th images menu user export search eye clock list list2 arrow-left untitled twitter facebook googleplus instagram cross photos entrep-logo-svg

Do You Have These 3 Characteristics of Success?

Extensive interviews show these qualities will take you far
By James Whitaker |

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Excerpted from Think and Grow Rich: The Legacy.

Decision: The master of procrastination

In the original Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill noted that the 500 successful people he interviewed firsthand reached decisions promptly and changed their decisions slowly. Indeed, an overarching theme of success throughout the ages is decisively hammering a stake into the ground, declaring your intent to the universe and then defending it at all costs.


Early in her career, billionaire Oprah Winfrey was unceremoniously dumped from her role as television news anchor. Refusing to let the failure define her, Winfrey hammered her stake in the ground and stayed in the media industry. As the years wore on, she developed her skills and was eventually given her own program. The Oprah Winfrey Show ran for 25 seasons and remains the highest-rated talk show in American history. "It doesn't matter who you are or where you come from," Winfrey believes. "The ability to triumph begins with you, always."


Had she listened to the advice of executives early on that she wasn't fit for television and cast her dreams aside, the world would have missed out on one of the greatest philanthropists of our time.


Only you can determine how the counsel of those closest to you can help or hinder your mission, but be very careful with the priority you place on different sources of opinion. Give first precedence to your inner voice because you are the only one who can truly and completely lead your burning desire through to reality. Second, heed the wisdom of a well-comprised mastermind group who can multiply your abilities and influence. The healthy counsel of these two sources cannot be overstated.


It is also vital to decide who not to listen to. There will always be people trying to force their negative, or simply mindless, opinions on you. You must ignore them. Those readily moved by the opinions of others have no desire of their own. Decide what you want, and then make it happen.



Persistence: The sustained effort necessary to induce faith

Simply continuing is one of the surest paths to success, just as quitting is one of the surest paths to permanent defeat. Winners look for any reason to advance and in doing so bring themselves ever closer to glory.


An excerpt from the ethos of one of the world's preeminent special forces teams, the U.S. Navy SEALs, embodies the principle of persistence: "If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight." On the battlefield -- where the stakes are highest -- well-constructed plans are carried out by people obsessed with mission success who refuse to give in, no matter what circumstances arise.



The starting point of all achievement is desire, but it is the intensity of desire that determines persistence. An honest self-audit will show your level of persistence, and any shortfalls must be overcome by stoking the flame of desire; every principle and anecdote in my book offers both clues and tangible strategies on how to do this. Pay close attention to your physical and mental health, too. If you are not feeling a sense of achievement at the end of each day, perhaps you need healthier food, better sleep, more exercise, better use of your time, more positive friends or to eliminate distractions that chip away at your energy. There are no valid excuses for permanent defeat.


Spanx founder Sara Blakely once drove to North Carolina to find a manufacturer for her unique shapewear garment. The 29-year-old visited numerous hosiery mills to explain her idea and see if they could help make it, but she was continually turned away. Blakely persisted, spending the rest of the week meeting with as many manufacturers as she could. The mission appeared to be a failure, and she returned home to come up with a different plan to make her dream a reality. Two weeks later, one of the mill owners phoned to say he had shown the concept to his three daughters who had raved about it. A single idea, backed with persistence, made Blakely the youngest self-made female billionaire in the world.


Remember, poverty consciousness will voluntarily seize the mind that is not occupied with wealth consciousness. Champions in any industry know this and give themselves the best opportunity to win. They persist, even if temporary failure requires plans to be recalibrated -- they do not quit. Through this principle, temporary failure is forged into long-term victory.



Auto-suggestion: The medium for influencing the subconscious mind

Once you understand and can apply the power of the mind, you wield a truly infinite force. You can bend the rules of the game to your advantage, not only controlling the present, but the future and the past, too. Since the subconscious mind is not inspired by indifference, it stands to reason that any success we want in our lives must be packed as a burning desire delivered through the emotion of faith to our subconscious. Auto-suggestion is the agent between the conscious and the subconscious, which can be manipulated through the right stimulus.


All humans have control over what reaches our minds. We experience life through five senses, generating thoughts in our consciousness, which we can then reject or accept to enter into our subconscious. But, the great majority of people do not exercise this control, going through life without any filter over what enters the mind -- the most sacred of possessions. However, the few who do, experience prosperity beyond the wildest imagination.


Visualizing the object of your desires -- whether that's a full bank account, a successful business or a loving marriage -- is not enough. Clearly state what you want, see it already in your possession, feel every associated emotion and outline what you are willing to do -- the price you are willing to pay -- in exchange for its attainment. At least twice daily, confidently read the written statement of your desire out loud.


A challenging lesson for today's generations, who live in an increasingly fast-paced world, is learning and appreciating that there is no such thing as something for nothing. Success appears only to those who have paid the price, in advance and in full.


Through the process of auto-suggestion, you must convince your subconscious that it's a simple choice: win or perish. Demand success, expect it and let the universe show you the way forward.





Copyright © 2018 Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved.

This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been done by the editors

Latest Articles

Kris Aquino Namedrops Products in Her Recent Rants: Is This Good or Bad for the Brands?

A public relations expert weighs in on how the surprise mentions will impact brands

byElyssa Christine Lopez | April 23, 2018 20:00:00

AirAsia’s PH Unit Eyes 30% Capacity Expansion to Serve ASEAN’s ‘Digital Nomads’

The low-cost airline is preparing for an IPO by end of the year

byLorenzo Kyle Subido | April 23, 2018 10:00:00

Looking for Office Space? Here's a Field Guide to Serviced Offices and Coworking Spaces in BGC, Makati and Ortigas

These coworking spaces and serviced offices have caught the attention of global corporations

byLorenzo Kyle Subido | April 23, 2018 09:00:00

6 Reasons Goal Setting Is a Complete Waste of Time for New Entrepreneurs

Contrary to what you've always been told, goal setting isn't all that important for new...

byLucas Miller | April 23, 2018 06:00:00

Ask the Relationship Expert: 'How Do I Reconnect With My Partner When We're Both So Busy?'

A relationship between two entrepreneurs doesn't leave much time for togetherness

byMarla N. Mattenson | April 23, 2018 02:00:00

This Pinay Started Her Own Clothing Business With Php50,000

Samantha Dizon is the woman behind Candid Clothing

byMixi Ignacio for | April 23, 2018 00:00:00

4 Common Misconceptions About Cloud Computing and Small Businesses in PH

SMEs need cloud services as much as other businesses do, says Amazon Web Services

byPauline Macaraeg | April 22, 2018 09:00:00

4 Ways to Inspire Your Team Every Single Day

Being inspired at the beginning or end of something is easy. Staying inspired is the true challenge

byDavid Meltzer | April 22, 2018 06:00:00

Here's the Secret to Really, Really Enjoying Your Summer Vacation

Follow these three tips and your time away will be easy-breezy and actually relaxing

bySyed Balkhi | April 22, 2018 02:00:00

Why Elon Musk Hates Meetings

He called them a 'blight' on effective company operations

byNina Zipkin | April 22, 2018 00:00:00

We Can Soon Drive From Luzon to Mindanao With Gov’t Plan to Build 8 Bridges Linking Major Islands

Duterte administration to spend Php269 billion for the project, says DOF

byPauline Macaraeg | April 21, 2018 09:00:00

How to Deal With Negative People Who Just Aren't Going Away

Real life includes people who scorn your optimism because they don't have dreams of their own

byDeep Patel | April 21, 2018 06:00:00