Success in life is ONLY "living life at a level of true, deep, unconditional happiness".

                                                                    The BuddhaKahuna

First:  Review/scan the overview of the pieces related to success:


Then read these pieces:

HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL: How To Be Successful and the Mistakes That Get In The Way
    Ingredients For Success (Happiness) In Life
STEPS - This is the process from idea to results (success).
TRAITS - You need to have these to be successful in life.  Choose these!
HABITS, BEHAVIORS - Acquire these.  You can't do it without these!  Don't fool yourself!
VEHICLES - Use these, such as using models, productivity techniques, etc.
PRINCIPLES, LAWS - Know these and follow these otherwise you'll be travelling blindly.
PRACTICES -  Either do these or choose not being successful.  Your choice!
RESOURCES - Utilize these, as any successful person must.

For a "QUICK" OVERVIEW:  Scan the relevant sections and read only the Summary Modules. 

If you wish to be truly successful in life and to "have what it takes", there will be some time and effort involved, though you will save time and free up alot of energy in the long run and have a much more satifying and happy life.  

Success:  Having and experiencing what I want from life.

1. Deciding What Is Of Value -

Must be an informed choice.  Decide this well as it determines your very life!!

2. Designating What Is Wanted, specifically.  Be clear. 

Decide benefits and the price to pay. 
Install and enhance intention.

3.  Learning What Works And How To Work It.  Essential knowing includes, 1st, the life skills, especially that of Completion and Productivity (allocating and using time).

Attaining Life Wisdom is the key to it all.  See and use The Only Sure Path To The Greatest Life.
4.  Planning & Doing What works. 

    Deciding practical actions.
    Setting up a "supporting structure."

Finally:  Enjoying, Happiness   Never losing what is most important

To implement this, you have to follow a structure, a set of steps.  Those steps must be "doable" (i.e. not some mystical thinking or "law of attraction" giant leap to instant success).  

Just follow the path I've specified below.


The definition of life success
     My definition of success in life
Achieving success in life is simple - and it takes time
You must do your homework
There is a price to pay to "purchase" happiness
Determining what has the most value
Confidence that life success can be achieved
Using coaches, guides, examples to "fast forward"
The formula for not succeeding
Happiness has an effect on getting results
How come people don't do what gets them success?
The certain "signs"
Shortcuts don't work
The steps on the path to success: the process


"There are two things in life:  Success or reasons why not."


"The most effective strategy for success is to find the experts, coaches, and those who have succeeded and to learn from them.  At all times, have a coach who can help guide you, and keep you from languishing or deviating from the path.  This will be the easiest, most effective way to achieve happiness in life."

                                                          The BuddhaKahuna


(We will be adding to this discussion....)

Basically, most people are unknowledgeable and naive about what it takes to be really, really successful.  This is the first reason for people not being successful, guaranteed.

You can't "do success" if you don't have sufficient knowledge.  One's lack of success is not due to "something wrong with them", but simply insufficient knowledge!  (Read Sufficient Knowing.)


If they were highly knowledgeable, they would find life to be much easier than a life of not being successful!   This means, of course, that it is highly worthwhile to spend the time and effort to learn how to be successful - and to learn it upfront, as soon as is possible!


Success is "a favorable or satisfactory outcome or result",  as "planned or attempted" and/or desired.

The purpose of life is to achieve happiness. 

Therefore, I'm defining life success as achieving deep, enduring happiness, since that is the purpose of life.  Success in anything else also is defined as the achievement of any goal or purpose.  We do not have to succeed in all things, just happiness.

In fact, one of the key sources of unhappiness is adding in artificial suffering due to not succeeding in getting something (also known as "failing" or "making a mistake").   It is not possible to achieve happiness (and life success) if one holds onto the idea of "not succeeding in something" being "bad, terrible or awful." Eliminating that misconception, as dealt with elsewhere on this site, removes one of the key barrriers to happiness - so I spend a considerable amount of time on this area, as, indeed, you should.


