The Secrets to Success They Don’t Teach You at School

Successful people are those who make a habit of doing what unsuccessful people don’t like to do. – Herbert Gray

What are the Secrets to Success?

Achieving success isn’t so much about financial gains but rather about attaining a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction within oneself. These feelings are what lead to that place we call success.

Today, let’s focus on the process of achieving the results you want to experience in your life. We will begin by looking at the mindset that will propel you towards success. Then we’ll identify specific daily actions you can take and skills you can master that will improve your chances of success in any field of endeavor. Thirdly, we will direct our attention to the social aspect of success, and briefly discuss how to involve others to enhance and accelerate your own personal journey towards your dreams. And finally, we will look at some of the sabotaging forces that may undermine your progress.

Psychology of Success and Achievement

MasterMind Matrix

The topic of success and achievement is quite extensive and can be expanded upon in many interesting directions. This post is only an introduction to some of the basic fundamentals of this process. The groundwork for the discussion is based on the MasterMind Matrix, which presents an interconnecting 360-degree systematic process that one can follow step-by-step to achieve success in any field of endeavor.

I initially created the chart as a self-coaching tool, however since that time I have applied it to my life coaching work.

The MasterMind Matrix assists with pinpointing key areas that may be sabotaging an individuals road to success. Simply identify these areas, expand your knowledge and understanding of the strategies, tactics, techniques, tools, and processes involved within each specific segment, and then move forward and apply these learnings into your daily decisions, habits, and actions.

  • Did you know that most IQ Matrix maps are actually incorporated into the MasterMind Matrix?

To gain a historical perspective of the MasterMind Matrix and how it was pieced together, please visit the MasterMind Matrix page.

The Achievement Oriented Mindset

There is no doubting that an achievement-oriented mindset is absolutely critical for long-term success. If we were to take a journey through two individual’s minds — one very successful and the other having achieved next to nothing of personal significance — we would see a completely different landscape of thinking, believing, and behaving that would help us to easily identify what separates these people from each other.

For this segment of our discussion, we will look at some key characteristics, habits, beliefs, values, states and language patterns that manifest an achievement-oriented mindset.

Characteristics of Achievement Oriented Individuals

People who are achievement-oriented cultivate certain and specific characteristics that are naturally congruent with high levels of achievement.


They have the courage to try new things, to move forward despite their fears.


They constantly find new ways to motivate themselves in order to keep moving at a rapid pace towards the achievement of their goals and objectives.


They are strategic and tactical thinkers. No matter what situation or circumstances confront them, they always go about things in a proactive and well thought through manner.


They commit themselves to the achievement of their success wholeheartedly on a daily basis. They literally marry the process that will take them towards their goals and objectives.


They take full and complete responsibility for each of their actions, interactions, circumstances, and decisions. If they make mistakes, they blame no one but themselves.


They have an undeniable passion for their chosen field of endeavor. This passion provides them with a surplus of energy that moves them forward with ever greater momentum.


They are gracious and humble in victory as well as defeat. In the end, it makes no difference how circumstances panned out, all that matters is that they walked away from the experience wiser and better.


They are generous with their time, money and energy because they fully understand that success can never be achieved alone.


They always strive for the highest peak and keep moving to ever higher altitudes once the lower levels have been successfully conquered. Their ambition never rests or wavers.


They live with an adventurous spirit which helps them delve into new areas in which they lack familiarity. Everything is a game, an adventure, an experiment.


They live for the feeling of accomplishment in everything they do. However, once this feeling has been achieved, they do not rest. They are proud individuals who acknowledge their own hard work and effort, yet still, keep moving forward towards bigger goals and objectives.

Hard Working

A lazy man has never achieved long-term and long-lasting success.

Sometimes we are surprised by other people’s rise to success as we only see the aftermath of their achievements, yet we are completely blinded to the effort that goes into laying down a groundwork of these achievements.


They cultivate patience in everything they do — completely understanding that the doors of opportunity will only open in due time. And so they remain flexible, optimistic and focused on the areas that matter most.


They possess a resilient attitude that will never give up or quit. If they get stuck, they will adjust their strategy, alter their course and find a new approach that will eventually get them what they want most.

The High Achiever Mindset

Healthy Habits that Lead to Success

Our ongoing health is paramount to our continued success and achievement.

