skills.  While other children were on the playground he was working on his future at a very young age.  Pele said of his young work ethic, “I was ready to give up things kids my age were normally doing. Instead, I spent a lot of time practicing and improving my skills.”

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