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4 Components of Success

Updated on July 29, 2008

In my quest to find out what the so-called meaning of life is, I have come across numerous books, magazines, articles, research analysis, etc directly or indirectly about how to be successful. Success is integral to the meaning of life; for if you believe that there is a meaning of life, you must believe that life serves some sort of purpose, and success results in the fulfillment of any purpose. I realize that the skills to success basically boil themselves down to 4 distinct categories as described in more depth below:

1. Literacy

It does not matter which language you speak, as long as you know it well. Since we understand our experience in the world through language, our comprehension of the experience would be more refined if we have more words in our use. Also, a firm grasp of the connotations of different words can significantly improve the presentation of our ideas so that our words more accurately describe what we want to say. An even further understanding of words leads to the mastery of rhetoric; the manipulation of another person's ideas with the honed manipulation of words.

2. Manipulation of numbers:

The two types of symbolic bridges with which we understand the world through are numbers and words. Feelings, ideas, and processes are described through words. Quantity, and value are expressed through numbers. Practicality runs on numbers. You place 1 load of clothes into the washing machine, put it on 40 minutes, put half a cap of detergent; those are all numbers geared towards helping us function practically on a daily basis. Accountants play with numbers on a daily basis. Numbers tells one the success of a person, a company, and a nation. While the meaning of words vary across different parts of the world (one nation may have a particular word that describes a feeling which is not defined in another nation) the meaning of numbers is universal. 1 means 1 in Asia, as it does in Europe, North America and everywhere else.

Casper, the friendly ghost
Casper, the friendly ghost

3. People-skills:

People skills is an important part of success in all industries. The act of persuading people to like oneself is recurring across space and time. There are many books written on the concept of networking, which is the idea that having more people available in your reach increases your chance of success and placement in the business area. Having friends is also necessary for mental health. Depression disorders arise from attributes such as loneliness or shyness. Thus, to develop people skills, one must combat feelings of shyness, which stem from low self esteem, or an incredible esteem for an outsider's perception of you. Build self confidence by maximizing your assets, and acknowledging and correcting your flaws. The more you feel good about yourself, the more you'll be confident and comfortable to approach others. Although people skills take many interactions with people to refine, a basic rule that everyone should follow is do unto others as you would want done onto you.

4. Motivation

It took a while for me to realize that there are very few things in life that will present itself on a silver platter. Seize them when you have the chance. For everything else, life is worth fighting for. Know what you want out of life and grab it. You are fully responsible for the well being of your life, and nobody is going to be baby-ing you to help you sort your life out because your life is not their responsibility. They have their own lives to attend to. So work hard, develop some skills for yourself, and taste the rewards.


Success is a package. It is both the pain and the pleasure, because you must work hard to attain your goals. I guess that is a meaning of life; to work hard for something, discover something about yourself, and contribute to the fabric of humanity in this process.


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    • cordbailey profile image

      cordbailey 6 years ago

      Although I may agree with your assessment, through observation as well as trial & error, I believe the most important skill is sales, which can but does not necessarily overlap with people skills. It is an unfortunate truth that we are constantly selling ourselves whether for monetary gain or emotional gain. We sell colleges, employers, mates, etc. about why we are the best candidate, or why you should buy my product or why you should buy a product I did not make but I sell vs the guy/gal down the nauseum. In fact, I'm attempting to sell all readers about why my point of view may be more valid although I amy not be doing so overtly....You get the point so I guess I will stop selling now :-)

    • TheMonk profile image

      TheMonk 6 years ago from Brazil

      Thanks for the hub. I enjoyed reading it.