7 Things I Attribute to Personal Success

A young leader asked me recently, “What has gotten you where you are today? When you look back over your life, what would you attribute most to your success?”

Great question. I love people who think.

My first thought was to ask, “What success?”. When I look back at my life, in many ways, I see a life scarred with personal failures and setbacks. But, as I pondered the question for a couple days, I knew God has blessed me greatly, so I came up with a more comprehensive reply. Let me be clear about something, one of my missions in life is to help younger leaders succeed, so that’s why my motivation for answering this question. I am still very much a work in progress, but as I reflect on where I am midway in my life and career, I can clearly point to some things that have helped me succeed personally.

Here are 7 things I attribute to personal success:

God’s grace – I can’t deny it. It’s really all grace. I do not deserve the favor I have found. His grace has been amazing in my life.

Other people – I have had so many people invest in me. Don’t misunderstand. I’ve been intentional with networking and wisdom seeking, but I’ve had great people in my corner to help me along the way.

A little luck – Honestly, I don’t believe much in luck. It IS all grace. I think God is always at work around us, and He certainly has been in my life, but sometimes we find ourselves in “the right place at the right time”. Learning how to capitalize on those times has been key for me.

Purpose – I have usually known what I ultimately want to accomplish. I believe you hit more targets that you have in site. Sometimes that has been a few months down the road or a few years down the road, but I’ve most always tried to keep some direction in front of me…as much as God will allow me to see at the time.

Intentionality – Probably if there were one word to describe how I live my life it would be this one. Since I was in high school, I have intentionally pursued opportunities to accomplish where I felt God was leading me. But, I’ve been intentional in every area of my life, not just in my vocation. I think that is critical to living a balanced life.

Tenacity – I have weathered a few storms…actually, many storms. My list of failures, setbacks and disappointments is long. Every time, again, by God’s grace, I have gotten back up, refocused, learned valuable life principles and moved forward.

Commitment to help others – I genuinely love helping other people succeed. It’s been a pulling force in my life to do much of what I do. The purpose of this blog, for example, is for that reason. My personal investment in others has always returned to me tenfold.

So, there’s my attempt at an answer. How would you answer that question?

What has gotten you where you are today?

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19 thoughts on “7 Things I Attribute to Personal Success

  1. Ron! I agree with the listed attributes. Some more attributes that have helped me in my life:
    ~ Consistency
    ~ Patience & Tolerance
    ~ Attitude of gratitude
    ~ Perseverance
    ~ And, (last but not the least) keeping my mouth shut!!!

  2. I think I'd add in failure. While it blends with your others (Grace, Intentionality, tenacity, purpose), it is something that stands on it's own as well. Failure first humbles you. Then it teaches you. Then it gives you broader perspective when you do finally "succeed." Most of the things I would attribute to the win column of my life started in the lose column.

  3. Fantastic list Ron – I can't think of any other meaningful components to add. For me, tenacity and intentionality are the critical keys that I can control. They're like a vector – force with direction. The tenacity is the force, but without direction (intentionality) it's all wasted energy. Having said that, I hope you enjoy Catalyst and I'm grateful we met up last year!

  4. Great post Ron…what has gotten me to where I am….all of the above, especially the God influences.

    Side note, luck is an interesting word isn't it…I almost feel guilty using it in a sentence. I know it's all God, but slip up and use the word– luck. Using that word makes me think more about grace. : )

    Have a good day up in Bluegrass country!

  5. Great post Ron! I'm really focusing in on "purpose" at this time. With regards to luck (and I understand where you're coming from)… I love this definition on luck, "it's when preparation meets with opportunity." As you stated in your first point, all our success is because of God's love and grace. I believe the Apostle Paul made the statement that the only thing we can really boast in is Christ Jesus! Have a blessed day my brother!