success in life

Secret to Achieving New Year's Resolutions

At the start of every new year, many people create resolutions or goals for the New Year. At the same time, most people also give up on these goals well before the end of the year. Having worked in industries whose sales are driven by New Year’s Resolutions, I can tell you exactly when people [...]

Just Show Up

“Eighty Percent of Success is Showing Up.” – Woody Allen, Actor I first encountered this quote by Woody Allen decades ago. At the time, the idea that the majority of success involved merely showing up seemed overly simplistic and surely an exaggeration. I’ve since come to the conclusion that his statement is more true than [...]

The Rank Order Priority List

Most of my work involves either a corporate strategic plan or a personal strategic plan. The core of strategic planning centers around deciding on priorities and allocating resources to those priorities. A good strategic planning process is quite painful. It’s painful because resources are always constrained. This has been true in every strategic plan with which [...]

Surviving vs. Thriving

You can approach life in one of two ways. You can focus on surviving, or you can focus on thriving. There’s a time and place for both approaches. Like most things in life, neither is inherently good or bad. These approaches are merely tools — to be applied in the appropriate situation. More than approaches [...]

Are You Successful?

I was in Chicago recently, hosting a dinner meeting for members of my Inner Circle mentorship program. During dinner, someone asked me a profound question: “Victor, do you consider yourself successful?” For most questions, I can answer off the top of my head with barely a thought. For this question, I had to think about [...]

I’m Sorry. That was my Fault.

Here’s a simple ritual to help improve your EQ skills — especially if you’re managing or collaborating with other people. When you make a mistake, do two things: 1) Acknowledge and take responsibility for the mistake; 2) Do what you can to rectify the situation. It’s impossible to be perfect 100% of the time. When [...]

Impaired & Borrowed Functioning

People with low self-esteem have an impaired ability to validate themselves. I know. I used to be one of them. When I was successful in my endeavors, I felt fine. When I was struggling or failing, I felt like a defective human being. (It’s healthy and normal to feel disappointed by setbacks in life; feeling [...]

Margin of Error

I find it useful to learn from other disciplines. If you want to stand out in your field, borrow ideas that are commonplace in other industries, professions, and domains, but unusual in your field. I’m not the only person who has come to this conclusion. Warren Buffet’s business partner, Charlie Munger, strongly advocates multi-disciplinary learning. [...]

Sharpen Your Axe

In the United States, there’s a historical quote attributed to President Abraham Lincoln that says: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” The quote refers to the important role of proper preparation for any endeavor. I was thinking about this quote a few [...]

Getting What You Want

Much of getting what you want in life involves getting what you want from other people. Do you want a job? You need to convince the other person to give you one. Do you want a promotion? You need to convince your boss to give you one. Do you want a higher income? You need [...]

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