So you want to be successful! What does that mean? If you don't know what that means, how will you know when you get there?

You may define success as a title, a salary level, a score, a bank balance, meeting a deadline, achieving expertise in a skill, or having found balance in your personal and professional life. But, in order to have a sense of arriving at a place called "Success,"
you need to know where that place is. That requires you to define for yourself what you want, what you expect, what you must attain and achieve en route to "Success."

The more precise you are in defining what success means to you, the more prepared you are to create and stay on the path to your place called "Success." Too often, the road is fraught with obstacles and temptations that will distract you. You will also notice that many signposts along the way are leading you toward what someone else has defined for you as "Success." You will recognize, at once, those signposts, which were placed to show you the way to the destination that you parents, siblings, schoolmates and friends have defined as your "Success."

Your life's experiences have planted seeds, which will influence your journey to Success. These include incidents, which build your confidence, create a sense of deprivation, and implant a drive to compete. All of the above will drive you onward and motivate you with a burning desire to reach a place you want to be at or they can drive you downward and drag you under with the feelings and belief that there are too many obstacles that you just cannot overcome.

You are in the unique position of being able to make a decision about your situation and you life's plan. Whatever decision you make will be correct but the results of each decision you make will either take you to "Success" or prevent you from getting there.

If you decide that there is a destination you must reach, you will create the road which allows your journey to take you in the right direction with every step you take. If you decide that "Success" is a place you will never reach, you will make sure that you do not even put one foot out the door to go in that direction. After all, why waste your energy when you already know it is not possible to achieve your dream.

If you believe you can never achieve your idea of "Success," stop reading now because you are hopeless!

On the other hand, if you "think you can," then start right now to map out the steps you must take to get where you need to go. If you are in a really dark place, start by lighting a few candles. Go do something! Don't just sit there!

First, start by deciding exactly what you want. Understand clearly and distinctly exactly what you want. Now, think about your willingness and your ability to get there. Use this chart, my own interpretation of Maslow's Hierarchy, to evaluate where you are with regard to your goals. Where do you fit on this chart today?

If you are at the bottom level, "I won't," you are doomed, so let's move on.

If you are at the next level,"I can't," this is your wakeup call! You can do anything you want, only you don't believe it!

Let me ask you a question: Why didn't you become a professional basketball player? You probably will have answers like," I'm too short," or "I don't have the muscle tone," or the game didn't appeal to me," which can also be interpreted as "I wasn't very good at it."

I'm always intrigued when people tell me that their physical structure made it impossible to be successful in a particular sport. Have you ever seen videos of the basketball "wheelchair" games? Have you ever seen a one-legged skier on the ski slopes? Or, better yet, have you ever seen a blind skier on the slopes or an armless artist who paints holding the brush with her teeth or toes? Are you still certain it's your physical limitations that are keeping you from achieving your dreams?

Chances are, you have EVERYTHING you need to be successful once you define what you want and you reach at least the middle level on the chart, "I think I can." Once you are at that level, you are well on your way to making the magic to get to the top of your journey and reach that place where you want to be, reach the capability level you desire, reach the achievement you strive for.

Once you start your journey, each small success will remind you that "YOU CAN," and that will help you reach the level where, before you even embark on a project or a new road to an as yet unattained goal, you will know you can get there.

Having the confidence of knowing that you can do it, whatever "it" is, before you even start, puts you far along on the road to success. Each small success along the way is a reason to rejoice for two reasons: 1) You're that much closer to your destination and 2) You're that much stronger when you meet the next obstacle, distraction, dragon on the road.

Those people who stand at the top of the chart, the I -know -I -can group, knowing they will succeed in any project or reach any goal they undertake to achieve, can tell you how sweet that feeling is because it is an uncluttered place. Things are very simple from that pinnacle. You see the place you need to be, you know you will get there, and you are determined to make it happen…so you do. It's that simple. And, therein, lies the secret to making magic.