Secrets of Success

By: Ken Keis

Over the past year, I have had the privilege of interviewing several successful individuals from all walks of life. In this ezine, I will document and list the common characteristics, qualities, and beliefs these individuals embraced, so you can see how they compare to the ones you are using to guide your own life.

Not every successful individual embraced the following list, and those who did not seemed more uneasy or lacked peace about their lives. Even though some had been very successful in the business world, their personal lives were suffering.

I want to encourage each of you reading this, not to put others -- no matter how successful they appear to be -- on a pedestal. Yes, we should admire and acknowledge their achievements but that does not make them better than you or me.

Here’s why that is important: when I stopped doing the pedestal thing, I saw through their persona and more clearly observed them for the people they really are . . . individuals like you and me. We all face the same issues and challenges.

In future ezines, I will offer more in-depth information on many of these characteristics, but let me share with you what I have observed about the people I respect as successful.

Most of the points on the following list are simple common-sense items, but not always commonly practiced.

Here are the Top 10 Secrets of Success

1. Beliefs Clarification
They know exactly what they believe about the deepest things of life. This is not about values but what they believe to be true about the meaning of life. Why are we (human beings) here? For what purpose? Is there really truth? How can I discern what is true and what is false? This is foundational and without it, individuals will just wander in life or feel incomplete.

2. Spiritual Values
Almost without exception, the most successful people acknowledge that life is equally as spiritual in design as it is physical. Many defer their success to this single value -- their spiritual foundations and belief system. And those who are most grounded in their spiritual values also appear to be the most at peace with themselves and others. They are not anxious or troubled by life’s challenges.

3. Purpose
We are all born with gifts, interests, and talents. This group is totally clear about the answers in these four areas: their personal purpose in life, why they specifically were created, what energizes them, and what motivates them. These are all internal factors. The individuals’ clarity of purpose fuels their passion for whatever they feel called to do. They never think of their work as a career, job, or business but rather, as a calling -- one that cannot be avoided, denied, or changed.

4. Open and Authentic
The most successful have no airs about them. They are as open about their struggles as they are about their successes; they want to share to help others. Being plastic, fake, or closed has nothing to do with success.

5. Focus and Persistence
These successful individuals know that success requires focus and persistence. We've all known people who have the plan-of-the-week or even of the day. Long-term success is linked to the metaphor of training to be a marathon runner and knowing the race is not a sprint. They commit to a project for as long as it takes. They are not quitters. Recent research conducted on the most successful organizations confirms that statement.

6. Integrity
This value had to be listed separately because most are not only disappointed in the integrity seen in today’s news, they are disgusted by it. They want everybody to know the good guy does not finish last. If there is one value upheld to an obsession level, it is integrity. Why? They know that true long-term success is built on integrity, not the substance seen on the news or TV shows.

7. Vision and Goals for the Future
Not only do they know what they stand for, they know where they are going -- in detail. And everybody supporting or surrounding them shares in the vision, as well. They do not keep their vision to themselves.

8. Making a Difference
They understand the concept of creating a legacy and making a difference; for them that concept is a significant driving force. They know and believe that their contribution will help others and humanity. This, more than money or success in itself, is important to these individuals.

9. Responsibility for Their Condition and Success
Success and failure is a result, not a condition. Successful individuals take responsibility for their condition. They have little respect or patience for those who blame others or who want handouts to fix their condition. In fact, they believe that by blaming others, you increase the problem. Blaming becomes a method for seeking resolution in the future rather than looking at yourself now.

(Note: They acknowledged there are some situations around the world where slavery and dictatorships make it more difficult to break free from oppression.)

10. Tithing
In spite of what society might suggest, these individuals not only love to give, they are humbled and inspired by the ability to do so. This links back to the quality of wanting to make a difference. Oddly enough, their success is linked to their desire to give, not to earn. One individual stated in a recent interview that he wanted to be so successful, that he could live on 10% and give 90%. These are the stories that don’t make the headlines.

By the way, giving at least 10% is a natural law not to be debated. The most successful people stated that one reason why some will not achieve significant success is they do not give 10%, and until they do most won’t break into the true success track.

This Week’s Action Steps

1. Simply review each of the 10 Secrets of Success list. Compare how you are doing with each item.
2. List each of the top 10 items; leave space to make your comments.
3. Determine if you are following each of the 10 secrets.
4. If yes, note on your list what you are doing to fulfill this item.
5. If you are not following the secrets, identify what you have to change. For some, it will take work; for others, it is simply a choice you have to make, such as conducting yourself with integrity.
6. Keep the top 10 list close by; review it and confirm that you are constantly moving toward operating with all 10 secrets positively in play.
7. Finally, if you want to dispute any of the secrets, you may, but I suggest you do that after you have first reached a significant level of success. Then at least you will know that this list works.

Until next time keep Living on Purpose,

Ken Keis

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Ken Keis is an internationally known author, speaker, consultant, & President of CRG. Many professionals herald CRG as the # 1 global resource center for Personal/Professional Development. For information on CRG Resources, please visit

For information on Ken’s Training and Speaking Programs, please visit

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