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The key to achieving success


PHOTO: Beaming Notes

Webster’s dictionary defines “character” as: moral constitution, moral strength, self-discipline, fortitude, reputation, etc. This is a limited list of characteristics needed to become a success.

Look around at two different groups of people you know – those who are successful in their chosen field and those who are not. Regardless of the people or their field, those who are successful have stronger character than those who are not. Stronger character can inevitably lead to better skills. What we have to keep in mind in becoming a success is the long run. Probably, most of us have seen a situation where a weaker or less skillful person or team has defeated a stronger or more skillful person or team. It happens often, in the short run.

I am not a good billiards player. Yet, some years back, there was one game when I was amazing. Late in the game it was my shot. I surveyed the table and said that I was going to hit the cue ball into one ball that would then hit two other balls and all three of them would fall into different pockets.


Ashby laughed until the third ball dropped in and I won. I never beat him again and, out of growing frustration, stopped playing against him. My success was short-run good fortune instead of long-run skill. Has anything like that happened to you? Are there areas of your life where you wanted to be really good but just could not do it? And to make matters even worse, you could not figure out what was holding you back? Let’s take a look at some of the characteristics that are necessary for success in any area of life. Look at each and see whether it is a strength or weakness for you.

1. Self-image is the picture you have of yourself based on the beliefs you have accepted about yourself.
2. Self-esteem represents how much you value yourself.
3. Self-confidence is the belief in your ability, judgment, and power to accomplish something.
4. Vision of a successful life. Do you have a vivid image of the future life you desire?
5. Commitment is a vow or promise to do something specific.
6. Self-discipline is the act of controlling one’s actions, feelings, and desires in order to bring about a goal.
7. Mental toughness is a term used to represent a person’s ability to handle challenging problems.
8. Desire to excel. The stronger, more intense your thoughts about what you want, the stronger will be your desire for that.
9. Hard work. Depending on your choice of work in life, hard work can be doing the work itself or preparing to do that work.
10. Perseverance is the mental resolve to persist in doing something in spite of the difficulty and challenges.

Perhaps some of these are weaknesses for you. If not, you need to create your own list. Only in doing that can you start strengthening the parts of your character that are holding you back from success. When you’ve made your list take time to consider how much you want to overcome your weaknesses. Your strengths will take you only so far. Your weaknesses are what will keep your success. You must grow stronger and overcome those weaknesses.

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