If you’re human, you’ve enjoyed both the beauty of success and the pain of failure (if you haven’t you haven’t lived long enough hahaha). But the truth is that very few people are concerned with the failures. Everyone wants to be successful.

Those who’ve managed to attain success will tell you that it is something that is designed and carved out. It doesn’t come about through luck or pure chance; its counterfeit does. If you want the real thing (because the real thing lasts), it is necessary to create your playbook. This is mine:

PLAY#1: Integrity

I genuinely try to operate with integrity in every undertaking. I always try to go above and beyond the call of duty for my clients and previously, employers. I try my very best to stick with budgets or go underneath budgets, without cutting corners, sometimes at a cost to me. I try to stick with deadlines, and when I cannot, I inform. The bottom line is that no matter what endeavor you undertake, you must be guided by a value system. Mine is based on my Christian faith, but let it be said that any good value system is always beneficial to others. You can be assured that when it is beneficial to others it becomes beneficial to you.

PLAY#2: Passion

I don’t do some of the things that I used to do before because I am no longer passionate about them. But I’ve noted that every success that I’ve enjoyed in life was driven on the fuel of passion. I absolutely loved what I did.

Passion brought me into a place where each time I lay down my head, I thought about a new way to sell my product. Passion brought me into a place where a client asked for 2 possible designs and I come up with 5 or 6. Passion ushered me into a place where I would not rest until I came up with a working solution to a problem. Passion provided me with a source of energy when every natural law said that I should have been burnt out. Passion brought me into a place where I didn’t rest until I discovered a brilliant way to encourage reading of my research findings. Passion, passion, passion! It’s contagious.

PLAY#3: I Read Obsessively

I read extensively and obsessively and I apply new knowledge. When I am passionate about something, I begin to read about it extensively and obsessively. I annoy my family with my knowledge on subjects by making random linkages to newly gained knowledge and happenings in the real world or happenings in my own kitchen.

A few months ago when I decided that marketing was what I wanted to do with the next few years of my life, I devoured and I am still devouring every book and article that I can find on the subject of marketing. I was and I am still reading daily numerous articles on Forbes, Entrepreneur.com, Business Insider, The Muse and all those business sites that we love.

But I’m not only reading on marketing. I say read on as many subjects that interest you. For example, I also love figuring out how the human mind works. A few years ago, I was introduced to the Briggs-Myers Personality Test by my youth leader. I was so intrigued by the accuracy of my results that I decided to research extensively on all the 16 personality types. It got to the point where upon having conversation with someone for 10 minutes I could successfully pinpoint their personality type. You can imagine that this was helpful to me in assessing the needs of clients or in tailoring various marketing approaches.

BTW I can be both an INTJ and an INTP in case you’re wondering.

PLAY#4: I Desire To See Others Succeed and Be Happy

Many believe that success is about doing well for oneself. But a large part of doing well is wanting to see others succeed and be happy. The success of your business will be based on its ability to continue to make customers and clients happy. A good business idea will be based on it’s ability to help others succeed in some sphere of life. Your office life will become successful if your desire is to see your team succeed and make your employer happy. Your book will become a bestseller when it holds the ability to make others happy. I’ve discovered that investing in the success and happiness of those around me inadvertently meant that I was investing in my personal success.

PLAY#5: I Travel As Much As Possible

Traveling made me a more diverse person. It opened me up to new cultures and different ways of doing things. I met new people, and when I learnt to be open enough, I met new business partners in the strangest packages. Sometimes, traveling was the change of scenery or pace that I needed for that new burst of creativity. It doesn’t matter what your field is, I can almost guarantee you that if you travel, it will contribute to the success of your career and individual growth.

Seeing the details of a famous piece of architecture up close, the sunset from a different angle, the sound of the rhythm from a drum that you’ve never heard, seeing how the people from an unknown tribe settle disputes can all have an effect on your next AutoCAD design, your next physics paper on the refraction of light, your next music production, or your next negotiation.

I know that everyone does not have the means to travel. If you can’t, the internet has put the world at our fingertips. Meet new people; watch some videos. In other words, fake it till you make it.

PLAY#6: I Speak To Myself In The Mirror Everyday

It’s a joke in my circles that I speak to myself… often. It’s a habit that formed in counteraction to being bullied at school and sometimes it was simply my way of dealing with the burden of having no friends. I constantly told myself that I was the opposite of everything that they said that I was, and then I began to tell myself everything that I wanted to be.

By the time I was 15, it evolved into me standing in front of the mirror, looking myself in the eyes and speaking those things that were not yet visible into visibility. For some reason, I trusted that woman in the mirror. I believed her, and that belief started producing results. That belief produced passion, and that passion reproduced positive contagion.

Plus, my technique has been substantiated by the veterans in the game. Imagine my excitement when I heard my technique espoused and endorsed by Claude Bristol in the Magic of Believing. Well… it’s not my technique. He discovered it before I did because he had the advantage of being born before I did. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it!

PLAY#7: Persistence

One of my favorite quotes was birthed by Calvin Coolidge. He said,

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not. Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not. The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

I love this quote, because I recognize its truth. I was one of those talented yet unsuccessful people. I would start off a project or a business and I would stick with it for as far as my natural talent took me. As soon as the difficulties arose, I would decide that it was time to try something new. My mindset was polluted with the the philosophy that one could only attain success if something came to them naturally/easily.

Success came when I persevered.

Perseverance has that insane ability to make everything seem possible, and coupled with passion, you find that every hurdle can be overcome.

PLAY#8: Focus

This play is not for everyone but for persons like myself, it is a PLAY. It is something that I had to consciously design and put to work. In my younger days (not that I’m that old), I achieved bursts of success as opposed to continued success and it was because I lacked focus. I would be passionate about something for no longer than two months and then I would move on to the next thing. The cycle would go on and on.

A few months before 23, I decided that it had to stop. I carefully weighed the options before me and I forced my self to pick something that I would focus on not for 6 months or a year, but for the next 3-5 years. I chose marketing, because that choice somewhat allowed me to dabble in all the things that I love. Right now, I am enjoying the branding aspect of the field.

At 23, with focus as a weapon, I also managed to finish writing my first book in three weeks. That book would later become an Amazon Bestseller.

PLAY#9: Learn From Failures

I’ve experienced more success than failures. However, my failures were more impactful because I failed in a grander fashion than I succeeded. I failed spectacularly.

I absolutely despise failing but I’ve learnt to accept failures as an important part of my journey to success. They taught me what not to do and what to do. They revealed to me my weaknesses and most importantly, they kept me humble. The truth is that too much success can become an antidote to humility and the humble antidote only produces counterfeit success.

PLAY#10: A Desire To Succeed

This is the final play, but it may very well be the most important move in my success playbook. Most successes that I’ve enjoyed came about because I wanted more than anything else to succeed. Even if but for a brief moment in a particular field, or even if it was for a particular project, I succeeded because I wanted it. When you want success bad enough, it becomes drawn to you.

One can NEVER have too many plays. I’m always open to learning from the veterans in the game, so if you feel like I missed out on something feel free to leave a comment underneath with your most successful plays. I look forward to adding some new plays to my playbook, and I’m sure that others are too.