The Recipe for Success – Are You Using The Right Ingredients For Success?

The Recipe For Success
The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand. – Vince Lombardi

John has a classic 9-To-5 job. He is not particularly talented. Suffering from low self-esteem he decides that he will challenge himself and try to win a public speaking contest taking place in his town three month from now. He joins a public speaking group and starts practicing one hour every day after work and practices almost 10 hours every weekend. His friends are really impressed at how hard he is working.

However, the several speeches he gave at his local association were not very good. In addition to that, people keep telling him that there is no way he can win the competition and that he should be realistic.  He gradually loses confidence and feels like he is worthless. “They are right” he tells himself. “I should be more realistic”.

He is getting more and more demotivated and scared, and finally decides not to join the contest.

“I have no talent” he says to himself. His family and friends are not surprised to see him giving up. What was he expecting after all?


Peter has a classic 9-To-5 job. He is not particularly talented. Suffering from low self-esteem, he decides that he will join and win the same public speaking contest that John intended to join. He practices the same number of hours as John. The several speeches he gave at his local association were not very good and people keep telling him that he cannot win the competition. He starts getting demotivated too.

Then, as he is thinking of giving up, he comes across a biography of a highly successful person at the library and is literally shocked to see how hard that person is working both on himself and on his job. His work ethic is insane and his self-reflection incredible. He suddenly realizes that what he was doing was a joke. He wasn’t really working hard.

He starts studying 4 hours every day and 20 hours during the weekend. Every weekend he spends hours and hours filming his speeches. He analyzes every single of his movements, observes meticulously the way he talks as well as the ton of his voice. He shows his videos to several of his friends and asks constant feedback. He stops going out and instead uses his money to take a public speaking course online and buy the best books and CDs available on the topic. During his preparation for the contest he thought about giving up several times. However, he remembers why it is so important for him. His brother was a drug addict who died last year from an overdose and Peter’s deepest desire is to talk to kids as well as adults to raise awareness about drug addiction. He wants his speeches to reflect what he really feels inside and convince kids not to do drugs.

Prior to the contest, he records his speech 462 times and wins the contest. The guy who finishes second comes to congratulate him and says “Good job man. I wish I had your talent”.


I just made up that story but I have no doubt that it could have been a true story.

The point is: most people are not doing what it takes to be successful and the sad thing is that they just don’t realize it. They have wrong beliefs about talent. They don’t understand that they have way more potential than they believe. If only they could break through social conditioning and false beliefs.

However, that’s wonderful news for you! Imagine if everyone around you had an empowering belief system and work so hard that you couldn’t possible outwork them. Then how could you succeed in whatever you want to do? Especially if, like most of us, you are not a genius.

You are lucky because in reality most people don’t even work half as hard as truly successful people are, their belief system sucks, they’re scared of failure, have no perseverance and give up after the first major setback. They haven’t found anything they are really passionate about. They are all over the place and in the end never master anything in particular. Of course, under those conditions, achieving goals becomes quite challenging as you can imagine. Unfortunately, it is what happens to most of us.

When looking at success from that angle, suddenly, success becomes quite predictable and working hard on yourself makes perfect sense.


In this article I would like to argue that success is highly predictable. In order to do that, I would like to share with you the recipe for success. Don’t forget that it is a recipe, not a magic formula! Hard work on yourself and on your job is an absolute MUST! It’s not a perfect law either.

The definition of success I want to use for this article is as follows:

“Success is doing what you love to do and contributing to society the way you want”.

After all, if you are making a lot of money but are unhappy what’s the point? Money as a by-product of success is nice, but seeing money as success itself is quite misleading.

Here is the list of ingredients for the recipe:

  • Passion (extreme dose)
  • Faith (extreme dose)
  • Limiting beliefs (minimal dose)
  • Hard work (extreme dose)
  • Perseverance (extreme dose)
  • Focus (extreme dose)


Here is the formula:

The Recipe for Success

The way you see reality is based on your current belief system. If your belief system sucks, you will never be able to tap into the great power unleashed by your passion and to persevere long enough and work hard enough to succeed. Extreme focus will allow you to become a true expert in your field.

Let’s explain the role of each ingredient now.


People say you have to have a lot of passion for what you are doing and it is totally true. And the reason is because it is so hard that if you don’t, any rational person would give up. – Steve Job

Why are you doing what you are doing? Why is it so important to you?

You need passion to be truly successful. If your why is not strong enough you will quit when it gets very tough.

Passion is what will enable you to persevere when more talented people than you give up. It is what will make it possible for you to outwork smarter people than you and make huge sacrifice when necessary.

