Timeless Success Principles

8tobegreatOne more point about Barack Obama’s inauguration address, in relation to success. He talked about the “values upon which our success depends,” and HARD WORK was the first value he mentioned. Yes, whether we want to succeed as a country, a company, or an individual, it takes hard work. In my interviews with more than 500 successful people, WORK and passion were at the top of the list. Martha Stewart said to me, “I’m a real hard worker. I work, and work, and work, all the time.” And this is nothing new. About 500 years before Martha, the great artist Michelangelo said, “If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful after all.”

Throughout history, all Eight Success Principles: Passion, Work, Focus, Push, Ideas, Improve, Serve, and Persist have been the most important factors for success, from Michelangelo in the 16th century, to Martha in the 21st century. Sure, people will keep looking for the latest trendy “secret” to success, but in the end it all boils down to these timeless principles. As Obama said when he talked about values like hard work, “…these things are old. These things are true.” And America’s success depends on “a return to these truths.” 

23 thoughts on “Timeless Success Principles

  1. To be selfless is also to be a good listener. It is obvious that both Obama and you have listened well and heard from those that have spoken to that core value of importance. “We” is so much stronger than “I”.

  2. To be selfless is also to be a good listener. It is obvious that both Obama and you have listened well and heard from those that have spoken to that core value of importance. “We” is so much stronger than “I”.

  3. Hello,

    Thank you for the interest you gave to my post , I’m really impressed by your modesty. By the way I see that all successful people have this feature.

    I want to say that I was completely shocked when I first saw your videos and read some parts of your book on Google books, because some of its ideas corresponded exactly to notes I wrote during the 3 years of college when I was trying to improve at mathematics. So I was astonished to see that even “Greats” use these ideas and that pushed me to trust all what you said in your book .

    After that I I seriously tried to understand the 8 principles, and practise them. More than that, I want these principles to be rooted in me, to be a part of me and my thinking. I think they should be in everything you do in life. So, during the last 6 months I have been using the principles in sports and mathematics.

    I think PUSH and PERSIST are the most flexible principles, because they can be easily transferred from one field to another. If you learn PUSHING from sport (running, climbing) then you can transfer it to business. Or you transform physical PUSHING into mental PUSHING.

    However, I wonder about the seventh one SERVE. I got the theorical meaning but I haven’t found how to apply it. How can I practise SERVE? Or it will come at an advanced moment of the process?

    I also have a question about WORK. Does work become dangerous at a certain degree? I’ve heard in my neighbourhood about people who studied or worked very hard until they got brain damage or psychological troubles. So is there any risk in working hard?

    THANK YOU AGAIN
    Taha

  4. Hello,

    Thank you for the interest you gave to my post , I’m really impressed by your modesty. By the way I see that all successful people have this feature.

    I want to say that I was completely shocked when I first saw your videos and read some parts of your book on Google books, because some of its ideas corresponded exactly to notes I wrote during the 3 years of college when I was trying to improve at mathematics. So I was astonished to see that even “Greats” use these ideas and that pushed me to trust all what you said in your book .

    After that I I seriously tried to understand the 8 principles, and practise them. More than that, I want these principles to be rooted in me, to be a part of me and my thinking. I think they should be in everything you do in life. So, during the last 6 months I have been using the principles in sports and mathematics.

    I think PUSH and PERSIST are the most flexible principles, because they can be easily transferred from one field to another. If you learn PUSHING from sport (running, climbing) then you can transfer it to business. Or you transform physical PUSHING into mental PUSHING.

    However, I wonder about the seventh one SERVE. I got the theorical meaning but I haven’t found how to apply it. How can I practise SERVE? Or it will come at an advanced moment of the process?

    I also have a question about WORK. Does work become dangerous at a certain degree? I’ve heard in my neighbourhood about people who studied or worked very hard until they got brain damage or psychological troubles. So is there any risk in working hard?

    THANK YOU AGAIN
    Taha

  5. Hi Taha. Congratulations for applying the 8 principles in your life. If you’re having trouble practicing SERVE, just think of it as HELPING someone else. Keep asking yourself: “How is what I’m doing going to “help” another person?” Of course, when you’re a student a lot of what you’re doing is learning subjects, like math, that are just for you right now. But eventually you will use that math to “help” other people in some way. Maybe somebody will hire you for a job and you’ll use that math to “help” them solve a problem or design a product.

