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The Common Denominator of Success

the 7 habits of highly effective people by stephen covey

The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People”  is a great book. If you’ve never read it, you should grab yourself a copy of this classic book.

*Click the image above to purchase this book on Amazon now.

In the chapter on the 3rd Habit “Put First Things First” Covey makes a passing reference to an essay called, “The Common Denominator of Success” by E.N. Gray.

When I first read about it, I decided to “Google” it and see if I could find it.

And guess what? I did! 

I’m really glad I did find it. Why? This essay is really packed with some really powerful truths!

Here are some excerpts:

  • “The common denominator of success — the secret of success of every man who has ever been successful — lies in the fact that he formed the habit of doing things that failures don’t like to do.”
  • “…we’ve got to realize right from the start that success is something which is achieved by the minority of men, and is therefore unnatural and not to be achieved by following our natural likes and dislikes nor by being guided by our natural preferences and prejudices.
  • “Perhaps you have wondered why it is that our biggest producers seem to like to do the things that you don’t like to doThey don’t! And I think this is the most encouraging statement I have ever offered to a group of life insurance salesmen.”
  • But if they don’t like to do these things, then why do they do them? Because by doing the things they don’t like to do, they can accomplish the things they want to accomplish.
  • Successful men are influenced by the desire for pleasing results. Failures are influenced by the desire for pleasing methods and are inclined to be satisfied with such results as can be obtained by doing things they like to do.”
  • “Why are successful men able to do things they don’t like to do while failures are not? Because successful men have a purpose strong enough to make them form the habit of doing things they don’t like to do in order to accomplish the purpose they want to accomplish.”

That’s some good stuff, isn’t it?

You can get a .PDF copy of the FULL speech here.


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About Scott Aughtmon (1872 Articles)
I’m author of the book 51 Content Marketing Hacks. I am also a regular contributor to and I am the person behind the popular infographic 21 Types of Content We Crave. I’m a business strategist, consultant, content creation specialist, and speaker. I’ve been studying effective marketing and business methods (both online and offline) since 1999. ===> If you would like to see ways that we could work together, then please click here to learn more.