5 Keys to Success
written by Mike Ballew April 21, 2024

Would you like to become a better version of yourself? Whether you aspire to greatness or just want to stop making the same mistakes, there is always room for improvement. Here are 5 keys to success.

Number 5: Curb Your Enthusiasm

While it might seem counterintuitive, one key to success is not to want it too much.

“I will do anything to get ahead. I will stab people in the back and crush anyone who gets in my way. And I won’t lose a minute’s sleep over it."

If that sounds familiar, you might want to take it down a notch. Blind ambition is a frightening thing. People can smell it from a mile away.

Take a moment to consider the people in your life. Let them know how much you love and appreciate them. There is more to life than things. It’s about the journey, not the destination. Take time to enjoy your life. 

In the right measure, ambition can be a good thing. But too much is always a bad thing.

Number 4: Tap your Subconscious Mind

Have you ever experienced this? You wear yourself out trying to solve a problem, then later while doing some menial task like housework or shaving, the perfect solution pops into your head. That’s your subconscious mind at work.

Dr. David Rock, co-founder of the NeuroLeadership Institute and author of Quiet Leadership: Six Steps to Transforming Performance at Work, has conducted extensive research on the inner workings of the subconscious mind. He travels the globe extolling the problem-solving abilities of this overlooked resource. According to Dr. Rock, our subconscious mind is actually many times greater than our conscious mind.

The key to tapping this vast resource is to put your conscious mind at rest. Forget about the problem at hand and focus on routine tasks in a quiet environment. This allows the weaker connections of your subconscious mind to rise to the surface. That is when you'll find the perfect solution.

Number 3: Work Smarter

We’ve all heard the expression, “Work smarter, not harder." Sure, it’s a cliché, but the first part has merit. When tackling a new task, the best place to start is at the beginning. Take time to learn what you are doing before you start doing it. The lost time will be more than made-up by doing it right. Here’s a little story to illustrate the point.

A farmer received a chainsaw from his son at Christmas. His son said it would make cutting firewood much easier. When his son left, the farmer decided to give it a try. When he failed to see any improvement he returned it to where his son had bought it. The clerk gave the cord a quick pull and it sprang to life. The farmer shouted, “What’s that noise?"

Number 2: Think Positive

It’s been nearly 70 years since Norman Vincent Peale penned The Power of Positive Thinking. Yet the words are still as true today as they were back then. It doesn’t make you kooky to tell yourself, “I can do this!" It's much better than thinking, “I’ll just screw it up like everything else."

Positive thinking is like a breath of fresh air to your old ways of thinking. Positive thinking actually reprograms your brain to overcome negativity. Positive affirmations help you visualize success and eliminate self-doubt.

You might find that after you make a conscious effort to think more positively it becomes second nature. Your go-to will be, “I will succeed" rather than doom and gloom. Moreover, you will become better company to those around you. No one likes a Debbie Downer. The next time you catch yourself about to say something negative, replace your stinking thinking with something positive.

Number 1: Set Goals

Setting goals is one of those things that how you do it is as important as doing it. Anyone can say, “My New Year’s resolution is...". But without a plan, it’s just a wish. A goal must have a measurable objective, such as: “I am going to lose 20 pounds."

A better goal has both a measurable objective and a deadline: “I will lose 20 pounds in three months."

An even better goal is measurable, has a deadline, and involves some form of accountability: “I will lose 20 pounds in three months and I will track my progress on this chart."


So there you have it! 5 keys to success. Put these concepts to work in your life and you will see noticeable improvement.

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Eggstack founder, Financial Planning Association member, engineer, and software developer.