How to Optimize Success

Success isn’t the result of raw potential. It requires a deliberate plan.

High achievers don’t just have potential – they have a plan.

How do you optimize success? It’s as easy as PIE. (More on that in a bit.)

Turns out, there are four practices that high achievers follow in their quest for success. And with the right amount of attention and intention, chances are that you can become successful, too.

In Episode 46 of I Wish They Knew, Dr. Ruth Gotian, Chief Learning Officer at Weill Cornell Medicine and the author of the forthcoming book, “The Success Factor,” shares the four Ps of high performance.

Pillar #1: Passion

High achievers develop their passion. They aren’t strictly motivated by rewards and recognition — those matter, of course, but they are secondary factors. High achievers relentlessly focus on a goal that is so powerful, so potent, that it’s all they can see themselves pursuing for the rest of their lives.

Pillar #2: Purpose

To sustain passion, we need purpose. High achievers want it enough to work for it. By building a worth ethic around their passion, they secure the energy and enthusiasm to turn setbacks into starting points. Powered by purpose, high achievers don’t wonder if they’ll overcome a challenge, but how.

Pillar #3: Practice

High achievers never stop learning and relearning. They continuously refine and reinforce their foundation of knowledge and skills. They pay attention to fundamentals and keep honing their craft. The most successful people don’t rely on breakthrough talent, but basic techniques.

Pillar #4: Perspective

But the most enduring factor of success comes from understanding one’s own limitations. By surrounding themselves with sources of new knowledge, high achievers stretch their limits and seek continuous opportunities for growth. They elicit ideas from within and beyond their industry, consider various points of view, and are willing to listen to people younger than they are.

They also recognize the value in assembling a group of sponsors who will champion them and promote their work. Remember that part about PIE? Andy Lopata has said that success is comprised of Performance, Image and Exposure. These three elements are responsible for our success in varying degrees. Our performance matters, of course, as does the public image we create. But the real driver of success is exposure to new opportunities by other people who are willing to recommend us, promote us, and champion our cause. Without them, we are left elbowing our way to the front of crowded pack all by ourselves.

Listen to my conversation with Ruth Gotian for additional insights on how you can optimize your success!

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