The 3 Keys to Success: What You Need To Know To Be More Successfull

Over the last few days I read (and participated in) a very interesting discussion on what qualities were necessary for success. There was talk of several, among them: attitude, perseverance, patience, humility, etc. I agree in principle that all of these virtues can be part of someone’s of success and they can even facilitate the work of achieving it, however, I think we can delve deeper and go straight to the essence of what it takes to have all the success you want.

First, let’s define what is the success, according to the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language:


(From lat. exĭtus outlet).

  1. M. Successful outcome of a business, performance, etc.
  2. m. Good acceptance that has someone or something.
  3. M p us. Order or termination of a business or subject

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I like this definition, but I think it falls a little short because the focus is directed to business. I think we should include the results over the course of one’s personal life. Also, I believe that each one should define exactly what it means to be “successful” for them. It is likely that what I would regard as success, you might not or vice versa.

What’s more, someone could be successful in their business but be a failure in their personal life. How many times have we seen someone famous that seems to have “have it all” professionally, then their personal life is a disaster? Once again, here we would have to see how to measure “disaster”.¬† What do you consider being a disaster? And if they don’t consider themselves a disaster, are they?

Well, one of the participants of the discussion considers that there are three main virtues necessary for success: attitude, patience and humility.

We should first define each one of them to see how to fit them into the definition of success :


(From lat. * Actit≈´do).

  1. F. Position of the human body, especially when it is determined by the movements of the spirit, or expresses something with effectiveness. Graceful attitude, imposing. The attitudes of a speaker, or an actor.
  2. F. Position of an animal when for some reason draws attention.
  3. F. Moods expressed in some way. Benevolent attitude, peaceful, menacing, an individual, a party, a government.

I love the part “moods expressed in some way” and fits perfectly with my perception of what “attitude” is.¬† How does it fit into your vision?


(From lat. patientĭa).

  1. F. Ability to suffer or endure something without be altered.
  2. F. Ability to do heavy things or thorough.
  3. F. Faculty to learn to wait when something you want to much.
  4. F. Slow to do something.
  5. F. Tolerance or consent in decline of the honor.

The word patience and this very definition give me the feeling of passivity. I’m not one for passivity except for in very special circumstances.


(From lat. humilĭtas, -ātis).

  1. F. Virtue that consists in the knowledge of one’s own limitations and weaknesses and acting in accordance with this knowledge.
  2. F. Lowness of birth or of any other species.
  3. F. Submission, performance.

Another one that I like very much, “act in accordance with this knowledge”.¬† It fits perfectly in my vision of “humility”.¬† As most of you already know, I am a big practitioner and proponent of mindfulness. The benefits are extraordinary.

Well, I completely agree that the attitude is critical to your success, whatever your definition of this. In fact I think it is probable the most necessary characteristic there is and the one which we can control the most.

However I don’t know if patience is sine qua non for success. From my point of view, success (defines as you see fit) can be achieved with a good attitude and with more or less patience.

However, I am convinced that success cannot be achieved with only patience. Let me give you an example: Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook is not particularly known for his patience, and let’s not even talk about Steve Jobs. Having said that, once a certain degree of success is attained, I think that with the passage of time patience can be ¬†developed and almost always is.

Concerning humility, we would have to define what humility means to each one of us. I have another example: Michael Jordan (there are many more examples like him). Any one who knows him, knows that¬†he is the most humble in the person in the world in the strictest sense of the word. However, there are few people in the world that wouldn’t consider him someone who has attained a certain degree of success.¬†Therefore, I don’t know if humility is more an ideal of what we would like to see in someone successful or if it really is a characteristic necessary for success. What do you think?

Someone that I follow assiduously, Aruca Gómez, added several more virtues to the discussion and¬†I could not agree with her more!

Again, we are going to define both according to the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language:

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(From lat. perseverāre).

  1. Intr. Kept constant in the pursuit of what is begun, in an attitude or an opinion.
  2. Intr. Last permanently or for a long time.

Amazing definition that fits me perfectly and almost defines my entire life!


In the Dictionary of the Spanish Royal Academy the concept of proactivity does not appear!

So I’ll give you my definition of it. In my view, being proactive is a virtue that moves us to action. Or, in other words, of getting caught behind the 8-ball, we take the bull by the horns and steer it to where we want to go.

Great! So how do I see success?

I see the success, in its essence, as a compendium of the following three virtues, which in my view are indispensable:

  1. Attitude
  2. Proactivity
  3. Perseverance

Without a ‘winning’ attitude you will never get anywhere. Period! For me, attitude is the single most important characteristic you can cultivate to achieve what you want most in life. Without a doubt! Observe and study people who you think you are successful and you’ll see that the most remarkable thing about them is their attitude toward life or their profession or towards anything they are confronted with.

After attitude comes proactiveness. You might have a great attitude, but if you don’t do anything to get what you want, then you’ll never get anywhere! Even with the lottery you have to go buy the ticket. I guarantee you don’t know anyone who is successful who is not proactive.

And finally, even if you have a very good attitude and you’re very proactive, if you give up when the going gets tough, you’ll never have the success you want most. Remember not to confuse patience with perseverance. They are not the same.

For me, Thomas Edison perfectly embodies these three virtues. In everything that he “tried” his attitude always stayed the same “Yes I can”.

As soon as he had a new idea or he discovered a new idea, the first thing he did was to see how it could be adapted for the good of everyone.

Once he decided that this is what he was going to do, there was nothing in the world, except for idea not being useful to serve and to give value to the community, that you could stop him from achieving success.

And millions of people throughout history have achieved “success” by leveraging these three traits. ¬†So go out now and studying the greats and you’ll see that these are three qualities that have led them to the promised land.

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About Eduardo Arellano

Eduardo es Coach Personal/Profesional y Formador con más de 14 añs de experiencia. Nacido y criado en Chicago, en la actualidad Eduardo reside en España donde ha desarrollado sus métodos actuales de formación. Eduardo posee un MBA de la Universidad de Nebrija y un Master en Comercio Internacional de la EOI además del título de Formador de Formadores y varias certificaciones y cualificaciones. Eduardo está muy solicitado tanto en España como en el resto del mundo, colabora con sus clientes para guiarlos en cómo realizar cambios personales o profesionales consiguiendo con rapidez que alcancen objetivos que nunca creyeron posibles. Sus métodos y técnicas permiten estimular el auto-conocimiento, ya sea con un pequeñ cambio en su forma de pensar o con un gran cambio en su carrera profesional o vida personal. Eduardo sirve de guía para conseguir el éxito.
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