Key to success.

by Patrick Liew on February 16, 2014

I once invited a billionaire to my office to share his ‘secret’ for success.

Prior to the talk, I joked with him that he would be sharing with participants from the ‘quick-fix generation.’

There won’t be time for a long speech. In fact, he had to share his formula for creating wealth within the span of just a few minutes.

It was not the easiest of task but I was confident my friend could do the job.

If you were there, you could feel the enthusiasm of the audience as they listened to him literally with abated breath.

After all, how often do you get to learn from a billionaire.

What’s more, the participants were told that he would be distilling his years of experience into a simple formula.

They could apply the same formula and if they did so, they would also enjoy the same results.

That rich and very unassuming businessman started by detailing the challenges in his life.

He went on to share how he built his business empire – step by step – until it became a success story.

Then came the most exciting part.

It started when he told them, “As I look back on my entrepreneurial life, I realized there is only one key factor that has helped me achieve whatever success that I have.

“In fact, it’s the same factor that has helped many people achieve amazing feats in their lifetime.

“I learned to…”

After saying those words, he paused for a reflective silence.

He established eye contact with the audience, probably to prepare them to learn the last and most important point.

The participants responded with complete attention.

Besides their ears, their hearts were also open.

They were ready and were deeply desirous of finding the pot of gold.

Silence was somehow helping to hold and freeze everybody to their seats.

That silence could only be broken by one person, the person standing in front of that class.

My billionaire friend spoke slowly and clearly.

He repeated the last three words and completed the sentence.

“I learned to work hard and smart.”

After he completed the sentence, you could almost hear a lot of hopes tumbling to the ground with a loud crash.

Many participants had expected to hear a much more complex advice, one that they did not know of or know very little about.

As for me, the more I thought about that ‘secret’ for success, the more I realized how powerful it was.

I had an ‘aha!’ moment which continued to grow in its intensity.

Please let me share with you my take on working hard and smart.

Life is fair.

It gives you choices to change your destiny.

Besides choices, you are also given capacity and ability to work hard and smart.

You have what it takes to level any playing field and win in the game of life.

However, instead of making right choices and implementing them, many people choose to lay blame, justify, and give excuses.

They tell themselves stories about why they did not make it and worst, why they will never ever make it in life.

They see themselves as victims rather than victors that have the capacity for self-determination and action.

Rather than take responsibility, they throw their destiny to winds of change.

They look for entitlements rather than for enhancements to improve their knowledge, attitude, skills and habits (KASH).

As a result, these negative actions hold them back from taking life by the horns.

They are prevented from living out the dream in their hearts.

Beware of such enticing traps.

Never blame anyone for whatever challenges you are facing.

Instead, take charge of the situation.

Don’t justify your fears and failures.

Instead, take full responsibility to resolve them. Develop yourself so as to fulfill your goals and vision.

Avoid giving excuses for not achieving the desired outcomes.

Instead, take massive action to achieve sustainable success in your life.

When you work hard and smart, it can never put you or anybody down.

It will expand your potential and enhance your performance.

It can help you excel in whatever you choose to pursue in your life.

You may not be the most talented person or have the right experience.

You may not even have the best resources.

However, if you are willing to work hard and smart, you can develop strengths to help you capitalise on opportunities.

Like muscles that need to be stretched to perform well, you can become more disciplined, knowledgeable and competent.

You can mix with champions to follow their footsteps to become a champion.

Their work ethos can inspire and influence you to make full use of your life.

With continuos improvement, you will become more productive.

With higher productivity, you will achieve better results.

Soon, you will achieve ever better results with ever less resources.

When you press on in pressing on, you will eventually overtake the rest.

You will stand out from the crowd and lead the field.

If you feel like working hard and smart, do more.

If not, push yourself even harder until working hard and smart becomes a habit and a way of life.

You will never know how much you can stretch until you stretch yourself.

Soon, you will learn to enjoy your endevour and become more effective and efficient in your performance.

You will learn how to direct your life towards the desired destination.

Along the way, don’t let anything hold you back from working hard and smart.

Fight it with all your might.

Learn to fire up your engines when you get out of bed to start a new day and to start it right.

Develop grit and perseverance to take the right action and in the right way.

Keep striving and stretching and soaring to accomplish better achievements that will help you reach for the stars in your life.

I believe if you stop working hard and smart and enjoying the process, you stop living.

Taking responsibility to face challenges is our Creator’s mandate for us to manage life.

Therefore, make working hard and smart a vital and integral part of your life – starting from now.Go4It!

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Visit my Inspiration blog at

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at

Please visit my website,

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


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