By Tom Morris
From Plato and Aristotle to the present, the wisest people who have thought about life achievement have left us powerful advice for attaining success in anything we do. It boils down to seven universal conditions.
The 7 Cs of Success
For the most satisfying and sustainable forms of success, we need:
- A clear CONCEPTION of what we want, a vivid vision, a goal clearly imagined.
- A strong CONFIDENCE that we can attain that goal.
- A focused CONCENTRATION on what it takes to reach the goal.
- A stubborn CONSISTENCY in pursuing our vision.
- An emotional COMMITMENT to the importance of what we’re doing.
- A good CHARACTER to guide us and keep us on a proper course.
- A CAPACITY TO ENJOY the process along the way.
There are certainly other tips associated with success, but every other one is just a version or application of one of these in specific situations. The seven Cs give us the most universal, logical and comprehensive framework for success.
(1) A clear CONCEPTION of what we want, a vivid vision, a goal clearly imagined
In any facet of our lives, we need to think through as clearly as possible what we want to accomplish. True success starts with an inner vision. The world as we find it is just the raw material for what we can make it. We’re meant to be artists with our energies and our lives. And the only way to do that well is to structure our actions around clear goals.
(2) A strong CONFIDENCE that we can attain the goal
Inner attitude is a key to outer results. Philosopher William James learned a century ago that a proper confidence has powerful effects. In any new enterprise, we need upfront faith in what we’re doing. Sometimes we have to work hard for this attitude. But it’s worth the work, because it raises our prospects for success. The best confidence arises out of preparation and then augments it. It’s no guarantee of success, but it is among the chief contributors to it.
(3) A focused CONCENTRATION on what it takes to reach the goal
Big dreams just lead to big disappointments when people don’t learn how to chart their way forward. Success at anything challenging comes from planning your path and then putting that plan into action. A new mental focus generates new perceptual abilities. Concentrating your thought and energy toward a clear goal, you begin to see things that you might have missed before, and that relate to the goal. This focus allows you to plan, act and adjust along the way. Even a flawed plan can start you off and lead you to discover a better one. A focused concentration of thought and action is key.
(4) A stubborn CONSISTENCY in pursuing our vision
The word ‘consistency’ comes from two Greek roots, a verb meaning “to stand” and a particle meaning “together.” Consistency is all about standing together. Do my actions stand together with my words? Do the people I work with stand together? This is what consistency is all about. It’s a matter of unifying your energy and efforts in a single direction. Inconsistency defuses power. Consistency moves us toward our goals.
(5) An emotional COMMITMENT to the importance of what we’re doing
Passion is the core of extraordinary success. It’s a key to overcoming difficulties, seizing opportunities and getting other people excited about their work. Too much goal setting in in business is an exercise of the intellect but not of the heart. We need both to guide us on to the tasks right for us, and keep us functioning at the peak of our abilities.
(6) A good CHARACTER to guide us and keep us on a proper course
Character inspires trust. And trust is necessary for people to work together well. But good character does more than just provide for strong partnerships. It has an effect on each individual’s own freedom and insight. Bad character corrupts and blinds. Good character makes sustainable success more likely.
(7) A CAPACITY TO ENJOY the process along the way
The more you can enjoy the process of what you’re doing, the better the results tend to be. It’s easier to set creative goals. Confidence will come more naturally. Your concentration can seem effortless. And so on. A capacity to enjoy the process is entwined with every other facilitator of success.
These conditions of success are all deeply connected. They constitute a unified framework of tools for most fulfilling forms of achievement in our world. They can help us make our proper mark in the world. Why should we ever settle for anything less?
Tom Morris is the author of such books as “True Success,” “The Art of Achievement,” “If Aristotle Ran General Motors” and “If Harry Potter Ran General Electric.” He also writes for The Huffington Post. For more information, visit www.MorrisInstitute.com.