There is a danger in defining success as an end result, for we are then, by definition, waiting and not succeeding until we reach that end result.  That would be a relatively ignorant (i.e. unintelligent, stupid) way of defining success, since the result is much unhappiness along the way.

Yes, the end result of financial security, plus a few key relationships, represents success if we define it as a result we reach at some point. 

I would hold "success" not as a static point but as every time I am "on the success path".  When I am not on the success path, I am not a failure as I am simply a person not on the path for some reason, which is most often a lack of understanding/awareness/knowledg.  It is a success every time I learn something and get myself back on the path.  It is a success every time I choose to be the way I want and/or to do what I want.  I have many, many successes every day, though I might tend to take them for granted and just compare myself to some unreasonable expectation.  (See The Role Of Expectations In Life And In Relationships.)

Success in life is:

1.  Achieving sufficient means to provide financial adequacy.

2.  Life a life with

    A.  A sense of (actual) mastery of life.
    B.  Contribution
    C.  Good, not glamorous, relationships
    D.  Enriching experiences
    E.  Enough enjoyment and rejuvenation

One can never achieve success if it is defined on the false premises of getting approval from others, as it always puts a person on the precipice of potential unhappiness and an ongoing life dependent on what is not controllable.  It is not about becoming great instead of being good, as greatness can be a seeking of approval, of trying to be "ok". 

Of course, as one masters life to a greater degree, greatness can be a by-product.  But it is never a requirement held in order to be happy!


We simply need to learn what it is that works in life and then do those things.

Many "growth oriented" people gather alot of "insights" and "good ideas" and still do not achieve happiness.  The reason is simple:  ideas that are not implemented cannot produce any  result (Duh!).  Somehow they missed that insight.  (Read: Completion, The Process Creating Power.  Be sure that you don't believe in the Law Of Attraction being like the immaculate conception, lining up the universe just by "thinking" it to be - one of the detrimental misconceptions that perpetuate lack of success!)

In LifeSpring and a number of other life education workshops they emphasize (though some people simply don't "get it") the secret of life that consists of just 10 two letter words:  "If it is to be, it is up to me." This is "the secret" to all of life turning out.

One is not practicing healthy thinking if one attributes a lack of success to another person letting them down - that is simply childish thinking, where we had to depend on others in order to survive.  If one fails to take 100% responsibility for everything in one's life, then one is holding on to being a victim, a passive soul waiting to be acted upon.  When I get into "it's too hard" or "I don't feel like it now", I have to remind myself that it will not get done unless I get it done.

In fact, if one simply said "this is what I need to do to be responsible..." and then filled in the answers and then followed through, one would experience success in life.

Learn what works  <--             Gap                  -->  Results desired

                                  Close gap through action

Do you know of anyway to close the gap but through doing something to close it? Waiting for the magic solution or avoiding the whole thing will not work.  It is similar to the naivete that would be involved in assembling all of what it takes to bake a cake, and then doing nothing with the ingredients, hoping, perhaps, that someone will come along and do it for you - though you are perfectly capable of causing the desired results on your own.

So, I guarantee, unless you are severely handicapped in brain power, that you will succeed in life if you follow the "doables" that I lay out. (You may wish to read Success Through Doables.)

Although you will experience some great "mental leaps", those will simply be as a result of a cumulative effect of the "doables" being done.  They are a by-product, but we will not depend on them to achieve success.  We will, to clarify, however, depend on "doing" what it takes to "learn" enough to sufficiently "understand" what one wants and what will work. 


Not as a judgment of her, for we can only do that which we already know, Barbara's lack of greater progress (up to the point of writing this) is simply due to her not doing the homework.  She does, to her benefit and credit, seek out much learning to salve her suffering.  She has, to her benefit and credit, set up resources to get sympathetic responses from when she is upset, though she gets quite upset when she doesn't get sympathy and is asked to stop and look and then deal with something.

Barbara attends Landmark seminars but, as she has acknowledged when asked, does only 20% of what it takes to understand it and make it work.  She does not follow through on writing things out, as they seem "much easier to talk about."  However, the talk is pretty much, in terms of effectiveness, in the lower 20% - it is a low yield activity.  

