Dear Colleagues

We all yearn for that magic formula to success in life and perhaps in our engineering careers, as well. Although I doubt a simple formula exists. However, scientists at University College London have found what they believe are the five key life skills that will bring you health, career success, wealth and overall success.

Five Fantastic Life Skills

  • Emotional Stability
  • Determination and Grit
  • Control of your environment
  • Optimism
  • And Conscientiousness

You will probably laugh and exclaim that this is all pretty obvious. True enough. But oddly enough - my favorite expression); many of us don’t practice this mantra. And I hasten to also add – what is the definition of ‘success’ and 'happiness' ? I have come across poverty stricken farmers in poor countries who seem to be very happy and seemingly conducting a successful life despite having very little.

This particular research was conducted in a scientific way and seems to make sense. It was conducted by following the lives of 8000 middle-aged Britons for the past eleven years.

Those who didn’t have these skills were seemingly condemned to loneliness, depression and to ill-health. This incidentally also means that even if you are hyper intelligent or from a wealthy background – you may not end up with a successful life if you don't have these skills - as you can see from the qualities listed, many rich people don't necessarily have these.

No single attribute counted – they all contributed towards success. Naturally, in the lottery of Life, many of us are unfortunately condemned to ill health or bad luck due to our genes, environment, war and upbringing.

Other Positive Spin offs
From a health point of view – people with these seemingly five attributes had lower levels of cholesterol, heart disease and inflammation and were fit and lean. Interestingly enough from a community point of view – these people were likely to volunteer more frequently and make a big contribution to society.

Build on them for a Successful Life and Career
In essence, it is important to build on these skills and nurture them throughout your life for ensure good health and happiness well into your dotage. And to use these skills to build your engineering career into something very successful.


Thanks to the Daily Telegraph for an interesting summary of this research.

As Sam Ewing remarks: Success has a simple formula: do your best, and people may like it.

Yours in engineering learning


Mackay’s Musings – 21st March’17  #644
125, 273 readers – www.eit.edu.au/cms/news/blog-steve-mackay

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