The Success System

The Success System

Have you ever considered success as a working system? Personal achievement gurus have said so many things about success and how it can be achieved. However I have sat down and meditated upon so many of the claims regarding the keys to success and found them to be partially true, mere exaggeration and in
 some cases false conclusion.

Check these claims out:

Endurance is the key to success.
Determination is the key to success.
Patience is the key to success.
Prayer is the key to success.
My people perish (fail to succeed) for lack of knowledge.
There is no such thing as luck. Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.
Success is a matter of time and chance.

I only listed these few claims as examples of so many claims out there regarding the keys to success. My aim of writing this post is not to disprove these claims , but to help you view the concept of success in a holistic way because to an extent each of the claims are true, but when considered looking at the big picture of success then each claim is nothing but a mere exaggeration or false conclusion.

Napoleon Hill the author of Think and Grow Rich defined success as “the progressive realization of a worthwhile goal.” Other words that are synonymous to success are achievement, accomplishment, attainment, big hit, prosperity, triumph, reward and so on

There are many definitions of a system but for the purpose of this article I have decided to adopt that of business dictionary. According to business dictionary, “a system is an organized, purposeful structure that consists of interrelated and interdependent elements (components, entities, factors, members, parts etc). These elements continually influence one another (directly or indirectly) to maintain their activity and the existence of the system, in order to achieve the goal of the system.”

Success is a system. For success to be possible in any area of our lives, certain factors must work together to make it possible. None of the various success factors can make success possible on their own without the cooperation of other factors. In a system, no part or element is superior to another. This is because the failure of one part or the elimination of one part will lead to a breakdown of the entire system.

For instance, the body is a system which depends on the effectiveness of sub-systems, organs and cells within the body to function effectively. The failure of any of the sub-systems or body parts can lead to a total breakdown of the whole body.

I will also liken success to a pot of soup. A pot of soup is a system. Each of the ingredients that are combined to make the soup plays a unique role in making the soup a soup. The removal of any ingredient will definitely alter the taste, appearance or the aroma of the soup. Above all none of the ingredients can be called a soup on their own.

This also applies to success as a system, no part or variable is superior to another. Vision is as important as knowledge, action, patience, persistence and every other factor that constitute the success system. You must accurately combine the various success factors in the right proportion if you must achieve your desired goal. Your disobedience to any of the laws that constitute the success system may lead to failure or extend the time and quality of your desired success.

The Key Success Factors

For one to achieve success in life certain factors are indispensable. However it is important to know that none of these factors can guarantee success on their own. Each factor depends on one another to make success possible. Research has shown that the factors discussed below are critical and indispensable for success to be achieved. The factors include:

1.                  Desire/Ambition/Dream: These words are used synonymously when talking about the foundation of all achievements. Everything we can see in the world today began from the thought of somebody. Even the whole universe was first conceived in the mind of God before it manifested in the physical form. For you to become or have anything, you must first conceive the idea in your mind. Your mental idea of what you want to achieve is the blueprint of success. If you are not satisfied with your current lot in life, you have the responsibility to desire what you want exactly and go after it. This factor is indispensable.

2.                  Knowledge/Information: it is not enough to know where you are going, you must know how to get there. Knowledge constitutes the information you have about how to achieve your dream, desire or ambition. Having a dream without the knowledge of how to make it come true is useless. The statement “readers are leaders” better explains the role of knowledge in the attainment of success in life. Studying and mentoring serve as a guide or source of information to help the success seeker move from where he is to where he wants to be. Many people failed in life because of lack of knowledge.

3.                  Courage: Courage is the ideal mindset needed to succeed in life. Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines courage as “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere and withstand danger, fear or difficulty.” Successful men and women in history have been observed to possess this quality called courage. Success is not the birthright of anyone neither is failure, but the courage to try, and try until one becomes successful is what makes the difference. You may have a dream, and even have the knowledge of how to make it come true, but if you lack courage, you will never take action, and by not taking action how is your dream going to come true?

4.                  Action/Execution: After conceiving the idea of what you want, making plans and breaking down your dream into workable goals, the next factor of success that should come in is action. Dream, and Knowledge, planning and setting goals are useless without action. For your dream to become a reality, you must take action. Many people failed in maximizing their full potential in life because of their inability to take action. Nothing can take the place of action in the success system. It is a very vital factor of success. 

