A Formula For Success

So you want to be successful. Your life is not going the way you originally intended. You don’t want to waste any more time. Maybe you don’t know how to be successful. Now you can use this formula for success to improve your life.

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. Believe that anything is possible if you want positive things to happen in your life. Encouraging things happen every day. Success can happen to you. This attitude opens your mind to recognize that more is possible than you think.

LISTEN TO PEOPLE who tell about their accomplishments. Pay attention to what they say. Don’t ignore it and say, “It’ll never happen to me.” Ask your successful friends how they made positive changes happen.

UNDERSTAND YOURSELF AND OTHERS. Look at your personality style. If you are a people person, do not set a goal that causes you to spend most of your time alone, looking at details. It will not work. Work within your personality style. Use it to your advantage. You are different from others. That is a good thing. Do not consider other people’s goals as a guide unless they are successful in the same area of interest as you. If you cannot use their plan as a guide, look for your particular style. Look at your values, needs, strengths and weaknesses. See the Personality Quiz, Page 1, and DISC Personality Styles, page 7.

Question yourself. Ask yourself how you feel about each area of your life. Do you want more or less of it? Do you want to spend more time with the people in your life or less? Are toxic people wearing you out or are the people around you supportive and caring? See Develop a Support Group, page 46. Think about what you like about each day and what you do not like.

Example: If you like to go to bed late and get up late, don’t confine yourself to a seven AM to four PM job. If you hate driving in traffic, don’t work fifty miles away from home.

The more you understand the people around you, the easier it is to get along with them, forgive them and accept them. The more other people understand you, the easier it is for people to get along with you, forgive you and accept you. When you trust yourself to handle any situation, you are able to open up to others, to allow yourself to be more vulnerable. Negative feelings, anger and frustration with others diminish.

Example: Your mother drives you nuts. She is afraid something will happen to you and is always checking on you, even though you’re an adult and have lived away from home for years. When you realize that your father is dead, you are an only child and your mother is a natural worrier, it’s easier to forgive her for this minor flaw. You can call her every few days and let her know that you are fine. You might also remind her that you will be there to take care of her when she gets old and cannot take care of herself.

HAVE A CLEAR PICTURE OF YOUR SUCCESS. The clearer the picture, the faster and more complete the success. Discuss your goal with your close friends. Ask them for input. When considering a life goal, it is not as easy as a goal for next year. See Discover Your Purpose, page 24.

Once you have considered who you are and a general idea of what you want, refine the image. Make the picture so clear that you can explain it to someone in a few words. Write it down. Try it on and see how it feels. Notice whether you feel passionate about it. Without passion, it will die.

Understand why you want this goal. If your objective is money, what would you do with the money or why do you want it? Is it for more control over others or for security or to help others? Look at the reason behind your goal so you have choices about how to reach that goal. If it’s to help others, you may be able to do volunteer work or work for Habitat for Humanity.

There are many ways to reach your goal when you have a clear understanding of what you want. Now you are closer to developing a goal that is attainable for you.

It must be S.M.A.R.T.: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timed.

See Achieve Your Goals, page 26.

PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. Once you have a life goal, you need a plan to reach that goal. This is the roadmap to success. Set a realistic deadline. Figure out what you need to do, who you need to see and how you need to work the plan. It is a business plan for your life. Write it down. Your life goal consists of smaller, every day goals. Continually move in the direction of your one life’s goal. Make it so clear that you know what you will do each day. When you get up in the morning, you will know how far forward you will have moved by the end of the day. If you have a busy life and cannot spend all your time on your goal, do at least one small thing that moves you forward. Do not give up. Adjust your plan as needed. The following is how I would help someone create a plan to reach his goal. The first question I would ask him is, “What are you willing to do to reach this goal and what are you willing to give up to reach this goal?”


Specifically: “I want to travel around the country playing my drums in a band. I need a plan to accomplish this.”

When: “When I retire in eight years. But I will have a mortgage to pay off and can’t quit work.”

“Then you need a plan to improve your income. This plan is a lesser goal. You could work two jobs now to pay off your mortgage early. Do you want this goal badly enough to do that?”

