Success Engineering

Original Photo by Marcel Bak

I think that one can be successful at anything they really want. Anything? Anything! I don’t know what you do in life, but I know that you can become anyone you want and you can achieve anything you want. During the last several weeks I’ve been looking into the topic of success. I wanted to understand it to have a system in place for achieving success. I also talked to some people that I consider successful. Interested in my findings? Read on.


First of all, what is success? Success is achievement of a goal. Most people have some goals, such as finishing school, doing a project, making money, traveling, having a family. Also, most people fail to achieve their goals. They settle on whatever is readily available to them. Of course, I failed many times too. Now things are much better. I believe there is a general framework for being successful:




Goal. Find out what you want. Goal should be a result of strong desire for something. The stronger the desire, the more likely success. If there is no desire, there is no success. I think it is very important to be as specific about the desired outcome as possible. More specific goals allow for designing better plans. If necessary, divide the goal into smaller subgoals. Use Kanban to keep track of all the goals.


Plan. Think what you need to achieve the goal and how to do that. Set a final deadline that you will not miss. Make a very detailed plan of action. I typically first create a bullet list of actions, and then schedule them in calendar. Stick to the schedule and be committed. If you don’t do that, you’ll fail.


If necessary, acquire additional resources. Find out different sources of knowledge (websites, forums, publications, people) and meet like-minded people. Think about the skills that you need to learn and how to acquire them.


There is no such thing as a free lunch. You heard it many times. If you want to be successful at one thing, other things will suffer. Make a list of things that will suffer and be aware of them.


Action. Execute the plan. In many cases that’s the hardest part because it requires you to move your ass and do something. Take action immediately, do not wait for “perfect moment”. It does not exist. Whatever you do, you’ll refine it later as you get better.


Of course, you’ll be tempted to procrastinate and to find lame excuses. Stay focused and motivated. You have to be persistent. You’ll meet many obstacles, but don’t get discouraged. Never take things personally. Be guided by your goal and think of all the benefits of achieving it. Remember, you get as much as you fight for.


Being motivated is not always easy. Approach the whole process with the right attitude like Nick Vujcic. Be positive and have faith in success. It’s the attitude that discriminates successful from unsuccessful people. It gives spark to all the action.


Taking action usually means working hard. Successful people are successful because they are devoted to their goals, not because they are naturally talented. They put all their resources into finishing the task. They work hard, but you also have to work smart. If you work smart, you save time and achieve your goals quicker. Be productive.


You might think that some people are successful because they are lucky. But, what is luck? I like the definition of Randy Pausch. According to him luck is when preparation meets opportunity. You can be lucky only when you are ready for it. Being ready usually means working for success.


Result. When you perform an action, you’ll see some results. At the beginning the results will not be shocking. Maybe it’ll take months or years to see big results, but do not quit. Most people fail because they quit too early.


Thoughts. Reflect on the results and the whole process. Learn and improve. Often you need to adjust the plan as the conditions change.

One thought on “Success Engineering

  1. “Take action immediately, do not wait for “perfect moment”. It does not exist.” – thank you, I often wait for the “perfect moment”, you are right, this is waste of time, just do it!

    Randy Pausch quote: from “the last lecture”? :) this is amazing book!

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