When it comes to your health, there are essentially three areas that you must take into consideration. The first area involves getting an adequate amount of rest and sleep throughout your day (and night) to keep your energies at peak levels when you need them most. The second area that you should be focusing on is the habit of partaking in regular exercise that is naturally supportive of your body and physical structure. And finally, the habit of eating sensibly will go a long way towards maintaining health and enhancing your energy levels throughout your day.

The Habit of Lifelong Learning

An achievement oriented person knows and understands the importance of cultivating the habit of continuous learning and improvement.

The harsh reality of our current social and work environment is simple: if you are not improving, learning new skills, developing your abilities on a daily basis, then you are simply falling behind those who are taking these steps forward. The longer this trend continues, the more likely you are to become obsolete within your industry or area of expertise. However, it’s not only about improving yourself, it is rather about finding better and faster ways to become more productive, to accelerate your speed of learning, to manage your time, and improve your memory.

Guarding Your Emotions is the Heart of Success

Our emotions can either propel us forward towards our goals and objectives, or they can become our worst nightmare if we allow them to take control of our daily decisions and actions. An achievement oriented person understands how important of a habit it is to guard their emotions at all times.

Cultivating Empowering and Transforming Beliefs

Our beliefs are essentially the building blocks of our habits, decisions, and actions. We will naturally gravitate towards maintaining consistency with our deepest and most closely guarded beliefs and convictions.

Achievement oriented people understand how important it is to cultivate flexible, solution seeking beliefs that have no limits. They realize that it only takes one simple disempowering belief to sabotage their journey towards the achievement of their goals and objectives.

Our Highest Values Direct Our Behavior

Similar to the impact of our beliefs, our values also determine and direct our daily decisions, behaviors, and actions. An achievement oriented person’s values are consistent with their life purpose and goals. This, therefore, brings forth a natural easy progression as they move from one moment in their life and step into another.

If on the other hand, a person’s values are in conflict with their life’s purpose and goals, then they will constantly experience many self-sabotaging setbacks, which will result in a life of very little achievement and fulfillment.

The Physiological State of Success

Our physiology (how we utilize our body) is paramount to the achievement of success. An achievement oriented person thoroughly understands that simple shifts within their physiology can bring about either empowering action-oriented states, or lackluster and procrastination-forming states in an instant. By learning to cultivate empowering states of movement and an effective utilization of breath and gestures, you will provide yourself with the necessary momentum that can propel you forward towards the achievement of your goals and objectives.

The Emotional State of Success

Very closely tied to our physiological state is our emotional state of being. Achievement oriented people understand that their emotions have a dramatic impact on their daily life decisions, behaviors, and actions. As a result, they have learned to take control of their emotions and direct them in proactive ways that support their daily goals and objectives.

The Mental State of Achievement

It is well known these days that what we focus on becomes more prevalent within our physical existence. For this reason, achievement-oriented people focus only on what they want and desire to do and achieve in life. They always take into consideration their short and long-term objectives and focus their mind on these accordingly.

Because these people focus so intently on the things that they want to bring into reality, they usually end up getting what they want in very creative and unexpected ways. On the other hand, people who have a failure-oriented mentality tend to spend most of their time focusing on things that they don’t want, and that is exactly what they end up attracting into their daily experience.

Utilizing Words that Empower, Motivate and Inspire

Our language and the words we use on a daily basis to explain our emotions, actions and circumstances have an enormous impact on our continued success in life. If you really think about it, every single word you use has an emotional connection. Some words have very little emotional impact, while others can send our emotions through on an unpredictable spiral.

An achievement oriented person knows and understands the power of the language they use on a daily basis. As a result, they focus on using positive and empowering words that will move them quickly in the direction of their goals and objectives.

Questions hold the Answers to Unimaginable Success

Questions are the foundational stones that connect us to an infinite reservoir of answers that can bring us solutions to the most pressing problems and challenges we face on a daily basis.

Achievement oriented people use questions in ways that continuously help them move through setbacks and challenges they confront on a daily basis. Questions are also critical for building and improving your daily behaviors, decisions, and actions. 

Daily Skills and Actions to Cultivate

The difference between success and failure very often comes down to the details — to the simple actions you take throughout your day or the time you spend on learning and applying new skills that will help to make you a more efficient, productive and effective individual.

Always be on the Lookout for Opportunities

An achievement oriented person understands the importance of always being on the lookout for potential opportunities that may arise and bring forth circumstances and people that can further their success.

