Ten Best Success Door Openers
Bill Cottringer

“If you really want to do something, you will find a way. If you don’t, you will find an excuse.” ~Jim Rohn.

There are lots of ways to find to do something or the excuses if you don’t. In the meantime, here are the best-known door openers to success:

1. Learn, Grow and Improve.

All the problems, conflicts, obstacles and challenges that constantly occur everywhere in life seem directed at teaching us one very important mission we all have in common, and that is to learn, grow and improve into our best selves. This realization is the main door opener to all the others. When you hesitate or refuse to consider the value of embracing this ultimate mandate, that is when all the disruptive discomfort starts. Problems and conflicts are an opportunity to become responsible and avoid the failures associated with futile attempts to avoid or outrun your karma. The rule of life is that there is simply no long-range gain without at least a little short range pain. But, the outcome is always a better place to be.

2. Increase Emotional intelligence.

There are five main factors that all work together to produce a level of emotional intelligence that improves interpersonal interactions, which are the heart of success in any endeavor. These are: Self-awareness, mood management, self-motivation, empathy and social relationships. Being aware of the importance of increasing these behaviors is a step through a very big door to success in general. Probably the best way to improve these five areas of your emotional intelligence is working on becoming an expert communicator, which provides you with the most useful feedback to do this.

3. Be an Expert Communicator.

The best communication advice came from Jack Gibb with his defensive vs. supportive communication model. An unproductive climate of defensive communication shuts down interactions, where a productive climate of supportive communication facilitates further interaction. Conveying things like judgment, superiority, control, neutrality, certainty and strategy creates an inhibiting defensive climate; whereas conveying things such as acceptance, equality, freedom, sensitivity, tentativeness and spontaneity creates a facilitating supportive climate.

4. Be Likeable.

My own pioneering work in researching the liability factor of success uncovered certain ways a person could be to be seen as likeable, which in turn improves interpersonal interactions, which then leads to successful outcomes. When a person behaves in certain ways, he or she is more likely to be perceived by others as likeable. The behaviors which create this favorable perception include: Agree-ability, realness, honesty, empathy, positivism, humor, good listening and humility. Becoming a likeable communicator, may be the best way ever to start your success quest because it will always be the road under construction with the first door—learning, growing and improving.

5. Build on Assets.

If there is one thing right up there with the value of being optimistic and positive that the positive psychology movement has offered, it is the importance of using your energy to build on what gifts and assets you were given to be successful in achieving your unique purpose in life. Before the influences of positive psychology, we were brainwashed into believing we needed to fix all our deficiencies before we could do the things that would lead to successful performance. That was a pure waste of time and neglected needed work to build on the skills we already had in hand to be successful, just like already knowing this prescription and building upon it. Another application is studying known successes of your own and others rather than trying to understand the corresponding reasons for failures.

6. Think Critically.

Although it has been aptly said that you can’t think your way out of a problem, which you behaved yourself into, the real solution to more effective problem-solving and conflict resolution, is to practice positive psychology, per # 5 above. This involves thinking critically about all these other open doors to success to see how they can advance your progress. Understanding the value of just a few of these ten basic success principles will be the most cost-effective means to move forward in your success quest. Once you see the connection between these ten doors, the size of any one door gets a huge enlargement and a very big doorknob.

7. Manage Time.

In anything, time is everything. Today, time may be our most important resource that is sadly the one that is most mismanaged. For many people time manages them rather than vice versa, or the way it should be. One valuable secret from the most successful people, is to manage the minutes and hours and then the days, weeks, months, and years will take care of themselves. This can be translated further to looking for the smaller things you can do right here and now, when done strategically in time and place, can have the biggest impact on getting positive outcomes from the timely intervention in a needed course correction.

8. Focus.

The main thing successful people focus on is the here and now, leaving past memories or future planning, for others to worry about. That is because the here and now is where change is best accessed and when you only focus on future results from past experiences, you get no results; but when you focus on making changes in your approach now, the results will come. The most sensible point of focus involves a workable accommodation in considering both the forest and the trees, and the best way to do this is to manage time well, by attending to what you are doing in the present moment, especially the little things that eventually improve the big picture (seeing the forest more accurately, without mistakenly bumping into the trees).

9. Be Responsible.

We all have basic rights, but when we don’t exercise them with reasonable responsibility and sensitivity towards others, all the problems in human relations start snowballing. To overcome mistakes we make along the way, we have to take responsible ownership for what we did irresponsibly to create them to begin with. The fact that you simply cannot outrun karma is a hard lesson to learn sometimes. The best advice I ever heard was to always do what you can to assure each new situation you join becomes a little better after you leave it. By being sensitive with what you say or do to not irresponsibly hurt others, you are being as reasonably responsible as can be expected.

10. Give back.

In life, there has always been a direct relationship between giving more and getting more and you really don’t get to make a big withdrawal from the Bank of Life, until you have made a substantial deposit. Success takes stages and at each stage you get the necessary understanding and skills from your efforts, which moves you forward to the next best place in your success quest. Each new moment of progress offers you the opportunity to give back what you learned through sharing and mentoring others in their own self-development journey. Frequent appreciation thank-you pauses are an excellent way to give back.

Look for and go through these ten doors, or build your own, to gain a healthy sense of making progress at achieving your success goals and outcomes. It is a very natural process, and these things, all being conveniently interconnected, make it much easier to do than just thinking or talking about it. Much easier done, than said.

“Work hard in silence. Let your success be your noise.” ~Anonymous hard worker.

Author's Bio: 

William Cottringer, Ph.D. is Executive Vice-President of Employee Relations for Puget Sound Security Patrol, Inc. in Bellevue, WA., along with being a Sport Psychologist, Business Success Coach, Photographer and Writer living in the mountains of North Bend. He is author of several recent business and self-development books, including, You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too (Executive Excellence), The Bow-Wow Secrets (Wisdom Tree), and Do What Matters Most and “P” Point Management (Atlantic Book Publishers) Reality Repair Rx (PublishAmerica), and Reality Repair (Global Vision Press) Bill can be reached for comments or questions at (425) 652-8067, 425-454-5011 or bcottringer@pssp.net or ckuretdoc@comcast.net