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Achieving the Ideal Characteristics for Success

By Percy Chong, 14th October 2014

I have been asked many times to describe success and what it constitutes. Though so much has been written and so many interviews or studies have been done on successful people, few can really fathom the abstract nature of their personal values and potential. How do you translate it to our own application?

I found the best way to introduce this abstract yet interesting subject, through the use of metaphors from the animal kingdom.

Let us take for example, the birds and the fishes.

It is in the nature for the birds to be able to take flight and soar high above the skies. Imagine them to be the successful individual. These individuals are successful because of their unique qualities or characteristics…their abilities to make things happen (ie. to be able to “fly”). Their qualities like passion, discipline, courage, vision, commitment etc are all integral parts of their success mechanism. It works together to help him succeed. In the bird world, the wings, feathers, aero-dynamism etc, are all part of the flying mechanism that is critical for their flight. It is the very “shape” of the bird that makes it possible for them to fly. And it is also the very “shape” of the champions that make their do well.

So, in the most simplistic sense, if we wish to be able to “fly” we will need to take on the shape of the bird and all of its characteristics; in the same vein, we will need to take on all the qualities or characteristics of the successful individuals if we wish to replicate success for ourselves.

If the equation sounds too simple, that’s because it’s missing a part two.

What makes our quest for success challenging is the fact that most of us are not originally shaped like “birds” (ie. Champions) or we have not yet picked up the champion’s traits. Imagine ourselves to be fishes; we are adapted to swimming in the water. Our gills, scales and streamlined body allow us to breathe and thrive in the underwater world. But we will be fish out of water…furiously gulping air when place in an environment that we are not yet familiar with.

The obvious solution is therefore to strive to become the “bird” and shed the feathers, the wings…the entire shape of the “fish”. And the first steps starts with us wanting to become a “bird”. The decision and commitment to change must be absolute in order for our undertaking to bear fruits. This transformation process will take us through uncomfortable and unnatural territory. It will challenge our every fiber or instinct to resist the changes. This unshakeable will to change is often the same quality that is the backbone of all successful individuals. And there is no better time to embrace it, and start morphing it into our new shape as the backbone of our development.

The next step is to identify all the right attributes or “shape” of the successful individuals that we aspire to become.

What does it take for these champions to fly?

And we do whatever it takes to practice these qualities or attributes until it becomes second nature to us. Be prepare to pick-up these qualities over time…part by part (wings, feathers and shape etc), traits by traits (passion, discipline and courage etc). But the good news is we are not totally without merits.

A great deal of us comes with inherent qualities and potential that is the same ingredients for success. Imagine the flying fishes or the mud skippers; they are adapted with some qualities for flight or land dwelling. Our challenge is therefore to harness what qualities we have to take on new qualities that will enable us to achieve our complete transformation into a successful individual.

Essentially, we need to learn to “discard” the characteristics of the fishes, and learn to love and embrace everything (ie. Right values, qualities) that is the birds, in order to be able to take flight and soar like eagles! Happy flying!

Article contributed by Percy Chong (through Asian Sales Guru)
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