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Secret of success lies in the power of foresight: John D. Rockefeller on Success

Feb 27, 2013
Book Cover
Book Cover

Everybody wants to be successful but very few of us want to pay the price. However, this does not reduce the attractiveness of answer to this very question: how to be successful? Unfortunately, the answer to this question is always an elusive one. Nobody knows but everybody wants. But the lessons and opinions from the people who made too much in life can be a cornerstone to start our journey towards success. As Napoleon Hill asserted a burning desire backed by unwavering faith is the key to all human achievement. For Lara Jade success depends on how badly we want it and for Debbie Millman we choose all of our success and failure by belittling ourselves in our imagination. For Walt Disney success comes with imagination and hard work to make that imagination true, for Polaroid founder Edwin Land success is a process that takes five thousand steps of hard work, faith and obsession.

Here is two rules for success from John D. Rockefeller from a 1901 book “How They Succeeded: Life Stories of Successful Men Told by Themselves”

To ride a car you need to look far ahead otherwise the propensity of accident increases. To be successful one also need to look ahead which they named foresight. The heavenly ability to see the future and translate it into reality before your fellow competitors sets one ahead in a competition and let win her the race. From invention to innovation, whatever you name it, all are result of farsightedness. Steve’s foresight awarded us with first personal computer, Henry Ford’s foresight with model T, and very own Samson H. Chowdhury’s foresight awarded us with first Pharmaceutical company and Kamal Quadir’s with mobile platform for selling and buying and for transferring money.

In an investigation to understand the chemistry of success of Rockefeller one of his business associates credited his foresight for his success over anything else. His associate said:

"I believe the secret of his success, so far as there is any secret lies in power of foresight, which often seems to his associates to be wonderful. It comes simply from his habit of look-in gate very side of a question, of weighing the favorable and unfavorable features of a situation, and of sifting out the inevitable result through his unfailing good judgment."

Rome was not built in a day. Everything takes time and one must stick to her plan until she makes it. Giving up spoil the game and you will never win anything if you don’t stick with it. As Iraj Islam  said “I believe the two most important things for an entrepreneur are passion and perseverance” in a recent interview; Rockefeller said the same thing in 1901:

“It was early training, and the fact that I was willing to persevere. I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. I t overcomes almost every-thing, even nature."

Complement with Amelia E. Barr's 9 rules of success :9 rules for success from British Novelist Amelia E. Barr, Napoleon Hill's Imagination for success Everything about Imagination: The workshop of the mind from Napoleon Hill, 1938, & Thomas Edison's one thing rule for success Do one thing and do it obsessively

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Ruhul Kader is a technology and business analyst based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Future Startup and author of Rethinking Failure: A short guide to living an entrepreneurial life. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, technology policy, and society. He can be reached at

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