She needs to step up to being a true student.  See The Football Player And The Coach

Well, then, it is not hard to understand why progress is slower than would be desired. 

(To see if she learned this lesson and implemented, see her story in Barbara's Journey.)


Yes, results come from action.  But well-thought-out, directed actions are what produce higher level results, thus the "truth" in the saying:  "Don't confuse activity with getting results."  Flailing one's arms, whining, complaining, suffering, etc., are all useless activities.  

So, the obvious conclusion is:  do what is most useful and stop doing what is least useful (and what is harmful) in order to get better results.  (Duh!)  Basically do what it takes to follow the 80/20 Principle, for sure, and to Live The 80/20 Way.

So, now, so far, we have come up with:

1.  Learn (what works; know where the benefits come from and the price)
2.  Do "directed, purposeful" action
   A.  Doing what is most useful


In all of the success books, except for the aerie-faerie wishful thinking ones, they remind one that one must pay the price to "purchase" a desired result.  The means to getting the desired results is, of course "action".  The price one pays is time and effort that could be spent elsewhere.  Our goal in life, then, is to spend our time and effort to get what is most worthwhile.  The odd thing is that sometimes things that don't take much effort can get us huge results.  At other times, we must pay a high price in order to get a result that is worth far more.

The formula is simple, just as it is if we use it in terms of money:

Know what is truly valuable
Decide if the value is greater than the price
Purchase it to reap the gain
BUT, since we have limited resources (time and energy), we should decide ahead of time what is the highest producer of net gain for us - and then do it, of course.

In dollar terms, the choices might look like this (though I've included comments in terms of intangibles in parentheses):

Ex. A:  Cost:  $1,   Worth: $.50  (I need to "relax", so I'll watch TV, for 4 hours, costing
                                     little effort at all.)     
Ex. B:  Cost:   $2,   Worth:  $7.00  (I could exercise, which takes effort, but I'll feel good for as long as 12 hours afterwards plus I'll be more healthy and able to enjoy life more and longer.)

Ex. C:  Cost:  $5000,   Worth:  $5,000,000  (This is the cost analogy for doing one's homework on changing one's belief.  It costs alot, but the written is huge, often having a profit within a few months. 

As discussed in other sections, such as in 80/20 Living, an "overview perspective" allows us to make even better decisions.  We can continue doing things that cost $2 and are worth $7 or we can do Example C.  If we want to be "wealthy", spiritually or in terms of money, we would first do this calculation of "worth per amount of cost)":

Ex. A:   $.50 divided by $1 = .5 times return per dollar of cost (This, of course would be from an "uninformed" decision, aka a "stupid decision"; note that we make many "uninformed" decisions in life - and, of course, we should best not continue to operate that way.)
Ex. B:   $7 divided by $2 = 3.5 times return per dollar of cost (A profitable use of cost and time.)
Ex. C:   $5,000,000 divided by $5,000 = 1,000 times return per dollar of cost (This is a rough approximation of what it is worth to change one's beliefs and knowledge to a healthy level that produces the very attainable happiness that is available to humans.) 

We would, of course, spend our time first on what produces 1,000 times return in Ex. C, then, once we've completed this, we would go to the 3.5 times return (Ex. B).  We would, of course, spend no time on the strategy in Ex. A. 

Run your life on this principle and you'll accumulate great wealth (moneywise or happinesswise).


This is the hard to define part of life.  How do we determine the worth of what we "purchase" with our time and effort? 

In life, what is valuable is generally determined by the person's value system.  Of course, they would value "survival" at the highest (unless they had unhealthy thinking and conclusions).  But beyond survival, the value is strictly determined by the person's "value system".   If one "values" family, then one gets value from the interaction with family and/or contributing to family.  If one "values" exercising one's talent in playing the piano, then one will experience value in playing the piano.  Thusly, we determine what to do by what is valued and by how highly we value it. 

