Success is rarely accidental, it’s habitual

king chess piece
Photo by Gladson Xavier on

When Eric Yuan came to the United States from China in the 1990s, success didn’t happen right away. For one thing, it took him nine attempts before his U.S. visa was finally approved. It would have been easy to give up after being rejected time after time, but Yuan remained persistent. When he finally arrived in the U.S., he worked in Silicon Valley for years before he launched the company that would make him wildly successful: Zoom. To say that Zoom has become a phenomenon in the last few years would be an understatement. Yuan’s vision for a world where communication barriers were broken down moved closer to reality as more than 750,000 companies use the technology he helped pioneer. His story is one many people can look toward as they learn how to be successful.

As Yuan’s example shows, achieving success often requires tenacity, perseverance, vision, and a firm strategy. When people lack these things, they often find that success evades them, and they’re not sure why.

Being successful in life means being organized and writing down what you want to achieve. According to research from the Harvard Business Review, a shocking 83 percent of people don’t even have goals. 14 percent of people do have goals, but they fail to write them down. Only 3 percent have taken the time to write their goals down. As the study shows, those who have unwritten goals achieve success ten times more often. As for those who write down their goals, they’re three times more successful than the former group.

The path to success requires careful planning, unquenchable desire, and a belief in yourself and your abilities. Simply writing down your goals gives you a much better chance at success in life. As you learn more, you’ll gain a greater understanding of how to become successful.


What Is Success?

To know how to be successful in life, one must first define what success is. Unfortunately, defining success is anything but easy. Some people may view success as earning a lot of money and driving a nice car. Others may think a successful person is someone who holds a position of authority and dictates to others what to do, like knowing how to become a CEO.

These are worldly views of success. They may provide momentary comfort, but it will be temporary. True success is long-lasting, even eternal. It creates significant positive impacts in other people’s lives, and it leaves a lasting legacy that people will feel for many generations to come. As Viktor E. Frankl once put it, “[S]uccess, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself.”

Ultimately, how to define success comes down to your beliefs about what success is. As long as you work for the betterment of others and look for more than material comforts, you’ll be able to achieve your goals.