Six steps to attaining Personal Success

1. Get Priorities in line

Setting priorities right is about making intelligent choices, deciding what goals to pursue in which order, which takes vision and foresight. Intelligent people rise over the hills and valleys of the present to gaze over the hills and the valleys of the future and see the invisible and the challenges it holds. Renowned entrepreneurs like Microsoft ’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) founder Bill Gates, Apple ’s founder (NASDAQ:AAPL) Steve Jobs, and Facebook ’s founder Mark Zuckerberg had such vision and foresight; they could see how technology could change the lives of everyday people; and came up with products and services that will turn their vision into reality.

Getting your priorities right is about choosing whether to go to school, start your own business or working for somebody else; whether to get married or stay singled; whether to have children or not; whether to stay married or get divorced; whether to remarry if widowed or divorced; and you have to choose how to spend your money.

2. Use resources wisely

Using resources wisely is also about making intelligent choices. It is about deriving the most value out of limited resources; shopping around for the right merchandise by asking three simple questions: Do I need this piece of merchandise? Is the price right? Is this merchandise the best use of my money?

In some cases, using resources wisely means more than shopping around for bargains for the right merchandise. It also means paying the least interest and finance charges for the things you buy on credit. Shop around for the lowest interest rates on a home mortgage; refinance when interest rates fall sufficiently; and stay away from consumer debt and finance charges that add to the price of the merchandise you buy.

3. Stay focused

Staying focused means sticking with your priorities and goals; focusing on the message, not on the background noise; and executing. Take the right steps to reach your goals. That’s all that matters in the end.

4. Develop the right relationships

Reaching a certain goal requires moral and psychological stamina. It takes skills and resources no single individual possesses. This means that in pursuing personal success, people need friends and partners to overcome the many obstacles that stand between them and their personal goals. At school, friends can provide the moral and psychological support to endure and overcome the pressure that comes with class lectures, homework, exams, and term paper deadlines. Partners provide the information and expertise to go over complex concepts and to complete coursework projects, sharing of class notes, participating in discussion groups.

5. Don’t be greedy

Greed is the idolization and relentless pursuit of something that lets people distinguish and set themselves apart from others—money, power, status, and so on; the feeling that they never have enough of it, and nothing can stop them from amassing and accumulating it.

Greed is an obsession that—like alcohol—numbs people’s senses, blurs their vision, and makes them lose sight of the Big Picture. Greed leads people to live a life of imbalance and disproportion, a life of reckless and dangerous behavior. People who want everything in life fail to negotiate with others and compromise, and end up losing everything. People, who want everything from personal friendships and partnerships and become selfish and arrogant, end up destroying them.

6. Don’t be Complacent

Complacency is the opposite of greed. It’s the idolization of things people have accomplished, the feeling that they have reached the telos (ultimate destination).