The Ultimate Success Formula

Recently, I posted about the necessary capability for facing and overcoming personal failure that every champion must acquire and it started me thinking about what I believe to be the ultimate formula for success. As any fan of the UK television program Match of the Day will know, it used to be the mantra of football pundit Alan Hansen. You need, he would say, over and over, to have ‘the desire, the belief and the ability’.

When I think about having the necessary desire for success, I am reminded of the auditions for another TV program, the X Factor (American Idol). Simon Cowell would repeatedly tell the people who managed to make it to the live shows that they needed to ‘want it’ and that would often be reflected in their appeal to camera when asked why the public should vote for them. They would often say that they ‘really want it’.

But desire, whilst absolutely essential, is simply not enough. Just thinking about the early auditions of the above shows should be enough to understand this. We see people who just don’t know the truth and who remain entirely convinced they are going to make it despite being told, often quite bluntly, that they simply cannot sing. They say they are going to prove people wrong and they leave thinking that their desire to succeed is going to get them there. The sad thing is that very often, they don’t understand their own inner desires well enough.

Having the desire to succeed is one thing; the desire to sing is an entirely different motivation. We all have the desire to succeed but we don’t all have the desire to sing and this is a real key to understanding where you should be focusing your effort. Many of those wanabees have not identified their own inner desires. They, understandably, see the opportunity for fame as a shortcut to the success they really desire and that is where the subject of desire, in relation to success, is so frequently misunderstood.

Just as having the necessary desire to succeed is an important factor in achievement, so too is having the belief. You can want to succeed all you like, but unless you actually believe you can do it, you are very unlikely to be able to call forth the necessary effort to get there.

It may be tempting to think that without belief you won’t succeed, but that’s not strictly true. Sometimes people do win when they don’t expect to do so – you can think of Kelly Holmes’ eyes almost popping out of her head when she won the 800 metres Olympic gold medal in Athens as a good example. But belief in the possibility of winning, I would say, is indeed a prerequisite for success.

That just leaves ability – so easy to say, but this is where the rubber meets the road. Without the necessary ability, you are truly scuppered. You simply must have all three things. However, provided you have the necessary desire and the belief in yourself, you at least do have what it takes to selflessly commit yourself to the often gruelling training and personal development that is required to become a champion.

The fact is that you can acquire the ability or skills you need and you can change your beliefs about what is possible for you (affirmations are a good way). The question of desire – for me – is a very interesting one because I don’t personally think you can acquire desire – you either have it or you don’t; you either want something or you don’t. That’s why understanding your own inner desires – the deepest desire of your heart – is so fundamental to achieving success.

Deep within you, there is a desire. You may not yet know what it is – and that’s ok – but it is there and identifying that desire is the starting place for your own success in life. The most important thing you can do in life is to identify your heart’s desire and then have the courage to go for it; to develop your talents and beliefs so you become the person you need to be to achieve the outstanding success you are capable of achieving.

You can read more about achieving your heart’s desire here.

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