Michael Korda

Others may ask how you define success. This is more difficult. Success is relative; not everybody wants to put together a four-billion-dollar conglomerate, or become President of the United States, or win the Nobel Peace Prize. It is usually a mistake to begin with such grandiose ambitions, which tend to degenerate into lazy daydreams. The best way to succeed is to begin with a reasonably realistic goal and attain it,  rather than aiming at something so far beyond, your reach that you' are bound to fail It is also important to make a habit of succeeding, and the easiest way to start is to succeed at something, however small,  every day,  gradually increasing the level of your ambitions and achievements like a runner in training, who begins with short distances and works up to Olympic levels.

Try to, think of success as a journey,  an adventure, not a specific destination. Your goals may change during the course of that journey, and your original ambitions may be superseded by different, larger ones. Success will certainly bring you the material things you want, and a good, healthy appetite for the comforts and luxuries of life is an excellent road to success, but basically, you will know you have reached your goal when you have gone that one step further, in wealth, fame or achievement, than you ever dreamed was possible.

How you become a success is, of course, your business. Morality has very little to do with success. I do not personally think it is necessary to be dishonest, brutal or unethical in order to succeed, but a great many dishonest, brutal or unethical people in fact do succeed- You would better be prepared for the fact that success is seldom won without some tough infighting along the way. A lot depends on your profession, of course. There is a great deal of difference between setting out to become a success in a Maphia family and trying to become vice president of a bank, but the differences simply consist of contrasting social customs and of what is the appropriate way to get ahead in a given profession or business.


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