Also read: Stop Dreaming Start Doing

5.                  Persistence/Determination: These two words mean the same thing in the success system, so they are often used interchangeably. Persistence is a component of action. It is not enough to take action for a while and give up due to lack of results or obstacles on your path; you must persist until you succeed. You must not give up on taking action regarding the realization of your goal until it becomes a reality. If you applied every other member of the success system and fail in the area of persistence, you will possibly fail. Some goals can never be achieved easily, they require persistence and determination. Nothing can take the place of persistence. Calvin Coolidge, a former president of the United State of America  said ‘’nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talents will not, nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talents, Genius will not do, unrewarded Genius is almost a proverb. Educations will not, the world is full of education derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent.” The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problem of the human race.”

6.                  Wisdom/ Insight:  The success system is not complete without wisdom. According to Cambridge Dictionary, wisdom is defined as “the ability to use your knowledge and experience to make good decisions and judgments.” In life decisions determine destiny. Failure is often as a result of making poor decisions, while success comes as result of quality and wise decisions. Wisdom cannot be acquired, it is inborn. You can gain knowledge, but not wisdom. For example two persons can know the recipe of a particular meal. If you offer them the same amount of ingredient to prepare the meal using the same recipe. It is a fact that the meal prepared by the two will never taste the same. One will definitely taste better than the other. The difference in the outcome of their meal is as a result of how they apply the ingredients given to them. Though they both know the recipe, the decision of how to apply the recipe to get a perfect result comes from within. However your wisdom capacity can be enhanced via the acquisition of knowledge. By devoting yourself to a lifelong learning from books, your own experiences and evaluated experiences, your ability to rightly apply knowledge will increase. Without wisdom you will not be able to rightly apply the rest members of the success system, and such incompetence can earn you failure in life.

7.                  Timing: In the success system, the role of timing can never be overemphasized. Action when taken at certain time tend to yield tremendous result, the corollary is also true.

8.                  Luck: At a time while I was growing in my understanding of how success works, I never believe in the concept of luck, but over time I have come to realize that luck is part of the success system. Every success is made possible as result of some luck. If all the elements of success are applied without the manifestation of luck, success will never be possible. Luck is defined as “the force that seems to operate for good or ill in a person’s life, as in shaping circumstances, events, or opportunities.” Two persons may start a project with the same amount of resources and effort, and one of them may end up successful and the other fails. Most often this kind of outcome is often as a result of luck. A practical example of this scenario is a student who studied very hard in preparation for a major examination. By his level preparation it is certain that he would definitely come out in flying colours, but on the day of the exam, he suddenly became ill and was unable to sit for the exam. In this case we can say he had a bad luck. Though you cannot influence luck but you can improve your chances of good luck by taking care of the other members of the success system. A person who is hard working and prepared for opportunity has the likelihood of having a good luck than his fellowman who folds his hands and expects miracles to happen. Concepts such miracle, grace, angelic visit come under luck in the success system.

In conclusion, within the success system are other elements such as faith, prayer, focus, being open minded, flexibility, emotional intelligence, patience and so on. However it is important to note that many of these factors come under the ones discussed above. For example, faith can be grouped under courage, while prayer, flexibility, patience and emotional intelligence are grouped under action. Timing and luck is not within the control of man, but I believe wisdom and hard work have the capacity to increase your chances of taking timely decisions and having a good luck. I hope to write a comprehensive book on his topic in the future which will provide detail information on the success system and inspire you to succeed. Always have it in mind that none of these factors can guarantee success on their own. They must be rightly combined to make success happen.

I will be glad to hear from you via the comment section. 


  1. What a nice list of success ingredients you have mentioned here my taiwo, I want to emphasize more that this success system work just hand in hand just as you have stated in the article one without another is installmental failure, but on the contrary maybe in your book on this I may agree with you on luck, though in life luck is very viable but I think in business luck only shows up few times.


  2. Mr Ben thanks for your contribution. As for luck, it is not something within our control, but if we take care of every other factors, then we can increase our chances of being lucky. It has been said that "luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."