“Brainstorm options to meet your goal and overcome obstacles.”

You looked at your options and you chose to work half a year and travel half a year.


  • You will need to find a band that wants the same thing you want. Each week you add to a list of names to contact to find the band that meets your needs.
  • Small goal:
  • Decide who you speak to or where you look for such a list. Spend one hour every night looking on the internet for a band right for you and go out to clubs and talk to bands.
  • Small goal: Schedule time on the computer and away from family needs.
  • You will need to either take time from your job, a six-month vacation, or find another job, either part time or one that doesn’t mind your schedule. Same as above. Spend one hour every night finding the job that would meet your needs. You will measure your progress by finding a job and a band.

Achievable: Now you know that your goal is achievable. If you cannot make it measurable, it may not be achievable. It is then only a dream and will never happen.

Realistic: How does your family feel about this? If you have found the job and the band and you still want to do it, will you follow through or is this something you want to continue to dream about and never test?

Timed: When are you going to begin? Will you wait until you retire to research this or will you find out the feasibility of it now? Maybe you could take one month of vacation and travel with a band to find out if you really do want to do this. If you do not test it, you only want to dream about it and don’t want anyone to ruin your dream with reality.

Reaching for a goal in life that you hunger for is unbelievably satisfying, if it is the right goal for you. Using S.M.A.R.T. will help you decide that. If you reach your goal and you are not satisfied, it was not the right goal for you. It was someone else’s goal or it didn’t meet your needs. Work on another goal. Don’t give up.

“Winners have the ability to step back from the canvas of their lives like an artist gaining perspective. They make their lives a work of art – an individual masterpiece.”

Denis Waitley

STAY FOCUSED. The one thing that sidetracks a person is forgetting the goal. To live a successful life, move purposefully in the direction you have chosen and don’t let interesting, but unimportant things slow you down. If you want to be a success, you have to work at it. Success doesn’t knock on your door and say, “Here I am.” It takes time, energy and commitment.

“If you know the point of balance, you can settle the details. 

If you can settle the details, you can stop running around.  Your mind will become calm. 

If your mind becomes calm, you can think in front of a tiger. 

If you can think in front of a tiger, you will surely succeed.”

― Mencius (Mengzi Meng-Tse)

KEEP WORKING TOWARD YOUR GOAL. Make sure this goal is yours and not someone else’s idea of what you should do.

“I still want to play drums in a band when I retire.”

Be willing to do whatever it takes to reach your goal. Be willing to give up what needs to be given up to reach your goal.

“I am willing to take the time to find a band that will take me on a temporary basis. If that works out and I still want this goal, I am willing to work a second job until I retire.”

LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES AND FROM YOUR SUCCESSES. When something goes worse than you expected, learn from it for next time. When things go even better than you expected, ask yourself why they went well. Did you plan well in advance or consider something you had not considered before?

There is nothing right or wrong in failing or in succeeding. When you fail, consider it a learning tool. When you succeed, consider it a learning tool. Take comfort in the encouragement that something is going well for you, but do not stop there. As you look at your successes and failures, add that information into your plan. The result is more successes and fewer failures.

Example: Nora was a new real estate agent. She took on a client who wanted to buy a house. He was excited about finding just the right house. She showed him one after another. She spent days looking over the options and deciding what to show him. This was her first client and she wanted to be the best agent he could have. She found the perfect house and he was ready to buy. However, he could not come up with the money. She had never qualified him. She was disappointed and discouraged, but she learned a valuable lesson. From that point on, a client was only a client if he could qualify financially. She never wasted her time again.

TAKE A RISK. Nothing is accomplished without risk. Remember that failure is a learning tool. Do not reinvent the wheel. If someone has done something you can use, use it. If not, figure out something. If it does not work, try again.

BE ACCOUNTABLE TO SOMEONE or something. Whether it is God, your family, an organization, a life coach or a friend. Have someone who will keep you on track and guide you. Ask a friend or someone who can remind you of your responsibilities and re-ignite your fire of enthusiasm when it starts to die.

