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5 Best Lessons I’ve Learned About Success

Success is weird.

When you don’t have it, you crave it. And, when you finally achieve it, you either crave more of it or none at all.

However, people belonging to the later are far and few between. But I’m quite sure that people who have tasted success would agree that it definitely changes you. You can become anything — from humble to arrogant, selfish or selfless, helpful or snooty.

Your version of success can be different from mine

That’s the ambiguity of success. I remember vividly when I had just graduated from college and stepped into the real world, I envisioned a successful life with a high-paying salary, fancy cars, and a sprawling bungalow. That’s what success looked to me then.

Back in my mind was a thought that was always growing like a palm tree — launching a software that makes work management a breeze. That’s how ProofHub came into being and it changed the standards of success for me.

I realized if much like others, I would have been chasing someone else’s version of success, my life would have been completely different. That’s when it struck me the importance of self-awareness and how important it is to define success on your terms.

Here are some of the lessons I learned about success and some that success made me learn:

  1. You have to get intentional about success

Do you know what’s the utmost prerequisite for success in any human endeavor?


That’s right. Success is intentional; it doesn’t happen by accident. You have to develop the right intentions that would automatically lead to right behavior to ensure what you want is backed up by the required action.

If you want to become a successful reader, read and write as much as you can. If you want to develop an application or a website, you’d have to dedicate some hours to it every day without fail. And, to become a successful athlete, immerse yourself in the grueling training sessions every day.

Think, Talk, Eat, Sleep, and Dream nothing but success.

As basic as it sounds, still people don’t get it right and not visualizing our dream becomes a stumbling block for most of us. Decide, visualize and take action — that’s the first step to be successful.

2. Say goodbye to your comfort zone

We are creatures of habit. We take the same route to work, go to the same restaurant, order the same food, hang out with the same people, and do what’s quick and easy. It’s the human tendency to do things that are within our comfort zone and we don’t like to challenge it. That’s how our brains are wired — to stay in the comfort zone.

This is the exact point where we start restricting our growth and we start becoming complacent. You need to step out of your comfort zone in order to become a better and stronger human being.

A comfort zone might seem like a beautiful and feel-good place but nothing ever grows there. And, history is replete with examples of people who have been wildly successful are the ones who actually got out of their comfort zone and did something — scary, interesting, unpredictable, and out-of-the-box.

3. Failure goes hand in hand with success

We live in a world where failure is a bad word. If you fail at anything, others would look down upon you and might even ridicule you — this is how we’ve been conditioned since our childhood. Society has taught us failure is unacceptable and success has taught me that failure is inevitable. In fact, one must fail big to achieve big.

If you go back in the history and look at all the trailblazers, trendsetters, geniuses, and revolutionaries, you’d find one thing common in them — none of them entertain the notion of failure as the bad thing.

For example, if Edison believed in failure, none of us would have seen the electric bulb and we would still be living in darkness. Likewise, if Henry Ford had given up early in his life and did not revolutionized transportation, I guess, we would still be riding on horseback.

4. There are no free lunches

No matter what your goals and aspirations are, one thing is certain: You have to pay the price to get what you want in life. Sacrifice is an inevitable and integral part of being successful. You have to make some sacrifices to achieve your dreams as they say that there ain’t no such thing as free lunches in the world.

Success demands not just one but a whole lot of things from you. It demands unwavering commitment, courage, discipline, perseverance, accountability and most importantly, it demands consistent actions towards your goals and dreams.

For me, one of the most profound sacrifices was to quit mediocrity and change myself into someone I aspire to become. It meant working 18 hours a day. It meant spending weekends working on ProofHub than just chilling with friends. Of course, it was hard but now when I look back, I realize how essential it was for me and my growth.

5. Success is a journey, not a destination

I always thought that achieving a certain feat such as getting a car, buying a new house, or starting a new company would make me successful. I must admit that it felt great and I do take a lot of pride in achieving all these things but one thing that success has taught me is that it isn’t about the destination but about the journey.

Pushing the envelope, facing our fears, becoming a better version with every passing day — that’s what success is all about. Listen but don’t necessarily agree with someone else’s version of success.


The path to success has a lot of ups and downs but it would always be worth it. So, go out, define success, and chase it.

All the best

Author Bio:

Sandeep Kashyap is the Founder and CEO of ProofHub — a leading project management and collaboration software. He’s one person always on a lookout for innovative ideas about filling the communication gap between groups, teams, and organizations. You’ll find him saying, “Let’s go!” instead of “Go!” many times a day. That’s what makes him write about leadership in a way people are inspired to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more.



Opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive Global or its employees.

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