A pinch of this, a dash of that, the 5 ingredients of success

Five key ingredients to success and how some of the best minds in our history have described themselves

Lofty goals

Earning a million dollars. Going to college. Building a spaceship. The loftiness of a goal is purely relative, find a goal that seems on the verge of impossible when you first set it and resign yourself to achieving it. Life goals are a personal affair and only you can truly determine what is a challenging goal. Simply remember that if you aren’t scared when you set the goal, you haven’t dreamed big enough.

1. “What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail?” Robert Schuller

2. “If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success.” James Cameron

3. “If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less-than-excellent work.” Thomas J. Watson

4. “You have to think anyway, so why not think big?” Donald Trump

5. “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” Norman Vincent Peale

Focus on things you care about; do not chase success

A life spent in the pursuit of passion, regardless of international acclaim or external regard for success, is one well lived. Your definition of success is different from your colleague, your mother, and your friend; therefore do not measure yourself by a ruler that is meaningless to the most important person, you.

1. “Our greatest fear should not be of failure … but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” Francis Chan

2. “Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” Henry David Thoreau

3. “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” Walt Disney

4. “Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” Nathaniel Hawthorne

5. “Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion.” Tony Hsieh

Persistence pays

Adversity strikes us all, often at the most inopportune times, but if achieving happiness and success were easy everyone would have done it. Know that you will hit walls, be sidetracked, and have uncontrollable events derail your dream. If you begin the journey expecting these challenges, they will be less jarring when they happen and you better prepared to overcome them.

1. “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” Margaret Thatcher

2. “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important than any other one thing.” Abraham Lincoln

3. “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Thomas A. Edison

4. “Success is just a war of attrition. Sure, there’s an element of talent you should probably possess. But if you just stick around long enough, eventually something is going to happen.” Dax Shepard

5. “Entrepreneurs average 3.8 failures before final success. What sets the successful ones apart is their amazing persistence.” Lisa M. Amos

Embrace change and failures

What separates Silicon Valley from most of the world? Failure, which is branded in disdain amongst so many around the world, is the mark of a doer, a builder, and an entrepreneur. Survival is easily achieved in most places around the world in today’s day and age, but for some, mere survival isn’t enough. If you want achieve something, know that failure is a probability and wear it like a merit badge signaling that you have learned something.

1. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas Edison

2. “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill

3. “You may only succeed if you desire succeeding; you may only fail if you do not mind failing.” Philippos

4. “Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really: Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, so go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.” Thomas J. Watson

5. “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Charles Darwin

Be focused

The sun’s rays dispersed widely bring about a gentle warmth that is essential to life, however if you focus their strength with a magnifying glass you get a beam powerful enough to set the world ablaze. Without purpose you can have a generally positive impact in many places, however you will not set the world on fire. Direct your energy into a singular beam and ignite your dreams.

1. “Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life-think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.” Swami Vivekananda

2. “Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.” George Bernard Shaw

3. “What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” Oscar Wilde

4. “That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” Steve Jobs

5. “The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” Bruce Lee