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Safety 2017: The 7 Cs of Success

June 20, 2017
Tom Morris, published author, philosopher and professor, spoke to ASSE Safety 2017 attendees about what mindsets are needed to achieve success.

A smile never left the face of Tom Morris as he energetically spoke to the general session audience at Safety 2017 in Denver.

Aptly nicknamed, “World’s Happiest Philosopher,” Morris drew on personal experiences as well as those of his friends to demonstrate the 7 Cs of Success. The key elements in the mantra are needed to meet and exceed any goals in life, he told attendees.

The 7 Cs involve both inner and external mindsets and skillsets a person must realize in order to move forward and obtain success. They include:

  1. A clear conception of what we want, a vivid vision, a goal clearly imagined.

“If we don’t see clearly, we can’t take advantage of things we can control,” Morris told the audience.

 Morris provided the two greatest pieces of advice he discovered that lead to the necessity of a clear conception. One piece, “knowing thyself,” has appeared in biblical context and has been mentioned by various philosophers throughout history.

In addition, a person must allow what is very good to keep him/her from achieving the best.

“Have the inner desire to always be ready for what is next,” he said.

  1. A strong confidence that we can attain the goal.

Evidence of the past does not guarantee future success. There are two types of confidence a person must have. Once a person decides or has a clear vision of what he/she wants to do or achieve, they must take the first steps or have the initial confidence.

“Bring it – don’t look for it, and don’t expect circumstances to deliver it,” Morris said.

Once the ball is in motion, a person needs to have resilient confidence and be persistent on their journey no matter what obstacles they face.

  1. A focused concentration on what it takes to reach the goal.

A person should not take on everything at once or in random order but rather be calculated in his/her actions.

“You must divide then conquer from the start to get to that goal,” he said.

  1. A stubborn consistency in pursuing our vision.

Actions and words must start together, Morris cautioned. He likened this to an old Chinese philosophy that water is stronger than rock. As water flow downstream and through rocks, it always finds a path to move forward. If it gets cold, water becomes ice, likewise, vapor if it is hot.

“In times of change, we need to be able to adapt, but we should never change the core of who we are,” he said.

  1. An emotional commitment to the importance of what we’re doing.

Morris, a professor at University of Norte Dame, cited his experience teaching football players at the school, particularly the 1988 championship team. A record number of students failed his first exam of the session. Over time, Morris worked with the players to get excited about learning philosophy. Eventually, the team began to incorporate lessons learned into their football strategy.

“You must appeal to emotional commitment and the passion to move change,” he said.

  1. A good character to guide us and keep us on a proper course.

Napoleon Bonaparte was talented and knew how to persuade the masses. However, he also was a liar, a cheat and untrustworthy, which led to his demise, Morris said. Not having a good character will negate any persuasion or salesmanship a person might have.

In order to master persuasion and salesmanship, Aristotle noted three things a person must have : logos (logic), pathos (passion) and ethos (character).

  1. A capacity to enjoy the process along the way.

“The Greeks said to enjoy thyself,” he said. “It makes the whole process a lot easier.”

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