Noted historian David McCullough once said, “Real success is finding your lifework in the work that you love.” This statement says it all. No matter what path you find yourself on, it is essential to have passion for what you do. There are three principles that have guided me in my career:

Vision. When I was a child, my mother encouraged me to dream the greatest dream that I could. This strategy provided me with the vision for my career and life, enabling me to consider and establish specific goals to propel me on my path. I believe that having a vision keeps you motivated when facing obstacles and inspires you to seek solutions to meet goals. Successful leaders are often visionaries who are always thinking ahead to what comes next.

Focus. Let nothing stand in the way of your dreams. Being focused means having a plan, a road map to get from point A to point B. In some respects, you can draw an analogy to business. Most successful companies have business plans and longterm strategies. This is the same approach I encourage in mapping a career. To be successful, it is important to set realistic goals with realistic time lines. As we all know, the one constant in life is change; so it is important to be flexible, yet focused on the end result.

Discipline. Successful leaders know how to execute their plans. Your plan for life must always be a work in progress. It is important to adapt to change and know when to have self-control. Being successful is like running a marathon. Education and experience are your training, and being patient, persistent and determined will get you to the finish line.

There are many ways to achieve success, but if you enjoy what you do, the rewards are inevitable.