Your primary goal ought to be to become one of those remarkable people who achieves greatly and makes a real difference with his life. And whether this happens or not is very much in your own hands.

To realize your full potential, you must focus on career goals, hard work and success factors and free yourself as much as possible from randomness and uncertainty. You must organize your life in such a way that the probabilities of achieving your career goals are extremely high.

You must learn the cause-and-effect relationships between what you want and how to get it through hard work and goal planning. You must take complete control over every part of your life and create your own future. You must leave nothing to chance.

Luck or hard work/? When some people achieve great success faster than others, they are immediately accused of having “good luck” and rarely get credit for their hard work. When people make a mess of their lives, largely due to their own shortcomings, it’s often dismissed as “bad luck.”

One of the reasons for this confusion is that most people don’t understand the difference between “chance” and “luck.” Chance refers to gambling, to casinos, blackjack, poker, slot machines and horse racing. In games of chance, the outcome is almost completely out of your control and has nothing to do with success factors in life.

Luck however is something completely different. What we call “luck” is really the Law of Probabilities in action. The “lucky” individual does many things which in combination dramatically increase the likelihood that her desired career goals will be achieved. If you examine the history of any great success and review the actions that preceded it, you will see a definite pattern. You will see that the successful individual did many little things, sometimes over the course of years, which made the final great success possible.

The basic principle of achieving your career goals. Here is an important rule: There is a direct relationship between the number of different things you attempt and your likelihood of eventual success in achieving your career goals.

If a new salesperson gets up early each morning, plans his day, works steadily all day long, talks to as many prospects as possible, follows up persistently and continually works on himself to improve his selling skills by reading, audio learning and regular attendance at sales courses and seminars, he is going to be far more successful than another salesperson who fails to do these things. His high earnings will not be a matter of luck but rather design and hard work.

Success factors in life and in your career goals are as follows: If you get a good education, thoughtfully match your career choice with your natural talents and abilities and continually work to upgrade your skills and the value of your contribution, you will eventually achieve success. And it will not be the result of luck.

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Brian Tracy is the CEO of Brian Tracy International, which specializes in business training, and the author of the best-selling Psychology of Achievement. For more information, go to www.briantracy.com.