Primary greatness is what each of us want as that will provide the lever for a fulfilled life. Stephen Covey is one of my favorite authors and he talks about the essentials you need to really live a great life. The book Primary Greatness focuses on 12 levers you need to succeed in life. Here they are with my take on each.

Integrity – This means you are true to yourself. You do what you say and say what you do. There is no hidden agenda. This means whatever happens you never compromise on your principles. While all of us can improve in every area of our life it is imperative that when we live our life based on core principles we will have greater joy.

Contribution – The only way to get satisfaction is to increase your contribution towards life and work. Analyze all the ways you can increase your contribution to whatever you do for a living. Create a personal mission statement for yourself. A mission statement can give clarity to what you want your life to stand for. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to write your own eulogy and then try to base your life decisions based on that final statement. Even nations were built based on a mission statement. Companies have mission statement. A mission statement can make you feel enthused most of the time.

Priority – As Stephen Covey likes to say people are majoring in minor things. One of the key characteristics of highly successful people is they separate the majors from the minors. In other words put first things first. Evaluate everything you have to do and only focus on top priorities. Learn to say no and this is easier when you have a personal mission statement that you are completely committed to. Have a burning yes so that you can say no to unimportant things.

Personal Sacrifice – Practice the art of delaying gratification. Don’t expect things to happen quickly. Everything worthwhile takes time to bear fruit. Ever heard of the Chinese bamboo tree it doesn’t grow much in the first four years but by the fifth year it grows to 90 feet. So it is all the water and fertilizing in the first four years which is the key. Fertilize your life with the right thoughts and action to watch it grow.

Service –We all derive our income through the service we provide to others. When you increase your service you get an increase in personal fulfillment while increasing your income as well. Go for service in everything you do. Sacrifice is the key to service. You also have greater peace of mind when you are in service.

Responsibility – This is one of the toughest decisions anyone can take in life. It is that you are totally responsible for everything in your life. If you want to change anything about your life it is your responsibility to take complete charge and make the necessary changes. It looks like every author has taken this and is talking about this concept.

Loyal – First be loyal to your life. It is your life and your dedication to make it a masterpiece is essential to win in life. Be loyal to the profession you are occupied in. There is no way to achieve success without loyalty. Don’t speak ill of people who are not there.

Reciprocity – What you give is what you get. This is the iron law of the universe. If you want a happy marriage then try to be the kind of person who generates and radiates warmth and happiness. If you want a promotion develop the work skills needed to go to the next level. First make changes in yourself and see how the world reacts.

Diversity – The world is becoming more diverse. Everyone is unique so appreciate each person for what they are. Don’t always seek out people who are like you. Instead complement your team with people who have different strengths than you.

Learning – This is the key to thrive in the 21st Century. If you want to win in the marketplace make sure your skills are relevant. Continuously upgrade your skill by reading continuously in your field, stay abreast of the trends, listen to podcasts, read blogs by experts in your field and finally share what you have learned. Most of the resources available are free so we have everything we need to succeed.

Renewal– Get engaged in physical renewal by exercising, take enough rest every day and every week, eat well and finally sleep well. These are simple suggestions but enable you to be a better peak performer. Take care of your body like a prized athlete as that’s what you are when you go to work. Make sure you take care of your mind by reading uplifting material and keeping up to date in your field.

Teaching – As I mentioned earlier the only way to learn and internalize what we have learned by teaching it to others. I always make it a point to document what I have learned and share it with everyone through blogs. This is a great way to stay engaged.

There you have it the 12 levers of success. In my opinion if we follow all of these our success in life is guaranteed. Though Stephen Covey is no longer with us his teaching is as relevant today as it was when he was alive. His wisdom has stood the test of time and if you want to read one book on success this is it.

The views expressed here are my own and do not represent my organization.