If you look at really successful people business wise, you will find people who are truly passionate about what they are doing. Otherwise they won’t be where they are. They would have given up a long long time ago like “sane” people. Why would you put up with constant worries, insane workload and multiple setbacks if you don’t truly love what you do?

Whatever passion you are pursuing, you have to be aware that it will requires you great sacrifices and extreme dedication over a long period of time. You might have to work thousands of hours before you start making any money. Two types of person would do that: mentally ill person or passionate person.

However, passion alone won’t be enough.

Faith/Limiting Beliefs

It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen. – Muhammad Ali

No matter how passionate you are, if you don’t walk by faith and don’t believe that you can do it, at some point in your journey you’re going to face a wall that will be too high for you to climb. You will give up. You must learn to strengthen your faith every day to supercharge your passion and take more and more action.

Imagine for a while that you lost your memory after an accident and remember absolutely nothing. Let’s say I tell you that you are the most famous motivational speaker in the world, going on stage every week in front of thousands of people. What impact will it have on you? How would you behave? Now, if I tell you that you were a depressed and suicidal person and were totally isolated talking to nobody, how differently would you behave? How much confidence would you have?

Our belief system directly determines what we think we can do and can’t do, and, as the result, determines whether we will take action or not. Unfortunately, nobody taught us how to create a healthy belief system and tap into the power of our mind. All the limitations you have in your life are artificial. They are simply a construction of reality based on your interpretation of past events (see my article on limiting beliefs). I guarantee you that if you don’t take care of these limiting beliefs you will be stuck where you are for the rest of life. That’s what happens to most people. They got caught by disempowering beliefs and are never able to break through.

Limiting beliefs are like driving a car with the handbrake on. You can’t go far. You sabotage yourself without even realizing it. You give up because “everything you do sucks” or because “you are stupid”. In many cases it doesn’t even occur to you that things you desire are actually achievable. Or you might not even allow yourself to have those thoughts.

You MUST start working on your limiting beliefs every day if you want to restart the engine.

It is ONLY when your faith becomes stronger than your limiting beliefs that you will really start taking significant actions towards your goal.


Hard Work + Perseverance

Only passion and faith can give us the strength and motivation to work extremely hard and persevere despite the multiple setbacks that we will encounter on our way to our goal.

Hard Work

The most important thing is this: to be able at any moment – to sacrifice what you are, for what you will become! – Eric Thomas

I’ve never really viewed myself as particularly talented, where I excel is ridiculous, sickening, work-ethic. You know while the other guys sleeping, I’m working, while the other guy’s eating, I’m working. – Will Smith

Who can pretend that he/she is working so hard that he/she has no time to watch TV, no time to have hobbies, no time to take a day off or even no time to eat? Not many people.

The main reason why most of us fail is because of unreasonable expectations. We are over-optimistic when we set goals for ourselves. We naively expect things to go relatively smoothly. As a result, a couple of setbacks backed up is enough to create self-doubt and make us quit.

For some reasons, we wrongly believe that other people are more talented than us. We then give up when we realize that we have no “talent“. As a result, on one hand you have a majority of people that tell excuses to each other about their lack of talent and luck, and fail to realize they are not doing what it takes to succeed. On the other hand you have people who as would say Schwarzenegger “works their butt off”. The reality is that most people’s belief system is wrong. They’re operating their life under wrong assumptions. It is not that they have no talent, it is simply that they don’t realize that they are not doing what it takes. They just don’t know. The myth of talent takes its toll on most of us.

It is okay to have no particular ambition. It’s great if you are happy where you are now. However, if there is something you really want to achieve in your life, don’t do 50% and expect to succeed.

When I read a book written by Sir Templeton I was literally shocked to learn how hard he was working. The same could be said of people like Benjamin Franklin. What these highly successful people have in common is not only that they work hard on their job, but also that they work incredibly hard on themselves. They are embodying personal development!

What most of us think is hard working is not. We are not even close from that. If you really want to make your ambitious dreams happen, you are going to have to do more than that!

Ask yourself:

  • How hard am I really working? Is what I am doing really enough?
  • What am I ready to sacrifice?


Nobody believes in you, you’ve lost again and again and again. The lights are cut off but you are still looking at your dream, reviewing it every day and saying to yourself: “it is not over until I win!” – Les Brown

The ability to persevere is what allows us to stand out from “average people” and eventually succeed. Most people have a wrong relation with failure. Of course, you should do everything you can to prevent failure from happening. However, the fact is that you will encounter failures on your way towards your goal. You should remind yourself that failure is not the opposite of success; it is part of the process called success.

