Like most things in life, success does not always come easily. In fact, it’s often the culmination of hard work and intense dedication. But beyond that, what is at the root of the most successful individuals? Individuals who’ve amassed power or financial security or happiness. Few would chalk this up to luck or good timing. So let’s dial it back and explore the tenets of success. The first step to achieving your dream is studying the paths of those who’ve come before you. After that? You’ll be ready to follow and deviate from that course when necessary.

  1. A Desire to Grow
  2. A Commitment to Patience
  3. An Exploratory Mindset
  4. An Embrace of Failure
  5. A Willingness to Sacrifice

Before we dive into each one of these tenets, let me state that these foundational elements may differ from person to person. This is simply my observation from talking, working, and coaching individuals over the years.

A Desire to Grow

At the core of each successful leader is the desire to make something of their world and their life. This often means that they’ll be asked to transform themselves readily and often. I like to think that personal growth is addictive. Once you catch the bug, you’re unable to be satisfied with your regular life. Those who are experts in this area know that there’s no project too small to satisfy this requirement. Whether you’re looking to walk a mile each day or apply for a top leadership position in your company, the initial motivation to change your life for the better fuels your decision and mode of living.

A Commitment to Patience

Success rarely happens overnight. Think of patience as your magic superpower that will allow you to bide your time, develop new skills, and work even harder at achieving your dream. Patience also allows one to look beyond the micro moment of our lives and to stretch one’s vision to the future. What is the big picture, the long game? How does your everyday actions and goals reflect the larger goal at hand? Patience may be a virtue and it’s certainly a foundational element to success.

An Exploratory Mindset

When one explores, they question the standards of the day. They push at the boundaries that act as limits. They yearn to find new truths, better models, electric ideas that will transform the world. This mindset is fueled by a heavy dose of critical thinking. When one begins to question their models and their motives, amazing things tend to happen.

An Embrace of Failure

Only through failure are we able to receive the greatest gift of all: a vision of what went wrong last time so that we’ll be able to repeat the experiment with an added level of clarity. To shoot for the moon and aim to hit on your first time is unreasonable. But while you’re floating in the outworld ether, take a moment to explore your surroundings. Delve into what exactly went wrong. Then pick yourself up and try again.

A Willingness to Sacrifice

Nobody ever gets it right the first time. And hardly anybody gets everything right eventually. What does this mean for you? It means that while you may aim for success in one area of your life, that dedication and focus may come at the expense of another part of your life. Truly successful individuals understand this and accept it willingly. Your new promotion may mean less time with your family. Are you willing to sacrifice this time? Don’t be a waffler during the climax of the game. Ask yourself the hard questions from the beginning to truly discover your life’s work and mission. What success means for one person may spell absolute failure to another. Keep this in mind as your plan and follow the guide to your success!

What did I miss? What tenet of success do you hold close to your heart?

Lakisha Williams is a life coach, inspirational speaker, wife, and mother. You can catch her on Twitter or on the website she shares with her husband: