Success comes in many different forms and there is no single definition. In music, success may be proficiency at an instrument or booking your first gig; perhaps you define success as reaching a specific milestone such as number of songs learned or number of albums sold. It doesn’t matter what your definition is, only that you continue to pursue it. However, there are certain themes that often correlate with success and one of those is attitude.
Often when interviewed, successful people (in business, art, finance, or celebrity) cite a strong mental vision for what they wanted to achieve. An unwillingness to give up, a thirst for knowledge or ability, and an undying passion are often among their ‘secrets’ to success. There is no single path to success since there is no single definition but there are a few things you can keep in mind that may be helpful towards achieving your goals.
Drive. If you know what you want, get after it! You cannot be successful without proactivity so push yourself even when you don’t feel like it. Your goals will not achieve themselves and it’s wise to assume that nothing will be handed to you in life. Putting forth true effort is rarely a waste. Is hard work a guarantee of success? Absolutely not, and that is why many people give up when things become difficult. However, embracing failure as a learning opportunity and cultivating the ability to pick yourself back up and continue pushing forward without losing motivation is a mark of a successful person.
Professionalism. Be punctual (show up on time always!) and respect other peoples’ time. Know when to keep your mouth shut and your ears open; you don’t always have to have the last word and your ego can be your worst enemy. Use proper grammar and spelling in correspondence (seems obvious but these days it is so often overlooked). Pay attention to detail, take good notes, keep a calendar or a checklist and stay on top of tasks. Strive to be great at what you do and don’t accept ‘good enough’. If you are unsure how to cultivate professionalism, just do some research on what is expected of you in your particular endeavor or find out more about other people who have accomplished what you are attempting and emulate their habits.
Humility. This is important at all times but especially upon the realization of success. There is nothing wrong with taking pride in what you do or being proud of yourself. What is wrong is talking down to people, being disrespectful, or failing to show gratitude. There are few faster ways to ruin your reputation than to be pretentious or arrogant. Be confident, just don’t be a jerk. Work to pull others up as you go, rather than pushing them down so you can step over them. Remember that many things are much easier with the help of others and by supporting people, you can create a network of people on whom you can rely.