"SUCCESS BOUND" by Randy Gilbert 

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Additional thought of Graham White in highlights

We write because we feel: "I can do it a little bit better."

It's your responsibility to determine your purpose and succeed.  You owe your gifts to the world.

Too often people are taught to focus on the need to succeed at everything they do, when in actuality they need to realize that faults and failing exist for a purpose - to help you succeed.

Sometimes people don't know what their own dreams are because they are too busy living other people's dreams.  There are times that you believe what others have told you, your parents, your teachers, your family, your friends, your spouse; without really checking it out. You may have factored these beliefs into major decisions in your life; such as your career, where you went to college, what jobs you took or whom you married.  But people are all different, with differing dreams, hopes, desires and goals.  If you want to find happiness and peace of mind, you need to follow your own dreams.

Sometimes we fail because we don't know what we desire in life and nothing that comes our way seems to make us happy.  Sometimes we know what we want, but we don't know how to get it.  And then there are the times when we know what we want and how to get it, but we don't know how to motivate ourselves to do the things we know are necessary in order to be happy and successful.


Why do some people get what they want and others fail?  I believe that getting what you desire in life takes planning.  It doesn't just happen by luck.  It has been proven that successful people do things differently than unsuccessful people.  Successful people recognize the patterns of success and follow them.  One of those patterns of success is planning. Successful people plan what they think and do and that sets them apart.  You need to learn how to plan for your success. 

There have been reports of many people who have won the lottery, enjoyed wealth for a short time and then gone back to their original level of poverty.  Why?  Because they didn't know how to plan for continued success.

Successful people know exactly what they desire, have an intelligent plan for getting it and then work their plan.  They know what success will cost them in terms of time and energy and they devote the right resources to making their plans happen.  If you do not have a plan for how to succeed, then you have a plan for failing.  A person whose life is out of control is someone without a definite plan.

  • Decide on what you desire and write it down.
  • Determine the amount of time that you want to complete your goal.
  • Identify obstacles that must be overcome in order to achieve the goal.
  • Identify the resources (knowledge, skills people, money etc) you have available already and those you must obtain.
  • Write out an action plan of the tasks to achieve the goal within the timeframe you allotted.

Reactive thinkers make quick and poorly thought-out decisions.  They feel the pressure of stress and lose perspective.  They take things personally and get annoyed with themselves, bothered by others and frustrated when things don't go well.  Being reactive produces a downward spiral that brings out the worst in them.  They are rigid and inflexible.  They never have time to take advantage of opportunities when they knock because they're so wrapped up with their problems.  Other people get annoyed with the reactive thinkers critical and negative attitude.   

Proactive thinkers are more relaxed because they are looking ahead to the future and making decisions that meet their life's objectives.  They are in control and take things less personally because you see the big picture and understand how things interact.  They are flexible, calm, take full responsibility for the results of their actions and then make adjustments so that the next time they are more successful.  Their eyes are open to opportunities, they look for ways to bring out the best in others and enjoy cooperation when needed.  (They have the time and energy to do this because they have planned ahead).   

You need to have an open mind and admit quickly when you have a problem.  Then you need to do something different so that the problem won't reoccur.  

Another thing successful people do differently is foster and maintain healthy relationships.  Successful people express opinions to others after receiving information, which builds trust.  Failing people express opinions on subjects they know little about.  Successful people take a keen interest in others, especially those whom they have something in common with and try to help others get what they want.  Failures try to get people to be their friend only when they want something from them.  Successful people have learned how to influence others through a cooperative attitude.  Unsuccessful people go out of their way to find fault and let others know about their critical attitude.


We have the capability to change.  We are not tied to our past mistakes, habits or limitations.  Failure doesn't need to be the end result, it can be your teacher, something you learn from.  You will improve fastest if you are coached.

Even if you can't do what you love right now, learn how to reward yourself more often with what you love.  Figure out how to make it the reward that you give yourself for doing the things you have to do for now.  Don't keep pushing your personal happiness off into the nebulous future.  It will suck the passion out of your life and leave you feeling empty.

Unfortunately, many people have had the joy of learning drummed out of them.  

CREATE THE TOOL FOR KNOWING WHAT YOU DESIRE IN LIFE.  Dreams, ambitions, talents and gifts.

Mediocrity doesn't just affect the poor.  Those who earn larger paychecks are lulled into mediocrity because they are able to avoid dealing with their lack of happiness, relationships and peace of mind.  They have money, but no real purpose or fulfillment.  Having a purpose simplifies the process of planning and makes the hundreds of decisions that need to be made far easier.  A definite purpose gives you the reason to keep going even when it's difficult.  It gives you the courage to try new things and stretch beyond your comfort zone until you enjoy a life filled with everything you desire.

