Thanks to everyone who participated in my recent “10 Secrets To Our Success” project. I started with a list of 29 factors and by the time all the comments were in, that list expanded to 36 – all important elements to success, no doubt. In case you’re wondering, here are the additional 7 (and their contributor):
Simplicity (Trevor Gay)
Respect the Earth (Robyn McMaster)
Gratitude (Jodee Bock)
BEINGness as opposed to DOINGness (Jodee Bock)
Capacity as opposed to Potential (Jodee Bock)
Risk Taking (Kirk)
What was the most mentioned factor in my original list of 29? Passion. No argument there – if you don’t have it, as Kirk says, “pack up and do something else”.
Now what about my top 10 – what were the most important elements that got me to my current place? Without further adieu, here they are (again in no particular order):
Common Sense – The definition says it all: “Sound judgment not based on specialized knowledge”. It’s an innate logic barometer that guides me from situation to situation and counsels me from decision to decision.
Intellectual Curiosity – I’ve always had a huge appetite for learning, since I started reading encyclopedias when I was 3 (at least that’s what my mom tells me!). This curiosity has pushed me forward in opening up my world to new ideas and experiences. It also keeps me humble in a sense that there’s so much I DON’T know.
Passion – The best way to figure out the importance of this one is to recall a time in one’s life or career where it didn’t exist – that happened to me, and it’s like draining all the oil out of an engine and still trying to go 100 miles an hour. It’s not pretty, all the grinding and gnashing. Passion is the “oil” that keeps me going at peak performance.
Relentless Optimism – Yes, my glass is half full – and in a recent post I explained how I got there. I’ve also defined half-fullism as “dealing with the literal world in a favorable way”, and that really speaks to my viewpoint – I’m always trying to make lemonade out of lemons (without rose colored glasses).
Influential Mentor and/or Parent – The influence of my parents and a couple of key mentors have been invaluable to my personal and career development – my parents taught me the value of trust, and my two mentors taught me about business, leadership and optimism in two totally different ways, but both utterly valuable.
Love – When I think of love I can’t help but also think of those lines by Ewan McGregor in “Moulin Rouge” (one of my favorite musical movies)-“Love is a many splendored thing, Love lifts us up where we belong, All you need is Love!” In some respects it is indeed the only thing – while passion is the oil, love is the gas.
Good Moral Grounding – For me, the ability to make personal distinctions between right and wrong couldn’t happen without being properly grounded in moral principles – I was fortunate to get that from my family, and from the parochial education I received all the way through college.
Luck – I know one can “create” luck, or put oneself in a position to take advantage of luck, but it’s still luck. I had several instances where luck, fate, karma, or some similar phenomenon intervened and changed my life, mostly for the better (but sometimes not).
Integrity – The net result of the moral grounding, I always try to keep my my promises and fulfill my committments- being trusted by others is one of the gifts I treasure the most.
Belief in Yourself – This is the foundation of all successes – a deep seeded confidence that someway, somehow you can get to where you want to go. For me, I always wanted to be a leader, and I kept at it knowing that if I was given that responsibility, I could do it and do it well. Fortunately I have been given that opportunity, and it’s been a great ride.
The interesting thing about lists like these is that they are always fluid, because our lives are evolving and changing every day. I was struck by a comment in response to the first post – “you are exactly where you are supposed to be, not because of your top 30 list, but because, this is what you signed up to do in this lifetime”. While this list isn’t certainly definitive, I’ve at least (through your help) developed a greater insight into what I’ve really “signed up for” – and I hope you have too.