The 7 Factors of Success (aka a kick-ass successful life)

Recently I noticed how much I was stuck on the Hamster-Wheel-of-Not-Enough, and that at the end of the day, not only was I uncertain if I was “successful,” but I also felt totally stressed out. I was comparing my life to this person I know who seemingly has everything: an awesome husband, a great job, and his own financially successful business. I wasn’t thin enough, happy enough, rich enough, and god knows what else enough (my mind, a scary neighborhood).

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” — Oscar Wilde

“Success” was unattainable – something in the sky I couldn’t reach. Not being able to relax and know that I’d done enough I sat down and wrote up my own version of success. For me, to “be successful” means having these 7 aspects in my life in each week … They are: Abundance, Body, Mind, Spirit, Love, Labor, and Leisure

I’m not talking about how much work I got done, or how much money did I make, but the other factors in our very abundant lives that I address in coaching (and I mean plural: I’m coached too). Ultimately my goal is to help create the world I want to live in, for myself, and by doing so: for others. If I’m a stressed out impatient mess then what’s that going to be like for those around me (those other car drivers who drive just like I do, mostly)? How am I going to treat my clients, roommates, and loved ones?

“To meet everything and everyone through stillness instead of mental noise is the greatest gift you can offer to the universe. — Eckhart Tolle (Stillness Speaks)

Here are the questions I use (suggestion: print this out, copy and paste this, or ask me for the PDF, it’s a form of “self-coaching” that keeps me on my path:


  • Did I do a good turn today (for someone else)?
  • Did I practice Gratitude and pay attention to the little things that make me happy?
  • Am I in the moment?
  • Am I pushing my own envelope?


  • Did I exercise or stretch, eat right, rest, and get enough sleep?


  • Did I intentionally learn something new?
  • Am I conscious that my thoughts are only thoughts?


  • Did I make conscious contact with (the god of my understanding)?
  • Did I meditate? (or do something quietly)


  • Did I connect with someone I love?
  • Am I being kind to myself? (not hurrying)
  • Am I practicing ‘loving kindness’ when I find myself critical?


  • Did I do some work today, or work towards, my business goals?


  • Did I relax, play, or read (something indulgent)?
  • Was I silly or playful?


Footnotes – Be Do Have and Love, Labor, Leisure

Love, Labor, Leisure”: thanks to Richard N. Bolles in “What Color Is Your Parachute?”

Have-Do-Be: “Most people believe if they “have” a thing (more time, money, love), then they can finally “do” a thing (write a book, take up a hobby, go on vacation, buy a home, undertake a relationship), which will allow them to “be” a thing (happy, peaceful, content, or in love) …  “havingness” does not produce “beingness,” but it’s the other way around.”

Be-Do-Have: “First you “be” the thing called “happy” (or “knowing,” or “wise,” or “compassionate”), then you start “doing” things from this place of beingness — and soon you discover that what you are doing winds up bringing you the things you’ve always wanted to “have” … look at what it is you want to “have,” ask yourself what you think you would “be” if you “had” that, then go right straight to being.”

– N. D. Walsh


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