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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Mayfield, MS, RDN, LD, FAND

6 Keys to Success – Part 2

Updated: Dec 3, 2022

A starry night with mountains and a muddy foreground.
“Two men looked from prison bars, one saw mud, the other stars.” (Anonymous)

Are you striving to achieve success? What does it take to be successful?

Many qualities contribute to success and in this 3-part series I propose six that I believe are critical. This post is the second in the series, in which we will explore two more keys to success. In this post, we will answer the question: How do I view what I do?

If you missed the first post, begin the series here. The goal of this series is to reflect on what has helped us achieve success, and, consider what we can work on to take us even further in the direction we want to go.

In the first post, we explored our levels of initiative and perseverance and answered the question: How well do I start and finish? In other words, am I a hard worker?

I hope you agree hard work is critical for success but without a positive perspective, it might just become drudgery. Therefore, you need to know…

Key to Success #3 is Perspective.

You can look at whatever is on your “To Do” list as a LOT of WORK, or, as an opportunity to achieve success. It is really a matter of perspective.

Thomas Edison said: “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed up in overalls and looks like work.”

More recently, Dolly Parton said: “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”

Sometimes we begin an endeavor full of enthusiasm, and then something happens and we allow it to ruin our positive outlook.

What’s your perspective? Are you seeing mud . . . or stars?

Take a moment to reflect on your current perspective using the rating below. Read the descriptions below each number. Circle the number that corresponds to where you are now.

Then put an X over the number that describes where you’d like your perspective to be. If you’re satisfied with your current perspective the circle and the X will be on the same number. Then take time to reflect on what you think keeps you negative.

Reflection: On the scale below, circle your current perspective toward your work or life and mark with an X where you’d like it to be:

If you struggle with perspective, list a few of the things you think keep you negative rather than positive. Consider both internal and external factors.

The next characteristic goes even deeper than perspective in how you view your work...

Key to Success #4 is Passion.

Confucius said: “If you love what you do, you will never work another day in your life.”

The former Olympic gymnast, Mary Lou Retton, said it this way: “Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something. It’s our goal in life to find it and keep it lit.”

How do you define “passion” when it comes to your life’s work?

It isn’t likely just one thing, but many things that excite you. What motivates you to get up in the morning and start doing it all again; what do you think about when you are “off duty”?

Focus on what you are passionate about and share that passion with others. What gets you excited?

When do you feel in your “sweet spot” whenever you are engaged in a particular activity? What do you do that fits your passions?

Using the same instructions as above, take a moment to reflect on your current degree of passion and where you’d like it to be.

Reflection: On the scale below, circle your current degree of passion for your work and/or life in general and mark with an X where you’d like it to be:

If you lack passion for your work/life, are you planning to redirect your choice, or redirect how you feel about it? How?

Have you discovered your answer to “How do I view what I do?”

What are some steps you can take to improve your perspective and increase your passion?

Part 3 in our 6 Keys to Success series answers the question: Do I trust myself and others? What two qualities do you think are the featured keys to success?

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” ~ Steve Jobs

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