What is the Key to Success?

Success is everybody’s dream. But what is the key to success? How can you be successful? In my post about defining successful people, I wrote that we should measure success based on how much we give rather than how much we receive. Fortunately, it also works nicely the other way around since those who give more almost always will also receive more.

Based on that, you can see that the more value you give to others, the more successful you will be. So how do you pave your way to success? How do you become more successful? The answer is amazingly simple. Here it is:

The key to success is making yourself as useful as possible to others.

That’s it. Making yourself as useful as possible to others.

If you focus on applying this, others will realize the value they get from you and they will attract more people to come to you. These new people will also realize the value they get from you and they will attract even more people to come to you. The virtuous cycle begins and you are now on your way to success.

With this principle in mind, you should aim at increasing your usefulness to others. How do you do that? Here are some ideas:

  1. Be observant of needs
    To be useful to others, you should always be aware of even the slightest clues of needs. The more sensitive you are to the needs of others, the more appreciative people will eventually become. The best scenario is being able to anticipate a need before the other people are even aware of it.
  2. Find solutions to the needs
    Now that you are aware of needs, the next step is finding solutions to them. The solutions you offer should be as useful as possible. To be able to do so, there is no other way but to continuously build your own value. It is from the value you have that you could give value to others.
  3. Be proactive to help
    Do not wait for the other person to ask for your help. Be proactive. Give your help even before they ask.
  4. Be sincere
    What matters is not only the solution you offer, but also the way you deliver it. Being sincere means being glad to help others without expecting anything in return. Make it your joy to give something to others. People can somehow distinguish whether or not you are sincere.
  5. Go the extra mile
    Doing the above four steps is good, but add this one if you can: give more than expected. First, give what is expected, and then add a little more. If you do the above four steps people will be appreciative, but if you add this one step they will be impressed.


    • why is it that when u give to others or you decide to be very good to others they tend to take advantage of u?

      • see man its true if ur good 2 others dey might take ur advantage…
        but dat doesn’t means dat u shhould seize helping them…
        u let them 2 take ur advantage,in this process one day they will understand ur true value n will appreciate u …
        just the thing u shoul keep in mind is be patience …

        • Yes one they they will understand your true value and will appreciate you but most of the time it happens too late that you don’t have a chance anymore to know how they value you because your gone.

      • When you decided to be very good to others they tend to take advantage of you or leads to abuse your kindness because they are greedy people, and selfish.They are only thinking of what they can get from you, with out thinking of what is the effect on you.If they are already abusing you or hurts you they don’t care.

  1. These are great ideas. Sometimes I don’t mind working normally. As long as it’s good and I get to do everything needed for the day, I’m satisfied. But we can’t expect to be successful if we are not willing to go the extra mile. Thanks so much for sharing your ideas.

  2. That’s right, Fran. Going the extra mile is not easy, and I guess that’s why there are so few successful people. It’s much easier to just get our job done without aiming for something more.

    • There is nothing hard if you have determination.You need to focus on what you are doing, think positively, have courage and you’ll get what you want if you deserve it.They said “if there’s a will there’s a way”.

  3. Hi Donald, How simple and clear your writing are. Making yourself useful to for others is a great way of stating it.

    How do you make yourself useful to yourself may be the starting point? Many people are out of touch with their own needs, purpose, heart, body and sources of joy because they have allowed their lives to eat them up with worry and hurry. Begin first by discovering your own needs and take care of at least the basics. The you are much more powerful in be of use to others.

    Joseph @ http://www.explorelifeblog.com

  4. I agree with your ideas, especially with being sincere about our goals to achieve success. With all the problems we face, we surely need every motivation we can get to keep us fueled on our journey to success.

  5. Great idea Joseph, I love it. You’re right, if people can’t be useful to themselves, they won’t be useful to others either. As you said, that should be the starting point.

  6. Great ideas, Donald. It’s true that our success is also on when to engage. Most of the time, our work requires us to make decisions and how we make them may affect our progress.

  7. @Pamela:
    Being sincere is indeed important, but I’m afraid that it’s one of the not-so-easy thing to do. Most of the time we expect something in return.

    Thanks, Dave.

  8. hi i m munir from karachi from pakistan , i read tht and i agree that Find solutions to the needs, Go the extra mile and Be proactive to help, these points is very useful 4every one who wants to success

  9. Muneer,
    Thanks for stopping by! I wish you the best of luck.

  10. hi i read your ideas and i caught lots of information and i am agree with you to being useful for others.mohammad(afghanistan)

  11. Mohammad, glad you like it!

  12. Because I have read this it has inspierd me to change my life for the better and to use these key to be successful.

  13. I agree with you but without self control we can’t reach anyware

  14. ravi nandan singh
    ravi nandan singh

    hai, its ravi from india, i read and wrote the ways u described here, it is too amazing and so surprising facts i cam to know through u, it really helped me alot to do sumthing in my life. thanx for the very kind appreciation.

  15. A.A n hello every body. i really impressed by the ideas u have mentioned here.but without giving time these things are impossible because we have to work hard for our carrior and these suggestions are better for those who want to be successful in the political fields.

