Rules for Success

What are your top five rules for success?

1. Become self-reliant.
2. Be aggressive, attack, and operate on the offensive.
3. Cultivate grit and perseverance.
4. Develop into a person of value.
5. Never stop being a student.

In my opinion, the most important indicator of success in life is self-reliance. I’m with Robert Greene on this one. In life, the only constant is change. Depending on others, a job, a lifestyle, or anything for that matter, is just not reliable. As sad as it may be, you can only depend on yourself. So, I urge you to strive for bad-ass confidence. The next important value that I believe leads to success is aggression. No, I don’t mean being aggressive or belligerent to others. What I mean is it’s not enough to stand idly by waiting for the things you want. You need to attack and go get them. It’s better to let it all hang out than to be timid. What do you have to lose? In other words, don’t let things happen to you; instead, make them happen. Thank you, Dan Gable! Angela Duckworth’s noteworthy research revealed that grit and perseverance, in the long run, beat out talent. As a programmer and technologist, I personally take great comfort in this research. In general, however, you will constantly be challenged in life. Accept this fact and don’t give up easily. Simply put one foot in front of the other, take action, and grind. One of my favorite programmers, Sandi Metz, gave a great presentation on this. Albert Einstein said it best. “Try not to become a person of success but rather a person of value.” Strive to be useful at work and in your day-to-day life. Provide value, and the rewards will be aplenty. Finally, never stop learning. In order to be successful, you must have a basic understanding of what seems to be a limitless amount of topics. Continue to learn about your profession, but also learn about other important facets of daily life. For example, how a car works, how to prepare and file taxes, how to invest, and how to maintain your home. The list goes on.

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