7 Timeless Principles of Achievement

Note: This is a guest post from Daniel M. Wood of Looking to Business
To get ahead today, you need constant improvement. Life is a race and if you aren’t running, you will fall behind.
The knowledge required today is vastly different than the knowledge you needed 20 years ago and in 5 years time most of what you know today will be obsolete.
Through all this there is one thing that is constant. One thing we can trust. That is the principles that drive achievement. The keys of success never change because people don’t. Noah Bennet in the TV-series Heroes puts it well “Things change, but people do not.”
As long as people control the world, the principles that set the successful apart from the regular will remain the same.
When playing baseball as a kid I noticed these principles at work. We used to play a pickup game every day after school. As in every group some of the kids had a knack for baseball and others didn’t. What was interesting to watch was how the group evolved. Some of the kids would improve at a faster rate then the rest, they seemed to improve in everything quicker than average. Both in school and sports.
I saw the same thing happen again and again when working in sales. Some of the salesmen hired just did better than others, even though at the outset they might have been much worse.
The reason is that all these people either actively or instinctively followed these 7 principles.
1. It isn’t how much you work, but how you work that makes the difference
Being at the office for 10 hours straight doesn’t mean you got the most done and, what is more important, it doesn’t mean that you brought the most value to your employer.
If you are going to be successful it is important that you spend your time as wisely as possible. Make sure you are always working on your highest value task, bringing value to your employer and yourself.
Working on time management skills that make you able to produce more in less time is a shortcut that will boost you on your path.
2. Hard work pays off
With step one understood, hard work does pay off. Spending an hour more at the office than your colleagues does mean that you get more done. Working the whole day, instead of taking breaks by the coffee machine, makes you a lot more productive. And being the first into the office every morning so that you have time to plan your day will give you the ease of mind you need to produce.
3. The only thing holding you back is your imagination
We can do anything, as long as we set our mind to it. I want to give you an example from the movie “A Knights Tale” with Heath Ledger. When Heaths character, William, is a young boy he is apprenticed to a knight. His dream was to become a knight himself, something that should have been far out of reach as he wasn’t of noble birth, which was required to compete.
His father tells him that he can, if he believes. If he believes it so strongly and works with all his might, it will happen.
As it turns out, he becomes a knight and his dreams are realized.
Of course this is a story, but the moral of the story is based on fact. If you believe something powerfully enough, you will find a way to make your dream reality.
4. Leading a balanced life is the key
A trap many fall into is that they don’t find balance in their life.
You are not successful if you aren’t successful in all 4 major areas of your life: finance, career, family and health.
Succeeding in one doesn’t compensate for failure in another. Spend time on all 4 areas and the synergy effect will help you become more successful in each area as well.
5. Improve every day
Constant improvement is crucial to your success. If you are to become the best you have to continuously improve. Life is a race and if you aren’t running, someone else will pass you.
6. It isn’t your genes that determine your level of success
This was at first hard for me to grasp before I understood it. It isn’t what you are born with that determines how far you will go. It is your discipline, your motivation and your hunger that will make you successful.
Just like I saw with my friends, the only one of us to make the minor leagues was the kid we used to stick out in right field because he could neither throw, catch or run.
7. Be proactive
Always be in charge of your own life. Be in the driver’s seat. Don’t let the circumstances you find yourself in, the stimuli thrust upon you, control you. Control the circumstances and create your own brakes.
By following these principles you have the basis on which you can form your success, the foundation on which to build and realize your dreams. Never give up because whatever and whoever you want to be, you can succeed, if you chose to.
If you liked this article and wish to read more like it Daniel M. Wood runs the blog Looking To Business where he writes about Sales Techniques, Motivation and Success. He suggests you start with these articles as they are his most popular.
Photo by Alosh Bennett


  1. Good point Donald.
    #3 about imagination reminds me of the Law of Attraction. When we can connect not only our mind, but our emotions as well, with what we want we will eventually get what we want. I totally believe that our minds are connected to the universe.
    Thanks for the post.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. Great information Donald….. and here are five points that I believe will also assist us in the pursuit of achievement in our lives.
    1. Get The Facts
    Never rely on hearsay. Go to the source and find out the facts. This relates to anything that you are involved in. Don’t rely on the reporter. Go to the reported. Whether it is investments, motivational formulas, or anything that you are interested in, make certain that you get as many viewpoints as possible and then compare notes. Do your own research and never be reliant on the so-called expertise of another without doing your own personal investigation. The reason so many of us make bad judgements is because we have been mentally lazy.
    2. Find A Mentor
    Mentors are available everywhere. You will be surprised how freely information and input is available. People in general are more than willing to share information with those who have a hunger and a willingness to learn. On the internet there are forums that allow you to ask questions and it certainly provides a platform for you to discover your mentor. Once you have found them, make certain that they walk the talk. By spending time with them you will soon discover the truth behind their words and through your friendship you will discover fortunes untold.
    3. The 100-1 Rule
    I don’t know if it is a law or not, but I have come across this principle time and time again. I recently stumbled across it once again in an investment property book. The writer stated that if you look at 100 properties, put in offers on 10, and try arrange financing for 3, you may end up buying 1. In another industry they recommended that if you talk to 100 people you will ultimately end up with 1 person who will shine above all the rest. Success is a number’s game. Go through the numbers and you cannot but learn and succeed.
    4. Be Vigilant
    Don’t relax in your success. Guard it wisely. I have seen so many people who have had a taste of success and then they suddenly stop doing what got them success in the first place. They think that once they have it, it will remain forever. Not true. It requires vigilance and diligence. If before you succeeded you read a book 20 minutes a day, then don’t stop. If you attended seminars, then continue doing so. If you talked to a certain number of people each day, then increase it. Whatever it took to get you where you are, then don’t decrease. Multiply your efforts. Work harder. Renew your dream and go for it.
    5. Make Your Own Decisions
    If you allow others to make decisions for your life, you will wake up one day in a place that you never planned to be. Always, always, always make your own decisions for your own life. Listen to the experts, but don’t let them rule your decisions. Allow them to guide you, but become educated in the area that the experts are operating so that you can then make your own qualified decisions. Again, don’t have a lazy mind. Rather, have a learned mind.
    These five discretionary qualities will assist you in the preservation and the sustainment of a successful life. Apply them today and preserve your freedom to succeed and to achieve.

  3. I think being proactive is the most valuable. No matter how you think (optimistic or pessimistic) or feel or what happens to you, it’s how you respond that makes all the difference.

  4. Great post!
    #1 really struck home, I can think of many different little things I sometimes do that distract and slow me down from the task at hand. 🙂

  5. Number 4. really hit home for me. I have found that if there is one are of my life that is out of balance, it affects the others. It is kind of like saying that a tire is only flat on the bottom.

  6. Adewale Adejare
    Adewale Adejare

    i will be appreciate if you can send me more of this. tanx

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