Be Your Own Personal Systems Manager

Achievement oriented people always look for better, faster and more efficient ways to do things. They will constantly be on the lookout for ways to improve systems, processes, to manage their resources more effectively, and to develop a means of achieving the success they are working towards in the most simple and efficient way.

Take time Daily to Reflect

Taking time daily to reflect upon events, actions, decisions, people, and circumstances, gives the achievement-oriented person a chance to step back and look upon the events of the day from an outsiders perspective. Only from this angle are they truly able to see their own humanity in the face of changing circumstances. This time of reflection is wisely spent to constantly improve their character, skills, and tactics as they progress forward towards the achievement of their most inspiring goals and objectives.

Find New Ways to Motivate Yourself

There is no doubt that motivation is the underlying factor that propels all actions, or breeds inaction. The achievement-oriented person thoroughly understands their habits and tendencies. In fact, they have somewhat of a sixth sense when it comes to triggering the right kinds of actions that will move them closer to their goals.

We must all learn to understand our triggers, and then utilize them effectively to instill a deep feeling of motivation within our psyche. After all, it is only when we are motivated that all worthwhile actions are possible. Find your triggers and use them when you need them most.

Set Daily Goals and Put them to Action

Achievement oriented people understand how important it is to set both short and long-term goals that will propel them forward and drive their actions towards the achievement of their purpose and vision.

Journal Experiences to Identify Areas for Improvement

Journaling your experiences on a daily basis is an effective way of identifying key areas for improvement. Journaling also helps you gain insight into your daily decisions and actions that direct you towards larger goals and objectives.

Get an Edge by Developing Your Technical Skills

Keeping on top of one’s technical skills is paramount in the 21st Century. Technology is moving forward so quickly, that if you remove yourself from society for a period of a few months, you will come back to discover that your knowledge and skills have become obsolete.

Achievement oriented people stay on top of their technical skills by taking courses and classes, by utilizing new internet technologies, services and websites, by incorporating new gadgets to help improve their productivity and work-flow, and by simply keeping themselves in the loop and on top of their industry’s ever-changing landscape.

Essential Business Skills that will Set You Apart

The following is a list of some of the most important business skills that you must master if you seek to become successful in your field of endeavor:

Management Skills

This is all about managing your business, people, resources, finances and yourself.

Public Relations Skills

This is all about developing the skills and ability to build and grow publicity to draw attention to your business, products, and services.

Leadership Skills

Managers look after and manage systems and processes. On the other hand, leaders provide direction, inspire a following, and promote a culture that enriches everybody’s life.

Marketing Skills

You must master the skills of marketing your product or service effectively through a variety of channels that will build your brand in the public’s eye.

Delegation Skills

You cannot do everything yourself. As a result, the more effective you are at delegating work and responsibility to others, the more time you can direct towards accomplishing the bigger picture that you have in mind.

Sales Skills

Every single moment of your day you are selling either yourself, your company, your skills and other tangible or intangible assets to the people you interact with on a daily basis. How effective you are in these areas of your life depends on the depth and breadth of your knowledge and understanding of the sales process.

How to Become a High Achiever

Social Skills that will Build Your Influence

Social skills are essential in pretty much every field of endeavor, even if your primary work involves sitting behind a computer all day. You cannot achieve any worthwhile or long-term form of success without the help of other people. Here is a quick look at the skills that you must master within these areas of your life:

Relationship Skills

Growing a fulfilling and loving relationship with your partner involves a process that can ignite a flame that will last a lifetime.

Neural Linguistic Programming (NLP) Skills

NLP is a significant part of the MasterMind Matrix personal life coaching process. The time and effort you put into learning the methods and principles behind NLP will help you to build strong and solid social skills. NLP will also assist you with gaining a thorough understanding of human behavior from an unconscious level of awareness.

Networking Skills

Every moment you step outside your home or speak over the telephone is an opportunity to network with other people. This essential skill will help you to develop strong social connections with others that will assist you with the achievement of your most important goals and objectives.

Negotiation Skills

Everything is negotiable, however, you must first learn the skills and methods that will save you time, energy and money before reaping the rewards in the physical world.

Public Speaking Skills

Those who know how to move people emotionally through the use of words can literally move mountains without lifting a single finger.

Effective Communication Skills

This involves incorporating effective speaking and listening strategies into your communication with others.

