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Today, I got an email from a business student who wanted to ask me a few questions in an interview format. The second-to-last question made me think a lot, and I thought I’d share my answer with you, particularly my younger viewers.

Q: “What is your perspective on the keys to success?”

A: “For better or worse, success is always a cocktail of the following three ingredients:




TALENT: Those innate gifts which one cannot buy, learn, or earn. Whether it be charisma, coordination, or the ability to write lyrics, these things can be honed, but they cannot be transferred from one person to another. To be successful, we must recognize our talents and sharpen them through discipline.

APTITUDE: The sum total of our skills and disciplines which can be learned. This is the measure of how well one has honed his or her talents.

LUCK: Being at the right place at the right time.  Every day, we spin a huge wheel like on The Price is Right. Once in a while, we land on a spot marked “opportunity.” This is LUCK in action. However, if we do not have the TALENT or the APTITUDE, then the opportunity is wasted and our good luck means nothing.”




  1. Well said.

  2. I would like to add Perseverance to the list. If it is based on luck, you are also playing a numbers game. As such it requires you spin that wheel over and over again. You don’t just spin it once and give up if you don’t get the intended response.

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