[Image Source: Paxon Woelber]
If you could unlock the secret to what enables people to succeed no matter what, you’d be in high demand. You can probably easily think of a person who had all the talent in the world but amounted to nothing. I bet you can also think of someone who you never doubted would achieve great things, despite possibly, never standing out from the crowd. It didn’t matter what this person did, you knew they were going to excel at whatever they set their sights on. After working with and studying these people, I attribute their success to these traits.
When I think about people who I believed would succeed no matter what, one boy comes to mind. I taught him in middle school and observed his progress through high school and during his time at the Northern Territory Institute of Sport (NTIS). When I asked my colleagues at the NTIS about the topic of this blog, they immediately referred to the same person. His name is Tom O’Neill-Thorne. Tom is a wheelchair basketball athlete and a vital cog in the national mens team known as the ‘Rollers’. He became the first ever Roller to compete at a World Championships in 2014 and won a gold medal at that event. Tom is someone you always knew would excel in life, in one way or another.
When people talk about Tom, they talk about his unwavering commitment to excellence. If you were picking a team, Tom would be your first pick. He is athletically capable, intellectually competent, socially intelligent, mentally strong and emotionally adept. He would succeed at anything he did. Most importantly however, he would give his absolute best effort, include others, and do it all with a smile on his face.
Tom is certainly a unique individual; however, his success traits are common across all people who achieve high levels of success. These traits are:
Probably the most important component of long-term success is coachability. Just ask any coach. The people who engage a coach - whether that’s a strength coach, skills coach, business coach, marketing coach or any coach for that matter - achieve higher levels of success much sooner.
- Committed to the cause in spite of any distraction
Arguably the second most important component of long-term success is commitment. Some coaches refer to sacrifice. I had an athletics coach who told us that sacrifice doesn’t exist when the outcome is worth working hard for. This mind-shift was life changing for me and I’ve carried that into other parts of my life. No longer did I feel like I was missing out when I had to prioritise a training session, or an assignment, over going out with my friends.
People who achieve high levels of long-lasting success are often intellectually competent. They possess the intellectual capacity to think deeply and communicate well. They have a solid foundation in their reading, writing, listening and speaking skills, which they continually practice.
- Nurturing Environment
A nurturing environment is not essential for achieving success but it allows success to come much sooner and fosters longer-lasting success. People who don’t have a nurturing environment soon create their own nurturing environment to allow sustained success. Talent alone might be enough to taste success but a nurturing environment is essential to lasting success.
- Willing to put more time in than anyone else
The amount of times I’ve seen and heard stories of how people attribute their success to doing extra, just doesn’t surprise me anymore. The ones who achieve super-high levels of long-term success just do more than anyone else. They’re not silly about it though. They don’t sacrifice rest, sleep and recovery to do more. They actually prioritise those things. They are the extras in many circumstances. They work harder, take care of the one percenters, and most importantly, give their body the opportunity to recover.
- Good at what you do
There’s always an element of talent in any success. Everyone has a talent and although it’s not completely essential, finding your talent certainly helps foster success. Talents could be physical, as in sport, or in managing people, as in business. Help success actualise by finding your talent and pursuing that talent wholeheartedly.
Talent alone might allow you to achieve small amounts of success, even at high levels. However, long-term sustainable success requires that you commit yourself to a cause and put that cause before all other. People who achieve success no matter what, are coachable, intelligent and talented. They create high-performance environments and are highly coachable, which means they listen, learn and practice.
What are you striving for right now?
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