Example: “I choose to make myself accountable to my family. They will keep me on track with my plan if I ask them to do that for me. There will be times when I’m discouraged and need their encouragement.”

LEARN, LEARN, LEARN. If you know that you don’t know everything, gather information. Open yourself to learning. Take classes. Read. Listen to experts. Feed the computer of your mind to store the information. Add more information and develop new ideas, plans, choices, and more positive changes. To be a success, surround yourself with successful people.

Example: “Maybe I can find someone who has done what I want to do and follow his example.”

ASK OTHERS FOR HELP. It’s not always easy to ask people for assistance because they may reject you. Nobody wants to be rejected. You may think you look incompetent to them. Not allowing others to help you deprives you of their help and deprives them of the pleasure of helping you. When you ask someone for help, you are allowing that person to participate in and desire your success. Most people like to help others. Ask. The most they can do is decline. You say, “Thank you” and go on your way. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

GIVE OF YOURSELF. When you give to others, whether it is a compliment, resources, time, a listening ear or help, you set yourself up to receive. Life works that way. Do not do something expecting something in return. That doesn’t work. There is a pleasure in giving when you choose to, simply because you choose to give. However, giving does set something unexplained into motion and you will eventually benefit from it. Success is just around the corner.

RECOGNIZE YOUR CHOICES. You have power over your life. You can make things happen if you want to. If you do not believe that positive change is possible, you stop it from happening. How you live your life, the choices you decide to make, are up to you. You can choose to get up in the morning or you can choose to stay in bed. It is your option and the result affects your life. Once you accept that you are making a decision, you give that choice energy. It’s your attitude that changes, not your circumstances.

ACCEPT CHANGES YOU DO NOT CHOOSE. There will be many changes in your life you do not ask for. The sooner you accept the changes, the sooner you will see advantages to them. If the changes are great, you will probably go through a grieving process. The more you understand what is happening to you, the easier it is for you.

Example: You may have planned and dreamed about traveling with a band. You try it for a month and decide that it is not what you expected. You hadn’t done this in years and discovered that you are tired at the end of the day and the people in the band are not people you want to be around. You have lost a dream. This is not easy. Now you are discouraged. Now you need another dream. One that is achievable.


These are also the steps one goes through when grieving. The grief is in the desire to remain the same when change is thrust upon you. See Escape the Grief Process, page 20. The process does not automatically go from step one to step six. It jumps around. You may be living in step two and then step five. The next day you may be back to step one. When you recognize what is going on, it’s easier to work through it.

DENIAL. It is natural to have an attitude of “ignore it and it will go away.” This seldom happens and may create more problems for you.

FEAR. When you realize that the change is not going to go away, you begin to worry about how it will adversely affect your life. You cannot see the future and the future is scary. You have lost control of the future. You blame the person who initiated the change. If life initiated the change, getting older, for example, the fear of the change itself or fear of dying can affect your attitude. You may become bitter. You feel like a victim. See Help a Victim, page 79. A victim attitude does not help you lead a successful life.

GRIEF. You grieve for what could have been. You long for the way life was before the change. You are sad and depressed.

RESISTANCE. You may simply decide not to accept the change. You fight it tooth and nail. You sabotage the change. You dig your heels in and say, “NO!”

ACCEPTANCE. You finally see that change is inevitable and reluctantly accept it.

UNDERSTANDING. You begin to see that the change could be a good thing. There are advantages to the change. You understand where you fit into the change. You begin to plan how you will live with this change and how you can turn the change to your advantage.

As you can see, success is possible when you are willing to put forth the effort to make it happen. It requires work. However, when you are moving toward something you want, the process feels effortless. Success is yours. Begin today to change your life.


  • Do you want a more successful life?
  • How do you measure your successes?
  • What are you moving toward now, today?
  • Are you willing to do what it takes to be successful?
  • Who will help you become more successful?
  • When will you begin to do what it takes to live a more successful life?

©B. Eddy

[box type=”bio”] Betty Eddy is a published author and member of the Netiv community. Her work as a life coach has given her unique insight into self help. In her book “Untying the Knots of Life” she deals with concepts which guides the reader though self discovery. [/box]

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