Indispensable Personal Skills You Must Master

Finally, let’s quickly take a look at some personal skills that will assist you along your journey towards success and achievement:

Emotional Intelligence Skills

Some say that emotional intelligence is more important than IQ when it comes to achieving long-term success. It all essentially boils down to understanding your emotional tendencies at a deeply profound level, and then proactively redirecting these emotions in ways that are consistent with your goals and objectives.

Financial Intelligence Skills

This is all about money. If your vision of success involves financial abundance, then you must spend every day learning all you can about the process of making and growing your money exponentially.

Time Management Skills

If you seek to achieve success quickly, then you must become an effective time manager. It’s an indispensable skill that we all must master whether we run a business or manage a home.

Accelerated Learning Skills

The amount of information that we are being exposed to on a daily basis is constantly increasing. If you have a desire to stay on top of this flow of information, then you must develop ways to explore, manage and integrate this information into your psyche as quickly and proficiently as possible. For more information about this topic, please read:

Creative Problem Solving Skills

The most useful technologies, breakthrough inventions and the most creative business ideas, all came about because someone found a way to solve a problem.

There are many problems within this world pertaining to every industry and aspect of human nature. It is new ideas that put an end to these problems that will bring fortune and riches to those who know how to utilize this skill most effectively. On a smaller scale, the skill of creative problem solving will assist you in overcoming setbacks, obstacles and other challenges that you may face along your journey towards your goals and objectives.

Goal Setting Skills

Goal setting is another foundational principle that is critical to long-term and long-lasting achievement. An essential skill that we all must learn and incorporate into our daily habits and routine.

Health-Related Skills

Without adequate amounts of health, we will struggle to find the motivation to achieve anything worthwhile in life.

Effective Decision-Making Skills

For many people, the difference between finding success and failure in any field of endeavor comes down to the process of effective decision making.

Throughout history, too many small and seemingly insignificant decisions have been made that have ruined an entire life, family, community, society, and nation. Effective decision making involves a process that we all must master and apply to our daily behaviors and actions.

Success is a Social Game

You have no chance of achieving long-lasting success in life without the help of other people. Others are important for support, feedback or just for bouncing ideas.

Associate with People Whom You Want to Become

Determine in your mind the type of person that you seek to become when you have achieved your current goals and objectives. Once you have this picture clear in your mind’s eye, go out into the world and seek out others who have the characteristics that you would like to possess yourself. Make sure that these people are successful in their field of endeavor, that they are positive and inspiring, that they support your success while exuding generosity and passion on a daily basis.

Seek Feedback from Others, However, Make Your Own Decisions

Realize and understand that we only have a limited perspective of every situation that confronts us on a daily basis. From our limited vantage point, it is easy for us to make ill-fated decisions that could bring about our downfall.

Instead of relying on their limited perspective, achievement-oriented individuals are constantly seeking feedback from others. They are also continuously learning from other people’s mistakes and rushed decisions. However, in the end, they are responsible for themselves, and will, therefore, make a judgment-call based on the feedback they receive.

You must, therefore, seek feedback from others and utilize this new-found information to improve your decision-making process.

Find Ways to Collaborate with other People

No matter how much work and effort we put into educating ourselves, learning new skills and developing useful abilities that there will always be someone smarter, faster, and more intelligent than us, within one or more of these areas.

Successful collaboration involves working with people who naturally compliment your intelligence, skills, and abilities in ways that support your weaknesses. Likewise, you compliment them by supporting their weaknesses with your strengths. Such partnerships are essential for growing creative ideas, trying to solve problems, or for building a supportive relationship that will benefit the both of you equally.

Involve Yourself in Your Industry or Community

Every person you meet has something, knows something or someone that can assist and further your success. However, your approach in developing these relationships must be one that comes from the act-of-giving. First, give to others without expecting anything in return. Be there for them, support their causes, help them when they need assistance by giving your time, energy or money, and make them feel special, happy and satisfied with your presence.

In the long-term these individual people will turn into a loyal army of supporters that will help you when the chips are down, assist you when you are going through hard times, and support you when you need that extra boost to reach your goals and objectives.

Learn to Listen Effectively and Intently

Other people can often sense when you are not being genuine. They can also sense when you are listening to their every word, or if your mind is focusing on other matters. The principles behind the process of effective listening is probably the most important skill you can learn to build strong long-term relationships with other people.

Social Interactions for Success

Obstacles Leading to Failure

Just as there are essential principles that naturally lead to success and achievement, there are also other principles and factors that point in the opposite direction towards failure and disappointment.

