Success is definitely not a magic word. It does not happen overnight. Yet we see so many stars and champions in the world who have transformed themselves into extraordinary beings. They were not born genius. So what are their secret mantras for success? People say that successful people do not do different things; they do the same thing differently. Well, I think that’s true. If we look at most of the world champions, we would find that they don’t do different things but they adopt different strategies to do the same thing. Science says that when we are born, we all are blest with equal number of brain cells but as we grow, some people overtake us in rational thinking and creativity because how fast or healthily our brain grows depends on how much we use it effectively. Hence, it is apparent that success mostly depends on how effectively we mobilize our internal resources to meet our targets in life. I believe that we in fact have everything within us which, if utilized properly, can certainly carry us afar. But the sad thing is that in the midst of worldly affairs, we often miss the opportunities to look at ourselves and recognize our own strengths. Looking at the lives of a number of so-called successful people in the world, I have come to believe that the ultimate success could be determined by the following three main factors that can even be termed as ‘Secrets of Success’:
Turning potentials to skills
We all have potentials to do something but unless we develop our skills to do what we want to do through relevant training programs, our potentials alone cannot bring us success. As we say that practice makes a man perfect, we all need to train ourselves on what we need to acquire in order to achieve success. We cannot fully rely on our natural potentials. For instance, we have no doubt that Lionel Messi is the best footballer in the world today and he himself knows pretty well that he has the potentials to score goals easily. Yet it is said that he continuously trains himself to convert his potentials into skills. In one of his training session videos, it is said that he was seen running with some heavy weights tied to his leg. This explains why he outruns everybody in the soccer fields. He is fast, quick and composed. Likewise, even the Bhutanese legendary runner, Garp Lungi Khorlo, the attendant with the wind-wheel who was believed to run from Trongsa to Punakha and back in 12 hours’ time is said to have used the same techniques. He knew he had the potential to run faster than the rest and hence, he was entrusted with the responsibility to carry messages from Trongsa to Punakha and back. But to hone his potentials, it is believed that he used to carry some rocks as he ran and whenever he felt too tired, he would throw off one rock. This would make him feel lighter and enabled him to maintain the same pace. Again when he got too tired, he would throw off another rock and continue. This is to show how we can churn our potentials into appropriate skills that can help us achieve success.
Always striving for excellence
His Majesty the King constantly reminds us that we must never be satisfied with what we have achieved now. When we achieve success once, we should not relax over it. We can never afford to be complacent once we get where we had wanted to be. So one important lesson we can learn from the lives of great people is that one success should lead to another and the efforts must never end. It is said that Lionel Messi is never tired of setting new targets every time he achieves one. When he first signed a contract with Barcelona, he would not have thought that he would score 60 goals in one season, yet he set it as his target and he made it. But he did not leave it there. He kept aiming higher and set new targets every time he reached where he wanted to be. So we must all follow his footsteps if we want to achieve what we aspire to achieve in our life. We must always have set goals in life and aim higher once we reach there. Being good is not enough. We must continue to strive for better.
Special focus on what we do
The ability to concentrate on what we do is one of the most important qualities of a successful person. Whatever we lay our hands on, we must have a good focus on what is in front of us so that we don’t deviate our attention from what we are doing. We can never try to be a Jack of all trades and master of none. Pele or Messi is not a musician who has studied in an engineering college and plays football. They are footballers and they know only about football. It is this reason why they have managed to earn their name as football stars in the world. Likewise, when Lloyd George was once asked what the secret of his success was, he replied “When I brush my hair, I think about nothing else but only brushing my hair”. So it is very important to be the master of one trade and jack of none.
These are some of the basic lessons I think we can learn from the lives of some great people who have made it to the world’s stage. They have left several footprints for us to follow if we wish to walk the path they have walked. If we try to practice those strategies, perhaps they might help us achieve what we wish to achieve in life. It does not mean that we have to try to become exactly like them, but certainly we can follow their footsteps and rise up in our own way as we proceed. To be successful is not an overnight dream-come-to-true, but it is also not impossible to realize it if we truly have the commitment, determination and patience to meet the target we have set. There is definitely no escalator to success. We must always walk up the staircase, one step at a time, and you will see its beauty only when you get atop.