And Your Reason Is?


This article is the second part in my success formula series. It is true, I really do have a formula for success and I have given it to you for free at the end of the article. Creating a formula is easy of course – following it to completion is the real challenge.

The first element in the formula is reason and I am going to encourage you to look at your reason for wanting success in the first place.

Why do you want to be successful?

It seems like an innocent enough question does it not? Almost a pointless question. I mean, really, who does not want success?

Everything in life takes energy. You cannot escape this fact. Whenever you do or think anything or engage in any interaction with the world around you, there is an exchange of energy involved.

You must take energy in to exchange for the bodily and mental essentials you need as a human and there is only so much to go around for the additional things you like to have in your lives.

Achieving success in any significant endeavour takes a lot of work and achieving the type of comprehensive success most people seek in all areas of their lives, takes a huge amount of energy applied over time. You can do it, but you will need to make sacrifices. You must focus your energy and use it primarily for the essential elements you need to achieve your successful outcome.

You need something to drive you toward your success. You need a fuel to power that drive. You cannot run a car for long without fuel, can you? You cannot survive for long as a human without food or water, can you?

Your reason for achieving success is your fuel. Your reason must be compelling enough to make you give up the nice to haves and expend your valuable energy on your success essentials. If your reason is not compelling enough your resolve will fizzle out and die. Your plan will fail.

The first step in planning for a successful outcome is to determine exactly why you are doing it in the first place.

There are two types of driver: Extrinsic and intrinsic.

External or extrinsic drivers, offering such rewards as money, fame or possessions, can be good drivers for some people but, as history has demonstrated time and again, even if they are achieved these things do not always provide the happiness or contentment which was sought. Many times, the external rewards do not prove healthy as drivers of success. Someone else always has more money, more fame or more possessions so there is no real end to it. Even if they do relatively well, compared to others, these externally driven types eventually burn out and give up. They often feel discontented and bitter. They sometimes ruin their health and emotional lives. Life is too short to waste.

Internal or intrinsic rewards tend to be far more powerful and effective drivers for success. An intrinsic driver might be as simple as feeling personally satisfied for doing a task well regardless of any thanks or monetary gain. In my experience, the most powerful intrinsic drivers are those which involve achieving success so other people benefit.

Perhaps an example might help clarify things further.

Consider which of the following two success drivers might make a middle aged, overweight and out of condition businessman start to eat a healthy diet, get fit again and then stay fit for as long as possible.

Driver 1: He wants to look good on the beach, impress others and fit into more stylish business clothing to help his career?

Driver 2: He wants to be able to play more sports and games with his children and stay healthy to help provide for them and help them as they grow toward their own middle age.

Which option would be most effective for him? Which option would drive you most effectively?

The cost of gaining extrinsic rewards is often high. If you are driven by such extrinsic rewards you might want to dig a bit deeper and see if you can find more intrinsic reasons for wanting success.

If you would like to dig deeper into what drives people, you might like to try the following books:

“Start with Why” by Simon Sinek.

“Drive” by Daniel H. Pink

I can recommend them both.

As promised, here is my formula for success – enjoy.

Success = Reason + Goal + Measure + Strategy + Knowledge + Action + Work + Feedback + Focus + Support + Attitude + Belief + X

The reason most people do not like my formula because it has a lot of component factors and it generally takes a lot of time and work to achieve real success. Many see it as old-fashioned. Nowadays, most people seem to be seeking short-cut quick-fix answers. There are plenty of guru types out there willing to supply such answers, and for a hefty fee, but their clients almost always end up disappointed and disillusioned.

My formula is indeed old-fashioned, but it has been proven to work again and again when people are prepared to do the hard yards.

I hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful. Keep an eye out for the rest of the series. Why not click on the “follow” button and subscribe to the blog to get a reminder?


Roger Federer gets nervous? Really?

It’s true – I saw and heard him say it in a BBC interview yesterday. Roger Federer gets nerves playing tennis. I mean seriously, the winner of seven Wimbledon men’s singles finals Roger Federer gets nervous playing at Wimbledon. He is Mr Cool. A man who never gets flustered. Who knew?

The good news is there is now hope for us all.

I don’t know about you but I get nervous all the time and I now feel a lot better about that. I sometimes forget I am not alone in having nerves before a high-pressure event or a challenging task. If Roger Federer can get nerves and still be good then so can I. The real trick of course is how to get over the nerves and use them to your advantage. Still, finding out nerves are universal is great news.

The things Roger Federer gets nervous about at Wimbledon are likely completely different to the nerves I might get in the same situation. Standing there on centre court in front of all those people, who by the way are expecting a great playing performance from me, I might well be very nervous about the fact that I have absolutely no clue about playing tennis and no demonstrable skill in any hand/eye co-ordination type sports. The walk onto the court would probably leave me winded. Seriously though, my point is that whatever situation or context generates them the nerves are real and universal. We all must accept them, use them and ultimately overcome them to move on. Once overcome they will be replaced with a whole new set of nerves appropriate to the new level. That’s how it works.

Now I’m not normally a big tennis fan but I do like to watch Wimbledon whenever I get the chance. We get great coverage here in the UK with ample time to observe the players reactions to events and their emotional response to those events. Some appear beaten before they arrive on court and others look like winners right from the off.

It’s fair to say I think that the skill difference and fitness level differences between the top players are slight at best. The real differences, which make some players champions and other players runners-up, are in the mindsets, beliefs and mental resilience levels. These combine with the high skill and fitness levels to take them to the very top of their game.

Wimbledon is a wonderful place to observe the emotional highs and lows. If you are looking to improve your emotional intelligence skills then get watching. What does a player’s body language and self-talk tell you about their chances in that match and in the sport generally?

If you can’t see Wimbledon for whatever reason then check out other sports you like but start to look for more than just technical skill – check out the EI and mental resilience too.