There is one character trait that will automatically be increased by acting on your major life purpose--sincerity.  When you set goals toward becoming very good at your major purpose you will have a higher level of sincerity.  You will be sincere because you will have a sincere desire to serve others by doing what you're passionate about.

Discovering your major purpose is like finding the perfect marriage partner.  You engage in similar thoughts and action as you do when you fall in love with your "meant to be".  We don't normally expect someone to pick our marriage partner for us, or wait until God supernaturally points them out.  Somewhere inside of you is the knowledge of what you were "meant to do".

In my religion, I was taught go let God show me what to do and that there was a good chance that he would ask me do to something I really didn't enjoy.  We were designed to do what we're great at and what we love.  Everyone who is successful and fulfilled is doing what they love and they're great at.

Just because someone else was able to accomplish something, doesn't mean that you should be able to.  We have different backgrounds, learning styles, influences and abilities.  Most importantly, maybe you haven't had the same type of catalyzing experience that pushed them over the top.

Life is unpredictable, challenging, and at times it is unfair.  Those who have no plan can't handle the curves life throws at them.  They settle for mediocrity and have no back up plan.  When they lose their job, lose a friend, don't get a promotion they were expecting or have an accident befall them, they panic.  That wasn't in their plan.  

Their plan only included everything going perfectly.  They would somehow get another job.  They would never have their bad credit catch up with them.  They would never have a fight with their spouse.  They would never be wrong.  They would never fail.  They would never have something come up that prevented them from fulfilling their responsibilities or doing something they enjoy.

When these things do happen, they begin to make excuses and blame everything and everyone.  They accept no responsibility because their plan only dealt with life being perfect and fair to them.  They sit in jail claiming their innocence, they whine to their boss about getting in trouble for being late because "they couldn't help it", they fight with their spouse because they never feel they have to take responsibility for fulfilling the others needs.


Discovering your passion, what you are meant to do.

Choosing the things you would like to have that will support you and increase your passion for fulfilling your purpose in life

Looking within to see the kind of person you need to be in order to fulfill your purpose.

BE PREPARED FOR THE WORST, Plan for the best and anything else is taken care of.

It is not you who are a failure; there is always something that you can do differently.  It may be that you have been dealing with a symptom instead of a problem.  The challenging part is now identifying what the problem is.  This can require challenging soul searching and "getting real".  You are responsible for you life, no matter what happens.  It may not be fair, depending on your circumstances, but it is reality.  Dealing with it, regardless of inequity, is the only way to get ahead.

Failure allows you to recognize and develop the habits of success, besides if everything was always perfect, life would be boring.  Challenge is what inspires us.

You're not "a failure", but a person who successfully achieves results each time you try until you get the desired outcome.  Why not give other people a chance to learn from your failures?  You need the help an cooperation of other people to become truly successful in life.  Develop motivation to overcome a challenge so you can teach the process to others.

It is rare that a company has a well-planned reward system that meets the needs of employees as well as customers and stockholders.  When you experience a company that provides consistent top quality service, you can be assured that it is more than just luck in finding good employees.

If you are experiencing a persistent failure in your business or organization and you do not understand why people behave the way they do, ask the question, "What is being rewarded?"  Whether it is planned or not, every organization has a reward system and sooner or later everyone figures out what it is.

You should be up front and candid about objectives.  Objectives are a critical element because you use them to determine your successes and failures.  Therefore, you should not assume them.  Make sure everyone's objectives have been expressed and make sure the final ones have been agreed to by all.

Focus on the end concerns, which are more fundamental to what you want to achieve, rather than relying too heavily on the means to the end.  By identifying end objectives, unbalanced decisions that cause failures are often avoided.  (Mission statement).

Create a tool for recording priorities and then ordering them.

Create a tool for finding the root cause of persistent problems.

Create a tool that allows you to solve problems from your mentor's perspective

Solve problems like a genius by learning how to ask the right questions.

A co-worker of mine liked to study the market.  He would keep up with stocks on his commute to work.  Often he would remark to us how he had made the right choice about a company that was doing well.

One day I cautiously asked how much he made from the market.  The answer was ASTOUNDING--nothing!  He said he never actually purchased any stocks because he didn't want to take the chance of losing any money.  He feared making the wrong choice, so he never implemented his decisions and was no better off than if he hadn't made the decision at all!


