How To Be Successful in Life

I began as a copy girl. In Australian newspapers in those days, you didn’t get much lower forms of life than the copy girl, but you had to be one until some senior journalist died and everyone moved up a grade. A senior journalist died, a junior journalist became a senior journalist, a cadet journalist became a junior journalist and a copy boy or girl got a cadetship. For me, no one died.

One day, after eighteen months, I was sent to buy juice for a subeditor who decided when I handed him a tin that he wanted it in a carton. He tossed the tin at me and said to go back for a carton; I threw the tin back at him and told him to get it himself and then I had to resign as a point of honour. Things looked bleak. But it never occurred to me to try something else. For me, there was nothing else.

What you can learn from this

If you haven’t been born with a passion, a can cultivate one. Look at your interest in music and art history and literature. I see passion burgeoning in all of you. When it comes to launching a career, what matters isn’t so much what you want as what’s available on the day and whether you can stand the dirt, the grime and the poor pay longer than anyone else at the bottom of the ladder.

Successful  Life

It doesn’t matter whether you are guided by your heart or your head, be prepared to start at the bottom and to endure months and possibly years of humiliation and learning. Make yourself learn by asking questions. It’s no big deal. We all did it. The bottom was the usual place for my generation to start and I’m a little hurt that your generation expects otherwise. What do you think? You’re better than we were?

Of course you are better educated and very well informed and this will count for something. But mark my words, it’s a mistake to turn your nose up at the bottom when it is a means to an end. It’s the end that should be within your focus. The end should sustain you.

When your heart’s desire lets you down

Sometimes your heart’s desire can let you down. Though you pursue it with a mind ever so single, you fail. Especially in the area of invention, both scientific and creative. Possibly your time isn’t right or maybe you got your product wrong. It happens.

Your choice is to keep trying, to plug away, or to cut your losses. It’s a personal one. But time is an important factor and so is money. Sooner or later, plugging away fruitlessly will be a waste of it. Maybe walk away and come back later. Maybe get something else going at the same time. Take advice. I will always be there to offer it.

If an interest not a passion lets you down

Don’t be afraid to change horses mid-stream. What works for one period of your life may not work for another. Keep your options open by staying curious, fit and socially acceptable. A passion may emerge in good time. Keep an eye out for it but never approach strangers in the street in your quest to find one. It’s not that urgent.


Never be afraid to speak your mind. Speaking your mind is now so widely accepted that you can pay to learn how to do it. This makes me laugh. People say to me, ‘Why are you so aggressive?’ I say to them, ‘Why are you so short?’ There is apparently a fine line between aggression and assertiveness but I would be more wary of the line between being assertive and sounding like a spoilt brat, it’s a tiny one, especially in restaurants.

Knowing and getting what you want other than a job

Pretty well all the above applies. Use your common sense.

Rule: Always speak distinctly. Then when you tell people what you want they won’t say, ‘Sorry, I missed all that. You’ll have to start again.’

Filed Under: Lifestyle & Personality


About the Author: Alan Kennon lives a very happy life with two kids and a lovely wife. He likes to share his life time experiences with others about how they can improve their lifestyle and personality.

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