What is the true secret of success?
I am sure you have all heard people from different walks of life talk about the secret of success. The problem is that not everyone has the same answer, since most people took a different road to get where they wanted. It’s odd that people use the word “secret” in there, only to take great delight in telling you each and every step that they took along the way, sometimes in excruciating detail. The reality is that there is no blueprint for life other than the one that you create for yourself, which means we all have our own secret method of success. It also needs to be said that we all view success in very different ways. For some it’s happiness, for others it’s parenthood, and then there are those that define success by the amount of money they have in their bank account. I’ll tell you my idea of success in a little bit, which I don’t really view as a secret.
One of the most common secrets of success that you will hear people talk about is hard work. I agree that you have to put in the effort if you want to be a success at anything, unless of course your goal is to spend your entire life sitting on the couch watching TV. What people will never tell you is that hard work is in fact no guarantee of success, with many busting their hump every day, only to find themselves getting further from their dreams every day. Working hard will improve your chances of doing well, but it’s no secret that the streets are lined with people who worked hard their entire life, yet lost everything through no fault of their own.
The vast majority of those folks that cite hard work as the secret of their success have reached the heights of their career, and are enjoying the fruits of their labor. Others look at success as the mark they leave on the world, and they make it no secret that it’s the work they do for others that they see as their success. Both of the above quotes make perfect sense to those that spoke them, as well as the people that can relate to them perfectly. I can see the good in both of the quotes, but they don’t really speak to my idea of the secret of success. I am actually much more in line with the young man that made a name for himself playing Harry Potter:
“I think it’s useful, as a famous person, to have as little separation between the perception of you and how you really are – because otherwise I’d be sitting here thinking I’m keeping secrets, and wondering when you’re going to find out.” – Daniel Radcliffe
While Mr. Radcliffe’s quote has more to do about secrets than success, there is an underlying truth in there that I completely agree with. I believe that honesty is the true secret of success, although I’m sure not everyone will agree. That doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in hard work or doing things for others, but it does mean that I value honesty over just about everything else, other than family. Honesty sometimes boils down to what young Mr. Radcliffe says about keeping secrets. When you keep a secret, you are then forced to lie every now and again, which then leads to a lack of trust and a breakdown of relationships. It’s a slippery slope that can be incredibly steep the more secrets you decide to keep. It’s my thought that if you are honest at all times, you won’t have to worry about tripping yourself up with every spoken word. Sure, people may not look at you as a major success, but they will look at you with trust, which in my books is success that I can get behind.