  1. Problem
  2. Risk Assessment
  3. Objectives and Goals
  4. Alternative Solutions
  5. Consequences, cost benefit analysis
  6. Tradeoffs
  7. Initial Action
  8. Vigorous Action and Implementation
  9. Evaluate the results


  • Write down the problem using the 5 W's. (Who, What...)
  • Determine the risk involved in addressing the problem.  Make sure what you attempt won't make the situation worse.
  • Identify all the goals.  Objectives should be based on the major purpose of the group or individual.  Make sure you are addressing the deepest needs, not surface objectives.
  • Brainstorm to determine as many alternative solutions as possible.  
  • Determine how expensive, time consuming etc each possible solution is compared to the perceived results.  
  • Compare each solution vs. trade-offs and results against the others until one or two stand out pick the best one with one in backup.
  • Take initial action, plan, strategize and test your idea.
  • Vigorously implement the solution.
  • Evaluate the results.  Are you getting good return on your investment?  If not, decide if you need more time, a different strategy or if you're better off not investing any more in a bad idea.


Set stretch goals (SAI it, the nice thing about a self-imposed goal or deadline is that "failure" is simply your own personal learning experience.  No one else is judging you and you have the freedom to learn at your own pace.) so that your subconscious mind will go to work trying to figure out how to arrange all the tasks that need to be accomplished and all of the resources that need to be gathered.

When you ask successful people about their most challenging experiences and ask them if they'd go through it again if they had the choice, invariably the answer is, "Absolutely.  Without it I wouldn't be who I am today."

Mindstorming is similar to group brainstorming, but you perform it alone. It goes like this. Take a piece of paper and write at the top of it a pressing problem or a question of deep concern. Then number the lines 1 through 20.
Write on each line one way of how you might solve the problem or answer the question. The first ten or so will come fairly quickly and seem obvious, just put them down. You will begin to experience more difficultly as you work on the last 5 to 7.  Do not judge your solutions yet, just let your imagination take over and write down
every idea that comes to mind. Sometimes it is beneficial to think “out of the box,” so give yourself permission to write down (now stay with me here) ludicrous, illegal, or even immoral ideas.

Remember, it is important not to judge the ideas while you are
writing them. When you’ve completed writing all 20, go back down the list and bring the illegal and immoral ideas back “into the box” by converting the essence of the ideas into an appropriate context. For example, if you were in a retail business and needed to increase sales, one immoral solution might be to have your customer service people come to work naked. The essence of the idea is “there is nothing to hide”. Therefore, you would instruct your customer service people to be completely honest about everything, even the negative aspects of the products being sold.

Sometimes it is difficult to write specific solutions because images
and pictures come to your mind. That is OK, because that is how
our minds think best – with pictures. Just describe or draw the
pictures as your mind sees them. Albert Einstein came up with the
theory of relativity when he saw a picture in his mind of himself
riding a wave of light through the universe.

Do this type of exercise regularly and your head will be swimming with ideas. To make use of your ideas, choose those that seem to have the highest likelihood of solving your problem. I’ve found it very useful to start with a clean piece of paper and write each idea as a problem statement in the form of a question, ‘How would I
put that particular idea into practice.’ It is amazing to see how many ideas mindstorming can generate.

There are some variations to mindstorming that I have found useful. One is to write the problem in a couple of different ways and do the mindstorming exercise for each way.  This really helps me to look at the situation from different points of view. For example, sometimes I pretend I am a different person and try to take on that other person’s character and style of thinking.

One of my favorite ways of modifying the process is to think of 20 ways to make the problem or situation worse. Try this some time. It might help; especially if you are in little bit of a negative mood. When using it on one particularly highly emotional problem that I had, it actually made me start to laugh because I thought of some pretty
crazy ways to make things worse. 

When you are doing this type of backwards mindstorming, review your list and either write down the opposite action, or think of what you would do to prevent that bad thing from ever really happening. You will be surprised at how creative it can help you to become. When you have a very bag full of idea beans to use, you will never get discouraged, even when you have a solution that doesn’t work out. Look at the situation in the way that Thomas Edison did and congratulate yourself for finding another way that didn’t work. 

Learn from the mistake, laugh as you throw the bean out, and reach into your bag for another idea bean.  I have discovered that when I become more aware of what I can do to overcome my failures, I gain courage and tenacity. If you want to develop the ability to keep going, even after you have repeatedly failed at every attempt, then you must do the same. It is almost as if nature is saying “how bad do you really want it?” When you create within yourself a burning desire to accomplish your major purpose in life, you will gain an attitude of persistence that will overcome any obstacle. Such persistence will ensure that you systematically gain sound wisdom from your failures.

