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Forced Success- How to Utilize Your Environment to Excel in Life

Updated on April 18, 2014

Everybody reading this is probably wondering what I mean by forced success. It’s simple: Your success, your accomplishments and sometimes even your awards can be due in part to those around you. There have been several times in my life that I have accomplished more and exceeded my goals because of the people and or environment around me. Whether it’s been due to conformity, competition or meeting a standard that was imposed by superior personnel, the accomplishments of my life have not all been due to my personal ambitions and work ethic.

Choose salad over the fries every time!
Choose salad over the fries every time!


I’ll start in one of my favorite categories, which is none other than fitness. I love to work out and set high goals that take months to fulfill. I am fully independently motivated to succeed and transform every weight in the gym into a light weight. I am only human though, so I like to sleep and eat junk food. On my own, I will miss gym days and make the dive for the french fries over the salad. With a friend routinely working out with me I am able to have a gym advocate and second conscience to combat the junk food and sluggishness. On the days that I want to be lazy or eat junk food, he will hopefully keep me in check. That is forcing the success of my fitness goals through a common bond known as lifting weights. I have experienced this many times over the years. I am often the gym advocate that says “we’ll take tomorrow off as scheduled” or “skip the fries this time.”


Another place that I accredit forced success would be my education. I have a competitive, and perhaps defeatist personality. If someone can accomplish something, well then so can I. Well, at least I think I can. I’m still like a little kid by thinking that I can do anything I put my mind to. I never had anyone telling me this as a child, so I think I over-compensated by telling myself those words well into adulthood. I think I can. I think I can. Anyways, education is a competitive realm for me. I never liked being told that I wasn’t smart because I didn’t have that magical piece of paper. Shazzamm! Am I smart now? Forced success category two: Anything you can do I can do.

Career Progression

"In order to advance, you must complete this list trooper. On this list you’ll find minimum requirements in several different categories that you’re graded on. We use these categories to evaluate candidates and it provides a measure of competition for you and your peers. I tried to write that as ambiguous as I could." This is not a real quote, but it does portray how I felt for promotion criteria as an enlisted soldier. I think the enlisted promotion criteria is a great system, and I would like to see more companies incorporate the style into their leadership/management advancements. I had to meet the minimums in everything I did, but I also had to stand out and excel in as many of those categories as possible. Forced success category number three: Meeting the standard because it’s your job. I would have never worked in all those areas had I not been graded on it at work.

5 Valuable Skills That Translate to Career Advancement
5 Valuable Skills That Translate to Career Advancement | Source
Bookmark this website for all your personal finance needs!
Bookmark this website for all your personal finance needs! | Source

Team Work

The fourth and final category can be a touchy one-- especially after wine. I am happily married and I have a certain forced success to credit to that. It is a fact that women and men have different talents. One of my wife’s greatest talents is her discipline with money. I would like to think I’m good with certain aspects of finance, but nobody can stretch a dollar like my old lady. That brings me to the final category of forced success: We’re in this together. Strategizing over the budget and making financial goals is a team effort in marriage. I have a forced success in this category because I was lucky enough to have a frugal and intelligent wife.


I don’t think mentioning my views of forced success makes me dependent on others in order to accomplish my goals. I think it's more a matter of utilizing the environment around me for success. I have friends that specialize in areas like finance, fitness and socializing. I am not afraid to ask them about their tips for success in those areas just like I'm not afraid to help out people that ask me similar questions.


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    • profile image

      Ben Fox 3 years ago

      Great read. Can't wait for the next!

    • Jay Hendo profile image

      Jeremy Hendershot 3 years ago

      Hey Bill! Wow, it's nice to have some activity on this post! To answer your question, my current career has been built by feats of the past. I was selected for various tasks which led to certifications that were needed as a prerequisite for my field. Thanks for reading!

    • profile image

      Bill 3 years ago

      Nicely put Jay. I found it fascinating that you listed different areas where you drew success from. If you don't mind me asking, what are you doing now that you would credit from one of these topics?