If you desire to be successful in anything - and I mean anything, be it business, career, relationship - here are the two most important principles you must know!

(1) Successful people are those who do the things other people are either unwilling or unable to do - or both.

(2) Successful people don’t focus on the things they want, they focus on the things other people want and then supply those wants to them.

Read those principles.

Commit them to memory.

Writes them down and tape them to your wall.

Let’s examine each one carefully.

Every successful person is able or willing to do things most people are not. Plain and simple. Let’s use an entertainer as an example because they exemplify both.

Any entertainer who makes it to the big time does something most people just can’t do, such as sing, dance, act, play an instrument, or are funny. Think of Frank Sinatra. How many people can sing like him? Not many. That’s one of the reasons for his success. Jimi Hendrix played guitar like no other. Miles Davis played the horn and envisioned new musical styles like no other. Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt not only have good acting chops, but they are good-looking guys - and not many compare to them.

Yes, this part of the first principle is sometime a matter of chance. Not every one is born with a singing voice or good looks or any extreme talent. That’s the luck of the draw, be it genetics, environment, upbringing, or whatever. As is often said, that’s life.

But success also hinges on the second part of the first principle: doing things people are unwilling to do. All of those entertainers went out and struggled and practiced and honed their skills for many years before they made it big. They didn’t merely daydream about being successful. Miles Davis spent many years as a sideman in sundry jazz bands playing in small clubs before he lead his own band and forged new styles. Any actor who made it big took the shot and moved to Hollywood or NYC where they worked odd jobs and lived in near poverty conditions until with persistence and skill they broke into their first small role. Read the biography of any famous person and you’ll see them doing things that most people would never do for any number of reasons - fear, not wanting to give up what they already have, not wanting to risk anything, unwilling to face all the rejection and ridicule that comes with taking on any endeavour.

My friends, successful people don’t drop out of the sky. Behind every success there is a story and most all of them entail taking some skill, practicing it, honing it, and then taking massive risks to make it happen.

When I was in college I applied for a job in a convenience store. When I went for the interview at the store, no one was behind the counter. I heard a rustling from the bathroom area and went to investigate. There I found a man on his hands and knees cleaning the toilet.

I said hello and asked him if the manager was around.

He looked up and said, “That’s me. I own the place."

When I inquired what happened - why was he cleaning the toilet - he explained that the toilet had overflowed and he couldn’t wait for someone to come in and clean it so he had to do what he had to do.

It turns out that this man not only owned that particular convenience store, he owned three others.

This man obviously had good business sense, which is a skill anyone with half a brain can attain. But tell me this, would you get on your hands and knees and clean a filthy, over-flowing toilet? Would you do that to succeed?

After that explanation and those examples, let’s see that first principle again -

Successful people are those who do the things other people are either unwilling or unable to do - or both.

How can you apply this in your life? Look for those opportunities where you see people dropping the ball. Where are there vacuums because people aren’t doing everything they can do to satisfy the wants and needs of others? In a relationship, be that person who goes the extra mile. In your career, be the person who is not there merely earning a paycheck. Get there early and stay late. Lead, don’t follow. Be the one to voice your true and honest opinion. Take a risk - you might be wrong, but at least you’re not just following the herd. When you take a risk, you only need to be right once to attain massive positive attention and success.

Face the fact, most people are unwilling to move and do what needs to be done. Far too many people are enamored by the idea of wealth without work. Just like Haanel wrote in The Master Key System, though, when you work and you bring your service to the greatest number of people in the best possible way at the highest possible degree, you will become successful. You WILL.

Now, the second principle flies right in the face of what many gurus and self-help professionals aver today and would have you believe. You see, these gurus tell you to sit around and imagine what you want. They say to focus on your desires, to use the "Universe" as a catalog.

Successful people don’t focus on what they want - they look and see what other people need and want and then they fill that void! Money and the trappings of success are the result of that activity, not the cause of it!

Donald Trump looks at an empty building or a vacant lot and sees apartments for people and offices for businesses - places for other people. Mother Theresa saw people without care and compassion and endeavoured to comfort them. The greatest athletes know that they are part of a team, not the star of the game.