Of course, some people can misassess the value of something, especially if they are "uninformed" (unknowledgeable).  For instance, I could pay $5,000 for an antique that was worth $500 if I "misvalued" it.   Unfortunately, in a sense, humans are notorious for misvaluing and/or mispredicting the value of something.
They overestimate what the cost will be of some unfortunate event that could occur in the future, creating needless unhappiness and actually investing their time to achieve a negative result - kind of like someone paying someone else for stealing something from them - utterly ridiculous, but we do the equivalent. 

So, again, there is learning that is needed.  We go from believing that happiness is a toy to believing that happiness is "getting laid" to believing that happiness is being approved of to believing that happiness is having alot of material things - but hopefully, if we are guided and/or diligent in determining a path for learning, we get to knowing what actually in reality produces happiness.  (See The Happiness Producers checklist and note what is the most valuable, and How To Create Unhappiness, to see it from another view.  Assuming you are not yet "fully informed", I suggest that you use the assessments of what is most effective in producing happiness and do those things!!!!  Those assessments have been produced from scientific deduction and proof of what works.)


It is not infreqently that people choose to look back at their lives and see that "life hasn't worked" and then conclude that "I can't do it" or "doing the work doesn't pay off".  Those are based on "uninformed" thinking that is not logical and well-reasoned.  Often, this is the first issue that an educator, a coach, or a counselor (etc.) must deal with and overcome.  Sometimes the person will go along with the coach or whomever to see if his/her process will work, but will many times stop too early because he/she doesn't fully understand that there are no shortcuts and miracles and that the growth curve is at first fairly flat.  (See The Progression Curve and also the learning curve as discussed in Authentic Learning.)

The "proof is in the pudding" is an old saying, indicating that the proof of something is in the results produced.  Millions and millions of people have gone through the process and done their homework at a level sufficient to actually improve their lives significantly.  There are a plethora of examples and overwhelming proof, but those who don't look won't see.  

This is not a "high risk" proposition where one doesn't know that it will produce results.  One needs to differentiate and not generalize this into being high risk.  It is high risk (of no return or of a catastrophic consequence) to go into an unplanned business venture or invest in exploration for oil or any speculative activity. 

It is not of high risk at all to invest in oneself and it is not of high risk to invest alot of hours into oneself if guided by knowledgeable people using a good solid planned program.  In fact the latter is the highest return activity you can do in your life - whether you get to the 60% happiness level or the 80+% happiness level.   Happiness is priceless - and it is achievable, but, for most of us, only if you do it in a planned, systematic way.  Many people have tried the scattered approach or the approach of not completing things,  so they have not experienced alot of success, but those who use the planned, systematic approach have virtually a 100% success rate (of arriving at 80+% happiness)   


Although it is you who are 100% responsible for creating results, you can "fast forward" your progress by finding and utilizing resources that will create it.  This is in every grounded book on achieving success:  leverage yourself by utilizing resources.  

John Wooden coached UCLA's basketball team to an unequalled 10 national championships.  While he recruited good talent later on, he also was able to get the best out of the talent available when first started.  He emphasized certain principles and said they would work to "win" in life (never using the term "win" a game).  It was his responsibility to do the best job he could to convince them that there was value in following those principles and that the "cost", which would be time and energy and discipline and sweat, would get the desired results. 

Obviously, he did a great job.  As I grew in my experience of guiding others, I think I spent too little time in and/or hadn't prepared adequately for convincing my guidees that the effort and following the principles was worth it.  Of course, there will be some who will never quite be convinced - and that is their responsibility.   As with Wooden, some players just won't come to  practice all the time or do what is necessary to achieve success, just as in The Football Player And The Coach.

Anyway, although obvious, it makes sense to not reinvent the wheel and to follow the steps that have already been determined to work.  Therefore, you would seek examples, mentors, guides, etc. and then utilize them effectively, realizing they are not perfect nor omniscient (all knowing) but that they can contribute alot of knowledge in a relatively much shorter time!

As in The Football Player And The Coach, it is 100% up to the "coachee" to succeed. 

