Achieving Success or Five Steps (+1) to Paradise

Recently I was sitting on the veranda of a bungalow in Sri Lanka. I was taking in the scenery – beautiful greenery, flowers, the pool – all of the rustic serenity this retreat resort provided. Warm breezes carried the sounds of heavy surf crashing into rocks and beach from the Indian Ocean, a mere 300 meters to my right. There was added excitement and energy in the air as the entire country of Sri Lanka prepared for a three day celebration to honor the birth of Buddha. This was not an experience I had dreamt of – not specifically.

I thought to myself ‘This is like paradise!’ Then it occurred to me that this actually WAS paradise. My next thought was – “This is a dream’ – a piece of my success. Being in that setting made me realize that success happens – for that matter, stratospheric success happens. But here’s the catch – success doesn’t happen without effort.

It doesn’t matter – in  my opinion – how you are define the success you are striving to achieve – there are certain common elements to realizing your dreams. It  takes vision, clarity and conviction. It takes making the right decision(s) and it takes consistency.

Following are five simple keys which I know to have helped me to achieve various successes. It is key to point out that I said five simple steps – not five easy – steps.

Embrace Your Dreams

What excites you? I mean really really excites you? Think about it…without editing what you believe can or cannot be done. Write them down. Embrace them. The key to truly being successful and fulfilled is to achieve your dreams – or at least to be moving in a direction to do so. This is one that sounds easy – but it’s not always so. If you are having any challenge in truly embracing your dreams, I urge you to read a book written by my friend Mitch Matthews – Ignite: A Little Book to Spark Your BIG Dreams  This book evolved from Mitch’s Big Dream Gathering events and will certainly open new thinking and new doors for you.

Define Your Success

You may be wondering the difference between embracing your dreams and defining your success. Think of this as creating the road map to your final destination. Quantify your success. Discard the ingrained “shoulds” and “musts” and “what abouts” which come from parents, spouses, kids, co-workers – from anyone. It is imperative that you define success as YOU see it – otherwise you won’t be genuinely connected to achieving your vision. Start a success map – a vision board -a mind map – whatever works for you to quantify exactly what you want and the path you need to take. If you don’t have that you’re just wandering.

Follow the Yeses

This step is another one which is simple – but rarely easy. Now that your success has been defined you need only ask one question every time you come to a decision point. “Does this get me closer to achieving my success?” Follow the yes. Sometimes ‘yes’ points to a path that seems unachievable or unreachable. If so, you need to dig further and determine how to move towards your success. Often we build a brick wall which seems impenetrable. More reading and learning will help you overcome those blocks. In this case, read Just Blow It Up by the ever explosive Dixie Gillaspie.  You’ll soon learn how to blast through what is keeping you from following your yes.

Celebrate Accomplishments

Our dreams and our true success are not easily attained and virtually never achieved with one or two steps. Often we hit roadblocks which force us to adjust our path to success. There are times when we can lose sight of the final outcome we seek or get discouraged believing that ‘we’ll never get there. It is for these reasons that we have to embrace our progress.  Do not dwell on how much further the path to success may be. Rather, take comfort in the distance already covered. Celebrating our accomplishments reminds us that we are indeed progressing – that we are closer to our goals than we once were.

Receive Without Expectation

How the heck do I receive without expectation? Again, simple – not easy. Often the result of our dreaming, success mapping, achievements are not exactly what we have visioned. Yet more often than not we receive what we are looking for in a different manner or a different iteration. If we become so locked on to realizing our success in the exact way we have in our minds – we will almost certainly miss countless gifts, blessings and answers to our dreams. Let me give you an example. For years and years I have had on my vision board a picture of a grass hut on the deep blue waters of the South Pacific. It was this picture that came to mind on that veranda in Sri Lanka two weeks ago. All of the elements that I was seeking – which were represented in that picture – were realized on my trip to that amazing country. Ocean. Peace. Nature. Isolation from my ‘normal world’. Warmth. Sun. Virtually everything. I had reached that element of my dream(s) – of my success.

 BONUS (the +1) – Read The Go-Giver

I certainly would be remiss in speaking of success without mentioning The Go-Giver. This amazing book – written by Bob Burg and John David Mann – delivers the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success. If you have not yet read this book – do so. If you have already read it – grab your copy and read it again. It never fails that when I re-read this book it seems like the copy has been changed because I always gain new insights and see even more potential for success. You may want to explore my Success Accelerator groups. This six week course is guaranteed to help you define your success and create the beginnings of your success path.

We can all achieve the success we desire. Our dreams are within our grasp. It’s certainly not easy but it’s very simple.



Coach, International Speaker and Thought Partner - Bill’s mission is to add value to the world – one brand at a time. Bill guides individuals and companies alike in building what he refers to as a ‘fearless brand’. This is the process of discovering, embracing and delivering their greatest value – which allows them to realize greater profit. Read More

6 comments on “Achieving Success or Five Steps (+1) to Paradise
  1. Doug Wagner says:

    Great post Bill. I think that your point on being open to how and what you receive is so important. The more narrow the focus the more we miss those other related opportunities that may also be slight detours that get you there faster.

    • Bill says:

      Doug, I know that I’ve missed many gifts merely because my mind was locked onto one – and only one – expected/desired outcome.
      Thanks for your kind words and I always enjoy your perspective.

  2. Great thoughts Bill, Oh and I especially LOVE the last one BONUS (the +1) – Read The Go-Giver. It is mandatory reading for ALL of my clients. Embracing, Defining, Following, Celebrating, Receiving are all KEY to Success in ANY and all Relationships that are to be successful. Have a brilliant day.

    • Bill says:

      Thanks for the kind comments Carly. It’s just not possible to over state the value and depth of The Go-Giver.

  3. Wes Morgan says:

    My High School homeroom teacher was from Sri Lanka. I wonder how often her thoughts drifted away from Lakewood High School (Ohio)back in the day? Thanks, as always Bill, for thoughts, encouragement and just being Bill.

    Sorry for calling you a Caveman when it comes to art appreciation. We can work on that.

    • Bill says:

      Thank you Wes – just for being YOU. Believe me, not only is there a large degree of truth to your cave man comment I’ve been called a lot worse with dramatically less justification. 🙂 I look forward to having you as my personal tour guide at Laumeiere Sculpture Park.

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