The success formula

I’m growing increasingly convinced that this is the process for success:

  1. Vision – Where you want to be in your life, where your inner compass is pointing.
  2. The embrace of what resonates – This requires reflection. What do you get lost in?
  3. Decision – “I really, actually love this. I’m going for it”.
  4. Goal setting – What’s the first big step?
  5. Objective setting – What will the immediate next, smaller steps be?
  6. Act
  7. Reflect – Ask yourself, those closest to you, and your mentors if this is a good direction. What does reason say? What does your heart say?
  8. Repeat steps 4-7 until you get to step 9. 
  9. Fail – It should happen eventually. The sooner and more often the better.
  10. Suffer through failure – It will be hard, maybe even anguishing or despairing. This is what makes success sweet.
  11. Grit – Keep going. Change course if necessary. If you really love it, if it really resonates like it should, you should want, deep down, to do this.
  12. Get bored – There will be a dip. Authors call it the “Marathon Middle”. Everyone creating their own life will inevitably experience the pain of life’s mundanity.
  13. Be consistent – Repeat steps 4-12 until you see the result you’re looking for.


  • You can replace “repeat steps 4-12” in step 13 with “repeat it all”. The vision often changes as life advances. Priorities can adjust and we evolve with circumstance, especially if we’re trying to continually learn, which you should be.
  • All of these are pretty much equally important, but if I had to pick a favorite, it’d be consistency. Many, maybe even most, never try. Those who do often quit because it’s hard. The secret to great consistency is to find great influences – the best mentors and friends you can. They should make you the person you like the most or be people you want to be like.
  •  The best goals are typically those that feel tough to make. If you’re not scared, if you don’t feel ready, ask more of yourself. Remember this: “Scary but attainable”. Fortune favors the bold.
  • Sometimes you don’t have the talent. Don’t lie to yourself. Try to find the sweet spot between what you’re pretty good at and what resonates. Pretty good can become outstanding. Bad can usually only become good enough. This is arguably one of the most difficult aspects of self-knowledge.
  • Read good books. If you’re not, you’re likely not realizing your potential.
  • There’s always room for improvement.