I sometimes ask myself this question. Fortunate for us, a high school student met Richard St. John on an airplane and was curious about this too. Richard had an idea -- ask the same question to hundreds of successful people who participate at TED, and here is what he came up with. A little over 3 minutes of video and 8 words of wisdom. FYI, the video is from 2005 (and not new to the social web) but I think the tips and humor are timeless. Do share with others.