Prioritize and Persevere – The 8 traits of successful people

Prioritize and Persevere – this has been my personal motto since I finished my degree.

It came to me instinctively, based on the many bad experiences I had from going into too many things. I wrote it down and I have been repeating it to myself every single day for over two months. Together with “I’d rather live one day like a lion, then spend 100 years as a sheep”. This is practically that extra little kick of craziness I needed to maintain myself on the road of entrepreneurship (and struggle).

And while taking a break from work to learn something useful, my mind remembered of a great TED talk entitled “The 8 traits of successful people”, which was based on scientific research conducted by Richard St. John. He was crazy enough to interview 500 people that have achieved success in their particular fields, and then analyzed the common things that made them successful. After 10 years of research + 1.000s of success stories from other sources, he defined success criteria in any field as follows:

  1. Passion
  2. Work
  3. Focus
  4. Push
  5. Ideas
  6. Improve
  7. Serve
  8. Persist

Having seen them again in the light of my new motto and entrepreneurial direction, they seemed that somehow they all fall under beautifully.

Passion falls under “prioritize” – to some extent. It is basically a decision to prioritize your passion over money, over safety, over acceptance, over status and reputation – even though that might not end up great. I decided to become an entrepreneur and not get a “corporate job”. I knew this is what I like and what will make me happy. Being in the trenches and pushing thorough the mud and the hardships is what gives me the joy of living. That’s why I have to repeat it to myself every day: “Prioritize and Persevere!”

Work falls under “prioritize” – I knew I can get lazy easily having so much freedom, so I decided to prioritize work to the detriment of entertainment most of the time. It is the only way to make my vision come true and I knew that most people are not willing to work more than 40 hours per week, but that if I work 80 I will be able to achieve in 6 months what they would achieve in a year. That’s why I have to repeat it to myself every day: “Prioritize and Persevere!”

Focus falls under “prioritize” – 100%. Focusing on 1-2 things enables you to reach a depth of detail that most people will not. While they’ll be scratching the surface, you will be making the right decisions and moves based on the information that those details provide. And focus is so easy to loose today when the internet is full of shiny things and opportunities. That’s why I have to repeat it to myself every day: “Prioritize and Persevere!”

Push falls under “persevere” – to a large extent. People don’t always want to cooperate, the circumstances are not always favoring your goals, the software crashes and you loose all your work – and so on. Then you just have to push the people, influence the circumstances and redo your work. People get lost even on their way to the supermarket, and even more so when pursuing a worthy long-term goal. That’s why I have to repeat it to myself every day: “Prioritize and Persevere!”

Ideas falls under “prioritize” – to some extent. Of course ideas require creativity but, from my experience problems don’t usually lie with the ideas. Most people get great ideas if they give themselves the time to listen to their thoughts and spend some time reflecting over their situation. The big problem is having the power to prioritize our best ideas and execute them with grit and determination. That’s why I have to repeat it to myself every day: “Prioritize and Persevere!”

Improve falls under “persevere” – to a large extent. The person that does not follow the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen (continuous improvement) is a person that will find themselves lagging behind very quickly. I’m obsessed with the theme of change and the even though we heard so often that the world is changing rapidly we actually fail to truly realize the impact of these changes on our lives. We hop on the new trend and use social media, that new “Instagram Stories”, “WhatsApp status” or “My day on Facebook”… good job. Meanwhile changes occur in the way our governments are working, the way we shop and eat, the way we speak to each other, the way we travel, the way we think, and how we are all collectively pushed by the society and media in one globalized direction. That’s why improving yourself mentally through sources that don’t come from the media is so important, like reading a good book before going to sleep. However, you can also using these trends and innovative tools to become better in your field. You can outsmart established corporations “out of a garage” if you do your homework well – you can “Steve-Job-em”, how I like to say. That’s why I have to repeat it to myself every day: “Prioritize and Persevere!”

Serve falls under “prioritize” – to some extent. We have to remind ourselves constantly that nobody really cares about us, about our ambitions (except for brief windows of time), and that if we want to succeed in this world we have to prioritize serving others, rather than following our nature that is pushing us into serving our selfish needs. And when we mentally get to that level where serving others becomes the obvious way to live, then we will find so much joy in our lives and our work. Serving others is probably one of the most difficult things to do, because you have to learn how to do it for a profit too. But it takes a lot of time for most to internalize that process and consider it natural. That’s why I have to repeat it to myself every day: “Prioritize and Persevere!”

Persist falls under “persevere” – 100%. The point is that the first part of the “equation” (i.e. the priorities) might change, but you are always on the path of perseverance. It might be this project, this job, this field of work over the other, but you have to charge forward with the spear in the hand. Because it’s the only way to eventually push through. If there is one character trait that I am happy I have other than any other one, that would have to be persistence. That’s why I have to repeat it to myself every day: “Prioritize and Persevere!”


Thanks for reading this far, and thanks for sticking through with me on this road while I “Prioritize and persevere!”

What about you? Could you use this mantra in your life? Let’s start an interesting chat in the comments below! 🙂

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