Success is tantalizing and the word evokes a lot of positive images. As long as your success does not depend on tearing other people down you can be happy when you are moving towards your definition of success. I have identified 12 D’s of success that can help us get to where we want in our lives. Here they are.

Desire: This is the first word we should remember when it comes to success. Success truly requires a vision of something better than what is there today. What is it that you want so badly that you will do the necessary sacrifice to achieve? Desire is the starting point of all success. Desire has to be personal and it cannot be what someone else wants for you.

Discipline: Jim Rohn said discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. Basically successful people do the things that others don’t like to do even though they may not like to do it. For example successful people always do the things that are difficult. They take care of themselves well. All this requires sacrifice which is a key word when it comes to success. Develop your discipline muscles to win big in life.

Dedication: Dedication to your life is one of the keys to a successful life. I know a lot of experts talk about successful careers but I think we should look at life as a whole. We should be dedicated to life and as Victor Frankl said life is asking each of us a question. It is up to us to answer that call. Be dedicated to every part of your life and take action towards your closely held dreams.

Determination: Determination is the key to keep going when you face the inevitable setbacks that are bound to occur in anyone’s journey. Keep your dreams and goals at the forefront of your mind as you encounter detours towards the path of success. Keep your determination by developing your grit muscles. As Angela Duckworth says grit is passion and perseverance towards your long term goals.

Dare: Dare means the ability to take calculated risks. This is a tricky topic because sometimes people think you have to do something really scary to be risky. Each person’s risk quotient is different but taking risks in small doses in any area of your life increases your chances of success. It may be as simple as taking up an assignment that others are not taking. Keep pushing your personal frontiers against the goals you have defined.

Deep: Go deep in your learning. Go deep in your work. As Cal Newport says deep work will be the most valuable type of work going forward. With so many distractions it is the people who are able to focus that will win big in the future. The main thesis is to not get distracted and have distraction free zones to produce your best work. So switch off social media, take time for solitude and that’s when the best work shows up. Cal Newport defines deep work as “Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.”

Deserve: You deserve all the good things that you have rightly earned through your talent and hard work. There is really no reason why each of us should not get the success we deserve provided we rightfully earn it. We are all worthy of success irrespective of whatever background we have come from. So believe in yourself and you will mostly get what you deserve.

Deliberate practice: Deliberate practice is the ability to put in the hours that sets the successful people from the rest. This is really inspiring from Michael Phelps and his dedication to hard work. His quote “People were taking breaks during and after the Olympics. I was working all the time. Six months later, I broke the world record… Sometimes my goggles broke in practice, that’s how intensely I pushed myself. So when my goggles fell off in the water at the Olympics, my mind went back to those moments, and I was ready… It’s what you do in the dark that brings you to light. It’s the stuff behind closed doors, the blood, sweat and tears.” Another example is Michael Jordan and in the book Relentless Tim Grover said Michael Jordan didn’t study the competition instead he made the competition study him. Find out the experts in your field, connect with them, read their books, read their blogs, listen to their podcasts, document what you have learned and share what you have learned.

Dependable: The most important quality needed to become a valuable player in the marketplace is dependability. As some say the most important ability needed is dependability. How would it be if everyone around you said this is a dependable person? The best way to be dependable is to keep your promises and if you make a mistake accept it immediately. If you cannot make a deadline ensure there is advance notice to concerned stakeholders. Being dependable never goes out of fashion.

Detachment: Detachment is the key to be peaceful as you go through life. Basically this means investing in the process. You do everything you can to achieve what you want but the result is not in your hands. Accept whatever result comes with equanimity. The basic premise is to be peaceful in life you need to be detached from outcomes. As Shakespeare said “There is nothing good or bad thinking makes it so.” Of course this is not easy but with practice it is a quality that can be developed.

Decisive: All successful people are highly decisive. They take decisions fast and they are very slow to change any decision they made. In Think and Grow Rich Napoleon Hill writes that one of the success qualities of Henry Ford was he was totally decisive. He made decisions fast and if he had to make a change he took his time. In recent times Eric Schmidt says being decisive is one of the keys to become a successful leader.

Daily action: As John Maxwell said you can’t change something in your life unless you change something you do daily. This simply means you should take daily action against your well defined goals. If you want to lose weight do that extra step, if you want a promotion just put a little more effort and so on. Keeping a daily journal on your progress also helps in keeping you motivated for the long haul.

There you have it the 12 D’s of success. Incorporating them into our daily lives will eventually lead us to the success we desire.

Thanks for reading this post. The views expressed here are my own and do not represent my organization.