  16. Perfect exactly what i needed. oh ya I needed an educational website for reading. send me a website please.

  17. […] success is no fluke, and if you want to copy it, there is only one key point that you need to know: while […]

  18. Patience is the key to success

  19. aah yes the key of success its simple just take deep breath and smell the fresh air and you’ll take the answer if u dont know what are u doing dont do anything stupid or go wild just think of a plan befor u play remember every one has their on style

  20. Thank you to all who commented and to the writer. I am 16 years old, and I am determine is to be as successful in life as i can. You all have helped inspire me. I think I will pursue a career in Business, and I you all have helped me a lot. Thanks.

  21. First of all, I really appreciate your generosity when you show us the key. I read it and I think it’s a good idea. However, maybe I also have misgiving about your idea so I need to go through it in my life. I think we can not do anything to help the others. In essence, we just endeavor to do your best to finish one thing that can help many people in need in a long tim. For instant, I’m gonna to set up a law office where everyone can come to consultant my lawers for free. If we make us as useful as possible, it means you have to help a lot of people and you lose track of time. Finally, what will happen if you spend all your time on it without money return?

  22. nice ideas:)

  23. umm i participated in science olympiad but got 8 position in school.i wanted to know how to succeed and now i know the answer to this question and i m impressed and motivated from the points given to me…..

  24. I like to know what people’s definition of success is?? Before I thought succcess was lots of money in the bank, nice house, and security. Now I know all those things won’t bring me happiness. To me, being trully successful is not giving material things value and being happy for the things we have. This type of thinking has brought raining success to me and has reduced most of the stress I’ve had in the past worrying about how I could make more money and protect the things I have.

    I’ll be sure to apply these ideas to my family, friends as well as my business.

    • Success doesn’t mean only about career. It means to be successful in marriage life also.We can also say you are successful in some ways when you got what you want and what you need and you are contented about it then that’s it,you are successful! Don’t forget that we are less than perfect, that we have limitations and we need to admit it.We cannot have everything we want we can have some but not all. Because not all that you want are good for you.And God knows better what is good and what is bad for you. he knows also when to give it to you.okay?I hope I help you a little bit with my ideas Theo.

    • In the past I’ve researched and always been drawn to people’s opinions on success. To conclude, I found that everyone’s idea of success is definitely not the same. What it takes to make one individual feel happy and successful may take something entirely different for the next. We all have our different versions as well as similar versions of success; Depending on what we consider necessary to make us happy and content.

  25. Change you mind set and believe in your self.

  26. If You Give a lot to people, then they will take advantage of youu righht

  27. Hi I’m Bobby an Indonesian
    I’m so glad to read your post and I agree about it, I hope it can give me an inspiration to change my life better and better, thanks you

    • Hi Bobbi,
      Have a nice day.Please ignore for this massage.”To success in life at first everybody needs a positive luck.”

  28. it is very good idea , when i read that i feel that now i can make people happy and if i make people happy i myself will be happy, so that u must do it, i will do it……………………..

  29. Amole adeyinka moses
    Amole adeyinka moses

    I think, it is good 2 b good, so let try and go xtra mile in doing good…..

  30. Yah!!!!!!
    its wonderful article in all aspects of life. one thing amazing is that the same ideas have got much focus from almost all religions.

  31. Yeah…! Its good. But what about that time when we are in problems and no one wants to do help, they forget what we done for them?

    • Nit’s it’s okay, if you want to do something good to other do as much as you can but never expect something in return.Don’t that one day when you are in need or you have a problems you can count on them, because you going to be hurt.Yes most of the time in a difficult situation there’s no one can reach our hands to help us every one is busy of their own life.you must understand that they also have their own problems.So what you need to do is to Pray ask God’s help because God is always there no matter what.

    • Good God don’t forget. Be Good and ask; then you will receive.

  32. I need to success what shall I do ? I am from Ethiopia

    • You must first define what success means to you. If you want success you must want it to help others first. Then you will receive success and you will understand that helping others is same as helping yourself. Be Good. Because Good is God of all creation. That is why Good and God is spelled like it is the same word.

  33. Robera Asefa,

    You said you need success right, and your asking what do you need to do. Now first you need to have a goal, a goal that is achievable. Determine your abilities, examine yourself by asking questions who am I? Next ask yourself what are you weaknesses and strength.If you made a mistakes sometimes ask why? Then because of that you would know why you made a mistake, the next time around you can avoid doing that mistake again then you will go on to the next level.Making mistakes is okay because this the way where we learn so don’t be afraid of having it.You need to have humble yourself the very important thing and be patient. Try and try until you succeed never give up even to the hardest thing.Always ask God’s guidance in everything you do.If God is with you all the time surely you will be successful.Good luck to you Robera!

  34. that’s very good words, will be motivation of my life..

  35. Great stuff and very informative. to sum it up, i would sum it up like this,

    Goal + Plan + Action =Reality
    Goal – Plan – Action =Dream
    nothing really happens in a vacuum,it really have to begin somewhere, somehow.

    Luke Memua, Solomon Islands,South Pacific.

  36. agree with the point. Be useful to other people, our world, time and ourselves is really the value of our lives.

  37. Kingsley onuchukwu kelechi
    Kingsley onuchukwu kelechi

    I love this teaching,because making yourself useful is a powerful key to the land of greatness. I really want to be a blessing to people life.I like ur writing very simple

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