FOR GOD’S SAKE: HOW MANY KEYS TO SUCCESS ARE THEY? (Indulge me for a sec)

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Let me be real for a minute.

Hands up if you have ever watched a video or read an an article that said something like:

  • The THREE things you need to succeed
  • FIVE keys to success
  • This ONE thing will make you rich in a year
  • SEVEN Life Changing Keys to Success
  • SIX Traits the Most Successful People Have in Common

….and so on.

Ok. Many hands…

Now! Hands up if you are sick and tired of hearing about “this” key to success, “that” key to success, and the many other different keys to success that never seem to end?

Hmm hmm…

These days, listening to “The Experts” these days end up confusing and frustrating some of us. They share keys like be consistent, determination, commitment, communicate well, excellence is required, vision is necessary…or need I go on?

While these are informational, across the board, they are highly personal to the experts. Folks need different keys for different areas of their life and business; for different industries, at different times. That’s why “keys to success” never seem to end.

After listening to several or trying to put them to work, you end up becoming frustrated. I think its because the many “keys to success” out there miss a pivotal focus.

And, this focus is the ONE & ONLY key to success there is, if one should existIndulge me for a sec.

The ONE & ONLY KEY TO SUCCESS is relationships. It is focusing on, building, and leveraging relationships with intentional love and passion. Its love for and commitment to the people

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Say what???

No! lol…don’t give me that face. Let me explain.

If you focus on relationships – on the people – and do so excellently well, beginning with your own people – you will learn many, if not all, the keys or traits of success you hear.

That’s because in any important relationship –

You have to learn to communicate well, love intentionally, argue, hate and forgive quickly, deal with issues sensitively (emotional intelligence), and reach out always (outreach). You have to work hard to maintain the relationship, talk honestly to build the relationship, make investments beyond money (time, gifts, presence) to improve relationships, develop good attitudes, check unpleasant attitudes at the door, and control your emotions.

You really have to know your people –

You have to know what your people like, dislike, need, or want, to be able to supply what makes them happy (especially in intimate relationships). You have to learn to be authentic, preserve their dignity, be a person of integrity, and grow to be competent and dependable. You have to learn to become a good friend, son, daughter, spouse, or parent etc.

What we learn from most of the “Keys to Success” out there are character traits, attitudes, and great habits the authors build over months, years, and maybe a lifetime. And if you didn’t have them, you would have to acquire them through practice.

You would arrange or rearrange habits. Try to build new ones. Change to adapt to new success factors. But eventually, it would become frustrating if you are not patient (which ironically, is also a success factor).

Why? Because you need a new mindset to house the new set of traits you hope to acquire to become successful. And that new mindset is a Focus on seeing things through the lens of relationships.

Even though it may have been mentioned, this ultimate wisdom, the ultimate key to success, is what is not often emphasized. This wisdom, I summarize as follows –

The focus of these beautiful traits and “Keys to Success” we learn are –

(i) The result of being in this one thing – Relationships

(ii) The result of having this one goal – respect, appreciate, and commit to enjoying and building far more stronger relationships with intentionality and love all the time.

In short, if you focus on loving and building your relationships excellently well, you will in the process, learn the keys to success. Because, as I have argued,

Success, dreams, visions…is not about the destination, and its not even about the journey as you may have otherwise heard. Its about the people on the journey to your destination.

To be honest, relationships can be difficult. They are hard work.

Still, its about the people, people. People are the reason for our growth, vision, success…all of it. Focus on this that. Start with folks around youL your family and friends. Those in your inner circle.

Instead of seeing the problems that result from familiar relationships as problems, see them as tasty challenges. See them as spicy opportunities for you to grow into leadership: opportunities to not only learn but to actually become every key to success you have learned or will come across.

Focus on growing those relationships. The “keys to success” are the natural result.

Focus on the relationships – it helps you stay single-minded on relationships, instead of double minded – where you focus on many factors at once.

Relationships are – ALL THE TIME. So, if it is your focus, you will be learning or becoming all the time. If you focus on “Keys to Success”, you will end up focusing on you too much. People will still interrupt you and you will find you have less time to focus on you.

Of course! Love and take care of you. Grow. But you get my point.

Here’s the funny part. You can trace EVERY one of those success factors you have heard to this one thing – relationships! Test it questions like the one below.

What do you want to learn excellence for?

Hold up! One last thing.

Isn’t it amazing how this single wisdom kinda sounds like –

  • Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for human beings (Colossians 3:23)
  • Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger because… (James 1:19)
  • Do everything without complaining or arguing so that you may be innocent and pure as God’s perfect children (Philippians 2:14)

…just to name a few…

And isn’t it interesting how many keys to success sound like the fruits of the Spirit?

“But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience…humility, and self control” – Galatians 5:22

Well! What do you know?

That’s the power of God’s word, able to transform you into a person of excellence who commands success.

I wish you a week full of good health and prosperity

And remember, no matter how hard relationships are – You can do it: you can make it work! Because –

Life is NOT full of surprises – YOU ARE!

One Love & One Spirit,

Ishmael

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