This post is the first of a three part series. Check back next Monday for Part II.
The notion of ‘success’ is universal in all people. We all have the desire to succeed; the thought of being unsuccessful is generally unacceptable to us. We all want to be respected and have our voices heard. While this article is mainly for students, these tips are equally important for alumni too. Some tips are pertinent towards establishing and maintaining a career, while others can be used for dating, relationships and family. Above all, most are interconnected with each other.
While ‘success’ can be measured differently for everyone, there is a general definition of what ‘success’ is. Success is when a person reaches their personal goal(s) and are content with who they are as a person. You do not have to be financially wealthy or famous to be successful. Some may be successful if they start a family, while others may find success if they receive a college education, engage in volunteer work or start and grow a business. Above all, no one can tell you what success is. Because of how fluid the word ‘success’ is, not all tips may be important for you, but all tips are universally important to people collectively.
The reader should be able to use these tips to not only lead better lives, but to help other people lead better lives in the process too.
I start with this tip because patience lays the foundation of success. While it is true that patience is a virtue, it is also a requisite if you want to become successful. While patience is a necessity, it is also crucial that a person be able to control their emotions—especially anger—if they want to succeed in life and maintain healthy relationships with other people. For most people, success is not something that develops overnight. The same rings true for successful friendships, marriages and successful workplaces.
Remember this: we live in a world where people need other people to become successful. Interdependence, not independence, is the benchmark for success. Because of this, you will need to master your emotions and develop patience when dealing with other people.
#9—Have courage and take calculated risks
Courage is a quality people are not born with, but are taught. Both courage and risk taking, however, are qualities that set the successful person apart from the rest of the pack. When I say ‘risk taking’, I do not mean ‘foolhardiness.’ People often confuse the two and lump them both together. Neither do I mean a person should engage in risks that will result in grievous physical, financial or emotional harm. This is why all risks should be calculated based on the potential loss and gain of such a venture. Questions that people may ask themselves when an opportunity comes along include: “should I invest some of my money and start a business or continue with my day job?” “Should I run for political office or wait a few more years?” Making the right decision is often crucial.
Remember this: life is short and opportunities are few. We only have a limited amount of time to implement our goals and we may not receive another chance.
#8—There is no such thing as easy money
One of the dangers with having a large network is that you do not know everyone who is inside it. In the past, I have been approached by people who claim they were influential and could “make me rich quick.” In fact, these “get rich quick schemes” are all over the internet. Starting a home business and making $40,000 in the first month seem to be more popular than ever, or so these advertisements say.
The fact of the matter is there is no such thing as making “easy money.” If you fall for this illusion, you will open yourself up to con artists and other scammers who will not only waste your valuable time, but will also run off with your money. This does not mean you should stop networking (you should never stop networking), but to learn this lesson and never be persuaded when someone says you can get easy money.
Please check back, as we will continue this countdown in Parts II and III!
Andrew Bruskin was president of The National Society of Collegiate Scholars’ National Leadership Council from 2007-2008 and has been president of its Alumni Advisory Board since 2010. He is chairman of the board of directors of Ecnaillá Groupe and will be working for a law firm in New York City upon graduating William & Mary Law School. For questions or comments, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and, of course, on Facebook.