Failure is no more than a sign that the misalignment between our actions and our goals has become too big and that something needs to be done. What we call failure can be interpreted as a way for our brain to tell us that we are going into the wrong direction and need to make some major adjustments to realign our actions with our goal. Failure should be turn into a learning opportunity. Real failure is when we learn nothing from failure.

Whenever you want to quit you have to remember this: when it becomes very hard and you want to quit, 95% of the people in your situation feel the same. Now, tell me, did you work so hard on your goal to end up doing like average people? When you started working on your dream did you say to yourself “I love what I am doing and I want be great at it, I want to be the best I possibly can, but I will quit exactly when all other people quit! Really? Why did you get started in the first place then?

Here is a good rule of thumb. When you really feel like quitting consider that it is when the show begins! It is when you actually start separating yourself from the rest by refusing to quit.

The truth is that you are going to fail. Thus, if you really want to be able to persevere no matter what, you MUST prepare yourself mentally to fail:

  • Think about everything that can go wrong and visualize it. Exaggerate it by including totally improbable situations.
  • Project yourself into the future and imagine how you would deal with these “failures”.
  • Ask yourself what you are ready to go through before giving up.
  • Set a timeframe during which you commit yourself to never give up no matter what. Then, when the deadline comes, decide whether you should give up or not.
  • Use positive affirmation and watch motivational videos daily to change your relation with failure and keep pushing during hard times

Once you are mentally prepared to face any setback and understand that setbacks are in fact learning opportunities, you will be able to persevere no matter what.


One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular. – Tony Robbins

To be able to achieve your dream, you have to be clear on what you want and focus on it for long enough to become one of the best at what you do. Then, you must focus on the few tasks that have the most impact. You must be clear on what to do, but also on what NOT to do. It is easy to get distracted and to waste time on petty tasks and I know what I’m talking about!

  • Identity the tasks that will have the most impact and will contribute the most to your success and spend most of your time doing them
  • Ask yourself: is what I’m doing now the best thing to do?
  • Ask yourself: if I keep doing every day what I’ve done today will I achieve my goal?

Supercharge your passion by building unshakable faith, work your butt off, persevere no matter what and focus until you become an expert and even genius won’t be able to catch up with you!

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The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

The 5 Commandments of Personal Development








The Power of Feedback – How To Leverage The Insight Of Your Inner Circle

the power of feedback

Are you leveraging the insight of your inner circle?

Have you ever encountered a situation where one of your friends was worrying about the results of an exam he just took while you were sure he would pass it? Have you ever experienced meeting your friend’s girlfriend/boyfriend and knowing instantly it wasn’t going to work between them?

We are surprisingly accurate at assessing whether our friends are making the right choice in their career, whether their partner is a good match, or how successful they are likely to be in 10 years from now.

However, when it comes to our own life we are prone to countless biases. We are often too optimistic, underestimating the time required or the amount of work needed to accomplish a project as well as all the challenges we might encounter on our journey towards our goal. Or we are too pessimistic believing we are going to fail because we are not good enough to achieve our goals.

In addition to that, we are controlled by our emotions and are often unable to realize that the guy or girl we fell in love with, is obviously not a good match for us. Or maybe we choose the wrong career because the pay is good or for the prestige while it does not fit our personality.

The reality is that we have countless of blind spots and our friends, in many situations, know ourselves better than we do. For that reason, they can offer us a great opportunity to improve ourselves by pointing out things we are not aware of. And awareness is always a prerequisite before any change.

However, it is surprising to see that we don’t really leverage the knowledge than our friends have of ourselves in order to better our life. They possess valuable insight that even intense personal development work and high-self awareness is unlikely to match. Have you ever asked your best friends or members of our family to describe how they perceive you? Have you ever ask your close friends to tell you what they think your strengths and your weaknesses are? Have you ever ask them the following question: “What can I do to improve myself? How can I become a better friend?

Asking those questions require a lot of courage. Why? Because we don’t want people we truly care about to talk about our weaknesses. Being said the truth by someone we barely know might not really hurt us, but being said the truth by our best friend or our partner might be very painful. It is far easier to stay ignorant. We might have a pretty good idea of our possible weaknesses but we certainly don’t want others to point at them, making them a reality we will then have to face.

