Quality Magazine

Jim's Gems: The Key Word to Success

March 20, 2012


We’ve talked around this in previous columns but today, we’re going to give you the secret of success-in one word! That’s right, just one little word. If you master it, your life will be forever changed.

For more than 40 years, I have been studying success. I have had the privilege of knowing and working around some very successful and influential people. Since I wanted to be successful, I spent a lot of time listening and observing them, and, as a consequence, learned a great deal. I have also spent a lot of time studying some of the world's most respected leaders in different fields to understand what makes some people succeed while others fail: the difference, in short, between the cans and the can-nots, and the dos and the do-nots.

What did I learn after all these years of listening, observing and studying? I discovered the one thing that is most needed for success comes down to one word. The key word for success is attitude. That's it-attitude. But that really isn't much of a secret.

People who succeed don't have fewer problems than those who don’t succeed. They don't start out with greater brainpower, or better parents, or more money. Actually, sometimes they start out working against incredible odds. But they have a way of looking at things, a way of seeing obstacles as possibilities, and a way of hanging in there-when others let go-and of making the most of every opportunity. This almost guarantees success.

I have known a few people who climbed mountains, and they said essentially the same thing: “After a long day of climbing, and I feel like I can't go any farther, I concentrate on the next three feet. When I get there, I think about the next three feet; and then the next three feet. Pretty soon, before I know it, I'm at the top.”

Successful people are flexible, optimistic and hard working. If you want to sum it up in a word, it is not difficult to do. Success is, more than anything else and without a doubt, a question of attitude. Attitude is more important than aptitude or intelligence; it is the key word to success.

Attitude is not a core value. It is what you can make of it. Thomas Jefferson said that “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

What is your attitude? If it isn’t getting where you want to be, change it!