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Success, Just What Is It?

April 21, 2012

 Success: Just what is it?

Monday, 30 May 2011 19:31 Edmund Lao / Personal Finance

HOW do we define success? Is it measured in terms of amassing a lot of money, properties, or businesses? If that is true, then why are some of the supposedly successful people unhappy and sometimes end up committing suicide? Why do some “successful” people fail and end up bankrupt later? Isn’t success the absence of failure? Why is it there are more failures than successful people? Is it only by chance or by a stroke of luck?

Success, by definition, is the positive accomplishment of an objective. The material gains are simply the result of the effort that gave a reward. However, success becomes vanity as a person strives harder to reach more success. It is like chasing after the wind. It is our human nature to be discontented with the present and desires to gain more without satisfaction.

Unknown to the majority, success occurs not by chance but by following a set of laws that govern it. Just like Singapore, laws are strictly implemented to a point when people become disciplined. That discipline, under the leadership of former Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yew, catapulted their country to become one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Let us examine the laws of success and apply it to our lives.

Law 1. Fix the right goal. Goal is like a target. Without a goal, there will be no destination. For example, when going for a vacation, there must be a planned itinerary on a definite destination or else the schedule will be in disarray. The same thing applies in our work and personal lives. A right goal will arouse ambition that will create the drive to reach the objective.

Law 2. Education or preparation. Unlike animals that do things by instinct, humans need to learn or to be taught so that he will be prepared to accomplish his purpose. Without the proper know-how, he cannot make wise decisions that will lead to his goals.  Education here not only refers to school education but values, personality development, knowledge from his networks and observations.

Law 3. Good health. We need to learn and be educated about good health. Our health depends on what we eat, hence the saying “we are what we eat.” Poor health is a hindrance to success because the focus will instead be on how to heal a sick body. For instance, if a man desires to be financially free by saving a certain portion of his income, poor health will force him to spend more to restore his health to normal. That will hamper his goal of accumulating his wealth and will even extend his timetable.

Law 4. Drive. The first three laws will not be effective without drive. Drive is the motivating factor that forces the person to pursue his goals. People with drive are always on the go. They wake up early and stay late. They can be compared to a jet engine that propels rocket into space. Imagine the effort of going against the force of gravity. Without drive, a person cannot be considered truly successful.

Law 5. Resourcefulness. What if suddenly an emergency occurs that sets one back in his steps to reach his goals? One should always have a contingency plan for unforeseen events that may negatively affect his objectives. Stumbling blocks are actually opportunities waiting to be turned into a stepping stone to success.

Law 6. Perseverance. To people who succeeded, quitting was not an option. Even when their achievements were wiped out, they started all over again. They used their experience and treated it as a learning process. They are now wiser since they already know how to fail. They do not let failure get the better of them. Perseverance is just going ahead and doing what has to be done in the face of adversaries. In my sales experience, I have faced a lot of NOs before getting a YES from my clients. I treated a NO as zero and a YES as 1. So after six Zeroes, I got a One.  It is like getting a One-Million sale from my client.

Law 7. Trust and walk with God. This is the most important law. Without this vital seventh law, all the first six laws will not guarantee real success. That is the reason the so-called successful people do not find happiness despite their achievements. They may have everything but they still feel empty and unfulfilled. Anyone who puts this all-important law last is dooming his life to failure at the end.

The right goal sets the direction of your life’s journey. Success is the destination of that journey. Success is where you finally arrive, and true success includes a happy and enjoyable journey along the way.


Edmund Lao is a candidate for registered financial planner (RFP) designation. Currently, he is a sales engineer in one of the biggest media companies in the Philippines. To know more about RFP program, please visit or inquire at info@rfp.phThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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