One smart move of Coach Wooden's, one that I failed on initially in my coaching, was to recognize those who would not do the work - and to cut the cord, as there was no, or very little, return in coaching them.  He realized that his efforts should be spent where the greatest results would be manifested. 

From your point of view, you need to decide if you are coachable.  And if you're not, then your return on your effort will be much, much less than if you are totally coachable.   As in the Diagram Of The Success Process:  "These people are not coachable and cannot succeed until they make the decision to be coachable and to heed feedback and act accordingly."


We mention several above plus further discussion is in What Is Missing In The Success Process.  

The formula for not succeeding is essentially some combination of:

Not making clear, completed decision or commitments (see below)
Learning deficiency
      Not spending sufficient time to learn (Read Authentic Learning.)
      Being unsystematic and/or sporadic in learning
Not doing the homework, including especially incomplete work, especially in
      Not making the commitments (in many sections, near the end, there are
         decisions, agreements, and commitments to make - each one of those
         should be printed or copied into your computer and signed by you, plus
         kept in your Reminders Notebook) 
      Not Completing The Past and letting it go.
      Not completing Creating A New Future.
      Not completing the belief changing process and not devising and/or
         sufficiently repeating (installing)  the new beliefs and empowering
         statements.(See Affirmations Completion Process.)
      Using "shortcuts", expecting "insights" to be enough, not committing to the
          work needed.
      (Read The Power Of Completion.)
      Being "too busy" (which means the person gets to repeat the bad effects of
          not correcting beliefs and practices that are harmful or wasteful)
Lack of confidence that it will work
      Reasons "why not" (False belief in permanency of beliefs or ways of being;
          false evidence based on unsuccessful and/or incomplete actions)

And usually it is operating without a plan and/or guidance.

See also, below, "How come people don't do what gets them success?"

(Some links, which may disappear by the time you link in:  7 Reasons Why You Haven't Succeeded11 Reasons Why You Will Never Succeed


However, happiness comes with an integral attachment to it where one actually produces more results in one's life.  The two are not separate, but note that the happiness does not come from the results but rather it is that the results largely come as a byproduct from the skills of happiness. 


So the next question is "how come people don't do what is necessary to achieve 'success'"?

Because most people waste incredible amounts of energy on negative emotions (anxiety, worry, fear) and on negative behaviors (related to blame, guilt, shame, regret, remorse, anxiety distractions) that get in the way and distract one.  TV, addictions, games, low payoff "relieving" activities, etc. are examples.

Also, many believe in "magic" such as "If I believe and conceive, I will achieve!" - but then they find that not to be quite 'it'.   (The missing ingredients, of course, are "learning" and "doing".)  Although positive thinking and intending are helpful, they are in any stretch of the imagination in no way sufficient.

Then, to get away from all the negative feelings, they numb, medicate, and distract - wasting huge amounts of time and energy better spent elsewhere and often hurting their health and energy, in a downward spiral of being less able to be truly successful.   Shortcuts don't work.  So we'll take the "longcuts", ones of substance and long lasting beneficial effects. 


How many people out there who are overweight and unhealthy put their resources into survival and producing monetary success are really happily living life?  I would say "zero", though some may be deceiving themselves.  The signs are unmistakable indications of the lack of true life success.

They are out of touch with the alternative way of living life with vitality, zest, and alot of joy and fulfillment.


We tell ourselves "it's too hard" to follow the rules (yet we really aren't even clear on what they are!).  We think that this other path is easier and that it will work (yet we intuitively know that path isn't really the best for us!).  We think it's too hard to commit and that it will reduce our pleasure in life - but that is simply not true, doing it the non-shortcut way will increase, dramatically, our experience of pleasure and our total pleasure.  People try to get the success without paying the price, without recognizing the requirements of reality.

The ingredients that are necessary are very clear and the steps are very clear - and they need not be compromised in any way - and with them you can create each of these:  authentic loving relationships, a non-stressful life, health and energy, great emotional health and great happinessThe same process applies to each area of life!

Learn this.  Follow the path as designed to make it easier and much more attainable and you'll soon experience a better life, even before you get very far down the path, as life will become easier and more fulfilling even as you are learning to make it more so. 

