What does it take to become successful?

What does it take to become successful? Success has a lot of meaning to each of us. You can achieve success financially, success emotionally, success spiritually, etc.

In a recent addition to my learnings to become a successful entrepreneur and investor, I’ve learned about John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success.

John Wooden is a retired American basketball coach. He is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player (class of 1961) and as a coach (class of 1973). He has authored a lecture and a book about the Pyramid of Success. The Pyramid of Success consists different philosophical building blocks for winning at basketball which can then be applied to become successful in life.

According to John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success, “Success” is at the apex of the pyramid.

“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming,” says John Wooden

In order to achieve this success, one must follow 15 traits to become successful. These traits are so-called building blocks of success. Let’s discuss each of these traits starting from the bottom to the top.

Industriousness. John Wooden says: “Hardwork results in worthwhile accomplishments.” True enough, I think success is 90% perspiration and 10% luck. You need to act in order to succeed.

Honesty. John Wooden says: “Truthfulness should always prevail. Tell it like it is and not how you wish it to be.” Honesty is the best policy and the truth will set you free.

Friendship and loyalty. John Wooden says: “Friendship comes from mutual esteem, respect, and devotion. A sincere liking for all.” No man is an island. In order to achieve success, you must mingle with successful people. Find mentors and learn from them.

Cooperation. John Wooden says: “Cooperation with all levels of your co-workers is essential. Help others and see the other side”.” Two heads are always better than one. No once can be successful in its own. It is always a team effort. Learn to cooperate by sharing your knowledge and gain some knowledge as well from other people.

Enthusiasm. John Wooden says: “Your heart must be in your work. Stimulate others.” You must have the passion in what you do for if you have that passion and you keep it burning, your chances of achieving success in reaching those goals are high.

Self-Control. John Wooden says: “Keep emotions under control. Delicate adjustment between mind and body is needed. Keep judgment and common sense.” As the famous self-motivation coach Anthony Robbins said that our emotions are one of the keys to our health. Your emotions are somehow connected to your health and success. If you are a happy person, you will attract a lot of positive things. Positive things are always associated with success. Same thing goes for negative emotions. If you are always angry, then chances are you will attract negative emotions too.

Alertness. John Wooden says: “Ask rigorous questions. Be skilled in scientific reasoning.” Curiousity leads to knowledge.

Initiative. John Wooden says: “Summon the courage to make a decision and take action.” Sometimes, you need to take the initiative to take the proper actions without being told to do. Be proactive!

Intentness. John Wooden says: “Harness your ability to resist temptation and stay with your course. Concentrate on your objective and be determined to reach your goal.” If there’s a will, there’s a way. Aim high and stay focus in achieving your goals. It all boils down on how strong your will power is.

Condition. John Wooden says: “Mental, moral, physical and diet must be considered. Moderation must be practiced. Dissipation must be eliminated.” Everything that is excess and deficient is detrimental. Moderation is the key.

Skill. John Wooden says: “Skills are knowledge of and the ability to properly execute the fundamentals. Be prepared. Cover every details.” Skill must be developed. Constant education is the key in improving one’s skills.

Team Spirit. John Wooden says: “You must have an eagerness to sacrifice personal interests or glory for the welfare of all. The team comes first.” Sometimes, we need to set aside our personal concerns for the higher benefit of most people. Successful leaders are servants to their people.

Poise. John Wooden says: “Just be yourself. Be at ease in any situation. Never fight yourself.” Be true to yourself. Be comfortable in any situation. Don’t be pretentious.

Confidence. John Wooden says: “You should respect without fear. Be confident, not cocky. Confidence may come from faith in yourself in knowing that you are prepared.” Having faith in one’s self is the key. To have faith is to be prepared. You cannot win a war unless you are prepared. Same thing for success. Success comes with thorough preparation and planning.

Competitive Greatness. John Wooden says: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Be at your best when your best is needed. Real love of a hard battle.” Ultimately, success relies in yourself. It’s you who will make yourself successful and not others. Develop that attitude to be the best when your best is needed.

How about you, what’s your idea of success? What does it take for you to become successful?

Tyrone is a passionate financial literacy advocate. He started this blog on November 2008 when he watched The Secret which talked about Law of Attraction because he wanted to become a millionaire and wanted to know how a millionaire acts. At the age of 26, he achieved his first million. To find out more about him, click here or follow him at Instagram

11 responses on “What does it take to become successful?

  1. John Wooden was a great coach here in California, for UCLA.

    You sure you don’t want to come out here to California Tyrone and live the dream?

    Gotta say, that’s a big pyramid. I just think about three things: hard work, passion, execution.



  2. You guys follow college basketball here in the US? The Wooden Classic is on now, and Georgetown and Washington are playing.

    Who is the “John Wooden of The Philippines” that’s what I’m more interested in actually.

  3. Perhaps we should add PERSISTENCE as a concept for the pyramid; you must never give up if you want to succeed. If you become persistence then reaching your goals becomes just a matter of improving your aim and perfecting your methods.

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