What’s the Secret to Success? Faculty Discuss

Gaining success starts with understanding failure, counting blessings and maintaining relationships.

Illustration by Getty Images © tumeak

Illustration by Getty Images © tumeak

What’s the Secret to Success? Faculty Discuss

Gaining success starts with understanding failure, counting blessings and maintaining relationships.

Compiled by Caroline Collier

Frederick GoodingFrederick Gooding

Assistant Professor of African American Studies, John V. Roach Honors College

Whether failure withers and breaks us or nurtures and strengthens us depends on the meaning we give it. Failure offers opportunities to reflect on what did and did not work, understand how we contributed to the outcome, and discover and create better actions and results. Every time we fail and find a way to stand and move forward, we practice resilience. Every time we fail and find a way to try again — differently — to begin anew, we practice perseverance. Every time we practice resilience and perseverance, we practice optimism, the hope that we and the world can be better and more successful. Failure can teach us that the success we envision is not always the success we live, and through that failure we remain open to opportunities we may not have imagined.

Tracey RockettTracey Rockett

Professor of Management Practice, Neeley School of Business

The secret to success, in all areas of life, is building and maintaining strong relationships with others. The old adage “It isn’t what you know, it is who you know” is true. Be kind, be helpful and be sincere. Build deep interpersonal connections with others and give to those in your network. It will take time and patience, but the rewards are worth it.

Johnny NhanJohnny Nhan

Associate Professor and Graduate Director of Criminal Justice, AddRan College of Liberal Arts

There really isn’t a secret to success but just a willingness to take daily continuous actions toward a goal, no matter how small. A person who is willing to take immediate action — instead of just talking about it — and to work a little harder than the next person is what makes it a reality. Everyone already knows this, but not everyone will actually do it.

Erin AtwoodErin Atwood

Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership, College of Education

The secret to success is to first define what success means to you. We each have our own path in this world, and my version of success may not be the same as anyone else’s. That’s OK. If we each pursue the aspirations and goals that we have laid out in our own minds, then we are successful.

Jean Rivera PerezJean Rivera Perez

Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders, Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences

“Success is not built on success. It’s built on failure.” — Sumner Redstone

The secret of success is persevering through difficulty, pain, injustice, inequality and social barriers, and overcoming our own failures. It is letting the Lord shape your life and being humble with courage, persistent with patience and audacious with discipline. Enjoy this journey while transforming yourself into the person you always dreamed of being.

Paul WittPaul Witt

Professor of Communication Studies, Bob Schieffer College of Communication

Like TCU founder Randolph Clark, I am committed to helping students “develop the foundations of character” so they will enjoy personal and professional success. Seven decades of life experience have taught me that the secret to a successful life is to build one’s character on the moral and ethical principles espoused by Judeo-Christian traditions: to love God and to serve others. I believe that a life lived in this manner is destined for success.

Tristan TayagTristan Tayag

Professor of Engineering, College of Science & Engineering

I don’t think I am any more “successful” than the next person, but I do realize that I am very blessed. The “secret” may be to recognize your blessings. God constantly blesses us with opportunities to serve each other and grow in the process. Sometimes these opportunities may not seem particularly attractive to us, but if we accept them and do our best, then we can’t go wrong!