What you can have is far greater than what you believe you can have.  Just follow the path and do the very doable actions we have set up for you.

Read and know The Ingredients To Life Success.  And then return to this page.



Note, before we do the actual steps to success, it is, I think, essential that we build the machine that will be better able to go down the road - that would be adopting the TRAITS that have help successful people to be successful.  Most people will try to bypass this, but it is much more difficult to be as successful without building the machine to do it.  One worthwhile construct for this is from the winningest coach in history:  John Wooden's Pyramid Of Success.

THE STEPS TO SUCCESSFULLY ACHIEVING A RESULT - IN DETAIL - The successful person does not depend on luck but depends on these steps to systematically and assuredly get results.  Use this as your guide and checklist.  It also includes links to forms, methods, and ideas.  (This is the summary of the approach everybody wanted a copy of after a "metaphysical" person asked for help on achieving a big goal - and then actually followed the list, the advice,
and the initial coaching - the results were beyond reasonable expectations and were from not being stuck with "ideas of possibility limited by the past".  Fortunately, she was not in the group of "many ask, but few do!")

            Diagram: Success Process With Explanations - One page diagram, two pages explanation
            What Are You Missing In The Success Process - The Impact of Incompletion:  Drop any part
                and the chain is broken and/or weakened - and desired results are much less likely to be
                Rate Yourself In This Process :  See, in the above document, the diagram with brief
                    explanations and see how you are doing in each of the six steps. 
            The 7 Steps To Successfully Achieving A Result - A List - One page list, with six pages of 
                explanation of those steps.    All of these are necessary.  The part left out the most often
                is sufficient planning, though the process is not very successful if any steps are left out.


(F)        Worksheet For Creating The Desired Results - The "must" steps to go through if starting from
                scratch or learning from a failed attempt.


            What Is Missing In The Success Process?  Why Am I Not Getting The Desired Results? - A
               call for you to employ all the necessary steps and not overemphasize one part - such as
               getting into wishful thinking or magical thinking ("The Secret", but without action) or trying
               too hard (lack of these: clarity, mind management, and celebration).


            Barriers - Eliminating Them First? - 2 ways to make better progress: increase motivation and
               eliminate the barriers.  Guess which works best!
            What I Have Been Tolerating In My Life - Instead of living it fully - and what to do to upgrade


              Beliefs - Get rid of the biggest 5 or 10 in terms of impact, as trying to move forward without
                  that is like trying to race with one leg tied behind your back.
              Philosophy - Form a strong one or you're screwed from the start....

      PLANNING - No written plan = much lower success.

             Use of Resources to leverage yourself into success:  See Resource Use, in
                 Life Management.


             The Side I Am On - What works, what benefits mankind, what gets in the way of results in
                 politics, in the world, in what we do.  Will you stand with me on this?


             Success - My Standards For (Perspective) - You've got to have these for "the trip"    
             What Do I Want Ultimately? - A process of seeing what you want to have at first sight but
                 leading to what you ultimately want from the initial idea of what you want to have.

THE TRAITS OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE - Read this to see how you stack up.   

    Heroes, Admirable People 
    People: Bad Past, Good Life

THE VEHICLES (MEANS) TO GREATER SUCCESS - From how to be more productive to...



  Back to top
  Back to top
  Back to top
  Back to top
  Back to top
  Back to top
To be successful you'll need to engage in:

Authentic (Effective) Learning

And you'll have to read several of the books of these three key writers:

Stephen Covey:  The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People and his First Things First.

Brian Tracy - Page points to his best resources.

John Maxwell page


Use (free) training through
See Evaluation.

In Association with


Learn how to be happy, as that is both the definition of success and the road to success.

Read on this page The Definition Of Success
First read:

The whole process is outlined in the first written piece in that sectionThe path is very "doable" and very well worth it - as it is worth life itself.  With this tool and way of thinking, you will absolutely have what you truly want in life.

(Click the link in the heading.)
See, when you're serious:

THE PROGRAM For Success In Life - Follow This Path To Success