What your inner circle know that you don’t

There are certain areas where your best friends or family members probably know about you than you do yourself. Below are some examples:

  • How your voice sounds: I think that I had a rather weak voice but I’m not necessarily aware of it.
  • How fast or slow you talk. I often talk very fast and I’m aware of that fact. However, it is only by recording me talking that I truly realize how fast I was actually talking.
  • Your body language: Does your body language show confidence or not?
  • Your strengths/weaknesses
    • We are often unaware of our strengths. Have you ever been in situations where things look so easy to you that you sincerely don’t understand why other people can’t do it? That could be a strength that you are simply unaware of. Your friends could help you spot those kinds of strengths.
  • The kind of men/women that might be good for you
    • Ask your friends to give you their honest opinion about your current girlfriend or boyfriend. You might learn interesting things.
  • The kind of career that might suit you.
  • Whether you will achieve your goal or not. For instance, if the vision they have of you in 10 years is totally different from how you envision yourself it means that, either you are seriously going to have to change something, or that your friends are not aware of the step you are taking towards your goal. Which one is it?

Why you want to leverage your inner circle’s insight

Ultimately, whether you want to ask your friends to give you feedback or not is your own decision. However, if you are serious about becoming a better friend, a better husband/wife and more generally a better person, it is in your interest and in the interest of the persons in your inner circle that you look for ways to improve yourself.

You might deny your blind spots but they are how you appear to your friends and more generally to the society. While most people hate hearing their own voice, seeing videos of themselves, or being said the truth by people they really care about, learning to accept the reality of who you are is the best way to change that reality and to cultivate self-acceptance.

If you think about past events that had a huge impact on your life, you might recall cases where you family or your friends told you something that truly hurt you. You might have felt resentful, but after a while you then realized that there was at least a part of truth in what they said to you and ended up being thankful.

Your friends and your family want you to shine, so don’t hesitate to ask them to share their valuable insights and help you become a better person.

If you want to be a great friend, tell your friends how they can improve their life in the most honest way possible, and assist them in reaching the highest level of fulfillment possible.

A good friend tells you what you want to hear; a great friend tells you what you don’t want to hear. A good friend wants to be with you because it feels good; a great friend’s main concern is your happiness.

What about you? What kind of feedback would you like to ask to your family members or to your friends? What kind of honest feedback can you give to people around you to help them better themselves?

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The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

The 5 Commandments of Personal Development










Reclaim Your Time – You Are The Master Of Your Time

Reclaim your time - you are the master of your time

Lack of time is actually lack of priorities. – Tim Ferris, The 4-Hour Workweek


Yesterday before going to bed I visit the website of Steve Pavlina, one of the most famous expert in the field of personal development. In one of his article he argues that most people are not productive and that in many cases, in 1h30 it is possible to do as much as in one day of work.

I had this epiphany moment when I realized that in reality I was constantly saying myself that I was too busy, that I didn’t have time to take days off or to rest. In his book “Success Principles” Jack Canfield, another expert in the field of personal development, recommends that we take 130 to 150 days off every year. Those are days where we don’t do any kind of work at all.

Yesterday I make the decision that I will take responsibility for my time. In life, we are responsible for everything and it includes our times, which is one of the most precious thing we have. Yet, most people waste a lot of their time. It’s as if, they were going to live forever and time was not an issue.

I think, it is time that we reclaim our time. We are the masters of our time. Nobody has the right to steal our time without our permission.

I take that decision today: I am the master of my time, I don’t tolerate excuses like “I’m too busy” or “I don’t have time” anymore. It is not acceptable anymore.

Most of the time I pretend to work or study but I’m just lying to myself. I read many books but I don’t take notes and forget everything so that I have to read them again. I procrastinate because I’m scared: scared of not being good enough, not being smart enough. I have false beliefs that make me think that if I don’t spend a lot of time working or studying, I’m not worthy or I’m not contributing to the society.

However, in reality, I checked my emails multiple times every day, I waste time on facebook or I lost motivation because I don’t really rest. At the end of the day, when I ask myself “What did I really accomplish today?” I realized that I didn’t accomplish that much. Ask yourself that question every day “What did I really accomplish today?”

I want you to reclaim your time. You are the master of your time. In Japan, it’s very common to here people complaining about how busy they are. It seems that being busy is cool. You have to be busy and if you are not, you have to pretend to be busy in order to show that you are a hard worker. However, in the end, it’s not the hours you put in your job that are important, it’s the value you put in those hours. You can always say that peer pressure is high and that working long hours is the culture in your country, but it doesn’t change the fact that you are responsible for your time.


Don’t let fear steal your time

Many people procrastinate because of fear. They don’t want to work on an important task because they don’t feel confident accomplishing it. They are perfectionist or feel they are not smart enough and start the project late so that they have no choice but to do it in the remaining time. Procrastination lowers their self-esteem. You cannot lie to your subconscious mind. When you don’t do what you know you should do, your subconscious mind will always know it. Create the habit of working of your most important project first. Stop being perfectionist. Start small by work as fast as you can on things that doesn’t matter. Write e-mails that are not important very quickly, practing working very fast on small tasks at home and at your job.


