True success is simply living your best life, and doing so is something everyone can do. It’s not just for the exceptionally talented, or lucky few, it’s for you.  Here’s how to make
it happen. 

There is no shortcut to success; it comes from consistently doing the right things over an extended period of time. As someone so aptly put it, “there is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs”. For most of us though, life doesn’t readily provide us with the knowledge and skills we need to build a successful life. Our upbringing, formal education and what is modelled to us as we grow up seldom equip us for success. Because of this, there are key principles we need to learn and life skills we need to develop if we want to succeed. And a lot we need to unlearn.




What we believe about ourselves is the single most important foundation stone for building
a successful life. We will only ever aim for what we feel we deserve and what we believe we can achieve. Nothing empowers us more than self-belief and nothing restricts us more than self-doubt. And from the very beginning, life seems to conspire against us developing a positive, healthy sense of self.  The negative words of parents, peers and teachers; life’s inevitable disappointments and losses; unrealistic media images of what we should be like; life’s rejections and hurts. 

These are just some of the many things that erode our self-esteem as we grow up. For most of us, restoring a robust self-esteem takes a lot of work. It is an intentional process of re-parenting ourselves and recalibrating the thinking patterns and beliefs that have become hardwired into our psyches over the years. Develop a deep love for and unshakeable belief in yourself!  

World view

What we believe about the world plays a major role in determining our success in life. Everyone has a set of beliefs about the world and how it operates (our world view) which informs how we live.  We are often not conscious of the complex set of beliefs that make up our world view, they are just part of us. Some world views are dangerous and destructive, like the suicide bomber who believes that it is God’s will to blow up people who don’t believe as he does, others are empowering, like the belief that all people are of equal value. Any world view that believes one group of people is worth more than another is faulty and needs to be rejected. Another disempowering world view is the fatalistic belief that my success is determined by some force other than myself. An empowering world view is the belief that I have the power to choose my attitude and my actions. All of us need to question our world views and engage in an authentic quest for the truth about life.


Without desire, nothing great was ever achieved. Want power is far greater than will power. How well we do in life is directly related to how well we want to do. The reason so few new year’s resolutions result in long term change is that we don’t want it badly enough.  External discipline without internal desire is simply not sustainable. If you want something badly enough you will do whatever it takes to get it. Sadly, life often kills our passion. Disappointment often drives our hearts into places of safety where little is risked and little is gained. Passion is the fuel that drives success. Find your passion, rekindle the desires of  your heart and be someone who lives large and sucks the marrow out of life!


Successful people know what they want. If we don’t know what we want out of life, we will become aimless wanderers. We will live by default, responding to whatever life throws our way and chances are, at the end of our life, we will have the distinct feeling that we didn’t sign up for this. “Where there is no vision the people perish”, Proverbs 29:18. If you don’t know what you are aiming for you will hit it every time. Have a clear vision of what you want your life to look like, it’s the starting point of success!

Building your tribe

True success can never be accomplished in isolation. We need each other. We are all unique and have a different set of skills and talents, strengths and weaknesses. Successful people know their strengths and limitations and surround themselves with people whose skills they need and who need their skills. For example, visionaries need administrators and administrators need visionaries.
One without the other cannot succeed, but together they can build an empire. We can achieve so much more when we surround ourselves with great people. Learn to delegate, learn to trust, be humble about what you cannot do well and surround yourself with people who can do the things you are not great at. The power of combined effort knows no limitation!

The power of habit

Our lives are the sum total of all of our daily habits. How we dress, sleep, talk, eat, walk, spend our free time, work, think, make love, and conduct our relationships are all an aggregation of the millions of tiny, often unconscious habits that make up our daily lives. Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”. Habits are our life’s unwritten strategy in action.  How we choose to use our time and resources shows what matters most to us and determines our level of success. Most of our habits are unconscious and all of them we can change. Our lives are built on what we do most of the time, not just some of the time. The power of good habits is enormous.  We live in a world of quick fixes and instant gratification and sadly that’s not how life works. Everything of great value is built slowly, step by step, over time, by consistently doing the right thing. Build good habits. Fill your life and time with lots of small actions that produce great results.

Emotional Intelligence

EQ is the measure of how well you manage yourself and your interactions with other people. Managing one’s own emotions, thoughts and actions are probably the most important life skill we need to develop. People with high EQ deal well with negative emotions like anger or disappointment. They are able to control their feelings effectively and respond appropriately to whatever life throws at them. They handle conflict well and build healthy, productive and harmonious relationships with other people.  They cope well when things don’t go their own way, with setbacks and people who let them down. They are in control of their feelings, actions and attitudes. Develop your EQ, learn to understand, control and manage your feelings and actions. Grow a high emotional intelligence!


No-one ever achieved great success by staying in their comfort zone. We can only really discover what we are capable of achieving when we push ourselves to the limit of our capabilities. That’s when growth happens and that’s when success is achieved. Excellence requires pushing the envelope. We lose much by fearing to attempt. You will miss every shot you fail to take. Take the shot. The worst that can happen is you miss and try again. Take the risk, make it happen!


Success comes from focusing on what works. There is a big difference between busyness and effectiveness. It’s possible to work hard but achieve little. Success is a result of doing the things that achieve the results we want and cutting out the activities that don’t produce results. This is what makes some people so successful and others not. It’s very simple: find out what works and do that, be honest about what doesn’t work and stop doing that!


No life lived without compassion can be considered a great life.  No matter what you achieve or accomplish, if it’s only for you, it is nothing but selfishness. The opportunities, resources and gifts we have are not just for us. One of the first things we learn in the playground at school is to share our toys.  Be someone who cares, who gives back, who makes the world a better place!

You can succeed and you must. You owe it to yourself, to your loved ones and to the world which so desperately needs all you have to give. Make the commitment now. Live these 10 principles and you will build a great life and leave a legacy that will not be soon forgotten. It’s a guarantee.  

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