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The Success Formula

Updated: Jul 13, 2022

Would it be able for an English teacher to lead a team of 20 python development experts and develop world-class software products? Or for a priest to become a general leading his army against the enemy during a war? Have you ever met a successful CEO who doesn’t possess a Bachelor degree? How come that a 25 year-old founds a startup and becomes a millionaire within 5 years? What makes those people succeed in what they do even though they did not (seem to) have the greatest potential at the beginning?


There is a formula I would like to talk about:



(Jack Canfield, The Success Principles)


Every day we come up with tons of events in our personal and professional lives. Depending on various factors (interest, mood, stress levels, lack of awareness, misunderstanding, etc.) we respond to those events in certain ways. Often, our responses might trigger new events, and life goes on. What is for sure, is that the mix of our responses produces a certain outcome:

And here is where the funny part comes into play: Most people are not clear with whether the outcome (O1) is the result of their responses or the events. They say “…it was not my fault!” or “..we were unlucky this time..”, or “..if you only did your job we would have succeeded!”, implying that they came up with an event, which influenced the outcome of their endeavor, no matter how well they might have responded. Without of course getting into the trouble of reflecting into their own actions and examining what they could have done differently to achieve the desired outcomes.


As a result, people tend to respond in the same way when similar events arise and achieve similar outcomes as before (O1). What changes is the new excuses they must invent for themselves and others in order to explain why they didn’t make it this time.


What if we could clearly separate events from responses?


What if we focused only on the part within our control and try different response options? What if we knew that, by shifting our responses, we could increase the possibility of bringing about different and maybe better results (e.g O2)? What stops us from doing that?


The answer is “our comfort zone”. The way we respond follows habitual patterns. We act in a way that keeps us within our own “comfort zone”. And to change that, we need to see our responses as another habit we need to deal with. It takes guts and requires us moving out of our comfort zone.


Successful people are the ones who have managed to change their responses, triggered more favorable events, and managed to achieve the desired outcome.


So, next time you come up with an unpleasant outcome, consider the success formula: stop blaming the events, focus on your responses and how you can adjust them based on the desired outcome!

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