The Common Denominator of Success

With all of the self-help books that I have read in my life, my expectation with reading another article barely piqued my interest. To be honest, many of them are so much alike that I can hardly differentiate one from the other. Not taking away any credibility from the authors, but the materials is all roughly the same. However, as I started reading this article by Albert Gray, titled “The Common Denominator to Success,” I began to realize that this was indeed different from the other things that I have read. Here is a summary of his brief six page article:


The common denominator of success – the secret of every man who has ever been successful –lies in the fact that he formed the habit of doing things that failures don’t like to do.


Because successful men have a PURPOSE strong enough to make them form the habit of doing things they don’t like to do in order to accomplish the purpose they want to accomplish.

Successful men are influenced by the desire for pleasing results. Failures are influenced by the desire for pleasing methods and are inclined to be satisfied with such results as can be obtained by doing thing they like to do (taking the path of least resistance).


When someone reaches a lull in their productivity, no matter how successful he has been, it means that he has reached a point at which, for the time being, the things he doesn’t like to do have become more important than he reasons for doing them.


This is your reason for doing things. In identifying your purpose – it 1.) Must be practical and visionary, 2.) Sentimental or emotional (NOT logical). This is because logical reasons such as fulfilling a need will only take you so far, until the need is reached. Wants and desires, however, will keep pushing you.


While you may succeed beyond your fondest hopes and greatest expectations, you will never succeed beyond the purpose to which you are willing to surrender. Furthermore, your surrender will not be complete until you have formed the habit of doing things failures don’t like to do.


So, you must take an honest evaluation of your purpose. Why are you doing the things you are doing? Be honest. Evaluate how you spend your time and decide if its leading you toward fulfilling your purpose and if the answer is yes, understand that establishing a habit of doing things you don’t necessarily like doing, will lead to greater achievement because its getting you closer to your goals and fulfilling your purpose.


I’ve identified a few purposes in my life and immediately my attitude changed for the better as I realized what I needed to keep doing and what I needed to eliminate on my path to moving closer  – I won’t bore you will all the details but I will share one example to help you get started on your purpose plan:

To be recognized as a beautiful* person, I need to do these things that I don’t necessarily like:

1. Eat healthy – limit excessive sugar and processed food

2. Live in Balance – spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically (I put specific actions for each of these)

3. Reach out and connect with others – exchanging energy with another live human being (not Facebook) begets life and beauty.

*Beautiful meaning “excellent of it’s kind”

The more detailed you get, the clearer your path becomes.

Just as a caveat, the word “purpose” can be defined on a macro-scale (such as your life’s purpose) or on a micro-scale (such as completing a specific assignment). It’s up to you to decide what your purpose is and then define the actions that will move you closer toward that goal. And as the article so brilliantly states, success is saved for those who do the things that others fail to do.

Read the full article here.

– k


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