Most of us want to be successful. Below is my take on the qualities that are needed to increase your chances of success.
The most important thing is for you to define what success looks like for you. This is the most critical step, I believe. If you do not specify what success is, how it looks. You will not know how to get there or what will get you there.
I am confident, making billions of dollars was never the success criteria for Bill Gates. It just so happened, while pursuing his path towards success he defined for himself, he also managed to accumulate so many billions.
From my perspective, the four qualities which are essential are talent, effort, focus and luck. And first three of these are under your control; luck, unfortunately, is not. It is just a matter of chance. These are not equally weighted, but here in the pyramid I have represented in the order I believe they are essential from bottom to top.
I define talent as something which you are a natural. Someone likes numbers; some people make music, some people like to write. Talent is anything that comes naturally to you.
It is possible to have more than one talents. We call such gifted people polymath.
Talent in itself will not put you on a pedestal. Expertise backed by tremendous effort increase your chances of success.
You can call it practice or repetition or rehearsal. It is an effort at the end of the day. Labour of love if you find it fun. You need to hone your talent day in day out with the intent to improve on the existing template of talent.
There are people whose talent is effort alone. These people have taken something which they were not natural at, but because they put more efforts than the rest, they rose the heights previously not claimed.
Talent and effort need to be focused. You can not do everything!
“If you chase two rabbits, both will escape”
There are always exceptions to the rule, and this applies to the 99%. You got to have efforts focused on a small subset of things you want to master. In Steve Jobs way, you need to have a ‘laser sharp focus‘.
Do your best and forget the rest as they say. This is all that you can do. You could do all the three things and yet not deliver on your define success, and that is OK too. Life, after all, is unpredictable.
From my observations, doing the first three things, increase your likelihood to make the serendipity happen. It increases your chance to succeed.
Life is not binary; you are either a success or a failure. No! You tried, you gave it your best shot! That counts as well.