“…is being successful really that difficult? Well, yes it is. It will require a lot of you… But do we tend to over complicate the process? I believe they boil down to these five attributes, which when worked on individually, result in successful outcomes.” – Mike Templeman
EXPLORE | A Person of Success or a Successful Person?
Do we really need more successful people? Careful that you answer the right question. I didn’t ask whether or not the world needs more people that are successful. The question is whether or not we need more people who are successful at being–that is, successfully living rightly.
Perhaps without intending it, Mike’s article causes us to back up from the ‘to do’ of success, and consider the question of ‘being vs. doing’. You’ll often find that the ‘doing’ of being successful includes time management, forming key relationships, and productive morning routines. But the ‘being’ is altogether different. It becomes more about character traits than creative tactics.
While Templeman’s five attributes may in fact bring about success, they provide a thrust forward toward our being a successful person, rather than just a person of success.
And in order to properly address this question, something else his article prompts us to grapple with is the definition of success.
Rightly so, Templeman doesn’t presume that we’re all aiming at having the most, or being the best. His broader definition seems quite appropriate: “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.” In other words, we are not bound by the common interpretation of success (i.e. wealth, extravagance), but instead are encouraged to view this more broadly and meaningfully.
What then should be our aim or purpose, and how can we avoid being just a ‘person of success’?
EXECUTE | Being Successful at Being
It’s about being, then doing. Who we are comes before what we do, and it necessarily begs the question: Who are we? Answering that is a fundamental exercise in understanding who God has created us to be.
Define success–for you. It is a personal decision. We stand accountable for how we define it, as well as how we get there. I would submit that a good place to start is with living The Right Life.
Build a foundation for success. The first two points will be the motivation and underlying support for implementing the attributes Templeman identified:
Trustworthy – “…successful people have the uncanny ability to make people trust them… Do successful people demand trust because they’re successful? Or do they gain success because they’re trustworthy? I believe it’s a little bit of the former, but a lot of the latter.”
Work Ethic – “…there are few qualities that help you stand out as much as your work ethic… If you don’t have the work ethic to complete tasks on time, you’ll do nothing but damage the trust between you and your employer. Therefore, working on your work ethic will also help you build trust.”
Critical Thinking – “…if I can be wrong, then my directions can be wrong. And if my directions are wrong, then a critical thinker will be able to recognize that before failure and adjust accordingly… critical thinking will often lead to more efficient processes and better outcomes.”
Short Memories – “Being able to forget the pain and emotional trauma endured from failure is integral to being successful. And understanding that those failures are going to happen is also required… having a short memory of failure will also help you avoid becoming demotivated.”
Desire – “There will be times when you have reached the end of your willpower and fear that you have nothing left in the tank to continue on. And when that happens, when everything seems to conspire to make you give up, it’s the ones that have the greater desire to succeed that will somehow go above their own capabilities and continue forward.”
‘Being successful at being’ is an underlying premise in living The Right Life. It doesn’t just make our pursuit of success less complicated, it requires that we answer essential questions in order to realize the most meaningful outcomes, not the least of which is avoiding just being a ‘person of success.’
[Original article: the essential qualities of highly successful people and how to develop them]