The first key to success is easy, and most of you are doing it already. It's about working hard and never giving up, nor giving in. Persistence defines my very being. 

This first success key is extraordinarily important if you are entering a new profession, starting a business, transitioning out of school and into life, or starting a new job.

Few things are more valuable at Operation HOPE than employees being seen truly engaged in their jobs (purpose driven), and of course working hard (showing some passion for what they’re doing).

But once you have your foot in the door and have achieved a level of success and personal achievement, you’re then presented with an entirely new sort of challenge. How you respondto life becomes key. Life is 10% what life does to you, and 90% how you choose to respond to it. 

Life is not about reaction, but response. Far too many people just react all through life, creating a real mess along the way.

"Talk without being offensive. Listen without being defensive. And always, alwaysleave even your adversary with their dignity." Because if you don’t, they will spend the rest of their lives working to make you miserable. It becomes personal.

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John Hope Bryant is the founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies, Inc. Magazine/CEO READ bestselling business author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), and is the only 2010-2012 bestselling business author in America who is also African-American. His newest book, due out May, 2014, is HOW THE POOR CAN SAVE CAPITALISM, and will be published byBerrett Koehler Publishing).

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