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Destined to succeed, or determined to succeed?

Harvey Mackay’s most famous and memorably titled book is “Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive.” He’s written and published another half dozen books, and his weekly columns have been widely distributed for the last 30 years.

Mackay’s day job was selling envelopes. Not a terribly complicated or thrilling business, but he was determined to be one of the best and he achieved it.

Roadblocks, setback, detours and various other obstacles are simply par for the course in business and in life. Here are Mackay’s 7 Cs for success that provide fundamental skills for overcoming any challenge:

  1. Clarity: 80 percent of success comes from being clear about who you are, what you believe in and what you want. But you must remain committed to what you want and make sure those around you understand what you’re hoping to accomplish.
  2. Competence: You can’t climb to the next rung on the ladder until you are excellent at what you do now. Just remember two more things: 1) The person who knows “how” will always have a job, and 2) the person who knows “why” will always be the boss.
  3. Constraints: 80 percent of all obstacles to success come from within. Find out what is constraining you or your company and deal with it. Often our lives and careers are shaped by kind of surroundings we place ourselves in and the challenges we give ourselves.
  4. Concentration: The ability to focus on one thing single-mindedly and see it through until it’s done is critical to success.
  5. Creativity: Be open to ideas from many sources. Surround yourself with creative people. Creativity needs to be exercised like a muscle: If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. Studies indicate that, between ages 5 and 17, there is an extreme drop in the creativity level in both male and female students. As you grow older, your creativity level decreases proportionally. The good news is that this trend is reversible, as long as you keep challenging yourself.
  6. Courage: Most in demand and least in supply, courage is the willingness to do the things you know are right. Courage, contrary to popular belief, is not the absence of fear. Courage is having the heart to act in spite of fear.
  7. Continuous learning:Set aside some time every day, every week and every month to improve yourself. Read, go back to school and take additional classes, or join groups or organizations… Whatever it may be, just never stop learning.

Mackay’s Moral: Some people succeed because they are destined to, but most people because they are determined to.

Have a great week.

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