    Another word for serve is DELIVER. Ask yourself: “What am I delivering to someone else that has value for them?” When I was writing my book, two of the values I always tried to deliver were simplicity and speed – trying to take complex information and make it simple, so readers would quickly understand it and not have to sit there wasting their time thinking, “What’s he saying?”

    Nez Hallett III, CEO of Smart Wireless, says: “The real secret to business is unlocking value. Go look for the value you can offer. Be vigilant at finding it every day and unlocking it, because that’s really your competitive edge.” I would add that unlocking value is the secret to success in any area, not just business. So, don’t think, “What am I getting out of this?” Instead think, “What value am I serving others?” The higher the value, the higher you’ll go.

    Regarding your other question: “Is there any risk in working hard?” No, people don’t get brain damage or psychological troubles from working hard. Working hard improves your body and your mind. And it’s fun if you’re working at something you love. How can that be bad? The only concern is, when we’re working hard we may start to neglect our personal life and family life. So make sure that you take breaks from the hard work and get some balance in your life.

  6. Hi Taha. Congratulations for applying the 8 principles in your life. If you’re having trouble practicing SERVE, just think of it as HELPING someone else. Keep asking yourself: “How is what I’m doing going to “help” another person?” Of course, when you’re a student a lot of what you’re doing is learning subjects, like math, that are just for you right now. But eventually you will use that math to “help” other people in some way. Maybe somebody will hire you for a job and you’ll use that math to “help” them solve a problem or design a product.

    Another word for serve is DELIVER. Ask yourself: “What am I delivering to someone else that has value for them?” When I was writing my book, two of the values I always tried to deliver were simplicity and speed – trying to take complex information and make it simple, so readers would quickly understand it and not have to sit there wasting their time thinking, “What’s he saying?”

    Nez Hallett III, CEO of Smart Wireless, says: “The real secret to business is unlocking value. Go look for the value you can offer. Be vigilant at finding it every day and unlocking it, because that’s really your competitive edge.” I would add that unlocking value is the secret to success in any area, not just business. So, don’t think, “What am I getting out of this?” Instead think, “What value am I serving others?” The higher the value, the higher you’ll go.

    Regarding your other question: “Is there any risk in working hard?” No, people don’t get brain damage or psychological troubles from working hard. Working hard improves your body and your mind. And it’s fun if you’re working at something you love. How can that be bad? The only concern is, when we’re working hard we may start to neglect our personal life and family life. So make sure that you take breaks from the hard work and get some balance in your life.

  7. These 8 principles are so simply but so rarely grasped. It is the classic case of “easier said than done”. Most people I think would agree that all these principles are important, but what it really comes down to is execution. If I had to add a 9th principle, it would be the execution of the foundational eight. Great post!

  8. These 8 principles are so simply but so rarely grasped. It is the classic case of “easier said than done”. Most people I think would agree that all these principles are important, but what it really comes down to is execution. If I had to add a 9th principle, it would be the execution of the foundational eight. Great post!

  9. Hi! Thanks for such awesome octagon principles for success.They keep us zeroing in on success all around. One idea facing me: Is being focused the same as being ambitious?

  10. Hi! Thanks for such awesome octagon principles for success.They keep us zeroing in on success all around. One idea facing me: Is being focused the same as being ambitious?

  11. I don’t think ambition and focus are the same thing. Ambition is the desire to be successful or excel. Focus is the ability to take that desire and channel it into a worthy cause or apply it with laser-like intensity to a task.

  12. I don’t think ambition and focus are the same thing. Ambition is the desire to be successful or excel. Focus is the ability to take that desire and channel it into a worthy cause or apply it with laser-like intensity to a task.

  13. Hi Richard….push is a so important to success in anything! It is a runner up to passion. I meet lots of salespeople in my work. The very best ones have 3 values: 1) they believe in their product, 2) they believe in why their product can help their customer and 3) they make it RELIGION! When you have religion, push becomes easy…..Mike

  14. Hi Richard….push is a so important to success in anything! It is a runner up to passion. I meet lots of salespeople in my work. The very best ones have 3 values: 1) they believe in their product, 2) they believe in why their product can help their customer and 3) they make it RELIGION! When you have religion, push becomes easy…..Mike

  15. Pingback: The Success Connection | WBL Connections

  16. To be selfless is also to be a good listener. It is obvious that both Obama and you have listened well and heard from those that have spoken to that core value of importance. “We” is so much stronger than “I”.

  17. well done (the marathon thing) looking forward ro hearing on your next marathon experiences.
    rgds Henrik of Denmark

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