On success

The word success has always intrigued and fascinated me, we are seeking success without a clear idea what does is it really mean. We associate it with achievements, positions, acquisitions; we look at our achievements, compare them with others then try to interpret them as success. 

“I did it” is the cry or expression of success from a personal perspective, but success is also recognition by others. Success is emotionally renewing not anxiety provoking; it leads to personal and professional fulfillment  I have revisited several materials that I used or received on the issue of success to try to reach a definition, my first stop was with Steven Covey and his seven habits of highly successful people to find that he briefly defined success as a Response that is equal to Challenge. In other words success will always be relative. “Nothing fails like success” by Toynbee has been explained by Covey as new challenges require new responses as the old ones will no longer work. He added that without trust there is no foundation for permanent success. It is a call for greatness, fulfillment, and passionate execution.  My next stop was with Peter Drucker who quite confused me when he said: “Success makes obsolete the behavior that achieved it.  It creates new realities and its own problems “ this translated in my mind that success happens when we bridge a gap, the fact that the gap existed was behind the success, bridging the gap eliminated it hence the underlying condition for success is no longer prevalent. Beside the seven habits detailed by Covey, success can be identified as having four major components that are:

  • Happiness: Feeling of pleasure about your life
  • Achievement: Accomplishments that compare favorably against similar goals others have strived for
  • Significance: You have made a positive impact on people you care about.
  • Legacy: The way to establish your values thus helping others to find future success

Success at work

The professional environment is a multifaceted environment with many interfaces and human contacts, and although success is measured by output, but companies are not looking for results only, and as Mahatma Gandhi wisely said: “One man cannot do right in one department of life whilst he is occupied in doing wrong in any other department. Life is indivisible.”  In the workplace success is measured in the two areas personal relationships and results one cannot do right in one and wrong in the other. I looked back at some lecture material, and I found in my slides few advices for being successful at work, I don’t remember their source, but I think that they are useful:  

         Don’t talk negatively about people behind their backs, if you gossip, people won’t confide in

         Try to work for someone who will challenge your powers, you will learn more in a year than four years of college.

         Work in such a way that makes your boss look good, it’s not flattery.

         Dress for the job you want, not the one you have. Let your dress reflect professionalism

         Workout to get in good physical shape. Unless exceptionally skilled, the unhealthy are at a comparative disadvantage.

         Personal integrity is crucial. Tell nothing but the truth. Bosses can forgive mistakes but if you lie, you’re gone

         Be on time; try to arrive few minutes early it saves you from stress. You’ll be much relaxed & work better

         Strive your best to keep a deadline, If you cannot meet it, then apologize and ask for an extension

         Don’t take things personally.

         If you must correct someone, don’t get personal about it. Do it never in front of others.

         Spend some time alone everyday; ask yourself what is the mission of my life? What do I want to be? and how to go about it.

With these advises I found in my material I wish you all the success you deserve.

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6 Responses to “On success”


  1. 1 ]Dr. Ayman Makkawy May 20, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    Dear Rafik
    My comment on this nice and helpfull article will go more generalized , as individual success on any level will not be complete or satisfactory , except if it will be a part of a more general success of the organization I belong to.
    So, if I clean my house and spray it with jasmine , and the whole street is drawned in sewage water , my house will be dirty and full of bad smell in less than 24 hours . Individual employees may succeed in achieving their own agenda on the expense of a falling firm.
    The very obvious example in Egypt , is the businessmen with no conscious who collect money by any means without looking to the negative impact on the whole nation and its economics , or the governmental officials how accept bribes and do business and benefits out of their positions on the expense of the whole system ,and how those people will consider their own success when the rapple go to streets and burn everything out of hunger and despair.

  2. 2 rafiknakhla May 21, 2007 at 11:00 am

    Ayman,
    one of the measures of success is the outside contribution and the recognition of this positive contribution.
    For businesses today the concepts of societal responsibility is emerging success of these organization is measured by the impact they also have on society.
    egoistic approach does not yield sustainable success.

  3. 3 Marwa Rakha May 24, 2007 at 9:29 am

    I really like this post .. it is positive and energetic.

    For me success is like a reflection in a mirror; I am standing on one side and looking at the outcome of my work in peoples’ eyes and lives.

    I feel that mostly in classes – no other career has ever made me feel that successful.

  4. 4 rafiknakhla May 24, 2007 at 5:08 pm

    Marwa, welcome back to my blog.
    You are right the most rewarding aspect of teaching is when you find that you have an impact on the others plus the look of admiration you get.

  5. 5 yasser sharaf May 25, 2007 at 8:55 pm

    Mr Rafik,
    this was really inspiring, I really liked it. Thanks

  6. 6 rafiknakhla May 26, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    I would also add that the journey of success does not end. Success is not an end because it loses its value with time.
    What I heard on the Radio and I really liked what is left for you to when you woin everything? the answer was continue winning. (that was a comment said on nile FM about Ahly Club)
    By the way Ahly is listed among the clubs that won many continental trophies as AC Milan, it is ahead of Liverpool on the list.


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