The Keys to Success

We all know there must be some “magic” formula to success, but what is it? It seems to be a culmination of so many different things that make different people successful; so what things unite them?

I think how to be successful isn’t to follow one successful person’s path and use their mindset as a template for your own. I believe it is looking at a wide range of these successful people, looking at what they (and especially others) say made them successful and boiling down their successes and paths to form a formula for yourself that aligns with your goals, that aligns with what you feel will help you achieve your goals.

Keep in mind to know, before you start down this road, what your goal is and to believe in it whole heartedly.

Without knowing what your goal is before you set off on this journey is not knowing in your heart what you feel you are meant to do in life; be it helping people, making things with your hands, designing, writing code, mountain climbing, being a spouse/partner, or being a parent.


I know that for myself, while growing up, I wanted to be married and to be a parent. I saw my family and said “that’s a pretty good, but tough, gig. I want to do that.”

And the road has been rocky, at times, and I have failed and let my wonderful wife down before (I am sure she could point out a couple of hum-dingers if you asked her nicely), but those are two of the best gigs around – for me.

I saw how my parents parented, heard how my grand-parents parented, and if you ask (and sometimes whether you do or don’t doesn’t matter) people will tell you how they parented.

I didn’t line up with any one of their goal sets completely, nor did I follow directly in their paths. I have, along with my wonderful wife, navigated a shared set of goals as parents, and as spouses.

Am I successful at it? Well… I have been married for over 10 years (because my wife is forgiving of my faults) and we have 3 wonderful children. I think that qualifies as success when you compare to the averages for married couples these days. And in terms of success at parenting… well we haven’t hit the teenage years yet with any of the three so the jury is still out, but they are happy, healthy, and I believe really well adjusted. So, yes I am successful so far, but I still have other goals and other paths to follow.


These are the real big decisions in life that will ensure happiness & success. By knowing what your goal is you enable yourself to measure your progress towards your goal.

Without knowing what your goal is you have no way to see the next step in pursuing it, you have no way to measure your progress, and you run the risk of just accepting the goals given to you by society/parents/teachers/bosses/or parents.

I think once you know what your goal is you will be able to research how other successful people have made it there.

Take parents for example (as a good number of us have them). They raise us and teach us and help us to become the people we are. We look to them on how to raise ourselves once we leave their care, and our children. We do this by following in their path (if we approve of the way they did things) or we veer off their path (if we did not approve of/respect their path).

We make a conscious choice to follow or not follow because we know who we want to be in that case. They keys to success lie in doing the same with goals and success.

A person who doesn’t know where they are going lacks direction, lacks drive, lacks inspiration; unless that is their goal.

Hey, there are a lot of personalities out there who just want to go and experience, and many of us see that as not having a goal, but if that is their goal then they have succeeded. That is not a path for those who dislike change, dislike being outside their comfort zone, or for those who are extremely regimented.


“You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.”

E.O Wilson, American Scientist

Born June 10, 1929


Whatever you discover your goals and your paths to be just remember to stay true to your goals and your path. The examples of others are only that, examples. Don’t be a carbon copy person. Be yourself and experience achieving your goals on your path. We need your opinions, your different way of thinking, your creativity, or your organization. Variety is the spice of life and what makes cultures great.

Like what you read? Give Matthew Milne a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.