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Planning For Success

What Drives You?

What is success? Oxford Languages provide two definitions of success. The second of the two definitions is listed as archaic.

  1. "The accomplishment of an aim or purpose."

  2. "The good or bad outcome of an undertaking."

To be amazingly successful, take control of your mind. For example, James Allen says, "a man's mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth."

Our thoughts and emotions can betray us if they are allowed to run wild. Our pursuit of success is not a make-or-break exercise nor a comparative analysis of other people and where they are in their process. The best plans don't always account for all possible setbacks. It is ok to "fail" at a task; just do not label yourself as a failure. Realistically you will not have a 100% success rate, but you can learn the value of persistence.

Pursuing success is not left to chance, fate, luck, or external influences outside yourself. Instead, your personal characteristics (discipline, confidence, consistency, persistence, ambition, curiosity, and self-awareness) will help to determine your success level. To be sure, there will be moments when it feels like environmental influences or the actions of others exert greater forces on you than you can withstand. Even in those moments, your personal agency to organize and execute the steps that reinforce your desire to be successful is still within your control.

So you plan and prepare for success like any other undertaking. You plan for success by engaging in personal development activities. These activities may include improving your communication skills, recognizing your strengths and weaknesses, practicing to develop mastery of a specific skill, and networking with others. Personal development is continuous; therefore, you will continue to work on adding new skills to your existing skillset.

In addition to your personal development endeavors, you must write down your goal and have precise objectives aligned with your plan. Importantly, develop an accountability system that includes you tracking your progress toward your goal. Sometimes we tend to complicate our goals by overthinking them and setting ourselves unrealistic expectations.

Therefore keep it simple by creating a simple template with sentence stems:

My goal is to _______________. My objectives are ________________. I will begin working on my goal on this date _____________. My level of commitment to achieving my goal is _____________. I plan to achieve my goal by _____________. I will evaluate my progress _________________. I am prepared to ____________ daily/weekly. Should I encounter challenges, I will consult with _____________. Who are the people that will hold me accountable ________________. I will commit _____________ hours daily to my goal. Is my effort getting me closer to meeting my goal _______________ and if not, what am I prepared to do differently ________________?

Let's be realistic; success is not a sprint to the finish. Instead, the knowledge gained through experience can positively impact our pursuit of present and future success. Success and failure are not independent of each other. Although we sometimes think of being unsuccessful as catastrophic, it makes a compelling case for strategizing.

Stay Naturally Curious


Rotter, J. B. (1966). Generalized expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcement. Psychological Monographs: General and Applied, 80 (1), 1-28.

Rotter, J. B. (1964). Clinical Psychology: Foundations of Modern Psychology Series, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

Rotter, J. B. (1971). Clinical Psychology: Foundations of Modern Psychology Series (2nd ed), Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

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