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Infographic: The Rise and Fall of Success

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There is no shortcut to success. It is a long and arduous yet ultimately rewarding journey that requires hard work and overcoming your shortcomings.  It can also be a lonely journey as those around you look for the easy way out and may cheat their way to the top. However, cheaters eventually are caught and will quickly fall back to the bottom. All cheaters lack the exact characteristics which will help you not only get to the top, but stay at the top. These traits which bring about guaranteed success are also evident in various countries.

If we think about successful countries at the top, the USA and China both come to mind. Forbes Magazine published an article that said the key reason China has been so successful is because the Chinese people in recent years have been given more freedom and are “ambitious, hardworking and thrifty”. They also focus on education and spend their entire youth working to increase their knowledge.

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A recent New York Times article stated that America’s success stems from its diversity. Despite all of the differences among Americans, these three traits drive success: a strong belief in yourself, wanting to always do better, and resisting temptations. 

To scale the mountain of success and place your flag triumphantly on top, you need to hone in on these traits which thousands of successful people have mastered. Your definition of success may vary depending on which stage of life you are currently in, but you’ll know when you reach the top. 

If you are an intern, success means finding a full-time job and the field or industry you choose for your internship plays a big part in your ultimate success.  The fields of accounting, computer networking, design and investment banking are the most likely to turn into full-time jobs. However, regardless of your industry, you attitude and traits play the biggest role in your success.

If you are in charge of a project and looking for a successful outcome, you’ll need to first come to terms with the fact that you may fail. Some 70% of businesses in certain countries experience failed projects. Meeting the project goal as well as finishing on time and on budget can be difficult. Yet that difficulty comes primarily from people-related factors.  One of the biggest obstacles for project success is changing mindsets and attitudes. 

Regardless of where you are in your career or life, whether you are an intern, project manager or a high-level government official, the traits needed to be successful are hard work, knowledge and skills, and an honest and humble opinion of yourself. You may not be perfect and are guaranteed to stumble as you climb the mountain of success, but with the right mindset, you will succeed.