Published May 23, 2009
What do mega church pastor Joel Osteen, country superstar Martina McBride, multimillionaire entrepreneur Chris Gardner, comedienne Whoopi Goldberg, NBA superstar Dikembe Mutombo, and world-renowned flutist Sir James Galway all have in common?
They all believe that true success has nothing to do with luck. And all believe that if someone wants to change their life, they have the power to so.
Each have their own stories about overcoming adversity. Single mom Goldberg had to go on welfare to take care of her daughter. Gardner grew up in foster homes and spent time in jail before he became a successful entrepreneur, as depicted in the Hollywood film "The Pursuit of Happyness." Did you know that Osteen only preached once in his life before taking over his father's church, or that McBride sold T-shirts for Garth Brooks before hitting the big time?
All six sat down with FOX News to share their stories of success — reflections that are fascinating and inspiring.
Here is a list of some of the common threads they share: lessons they picked up on their own personal journeys towards what they describe as happy and fulfilled lives.
1. How You Think Is Everything. — Learn to visualize success and not failure. The phrase "You are what you think" is a powerful idea. Don’t listen to the voices that are pulling you down -- you can’t spend all your time trying to win over your critics. Run your own race.
2. It's Not About the Money — Material things are the results of success, but are not success itself. It’s great having a nice home, a six-figure salary or luxury vacations, but success isn’t measured by the dollars. It’s measured by how satisfied you feel.
3. Goals, Goal, Goals — Remember that goals must be meaningful and personal; otherwise, you won’t be inspired to achieve them.
4. Great Expectations — For something desirable to happen, you must want the event to happen, firmly believing it will occur and expecting it to take place.
5. To Fail Is to Succeed — Failure pushes you to levels you never dreamed of, and can open doors you never thought possible. See failure as a life lesson for what works and what doesn’t.
6. Dream Big — Never be afraid to follow the dreams of your heart. It’s the fuel for success. Your dreams give you the energy and inspiration to aim for an authentic life.
7. Take Responsibility — Stop expecting things to just happen without action. You need to take action to reach your goals, without blaming others for bumps or setbacks you may find along the way. Own the choices you make: Be a victor, not a victim.
8. Positive, Not Negative — If you are passionate about your dreams and goals, you’re likely to attract people who will want to support and help you. Call on them when you need encouragement or guidance.
9. Never Stop Learning — Read books, take classes, take the time to learn all you can about things that excite, motivate or inspire you. Never lose that sense of wonder or curiosity when it comes to seeking more knowledge.
10. Belief in a Higher Power — Regardless of your religion, develop a strong sense of faith in God and have a daily attitude of gratitude for what you have in this life. Believe that there is a divine purpose to your life and know that there is power in prayer.
Watch “Secrets of Success,” hosted by Uma Pemmaraju on Sunday at 2 p.m. and 2 a.m. EDT.