Success. Most people want it and have even experienced a measure of it.
But how to achieve success seems to be the troubling question. What most of us don't realize is that we already know the keys to success, we just don't know that we know.
Here's what I mean. Think of an area of your life in which you have had success and/or something that you are really good at. I'm willing to bet that in this area of success/skill, you have used the five P's of success: Preparation-Patience-Persistence-Practice-Passion. Read on and see if any of these look familiar to you.
Preparation - Even if you are just naturally skilled at something, preparation is still a requirement for consistent, long-term success. Sometimes it's education, sometimes it's a written plan, sometimes it's mental preparation, sometimes it's all three. Louis Pasteur said "chance favors the prepared mind." I have found that when your mind is prepared, you notice things that you might not otherwise notice.
At the risk of overloading you with the letter P, here's a powerful quote from FSU football coach Bobby Bowden
"Preparation prevents poor performance."
Patience - "God give me patience, and give it to me NOW!" Sometimes I wish it worked that way. Being patient can be tough, especially in our instant gratification culture. Sometimes we fail simply because we were not patient enough. When the opportunity to be successful comes along, we are already long gone. Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi had to wait until late in his life to get his shot at a head coaching job. He then led the Green Bay Packers to victory in the first two Super Bowls. When your opportunity comes, you need to know two things: exactly what you want to do, and exactly how to do it.
Persistence - "In the battle between the rock and the river, the river always wins. Not because the river is stronger or bigger than the rock, but because the river is persistent." Closely related to patience, persistence will get you through the lean years and the hard times. Being able to stick with it is a strong sign of emotional maturity.
Practice - Practice, practice, practice. In this age of entitlement, too many times we believe we deserve success just by showing up. Wrong. The way you get good at something is by doing it over and over and over again until it becomes a part of you. Basketball great Michael Jordan shot hundreds of jump shots each and every day in practice. That's why he was able to make the shot in so many clutch moments, including the last shot of his career that won the 1998 NBA Championship. At the end of an incredible performance, a member of the audience said to a famous violinist, "I'd give my life to play like you." The violinist replied "I did." Practice, practice, practice."
Passion - I am constantly amazed by the power of passion. When you have passion for something, it gets you up early and keeps you up late. You live, eat and breathe it. Hard things become easy, obstacles are simply challenges, and there is no need for excuses.