There are 3 fundamentals that I believe frequently contribute to being successful in life. Of course, how we define and quantify ‘success’ is an individual endeavor, and sometimes difficult to ascertain.
Nevertheless, these 3 things consistently contribute to fulfillment. They are:
To master your craft. Regardless of the profession we choose or goal we set, it is best if we master the essential elements of our vocation. It is not enough to be competent. This may require the ‘10,000 hours of practice’ we so often hear about. More likely, it will require a lifetime of consistent effort, continuing education, and relentless commitment to excellence. There are no shortcuts, and there is no substitute.
To develop interpersonal skills. If you are a master of your craft–and a jerk–you will have an uphill climb to professional accomplishment and personal satisfaction. You may be the best at what you do, but if people can’t stand to be around you, life will be hard…and possibly lonely. Learn to get along with people, especially difficult people, without being a victim or a pushover. Coupled with a strong skill set, ‘playing well with others’ is an essential component of success, regardless of how you define it.
To know your limitations. In this sense, I don’t mean what is possible for you to do. I mean what you think is possible for you to do. We most often sell ourselves short. We rarely do all we can. We can surprise ourselves–and others–and do more than we think possible. What we think is possible is often a reflection of how we see ourselves. We often believe the limitations our parents and teachers have placed on us. We may be more than we imagine, but only if effort follows the new definition of who we are. So know the limitations you’re putting on yourself…and why.
That’s it. It’s a 3 Way Street. Happy travels.