Achieving Success

How many people have thought about what causes success in any endeavour. Many people have, but their consideration has been too limited. Success is a combination of things.

  1. The tools – Take inventory of the ones you have and could acquire. – resources, attitude, skill, knowledge, and experience
  2. Selecting a field where the tools will be optimized. Entry conditions, growth within it, advancement possibilities, where will these be present.
  3. The process – methods to learn, interaction with other people,
  4. The implementation and the requirement for continuing learning  – “Just do it” as Nike says. But learn as you do. Assessment, improvement, and reassessment – forever.
  5. The will to do it. – to the exclusion of other things

What usually happens

For a young person, it usually involves what am I good at, what do I enjoy, what job could I get.

Once those are a little clear, it usually devolves to what course should the person take. Maybe it would include a co-op program or judicious choice of summer jobs. In almost every situation, people are under-prepared.

It matters

People who know more aspects of their career possibility, do better. They can assess what is most and least important and act to optimize the application of their time and effort. That’s what efficiency is about. Every worthy goal, one that requires success, is big enough that you cannot do everything. Efficiency is important.

That brings us to #5.

The will to do it.

Ultimately the will is what matters most. Think about it this way. Suppose you have an advanced black belt in some martial art. In a confrontation, your approach begins as, “I choose not to harm you, but I can.”  Deterence involves both capability and the will to use the resources you have built. The current American military posture is like the Karate master. They can, but the choose not to apply their ability. The question one must ask, is under what conditions would they ever use it.

Or would they invent excuses for not acting.

The same is true for people. Having the ability to learn a subject is not a guarantee of success. Having a degree does not guarantee a great career. Having a job with potential growth says little about whether or not you advance.

For person with ability, skill, attitude and time, the deciding factor is the will to apply those. In many cases, people with a high will to success and less capability, do better.

“Nothing is more common than unfulfilled potential.”Howard G. Hendricks

The difference is the will to succeed. How far will you go to achieve your chosen success? How can you build the ability? Experience with mistakes. People with high will to achieve, are not offended by error. They treat error as a lesson and move ahead with more capability.

The bits to take away.

When you know what you have and you know what you need to be able to use it, the will to learn matters.

When you have skills and experience the will to apply them matters.

Application of will requires you make choices. What will you do and as a result what will you not do.

People with a high will to succeed do better than those who merely have abilities.

Help me, please. Please subscribe. If you have found this article helpful, forward it to others.

I build strategic, fact-based estate and income plans. The plans identify alternate ways to achieve spending and estate distribution goals. In the past, I have been a planner with a large insurance, employee benefits, and investment agency, a partner in a large international public accounting firm, CEO of a software start-up, a partner in an energy management system importer, and briefly in the restaurant business. I have appeared on more than 100 television shows on financial planning have presented to organizations as varied as the Canadian Bar Association, The Ontario Institute of Chartered Accountants, The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, and Banks – from CIBC to the Business Development Bank.

Be in touch at 705-927-4770 or by email at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: