How Do You Know When You're a Success?

"Most men lead lives of quiet desperation."

It's a famous quote by Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862).

Brian Tracy quotes Thoreau's "quiet desperation" line at the start of "The Psychology of Achievement" as he asks the question …

Why are some people more successful than others?

Why is it that some people have more friends, make more money, enjoy better health, and generally get greater satisfaction out of life than others?

Tracy states bluntly that the vast majority of people are unhappy with their work, family life, health, weight; they worry too much and so on.

Only 5% of people, he says, ever achieve lasting success.

1 in 20. You can find better odds at a casino!

But, of course, you're still better off on your journey to success than gambling in a casino.

Because, for the most part, in order to win at a casino, it requires a lot of luck – and at least with life, you have the ability and freedom to control, change, and mold your destiny.

Tracy then talked about the six requirements of success, which I thought I'd share with you today. They are a good yardstick for where you are in your life right now – and what areas you might want to put some extra focus on. Here are Tracy's six success requirements:

  1. Peace of Mind– To be truly successful, you have to achieve continuous and lasting peace of mind. You have to live your life free from fear, anger, and guilt. Every night when you go to bed, you have to be at peace and harmony with yourself and where you are in life.
  2. High Level of Health and Energy– If we don't have good health, our ability to enjoy life is seriously diminished.
  3. Loving Relationships– You must be able to maintain loving, intimate, mature relationships with your partner, family, and friends. Tracy says that loving relationships are the hallmark of a self-actualized, fully-functioning personality.
  4. Financial Freedom– Of course, any success gauge must include a section about money. You have to have enough so you don't have to worry about money. This, of course, is directly connected to your peace of mind. If you're continually worrying about having enough money to pay the bills and where your next check is coming from, Tracy says simply, "We cannot enjoy life."
  5. Worthy Goals and Ideals– It's important in life to set worthy goals for yourself to give your life meaning and a sense of purpose. Having worthy goals and high ideals is a key part of a successful life.
  6. A Feeling of Personal Fulfillment– In order to be and feel successful, you have to have the feeling that you're fulfilling your full potential and are becoming everything you hope and expect to be.

Point #5, having "worthy goals and ideals," is really the most important. Because if you execute #5 successfully, there's a good chance the other success elements will fall into place naturally.

If you haven't done so, why not set your goals and a plan to reach them? You can share your plan for reaching your goals with me in the comments below, or if you're not 100% certain on how you'll reach them, you can make a pledge that you'll create a plan.

If you need help setting goals, you should check out Nick Usborne’s Profitable Freelancing. In addition to helping you correctly set them, he also walks you through the necessary steps of achieving them so that you can be one of those 1 in 20 who achieve lasting success.

Profitable Freelancing

Profitable Freelancing: The Definitive Guide to Earning More Money as a Freelancer

Often freelancers are in constant cycle of feast or famine. But a clever few are growing their income every year without working harder or marketing more. Nick Usborne explains his proven system and how you can use it too. Learn More »


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Published: May 23, 2011

1 Response to “How Do You Know When You're a Success?”

  1. Worthwhile set of goals. Caring for my wife has gotten us close to achieving them.

    Guest (Douglas Winslow Cooper)


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