11/07/2012 07:34 BST | Updated 09/09/2012 06:12 BST

What Rory McIlroy and Serena Williams Have in Common?

Both Serena and Rory are top professional athletes. It seems they are very different personalities and don't have much in common. However, if we dig deeper, we will find out that their journey to success had similar ingredients.

1. They both started the sport they excel at a very early age. Serena started playing tennis at the age of 5. Rory was introduced to golf at the age of 18 months!!

2. They had a clear objective. They both wanted to be the #1 player in their respective sport.

3. They had a plan how to achieve their objective and they worked hard to make it happen. They underwent countless hours of training and they played many tournaments. Nothing was left to chance.

4. They also had a coach to help them become aware of their strengths and the areas they needed to develop. In the case of Serena, her father has been her coach. Whereas, Rory started his early training with Michael Bannon, who is his current coach and mentor.

If you ask any successful person in sports, arts, or business, he/she will tell you a more or less similar story. You may want to learn from them.

  • Be aware of your strengths as early as possible
  • Have a clear objective of what you want to achieve.
  • Make a plan and work hard to make it happen.
  • Get a mentor who can guide you and advise you.

So, you will be better off, if you invest your time to discover early enough what career path suits you best - that you are good at, that you enjoy and that you can excel in.

One word of caution though. Andre Agassi did all the above and had an impressive performance as a tennis player. However, as he later revealed in his autobiography, he had always hated tennis.

Make sure you find an area you are passionate about. Being successful and happy is a great combination to aim for!