The Principles of Success

    28 March 2019

    We often talk about “out-of-the-box” thinking as a way to stimulate innovation. But to be successful, we also need to follow the principles that govern success—in all areas of our lives.

    There are always new and better ways to do things, but there are also centuries-old principles that work just as well today as they did in the past. To paraphrase a famous artist, we have to know the principles of success before we can break them.

    Let’s discuss some of these principles.


    Honesty includes having integrity, being straightforward, and avoiding negative actions such as lying and cheating. If we want to learn and grow as much as we can, we need to be honest with others and with ourselves. Being honest helps us succeed in relationships and business and brings us peace of mind that allows for clear decision-making.

    If we want to learn and grow as much as we can, we need to be honest with others and with ourselves.


    We can be successful by being accountable to ourselves. When we take shortcuts in our work, communicate vague or contradictory objectives, or make excuses, we are often being dishonest. We’re not willing to take responsibility when we could. To be accountable, begin with the simple things: Arrive at work on time. Stay focused on your work. Complete the tasks that you say that you will complete.

    Good health.

    Year after year, studies show that a healthy lifestyle makes us happier and more productive. It’s difficult to give your best effort when your body hasn’t had enough rest or isn’t being fed by good nutrients. When we follow the principles of good health—getting enough sleep, eating right, exercising—we can be at our best.

    Money management.

    We can improve our financial security and our overall well-being by paying attention to the basic principles of money management. One of the most important principles of money management is that we should try not to borrow more than we can afford. For example, it can be difficult to purchase a home with a one-time payment, so we might take out a bank mortgage. But we need to be careful to avoid the temptation to buy a home that is larger or more expensive than we really need. We can also put money into a savings account so that we can try to avoid borrowing money in an emergency.


    Every time we improve our job skills, our earning potential increases. We achieve a greater degree of employment security when we learn “soft skills” such as effective communication and collaborating with others. Education is a lifelong pursuit, and while the return on investment isn’t quite as measurable as the principles of money management, education improves our quality of life by opening the doors to many opportunities. One way to keep learning is by joining a Self-Reliance group, and another is by taking courses through Pathway.

    Education improves our quality of life by opening the doors to many opportunities.

    Smart work.

    It’s great to work hard. But finding ways to work smart also improves our chances for success. Working smart can mean finding more efficient ways to accomplish a task, such as finding more economical and timely solutions for product sourcing or delivery. Scheduling uninterrupted time to solve problems is another way of working smart.

    God’s laws.

    When we understand that we are literally children of a God who loves us and guides us, we are filled with hope. We are more likely to have a positive attitude, to be grateful, and to be kind to others. We are also more likely to find more purpose in our work and to be more successful in our work. In turn, when we achieve success, it is our responsibility to help others and to create opportunities for them to succeed.