The Vowels of Success

Characteristics That Shape Your Future

By J. Lamar Roberts

Every person defines the characteristics of success differently and, while each definition is unique, there are some fundamentals that run true through each of them. These characteristics and traits have been touched on and dissected over the years by well-known authors like Zig Ziglar, Dr. Robert H. Schuller, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and Napoleon Hill, to contemporary authors that will one day be equally familiar to us. However, to sum up the pages of all of these beautifully written manuscripts, below are
The Vowels of Success as a quick reference on what characteristics one must have in order to be successful in life and in business.

Attitude, Aptitude, Altitude

Attitude is more important than aptitude in determining your altitude. You must have a positive outlook on life and people. The absence of negative thinking in your life and/or business is imperative. You may have heard it referenced as “stinkin’ thinkin’” or getting a “check up from the neck up for hardening of your attitude.” The positive attitude you have towards any given situation greatly impacts its outcome. Remember; always think positively . . .
it is contagious and it achieves positive results.

Enthusiasm, Education, Experience

Enthusiasm coupled with education and experience can take you to new heights. You can have all of the degrees, accreditations and certifications in the world, but without enthusiasm, you have little. Always be excited about learning and doing. This combination will lead to success.

Important, Involved, Informed

It is important to make others feel important. You can accomplish that by getting those around you involved and keeping them informed. Employees or colleagues feel important when their opinions are valued and they are kept informed of recent changes in the company. When they feel important, they become better team members.

Optimistic, Others, Opportunities

An optimistic mindset gives you a positive approach to challenges. Others can be helpful with these challenges, as there is no such thing as a self-made man. If offered help, accept it with open arms. Everyone needs mentors. optimism and learning from others will lead to opportunities. These opportunities can produce success.


You are Unique, having no like or equal. Your parents may have told you “just be yourself.” They were right! No one else is like you; you were made in the divine and perfect image of the Creator. Remember that throughout your day — it is a powerful fact.


Sometimes “Y” is a vowel. In the vowels of success, there is always a “Y”. It represents YOU.

It all comes down to YOU! This last vowel takes all of the above and melds them together. To be successful in life and business it takes– your Attitude, your Enthusiasm, your ability to make others feel Important, your Optimism and your Uniqueness.

You may have noticed that one of the common denominators within these characteristics is having a PMA — a positive mental attitude. Believe it or not, the loudest voice you hear is your own. It can work for or against you, depending on the message. You can build yourself up or wear yourself down. Be accountable for your inner conversations so they can propel you towards success.

J. Lamar Roberts

J. Lamar Roberts is the president and chief executive officer of Fidelity Bank of Florida. He began his banking career as a part-time teller while attending college and became a bank president at the age of 29.  He has held that position in six Florida banks and served as president of the Florida Bankers Association. 

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SpaceCoast Business

SpaceCoast Business magazine has become one of the most trusted voices for and about the Brevard business community. Each month through our print and digital platforms, we provide access to meet, to learn from and to learn about some of the incredible entrepreneurs and business leaders, along with economic trends that are shaping our county.


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  • Great article Lamar! I remember working on a presentation for you on this. It definitely brought me some missing perspective.

  • Lamar,

    Having the privilege to know you and know you lead your life by example makes this article even more relevant. Following these simple facts can impact so many others lives in such a positive way, such as you have always done. Thank you for following your own advice and sharing it with others.