10 Success Principles We Often Forget

10 Success Principles We Often Forget

Identify your problems but give your
power and energy to solutions.
-Tony Robbins

Sometimes we find ourselves running in place, struggling to get ahead simply because we forget to address some of the basic success principles that govern our potential to make progress.  So here’s a quick reminder:

  1. You are the only person responsible for your success.  The best part of your life will start on the day you decide your life is your own – no one to lean on, rely on, or blame.  You are in full control of your future.  Believe with all your heart that you will do what you were made to do.  It may be tough at times, but refuse to follow some preordained path.  Make your own rules and have your own game plan.  There is no happiness and success to be found by playing it safe and settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.  Read The 4-Hour Workweek.
  2. You don’t have to invent the wheel.  Actually, to be successful you don’t have to invent anything at all.  Coming up with a new invention or idea is one way to achieve massive success, but it isn’t necessary. And it can be the most challenging roads to success there is. You see many people have found lots of success just by taking something that already existed and simply putting their own twist on it (their unique selling proposition).  Think about Apple for instance.  As Steve Jobs once said, “Good artists copy, great artist steal. Creativity is connecting things.” Connecting things means seeking inspiration from great ideas that already exist and adding your own useful twist.  Read The Millionaire Messenger.
  3. There is no progress without action.  What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.  Some of the greatest ideas never made it.  Why?  Because the genius behind the idea failed to take action.  Just remember, no action always results in a 100% failure rate.  So get into action now, and begin to move in the right direction.  Once you get started every step afterwards gets easier and easier.  Until eventually, what had once been invisible, starts to become visible, and what once felt unattainable, starts to become a reality.
  4. Persistence always wins.  As Winston Churchill once said, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”  It may take more than one swing to compose an efficient hit, so make sure not to give up on strike #1.  And remember, a river cuts through rocks not because of its power at a given moment, but because of its persistence over time.
  5. Focus is everything.  When you are too busy looking behind and around you, people are passing you.  If you never focus clearly on something, you will never be 100% efficient at anything.  Multi-tasking might seem to make you efficient at getting multiple tasks done at once, but it usually reduces your efficiency in dealing with each individual task.
  6. Failure is necessary.  Don’t wake up at seventy-five years of age sighing over what you should have tried, but didn’t because you were afraid to fail.  Just do it, and be willing to fail and learn along the way.  Very few people get it right the first time.  In fact, most people fail to get it right the first 5 times.  If what you did today didn’t turn out as you hoped, tomorrow is a new opportunity to do it differently.  Interpret each failure as a lesson on the road to success.
  7. Positivity fuels productivity.  Thoughts are like the steering wheel that moves our life in the right direction.  Success comes from positive energy.  You can choose to get caught up in the negativity surrounding you, or you can decide to do something positive about your situation.  You always have a choice.  Remember, happiness is an element of success, and the happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything, they use positive energy to make the best of what they have.
  8. You must believe you can.  You must find the place inside yourself where anything is possible.  It starts with a dream.  Add confidence, and it becomes a belief.  Add commitment, and it becomes a goal in sight.  Add action, and it becomes a part of your life.  Add determination and time, and your dream becomes a reality.
  9. Helping others is a big part of being successful.  Successful people constantly come up with new ideas, new projects, and new and innovative ways of helping others.  This means that your aims and objectives just benefit you, but also help benefit others as well.  Bottom line:  Your long-term success is directly tied to how well you serve your community.  Read Maximum Achievement.
  10. Success is a journey of countless baby steps.  It’s a constant process of growth.  If you want to be successful, you must continue to hold yourself to a higher standard than anyone else, and strive to improve.  Oftentimes a person or organization will be successful, but then drop off.  A person may become lazy, and an organization may succumb to weaknesses or competition.  Sustained success means continually improving even if others may not see a need for it.  Remember, the great thing in the world is not so much where we stand at any given time, as in what direction we are moving.

Photo by: Joi Ito


  1. JJ says

    I love number 6. Such a sound principle of productivity and success that I forget when I get in the heat of frustration. I just copied and printed it, and taped it on my white board.

  2. Carlie says

    Yet another post packed with useful tips. Thanks Angel. With the current challenges I face, this post helps. #10 is the one I stuggle with most – I always get waaaaay too comfortable with where I am and what I know.

  3. H says

    4, 6 really hit me in the gut there. It’s so easy how we disregard our small baby steps and successes when those are the very things that will eventually get you there. A success doesn’t happen overnight and we never got there in a day. Rome wasn’t built in a day either LOL

  4. says

    Failure, small steps, persistence and action! This is my focus. I had a conversation with a friend last night who was concerned I would hit a roadblock on my new business and quit (a not unreasonable concern based on past history). I told him this time things are different because I know there will be missteps and failures, but no matter what I have to keep moving forward. I don’t have the luxury to quit this time.

  5. says

    Hi there,

    I really love this article which summarizes what I have in mind !
    Item #6 is definitely a major principle, provided you take your failure into account for future projects. The hardest thing to do is to try to understand why you have failed even if you are the cause of the failure …

    I have my own blog dedicated to entrepreneurs who face problems and, if you are ok with that, I could translate your article in french an publish it on my blog ?

    Thanks in advance for your reply !


    Olivier aka cOOdil

  6. says

    “You are the only person responsible for your success” – This is it. Nothing else. Once we realize this, we stop making excuses and work towards the solution;we stop critisizing others and focus on improving ourself; we stop cribbing about not getting the opportunity and start creating them; we stop blaming the environment and believe in our own self effort.

    Thanks for a great post!

  7. says

    Nice one Angel. My fave is number 3. Action is always necessary. All the positive thinking, “The Secret” style focus, is great. Without action nothing will happen, nothing can change. Every step is a step in the right direction even though it might not seem so at the time.

  8. says

    These are good reminders, but it’s important to remember how easy it is to get caught up in Expert Dependency or some sort of Guru addiction where we think that everyone else is better than we are and has all the answers we need in life and business.

    We all need ideas and we need nudges here and there but when we fall prey to the endless cycle of learning dependency, nothing gets done. The key is to take action.

  9. says

    Very inspirational. I have been wanting to do something on the side from my regular career now for a while. Not sure if I will ever pull the trigger but this post makes me think about taking the chance!

  10. says

    I stumbled upon this post through my Facebook news feed and I am glad I did. This is a very insightful article loaded with practical tips about leading a successful life.

    Thank you for this awesome post! Appreciate the depth of information shared here. Enjoyed reading this post, indeed!

  11. Jerry Hislip says

    Marc and Angel – Reading your posts is always a big win for my mood. Thanks for keeping things simple and inspiring.

  12. says

    Marc and Angel –

    We glean so much insight and wisdom from your site. Because of this, we nominated you guys for a Sunshine Award. If you’d like to accept and to see the details, check out our site linked above.

    -Hope and Kelli

  13. Greg says

    “People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.” And this is a great reminder! I made each point into it’s own simple .png image on a white background and set it as a slideshow on my desktop.

    Thanks for sharing!

  14. Nan says

    I have followed your blog for a long time, but today as I set my deepest longed for goal, I find this gem that is so spot on today for me, and I am amazed.

    So perfect. Your points on focus, persistance and believing in oneself resonate deeply today. Even when others can be our cheerleaders, we have to rely on the one we see in the mirror, and believe; really, really believe that we have the moxie and sass to grab that goal and make it happen.

    Thanks for the tools to kick it up and out.

    Adiamo!! Let’s go!!


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