Use solution generating methods like mindstorming and fill your mind with countless ideas. Your mind is an unlimited resource. Consider that there are many ways of making light bulbs that work.

Get in the habit of asking yourself for more ideas, regardless of whether or not you ever use them. You’re not in control if you have only one possible solution; always have lots of them.

Get organized. Eliminate the ideas that won’t work. With the remaining ideas, consider the possibility that some might work better if combined; then figure out which ideas you could match for a winning combination.

Learn from other people’s failures.

We live during a time when we must carefully consider how to manage our resources.  One of the resources that I consider to be important is our time resource. Time is not renewable. You cannot save time. We are all given the same amount and it is ticking
away for all of us at the same rate. What you must do in order to manage your resources properly is to learn how to manage time. You must make the most out of it.

One of the most effective ways to make the best use of our time is to optimize our learning time. And the absolute best way to optimize our time is to learn from the experts, those who have suffered the failures and have spent weeks, months, and years reading, experimenting, and learning all there is to know in a particular field. These people become our role models and mentors.

We also have the ability to learn from our anti-role models. Such people make mistake after mistake and are the type that you would never want to emulate. It does no good to get mad at them or to try to change them, but rather learn from their mistakes.


People who remind you of your negative habits and how you feel when you see them do it (Matt, Tuckers).

Educate yourself.  Read every day.  Listen to audiotapes.  

Don't criticize, condemn, or complain.  (Example of the FAS boy at the pool and Steven Covey's airport example.)

What creates a critical, complaining, condemning person and how do you change it?

As a rule, help other people to recognize their faults only when
asked or when its recognized that it is welcome. Most people don’t
like to be criticized, especially if they are not in a teachable state of
mind. I have learned that a person will get into the state of being a
good student if, I get in the state of being a good teacher. The
Bible advises teachers to, “… clothe yourself with compassion,
kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.”

The best teachers are those who are humble and want to teach from their own experience. They teach because they have compassion for others and do not want them to have to learn everything the hard way. They also have patience and are willing to endure the learning process. They teach the lesson with meekness, recognizing that the
table will be turned someday and they will become the students again, and with kindness, knowing they are not superior, but equal to the student.

The following simple rules will help you to criticize constructively so that even while you are pointing out the faults of others you will be building them up.

1. Sprinkle in compliments often. It is better to lead from the front with praise and reward. Corrective guidance measures such as prodding or paddling should be used when absolutely necessary.

2. It is always the behavior you don’t like, never the person. Make sure love and trust are intact after the correction is given.

3. Make sure you are open to correction yourself and admit your own mistakes. It not only shows that you are human, but the people you are trying to teach can learn from your mistakes as well as your successes.

4. If the reason for the correction is at your expense (i.e., you were wronged somehow), then make sure apologies and forgiveness happen. This builds trust and commitment to each other.

If you love your children you should be willing to fail with them in order that they might learn.  Help them to discover their passion or interest area.  It may take a while and it might be by "trial and error".  Let them help make a decision and then, for better or worse, live with the consequences, at least until the lesson is learned, and then move on.

Children (and grown-ups) learn much better and faster if everything they learn is tied to their area of interest.

If a system seems to engender mediocrity, people become averse to taking risks.  A type of paranoia of failure sets in.

Don't insist on perfection, start where you're at and build slowly.  The first time you try anything, expect to fail and then learn from the process.

Research the right plan.  Example:  How Cassandra planned her life so that she was able to get the right training, the right volunteer experience in order to get the job she wanted.

Nothing builds a child's self-esteem better than unconditional love.  Make sure your children know that you love them for who they are, and not just what they do.  Let your children fail.  Let them fail early and often.  Tell them "You can do it; just keep trying".  Giving inaccurate feedback of children's performance, like saying, 'you did a great job' when they really didn't is not healthy.

Children want and need challenges.  Give them opportunities that will help them to mature into healthy young adults with lots of self-confidence and self-esteem.  Teach your children not to be afraid of failure, but to use it as their teacher.  Allow your children to be heroes.

There is no great success who didn't experience significant failure before they reached their goal.  Microsoft continues to act like a new company by realizing that you must risk and fail in order to achieve anything of significance.  They recognize that some things won't work, but that if they keep pushing and learning from their mistakes that they will eventually succeed.

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