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Seven success principles you should learn from ants


Lanre Olusola

Ants, although tiny creatures and most times seen as pests, are one of the most hardworking, diligent and focused creatures on earth. The life of the ant is a lesson on how to consistently succeed. Ants know that time is precious, so they value and make good use of every moment of their time. Time is the foremost resource you can exchange for value. It is life’s most priced asset, do not waste it.

Principle 1: Ants are daily driven by vision and purpose only.
Ants always have long, medium and short term visions; they have objectives that they work towards. They are purposeful creatures. Purpose is what shapes everything that an ant does. Ants are like soldiers, they have specific roles and responsibilities but amazingly, they do not have a commander, they have no leader that directs them. Ants don’t talk but ants understand what their sole responsibility is. The ant never gets distracted by other activities; it sticks to its commitment and purpose and does not get involved in other activities.

Many of us today are distracted by many things like social media, entertainment, gadgets, movies, e.t.c. Social media and the other aforementioned distractions are necessary but don’t let it overtake your life. Wasting your life on social media is tragic to your destiny; a lot of people spend an average of 3-7 hours on social media a day doing nothing meaningful. Spending a lot of hours on these “distractions” is rational when one’s means of livelihood is been dependent on it. Be a man or woman of vision and purpose!


Principle 2: Ants work as a team:
Ants are natural team workers, they work together in order to achieve something great. They understand that together, everyone achieves more. They know that no man is an island by himself and no man can achieve anything all by himself alone.

In order for you to achieve anything meaningful and experience consistent success in life in all your chosen fields of endeavour, you need destiny helpers, certain people to help you achieve your destiny or to arrive at your destination. You need the right mentors, right spouse, right friends and right business associates for you to achieve phenomenal results and succeed in life. For you to be all that you want to be, you must be in the right relationships!

Principle 3: Ants know when to work hard and when to rest from work.
Ants, despite being little creatures, understand seasons, they know when and what to do in any season or time. Ants have the best work and rest ethics. They understand the times and the seasons; they know exactly what to do in each season of their lives. In summer, ants know that it is time to gather food, but in winter they hibernate to conserve their energy so that they won’t be killed by the cold weather. They completely withdraw from all kinds of work when it is time to rest.

Just like the ants, plan wisely for all seasons; schedule your periods of hard work and your periods of rest. Fun, recreation and rest are critical needs to man after toiling. Endeavour to create a harmonious life for yourself.

Principle 4: Ants are small but they think big!
They seem to be insignificant creatures but they are mighty. They are dedicated, diligent and intuitive; put a cube of sugar in a place, no matter how sealed or tight that place maybe, ants will surely access the sugar. They take action and they make huge contributions to their colony.

Do you have a big dream? Is your dream dead or still alive? Do you pursue anything that you want? Do you know how to sniff out opportunities and transform them into reality? Why have you given up on your dream? You need to reawaken your big dreams for your future today. If the ants can do it, so can you. Pursue your big dreams, think big; but like the ants, start small and grow very fast.

No matter how small or inconsequential you may think you are now, just like the ants, still keep dreaming. Be like the ants and pursue something much bigger than yourself for once in your life.

Principle 5: Ants prepare ahead
Ants prepare their food in summer. Ants don’t procrastinate; they do what they need to do when to do it. They know that summer is the only time to gather food for the other seasons and they schedule their to-do list for summer.
The ant is smart; it saves and invests in the future. You have to think ahead and plan wisely for your future. What you do or do not do today creates your tomorrow. You’ve got to maximise ever moment you have, you’ve got to use every moment creatively to deliver the future of your dreams. Stop procrastination!

Principle 6: Ants carry only workloads that they can handle.
Although, these creatures are very small, they handle up to 100 times their own weight. They are dedicated and hardworking. They know their potential and they know their limitations; they don’t carry anything less than their capacity.
As a human, when given a role, do you downplay it or say it is too much for your capacity? Ants take enough workload, not more or less than they can handle.

Often times, people get overwhelmed because they take up too many things at the same time and most times this results to mental, physically, emotionally and spiritually ill health. Nevertheless, it is never advisable to do anything less than your capacity. Always ensure that you are in a stretch-zone, but don’t put yourself in a panic zone, neither should you stay in your comfort zone.

Principle 7: Ants serve one another.
Ants ensure that they are their brother’s keeper. They look out for each other and do not let one of their own suffer alone or die. They do what it takes to help and protect each other from danger.


No man is an island by himself; we need one another to survive. A lot of people don’t understand that they need people to help them to become all that they were born to be. We all have needs and we all meet each other’s needs. Living just for yourself is lonely existence. You should make service to humanity and helping other people fulfil their purpose, a priority in your life (not forgetting yourself in the process). Start to live life beyond yourself, start to live purposefully. Contribute your life positively to the helping other people. You must position to be your brother’s keeper; you must love your neighbour as yourself. You must pray for your enemies and forgive those that despitefully use you.

These little creatures (ants) shame the lazy man. You need industry and diligence to succeed; slothfulness, procrastination and laziness will destroy you. Hard work does not kill you, hard work adds value to your life.

“Diligence in business and in life is every man’s wisdom and duty, not so much that he may attain worthy wealth but that he may not be a burden to himself and other people” – The Catalyst.

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In this article:
Lanre Olusola
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