Warner Todd Huston
That old recipe for success
By Warner Todd Huston
September 6, 2011

People have made millions on self-help books telling people how to take their first steps down that road to success. Whole aisles in the bookstores are stuffed with the things. 101 Ways to Succeed, if only one! But, really, what is a recipe for success? The truth is, the real recipe for success has never changed since the first human began to think farther than just his own immediate needs.

We all strive to observe the only true set of rules for success: Excellence, perseverance, and graciousness. But let's face it, there is no secret to success. The three words above offer the only real path to a worthy success.

Those three words are not exclusive to any particular sort of success. They don't make you successful at business, or the military, or politics. It's a recipe for every walk of life, really.

The first one — first for a reason — is the single most important point. Without being excellent at what you do, what ever that may be, you simply can't make a success of anything. Let's face it, bluff works to some degree — some people even gain the sheen of success with it — but to be a true, worthy success you must be one of the best at what you do. There really is no replacement for excellence in a recipe for success.

So, please, try your hardest become an expert, be the best at what you do. Excellence will bring people to you as much as it'll bring you to others.

Of course, to be excellent requires — absolutely requires — perseverance. Excellence doesn't come by accident, it doesn't come with half measures, and it doesn't come with part time efforts. If you have identified the thing you can do better than anyone else (or at least excellently) keep going. Don't slacken your efforts. Your perseverance will win out.

Finally there is graciousness. Excellence and perseverance must be leavened with graciousness — graciousness to your associates, your acquaintances, and your business partners. In fact, you simply must be gracious to everyone. People know when you are a real person, someone that doesn't treat people unfairly. You really should, for you own peace of mind be the sort of person tat others don't feel bad about affording success. Be the sort of person that deserve it your success.

It really is a simple recipe. But it is not an easy road. In fact, it's a rather hard road. But, ultimately, the hard road is the only one.

© Warner Todd Huston


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Warner Todd Huston

Warner Todd Huston's thoughtful commentary, sometimes irreverent often historically based, is featured on many websites... (more)

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