The 8 Secrets Of Success

Author, entrepreneur, athlete, and millionaire Richard St. John gave a very short three-minute TED talk about his list of eight traits that lead to success, which he gathered by interviewing 500 successful TED attendees over seven years:

  1. Passion: do it for the love, not for the money. Do something for which you’d pay someone to let you do it.
  2. Work: anything that’s going to make you successful is going to be a lot of hard work. Which is why you need the passion: it makes the hard work fun.
  3. Good: you have to be really good at what you do. This takes a lot of hard work, which requires passion. To be good, all you have to do is practice a lot — 10,000 hours, according to Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers
  4. Focus: if you’re doing three things at once, you’ll be mediocre at all of them. Focus your energy on one thing, so that you’ll be amazing at it.
  5. Push: there are always going to be obstacles; your own psyche (self-doubt, shyness), external factors, barriers. You have to push through them all. Sometimes you need others to push you.
  6. Serve: you can’t give yourself millions of dollars — others have to give them to you. And for that, you need to create something of value and serve it to them. In return, you’ll get rich.
  7. Ideas: come up with a great one. It’s not hard: listen, observe, be curious, ask questions, problem solve and make connections.
  8. Persist: through failure, through CRAP (criticism, resistance, assholes and pressure)

So, pick a field you have a lot of passion for, work hard to get good in it, come up with a great idea, focus on it, persist and push through all the obstacles, and then serve it to people. Ultimately, it’s not the idea that makes you successful, it’s the execution. Ideas are a dime a dozen.

See also:


From TED, via Lifehacker

Comments are closed.