What makes some people more successful than others?

What makes some people more successful than others?

Tom Butler-Bowdon has a great review on Maximum Achievement (1993) by Brian Tracy and this is the summary of this review. 

You ask this question to yourself “What makes some people more successful than others?” and I will show you the answers as follows:

1. The master skill

Tracy realized that there was a ‘master skill’ which could produce brilliant results across a person’s life: the ability to set goals and achieve them.

Human beings, he learned, are teleological; we are shaped by our ambitions, adapting ourselves to meet the image of an imagined end state.

Maxwell Maltz’s famous Psycho-cybernetics told him that man is really a goal-setting machine, needing goals in order to fully live.

Maltz compared a person to a self-guided missile, which constantly adjusts its path so as to hit a target; in the same way, we could program ourselves to achieve our desires through constant self-feedback.

The interesting thing about goals, Tracy found, is that they are value-neutral: whatever desires you set for yourself, you are likely to achieve them whether they are good or bad; therefore, why not take the time to create wonderful, life-enriching goals?

2. Becoming an expert goal-setter

Less than 3 percent of people have written goals. We spend a dozen years being schooled, but the most important contributor to success in life – how to concretize our wishes and ambitions – is rarely learned.

So why are we not taking the step to set goals for ourselves? Tracy lists reasons, but one that stands out is that we aren’t willing to accept full responsibility for our lives.

If we don’t set goals, then we don’t have to reach them.

As a result, we may end up mixing with people who have no clear idea where they are headed, becoming a person who “follows the followers”.

The payoff of goal-setting is that as we achieve each goal we feel in charge of our own destiny, with every moment taken up productively.

Self-esteem increases, and it is easy to remain motivated.

Goals must be written down. Although this requires some discipline, there is something magic about ‘putting it on paper’ which increases the probability of a goal becoming fact.

The more detail about the goal, the better, because the subconscious needs details to shape action: “You can’t hit a target you can’t see”,

Tracy says. You don’t need to worry about the details of how the goal will be achieved, however; what is important is to be certain and exact about what you want. 

3. The goal of meaning

Any achievement, Tracy says, is worthless if it is not congruent with a sense of inner peace, so whatever your goals are they must be revolved around a single meaningful purpose for your life.

You are only successful to the extent that you can achieve your own happiness, so you must pursue goals that you are vitally interested in – only then can you really be of use to others.

Loving relationships should feature highly in your goal-setting. Only when these are going well, he reminds us, “can you turn your thoughts towards the self-expression and self-actualization that enable you to fulfill your potential.” 

One of Tracy’s other key ingredients for success is financial freedom. Money worries are the cause of around 80 percent of relationship breakdowns, therefore you owe it to yourself and your partner to develop the skills and take the education to make yourself more valuable.

Final word

“What makes successful people successful?”

One of the answers is that they are great readers.

The motivational gurus like Denis Waitley, Tom Hopkins, Anthony Robbins and Tracy never seem to miss an opportunity to tell how books opened their eyes to what was possible.

This is because the more you read about the lives and actions of successful people, the more likely it is that you will set the bar higher for yourself.

Best Regards,


P.S. My friend asked me if I knew where she would make extra income on 100% in her free time. I told her I have a good one I can recommend. After three weeks, she already got the result. You can see the result here.


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