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The key to success - Do you agree with it?

Updated on October 23, 2012

Three years ago I finally embraced the idea that one of my biggest problems was to stop things before I finish them... not to commit...

I consider myself a pretty "idiot" guy, a person with lots of ideas and projects! Some of them, do have some value but all of them face the same problem at the end: me :)

As I do a mental exercise to recall all the things I did or didn't in my life, all the successes and failures, all the "I almost did it" or "yes, i've done it", I found a similiar aspect on all of them: to be or not to be commited!

When I failed at my love life, at sports, at my business, I started looking for reasons why it had happen...

So, I finally isolated my problem: not to come through, I don't take things till the end, I don't commit myself with everything...

And now I needed to find a solution, some kind of quick fix (being honest here :)) to correct this "bug" in my character. I wanted to find the key to success!

Buy them at Amazon

First Things First
First Things First

The 2nd chapter of Stephen R. Covey's book



Being a book addict, I tried to find out what books could help me and I've read them all.

I started with "The Secret". It was famous also here in Portugal after the support that Oprah gave to it. It was a small book, easy reading.

After that, a friend told me about the Stephen R. Covey saga. So, I read "The 7 habits of highly effective people" and then the "First thing First".

Last but not least, this year my oldest brother showed me the "4 hour workweek" from Tim Ferriss, which I read it in two months...

I trully recommend the Stephen R. Covey and Tim Ferriss ones. Also try to follow their blogs, we could really learn a lot from them! I've added these 4 books to this hub for you to have quick access to them.

All of these books and others I've read or seen try to help you get the live you really want! And if you analyse it well, they all focus on the some points! They may say it by different words, and you may understand or relate yourself to one more than others, but at the end it's all the same!

I'm not devaluating the books, all of them have great value and things to learn, but the main point, the key to success is the same!

I still think you should check them all out, all of them have great tools for you to achieve what I propose on the next "chapters", and I bet that in one of them you'll find what you need!

What to do

So, what is the biggest secret that make some people succeed and others fail? One thing you have to keep in your mind: hard work! Nothing lands on your lap while you're sleeping on the couch...After you tattoo this in your mind, follow these simple guidelines:

  1. Set your goals
  2. Measure Everything
  3. Take small steps
  4. Write it all down
  5. Get focused


Set Goals

If you want to have success, if you want to accomplish things, to earn enough money to buy something, your first step should be to set your goals!

Think of it as a trip. When you set off, you have a place to reach, you have the directions to get there, you know what time should it take you to reach there, how many gas do you need in your car, and so on...

With your life you have to do the same. You need to know where you're heading and figure out how to get there.

I thought this was going to be an easy task to do, until I started thinking about it... What did I really wanted to do with my life? What will make me feel happy? When I get old and look back into my life, what would make me say "I really lived a good live, I accomplish all my goals, I materialize all my dreams, I can die happy and proud of myself..."

I realized that the goals I had in my mind were really abstract:

  • I want to be happy
  • I want to have a great family
  • I don't want to worry about money
  • ...

But how will I know when I'm happy enough, when I have a great family, when money is enough, ...?

Do you usually set goals?

See results

Measure everything

One thing I realized while doing this small exercise, and that is mentioned in every book, is that you need to measure everything!

This also means that your goals need to be measurable. So, getting back to my example, my goals should be like this:

  • I want to wake up and get to bed with a smile on my face at least 6 days per week, starting now
  • I want to be married and have 3 childrens (married next year, one kid two years after, then two more with one and a half years distance...)
  • In 12 months, I want to pay my bills and have enough money to go on vacations each year, for that I need 3.500$ per month

Can you see the difference on my goals? Right now I know exactly what I want, when I want it and I just need to see how can I get there.

Do you measure what you do?

See results

Take small steps

Now that I know what I want, when I want it, I need to figure out what I need to do to get there.

Here's where the small steps come in. Let's take for example my third goal: earn 3.500$ per month in one year.

If now I'm earning 600$, how will I get to earn 3.500$ in one year? Small steps...

First your goals should not exceed 12 months. I set goals for the next three months, six months and 12 months. If it's more than this, you won't commit yourself as you should...

Following my example, in 3 months I need to be earning 1000$, in 6 months 2000$ and then reach the 3500$ in 12 months.

So, what do I need to be earning 1.000$ in 3 months? I need more 400$ per month. Seems a lot? Well, divide it by 30 days, and you'll get 13.33$ per day. Does it still seems a lot? How can you earn more 13 bucks per day? You can help at a store, you can take care of some friends children, you can wash your neighbors car... so many things, just think a little about it!

If you do this for every goal you have, it will be much easier to accomplish them!

Write it all on paper

Now that you have it all figured out, you need to write it on paper, on your computer, tablet pc or any other place...

Writing it down "seals" the commitment you're making! There's also people who add photos to their goals to better visualize them (and look at them each morning when they wake up), some set reminders, and there's a lot of more things you can do, the important is to have it written somewhere!

And revise them constantly, so your mind can be set on it! This is very important, because after all this, we get to the next point, the one that "crashes" all our dreams most of the times...


Get focused

This is the crucial point in my opinion. It's where lots of people fail, where "man's are separated from the boys"...

You have set your goals, make them measurable, define the small steps you should take, write it all down and... you simply push them to the end of your day to day to-do list...

I know this because it happens a lot to me. For example: I need to put some ads on the net to sell a few things I have and don't need any more... This will bring me some extra bucks that will help me reach one my goals... But I also need to wash my car, to clean the house, to check my emails and reply some things on facebook... And guess what I save for last? yes, the ads... And probably when I'm up to do it, it's already too late and I postpone it to the next day.. where the same thing happens...

Does this sound familiar to you? If your goals are the most important thing to you, treat them exactly like that! If this means to put the "do not disturb" sign at the door of your home office, then do it! It's for a greater cause, it's you taking control of your life, reaching for your happiness, so... GO FOR IT and don't let anything or anyone step in your way!

How's your focus?

See results

Did I...

Succeed in making you think about your goals and reaching for your happiness?

I hope so, because I'm doing it for me right now, it's been a great ride, enjoying every day, and I've already achieved some goals! it will be amazing to get to the end of this year, look back, and see my list of accomplishments :)

Start acting right now! Yes, right now! It's our life we're talking about!

What are your thoughts on this? What advises can you give to people so they can achieve their goals?

I would love if you all shared on the comments your ideas of how to achieve success, what are the key things we should do, how should we focus on our goals, and every other piece of info that you think it might be useful!


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    • lbramos profile imageAUTHOR

      Luis Bivar Ramos 

      6 years ago from Porto, Portugal

      Thanks for your comment and feedback :) It's good to know I'm not the only one thinking like this :)

    • superpipoy profile image


      6 years ago

      It depends on every person. The true key to success is your motivation and goals in life. And yes, consistence and persistence is also part of the ingredients of being successful in life.

      Great hub and Interesting! Voted Up! :)

    • lbramos profile imageAUTHOR

      Luis Bivar Ramos 

      6 years ago from Porto, Portugal

      Hi Richard,

      Yes, definitely! After setting your goals you really need consistence and persistence... And that's where 95% of the people fail!

    • richardghart profile image


      6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I think the two keys to success are consistence and persistance.

    • lbramos profile imageAUTHOR

      Luis Bivar Ramos 

      6 years ago from Porto, Portugal

      Thanks, it's something thatI truly believe in and for me, it seems to be working now :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi Ibramos,

      great hub, great info and life plan. Makes more sense than some would care to admit. You can't get anywhere without goals. Voting up and up,



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