OUTLOOK — By Salim Al Riyami — Have you ever wondered or asked yourself: Will I become successful in life? Or, what is the secret of success? People normally have dreams in their life; some like to change their life, others are committed to that change but still fail to do so, why?
While there might be a variety of reasons for not achieving what we want, yet it stems down to our mindset. Scientists and scholars argue that 80 per cent of success in anything is psychology, only 20 per cent is mechanics.
I remember when I was 17, my father told me about five main principles of success. I have to admit at that time I did not pay much attention to those principles, thinking that my father was a bit philosophical on his views.
However, as the years passed by with much exposure to professional life, I now understand what my father meant! Remembering my father’s words of wisdom and combining them to my own experience, I would like to share with you my views on business and life success.
S.U.C.C.E.S.S: The seven-letter word: Self-control: This factor is probably the most important one in both business and life. Knowing how to control your emotions, behaviour, anger and your body language will give you a psychological strength and survival to compete with others. In fact, if you have an illness, a business setback or even a family problem, consider this as a milestone and a critical moment that give you a boost to step up and intensify emotions to succeed in life — “never cry over spilled milk”.
Upgrade your standards: Turn your ‘shoulds’ into ‘musts’. Believe in yourself and work hard, only then you may gain the fruits of your deeds. Some people have inner strength in them but do not know how to utilise it, or they have not discovered it yet. In life, you should be ambitious, knowing your capabilities in order to achieve your goals.
Change your limiting beliefs: Sometimes your goals are crystal clear and truly become a ‘must’ for you to achieve, yet it still not happening?! Hesitance, lack of business aggressiveness and not taking risks may be the reasons for that. You should not be hesitant, you need somehow to be aggressive and a risk taker when dealing in business.
Contentment: This factor, although it sounds contradictive to the above two factors, is very important to balance your standards, ambitions, and determinations for contentment in life. This is actually the principle of life-work balance. We all should work hard, achieve our goals, reach high standards. Nevertheless, we should set a maximum limit or a point of contentment. We need to be happy and satisfied with what we have achieved in life so far in order to achieve more. There is an Arabic philosophical proverb that says: “A person should be in equilibrium between ambition and contentment”.
Expect to give more than take: It may be true that life is about give and take, but ultimately what shapes the meaning of our lives is what we give not what we take and get. Islam, through Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), has urged that if you want to prosper in life your hand should be stretched not folded, signalling that you should help and support people by not being stingy and selfish. Remember — the secret of living is giving.
Share and network with people and competitors: In business, sharing knowledge and expertise with others, even competitors, may help your business to be sustained and your job to be retained. In addition, you will be able to know your position compared to others in the business market, assess your strengths and narrow your weakness gaps.
Strategies that work: In order to achieve your goals, you should develop strategies or action plans that work. Plans and strategies that are smart! — specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and within a time frame. These smart goals and strategies may be considered as pathways to power in order to achieve what you want in a shorter period of time.
Conclusion: There are probably other factors and elements that help and support success. However, from a personal point of view I believe that the seven-letter word and factors mentioned are the most important factors of life and business to prosper, hence the secret of SUCCESS.