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How I Found The Key To Success

December 13, 2011

I am currently in discussions with an individual who I want as an advisor for myJoblinx. He is interested and see’s the potential for myJoblinx, but because he is very busy, he is reluctant to commit to signing on formally as an advisor. However, I am persistent and at our last meeting, he asked me what I thought was the ‘key to success’. My answer was quick and it was a one word answer. I would like to share how I learnt this lesson very early in my life.

As I was growing up, there was one piece of advice that I got from my dad that is priceless. So let me share that story and the one word answer that I gave as the key to success. Here is the story my dad told me, in his words:

Some fifty plus years ago, when I first joined my unit as a brand new and raw 2nd Lieutenant, the boss (Adjutant) was a guy like no other. His advice to this here bunch of new subalterns comprised of three facts:


We were to know and accept that we were the biggest clowns and screw ups this side of the Suez. After all, we had joined the Army, hadn’t we? This we needed to drive into our inner most being. Then, this vital and basic fact not withstanding (and maybe because of it) we were to behave and act as if we were, with chest thrown forward and head back, Monarchs of all we surveyed. We were to believe that we were the best in the whole God Damn World and act such without giving a tuppence about anything – and that meant just anything. To hell with what had happened, what was happening and what was going to happen.

He drove this strong and hard and we never ever forgot it.


We should remember that we had signed on for a 30 year stint and to last that long we needed thick hides. We should know that rightly or wrongly we would be lambasted for this that, and the other by just about every one senior to us. That was basic and needed full acceptance. Yet not withstanding anything, we should always let all the bull shit in through one ear and immediately out the other ear. Not for a moment should it ever be held in for a moment. And back to the first point.

And he drilled into us the three things if said in the right order would get us off the hook even if we had committed murder. The three things: Yes Sir, No Sir and Sorry Sir.

Why did you do it? Sorry Sir.

Will you do it again? No Sir.

Watch out next time? Yes Sir.


He said that the only idiot bigger than us was the ordinary soldier and just about everyone was always screwing him all the time and more. And if we looked after the idiot just a bit, we would have done our bit for God and Country.

Hell, if such sound stuff did not make us something, nothing would. Most have indeed acted like Alexander Selkirk – the guy who was Monarch of all he surveyed. What is needed the most for any one growing up is what was drilled into us: ‘Attitude’. We must fully use what is the birth right of us all, the Freedom to walk tall and own no superior.

I was fortunate to have heard this story and (hopefully) learn from it. With the right attitude, you can turn any bad experience into a good one. We are all dealt cards and it’s how we play them makes the difference between success and failure. And with the right attitude, our chances of success are that much more stronger.

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer - Albert Camus

So ‘attitude’ was my one word answer when this individual asked me what I thought was the ‘key to success’. I believe the right attitude is one of the most important traits to be successful in life. I think he agreed with my answer because we just confirmed another follow up meeting. Hopefully he will sign up as an advisor. 🙂

What do you think are other traits absolutely necessary for success? Do you have any experiences or stories that defined your success? Or perhaps you have a different key to success?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Bina permalink
    December 14, 2011 10:03 pm

    This is all very well and nicely put but on a more serious level for Success, in what ever field, one has to Prepare, Prepare and PREPARE. Without thorough preparation no one can succeed in any thing.
    Preparation entails at least two things.
    First is Mastery of the Subject. There can be little debate on this part.
    Second is preparing and making one self ready. This implies physical, mental and emotional preparation.
    What does this mean? Lets see you come up with what you must do in these three spheres. Good Luck.


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