‘Nothing succeeds like success’ – Origin, Meaning, Explanation, Examples, Importance

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 ‘Nothing succeeds like success’ – Origin, Meaning, Explanation, Examples, Importance


Introduction: Do you want to know the secret of success? Perhaps it is all contained in one little phrase: ‘nothing succeeds like success’.

Origin of the phrase: This phrase is proverbial in both English and French. It may have been part of oral culture for a very long time before it was first written down in 1868 by Sir Arthur Helps.

Meaning: ‘Nothing succeeds like success’ means that if you are successful in one thing, you are more likely to be successful in the future as well. Another way of putting this phrase would be to say, ‘success breeds further success’.

‘Nothing succeeds like success’ thus refers to the fact that:

  • Being successful opens up new opportunities for us.
  • Success gets us known, and this can encourage others to help us to succeed even further.
  • Success gives us confidence and shows us the way to future success.

Explanation: The phrase ‘nothing succeeds like success’ teaches us the importance of giving others that all important first opportunity to succeed. It also reminds us that we need to keep on taking opportunities: once we have succeeded at first, we will find that more and more success comes our way. It is important to appreciate our successes, and also to celebrate the successes of others. And, if at first we do not find success, we should keep on trying! Stay positive and confident and you will find that, sooner or later, we will begin to succeed time and time again.

Examples of the principle of ‘nothing succeeds like success’.

1. We are offered a promotion at work, and after excelling in this new role, we are offered a further promotion.

2. We win a heat for an athletics event and this puts us through to the final, where we have the opportunity to win there too.

3. We do well on an essay for school and as a result have the confidence to do well in future schoolwork.

4. We pass an exam and feel like we have cracked the secret to exam success!

5. By coincidence, we seem to have several successes in a wide variety of different things – and, we start to feel that they must be connected.

Importance: The importance of the idea ‘nothing succeeds like success’ is highlighted below:

1. Encouragement. When we know that success can lead to even more success, we feel encouraged to try our hardest at everything we do.

2. Confidence. Succeeding once endows us with confidence: we feel that we now know the secret to success and we know that we have the ability to succeed again and again.

3. Positivity. Knowing that success breeds success helps us to have a positive outlook on life: things will keep on getting better!

4. A recipe for success. This phrase teaches us that once we have worked out how to succeed once, we can succeed again – success need not be something mysterious.

5. Helping others. If we want other people to succeed in life, we know that all that we need to do is to give them some initial help and then that first success will create more and more opportunities for them.

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