“Again and again I therefore admonish my students in Europe and America: Don’t aim at success — the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run — in the long-run, I say! — success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it.”
While I’m far from a household name, I’ve achieved success in various different fields. I was a professional dancer, actress, journalist, salesperson, and social scientist before I reached my third decade. Ironically, I wasn’t necessarily looking for success. I simply had such an abiding passion for my work that I would put 12 hour days into my work.
Richard St. John notes that passion is one of the many characteristics that makes individuals successful. Learn more about his study on successful people for TED Talks.http://ted.com/talks/view/id/70