Don’t let people steal your time

You should spend your time on things that matters to you. Respecting your time is respecting yourself. If you tell people that you cannot do something or go somewhere because you have another project that is really important for you, or because you promise your kids that you will spend time with them, it becomes hard for people to blame you. Why? Because, by being clear on your priorities, you show them that you respect your time and thus, respect yourself.

“I would love to go but I’m working on this project that really matters to me. This project will really contribute to XX.

The key point is:

  • Show why it is important for you (how it is in line with your values)
  • How it will benefit the society/your kids/the local community…

Most people have a hard time take decisions and prioritize things because they haven’t take the time to define their values. You should be clear on your values. What are your top ten values? How would you rank them?

Is your priority number one your family, your job, integrity, passion, justice?

Once, you know what you stand for it becomes easier to allocate your time more effectively.

Don’t let the “I’m too busy” excuses disempower you

When you constantly say to yourself that you are too busy, you live in a world of scarcity. Scarcity of time. Stop using excuses like “I’m too busy” or “I don’t have time”. It keeps you in scarcity and you give power to your environment and to circumstances rather than taking control of your life and of your time. Tim Ferris in his book “The 4-Hour Workweek” wrote “Lack of time is lack of priorities”. You are always responsible for your time. If the president Obama can find the time to exercise every morning you can find it too.

Stop using the words “I’m busy” and start reclaiming your time. You will realize that you have more control that you think over your time. You will become more aware of how you are really using your time.

Work by block of 90 min

Start every day by focusing on the most important task you need to accomplish. If you need to accomplish one thing today what would it be? During those 90 minutes, don’t check your e-mails, don’t check facebook, don’t talk, don’t drink and don’t go to the bathroom unless you really need to.

You might say that it is impossible because you work in an open space, you need to answer the phone and your colleagues always come to talk to you. You are responsible for your time. What you are ready to do in order to master your time is the reflection of how much you value your time and respect yourself. It’s all on you. If your priority number one is your family, do what you need to do to spend time with your family.

Plan your day in advance

Plan your day in advance before going to bed. Identify 3 things you must absolutely accomplish tomorrow.

Here is why you want to do that

  • To avoid distraction: When you know exactly what you need to do, you prevent your brain to come up with excuses to procrastinate. Each time you put yourself in a situation where you have to think about what to do next, you give opportunity for your brain to look for distractions. You might check your e-mail, go on facebook or watch some videos on youtube. At the end of the day, you can easily waste one hour or more of your time. Be aware of how your mind is constantly trying to distract you (add more tips)
  • To reflect on your strategy: Planning gives you an opportunity to step back and look at the bigger picture. Is your strategy efficient? Are you focusing on the tasks that really matter?
  • To limit the use of willpower: Your willpower is a limited resource. By planning your day in advance, you don’t need to think about what you need to do next. You don’t need to use a lot of your willpower to motivate yourself each time you need to start a new task.
  • To build momentum: Once you complete your most important task first thing in the morning, you feel a sense of accomplishment and relief, and build momentum for the rest of the day. As a result you accomplish more throughout your day
  • To increase self-esteem: Many people fail to realize that self-esteem is linked to discipline. The more you can discipline yourself to do what you know you should do, the better your self-esteem will be.
  • To boost your productivity: Complete your most important task first and focus on one task at a time will greatly increase your productivity
  • To reduce stress: Planning your day in advance and knowing exactly what you have to do will bring you peace of mind and will decrease the amount of uncertainty you experience throughout your day. All you need to do is look at your list and complete your tasks one by one without thinking much about it. You are not overwhelmed by all the things you need to do.

We are responsible for your life and life is nothing else that a limited period of time that we were given. Time is the most precious things. We all have 24 hours in a day. It’s up to us how we want to use that time. I decided that I had enough to pretend to be busy every day, to constantly say to myself that I don’t have time, to procrastinate or to waste time on facebook, I made the decision today that I’m responsible for my time and that I will do what it takes to become more productive and to free time to meet my friends and to rest.

Life is too short and we often waste our time at job we don’t like, we waste our time worrying about things that already happened, that will probably never happened or that we cannot change. We waste our time pursuing things that we realize later, don’t matter.

It is time for us to reclaim our time and to focus that limited time we have on earth on something that really matters to us.

In life is not what we have that matters, it’s who we become. Reclaim your time and focus on doing things that help you become the person you want to be.

see also: How To Be Responsible For Your Life And Stop Giving Power Away

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