Question: when success is available to everyone, do so few succeed?
Question: when success is available to everyone, do so few succeed? To most leaders, teachers, and parents, this is one of the most challenging questions with which they can be confronted.
Many will tell you it is a rhetorical question – there is no answer. However, that is just not true. There is an answer. Albert E. N. Gray delivered it in a speech many years ago in Philadelphia. The speech was titled, The Common Denominator of Success.
He explained that success is something achieved by the minority of people, it is therefore unusual, and not to be achieved by following our usual likes and dislikes, nor by being guided by our natural preferences and prejudices. In other words, success cannot be achieved by doing what comes naturally. Gray said the common denominator of success is in forming the habit of doing things that failures don’t like to do. News flash: successful people form the habit of doing things failures don’t like to do.
Mr. Gray was asked why the successful people like doing the things that make them successful. He replied that the beautiful truth is, successful people don’t like doing these things, which is precisely why they have formed the habit of doing them. A habit is something you do without any serious thought given… you unconsciously do it.
Successful people are influenced by the desire for winning results. Failures are influenced by the desire for pleasing activities. They are inclined to be satisfied with the results that are obtained by doing things they like to do. Make a list of six activities you know will give you the success you seek. Commit to do these things religiously for thirty days and they will become habits.
As William James put it, you will wake up one fine day to find you are one of the competent ones of your generation.