Six keys to success

Have you ever tried looking back at one of the important decision you made in the past and asked yourself, what if I had chosen the opposite way? 

There are certain events in our life when we look back at them; we wished it had never happened.  The reason behind this is because it paints a failure in our past and moving on might not be so easy.  Me? I am guilty of this.  I used to dwell on my failures and sometimes I told myself, how I wish I could change it. 


But as I grew older, I began to realize life doesn’t work that way.  It is far more complex than what we thought.  It is a long journey that involves decision making logical enough in order to proceed to the next step of another challenge.  That’s the perplexity of life.  Well, failure is always part of life’s perplexing reality and there’s no other way to go but to face it. 


In a very informative magazine that I had read few weeks ago, it mentioned that aggressiveness is the ultimate panacea of failure.  Now, is it just plain aggressiveness?  The answer is no.  Essentially, there are 6 internal elements that propel this solution and allow me to run through each and everyone of these. 

First, aggressiveness should be propelled with CLARITY.  This will set the roadmap for you.  Even if you stumble along the way, this will not stop you from moving because the direction to succeed is very clear to you.


Second is FOCUS.  This positive thinking unfolds after you had established an excellent clarity in your goal.  Focus mainly points to how powerful our minds are.  If you constantly imagine on your goal, you’ll be surprised one day, you woke having it. 


There’s actually an experiment about focus.  The actual experiment was tested on a college basketball team where in the team is divided into two.  The first group was tasked to practice their free throw shooting at the basketball court everyday for two hours in two weeks.  The second group was the most interesting one.  They were told to do the same but they were going to practice free throw shooting by imagining it in their mind in the same time frame with the first group.

 And you know what happened?  The free throw shooting percentage of the first group was increased by 30%.  What makes it more interesting was the result of the second group.  They also increased their free throw shooting percentage by 30%.  Unbelievable?? You better believe because this experiment tells you how powerful our minds really are.

 The third parameter that propels aggressiveness is INTENSITY.  Building intensity in what you’re doing creates enthusiasm.  As what Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.  Precisely correct!  Enthusiasm gives unusual energy such that no matter how many times you fail, the emotional stamina will still be intact.

The fourth one is ACTION.  Action refers to an exertion of power or force in order to create movement.  So if there’s already clarity, focus, and intensity, it is time to put that all together into action!

 However, the strategies we want to see sometimes don’t get executed as planned because roadblocks will always be present along the way.  Such situation paves the way to the next element, HUSTLE.


Hustle means to urge forward and make extra effort.  In layman’s term, it means never giving up.  A very good example of never giving up is the story of Colonel Harland Sanders.  Col. Sanders had this secret chicken recipe that he had been keeping for some time.  Since his assets are not enough to start a business, he traveled to different places in the US to offer his recipe in return of receiving royalty.  But none of them got interested.  Although he was facing real life adversity, he never gave up and eventually after 1002 repeated attempts, a certain restaurant gives in an accepted his offer.  In that great turn of events in his career, that chicken recipe became so famous such that it paved the way to the creation of the widely know fast food chain in the US, the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).

 And finally, the last element is gestation.  Gestation equates to the virtue of perseverance and this emphasizes one has to undergo a certain cycle before his/her goal can be achieved.  As what Arnold Glasgow said, success is not a result of spontaneous combustion.  You must set yourself on fire. 

   As I recall my experience here in Toastmasters, I can say there were so many failures I committed along the way.  There was even one point in time where I became so lazy in attending regular meeting and rejects every role that was given to me because I see Toastmasters as a waste of time.

 That mentality was radically changed when I noticed that my laziness in Toastmasters eventually reflects to how I do my work here in Lexmark.  So I said to myself, it should all stop here and I should go back to the right track.  I conditioned my mind to be aggressive towards responsibility and never be taunted with challenges.  There was only one thing that runs in my mind, “never be afraid to fail and everything you desire shall do well.”  This boils down to the saying and I quote “if you’ve never failed, you’ve never lived”!


*Note: Delivered by CC Ed Bas Jr. as his graduation speech.