When you focus on what other people want and you deliver it you will become successful - in business, in your job, in any relationship. When you take your eyes off your own wants and desires and instead look around you and notice what other people want, you’ll find the world to be a place of vast opportunities waiting for you to take action. If instead you want to focus on your desires, you’ll be trapped in your own solipsism - a spoiled brat forever exclaiming “I want! I want!" and like all spoiled brats you’ll hopefully only receive five across the eye.

From good to bad, this principle works every time. How did Joseph Kennedy amass his fortune? During Prohibition, people wanted booze, so he supplied it! How did Bill Gates become the richest man in the world? By focusing on his desire to own a Ferrari? Hell to the no! People wanted to use computers, so Mr. Gates made the software that made them easy to use. A comedian wants his audience to laugh. (Don’t we all dislike someone who laughs at their own jokes??) A great athlete wants his team to win, his hometown to be proud. As one man stated so eloquently, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

Like I tell people who bitch and moan about this or that or who can’t get their mind off their problems or their selfish and often inconsiderate wants -

Remove your head from your backside!

Open your eyes and see the world and the people around you. Learn to listen. Pay attention to what people say - what they don’t say - what they want - what they need. Endeavour to serve. Be “the man." (Or “the woman.") Be the person who says, “Can I get you a drink?" rather than the chump who cries “Who’s buying?" Look where you work and see what needs to be done. Ask how you can make things better.

When you endeavour to serve others, you will make yourself happy. Why? Because you’ll feel useful. Do you know why many elderly people fear going into a nursing home or even retiring? Because they hate the idea of being useless. How many people have mothers (or fathers) who still awaken every morning and do something for their grown children? Probably a lot. It makes them feel useful, hence they have a reason to live! That generation of Americans knew the “secret" to success and they exemplified it every day. They weren’t a whining bunch of babies crying every time they didn’t get a new bike. They looked to serve - to work - and they felt satisfied because the fruits of their labours tasted sweet, unlike the bland, homogenized, got-for-nothing fruits too many people look for today.

You have a choice. You can take these principles to heart and endeavour to hone your skills to excellence, to take risks, and to serve others. If you do that, you’ll be successful. And let’s be completely frank: Not everyone will get the mansion and the yacht, but any one who puts these tenets into operation will be a happy, well-balanced, loved, and satisfied human being. You’ll see there is more to life than acquisitions and getting possessions you don’t need and probably don’t even want. You’ll be something that few people truly are in this great big world of ours. You’ll be a healthy, confident human being.

You’ll be able to look at your life and say “I did that" rather than “I got that."

You’ll be able to show the world what you're made of rather than needing things to make you.

You’ll not only take on challenges but you’ll accept them rather than dismissing them because they might conflict with your wants and dreams. And these challenges will build into you character, intelligence, wisdom - the things that make a human being self-satisfied instead of needing stuff to satisfy the emptiness within them.

You will be a person known for who you are rather than what you have.

You’ll be a person of dignity and stature, of ideas and daring-do, instead of being like a cheap whore looking for gratification from any passer-by.

If you dismiss these tenets, you’ll never know satisfaction or pride. You’ll be trapped on the wheel like a gerbil always running after the shadow of success. You’ll find that you’ve become a void of unlimited wants and no substance.

Much like a black hole in space, you’ll be forever wanting, wanting, wanting and taking, taking, taking - and never giving any light.

I’ll leave you with the words of a man who is much more eloquent than I am, whose words keep me going during hard times.

“If" by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—-and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—-and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—-nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—-which is more—-you’ll be a Man, my son!

Author's Bio: 

Tony Michalski is the founder and owner of Kallisti Publishing, Inc. - "The Books You Need to Read to Succeed" - http://www.kallistipublishing.com . Kallisti Publishing, Inc. has been publishing books since 2000 and has successfully published the entire Charles F. Haanel library, Steven "Rusty" Johnson's book Walk, Don't Run, the US National Security Commission report Road Map For National Security, and others. Tony is also the author of the Master Key Workbook.