Your Fears will Eat You Alive

Our fears are personal psychological obstacles that prevent us from realizing our true deepest passions and aspirations. They are in a lot of ways imaginary experiences that have convinced us of their physical reality. The two most prevalent fears are the fears of success and failure. Both are extremely powerful forces that will sabotage our success if we allow them to control our daily decisions and actions.

What You Focus on Determines Your Results

An achievement oriented person focuses on only what they want. On the other hand, a failure oriented person will spend a majority of their time focusing on the things they don’t want. Hence, what you focus on will determine your results.

Stop Reacting to Circumstances

Failure oriented individuals constantly react to events and circumstances. The moment things don’t go as they had expected or planned, they will move into an emotional tailspin that usually leads to ill-fated decisions and forced actions that bring them only more misery and unhappiness. Instead of reacting, we must learn to be proactive and develop within ourselves the foundations of emotional intelligence.

Stop Complicating Matters

In many instances, the achievement of a goal or objective is rather straightforward. However, due to a number of factors that include prior experiences and expectations as well as limiting beliefs, we tend to over-complicate the process and end up sabotaging our own success. As a general rule, always look for ways to simplify everything you do.

Stop Settling for Average Results

Many people simply settle on being average. They have an average mindset and mentality heading into every task, and as a result, they obtain very average results that don’t amount to much in the real world. It is far better to concentrate on a few small things and do them to the very best of your ability then to spread yourself thin and pump out average results.

Stop Doubting Yourself

A failure oriented person has a little voice inside their head that never stops giving its opinion and advice. This voice is very pessimistic, and will persistently riddle them with doubt.

Come to understand that this voice is not the real you. It is a subconscious voice that results from some negative circumstances that you experienced in the past. Shut this voice out by overwhelming it with a voice that is optimistic, confident and congruent with the goals and objectives you would like to achieve.

Obstacles that Impede Success

Stop Neglecting Your Responsibilities

As you set out along your journey towards attaining your goals and objectives, you are making a pact with yourself that you will be completely responsible for your everyday decisions and actions. This means that no matter what happens, you will never make excuses for the circumstances of your life.

The very moment you begin to neglect and deny responsibility for the results in your life (whether perceived as being good or bad), is the exact moment you are sabotaging your ongoing success. By deciding today to take full responsibility for everything that happens in your life, will bring about a sense of relief and contentment that will make a significant difference to the result you experience.

Stop Procrastination Immediately

Procrastination is a silent killer that will eat you alive when you least expect it. It will eat up your time, your energy, your motivation, and willpower before you even realize it has taken hold of you. In fact, procrastination is motivations evil twin who sits on your left shoulder whispering sweet nothings into your ear. Yes, of course, the suggestions that procrastination makes sound wonderful. In fact on the surface they actually seem quite effective and productive, however, under the surface, they are tinged with an evil presence that will rob you of your ambitions and dreams.

If you ever catch yourself just doing something that keeps you busy, when you know there are other more important matters to attend to, then you know that procrastination has just pulled a fast one on you.

Don’t You NEVER, EVER, EVER Quit!

Finally, and most importantly,

You never lose unless, and until you decide to QUIT!

Concluding Thoughts

Even though all of us have our own unique definition of success, the one thing that is clear is that all success and achievement involves a consistent and somewhat methodical process that can bring you closer to the achievement of your true passions, inspirations, and goals. If you follow this process to the letter and approach every circumstance in a flexible and proactive manner, you will undoubtedly reap the rewards of a successful, and fulfilling lifestyle.

Time to Assimilate these Concepts

The Secrets of Success

Did you gain value from this article? Is it important that you know and understand this topic? Would you like to optimize how you think about this topic? Would you like a method for applying these ideas to your life?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then I’m confident you will gain tremendous value from using the accompanying IQ Matrix for coaching or self-coaching purposes. This mind map provides you with a quick visual overview of the article you just read. The branches, interlinking ideas, and images model how the brain thinks and processes information. It’s kind of like implanting a thought into your brain – an upgrade of sorts that optimizes how you think about these concepts and ideas. 🙂

Recommended IQ Matrix Bundles

If you’re intrigued by the idea of using mind maps for self-improvement then I would like to invite you to become an IQ Matrix Member.

If you’re new to mind mapping or just want to check things out, then register for the Free 12 Month Membership Program. There you will gain access to over 90 mind maps, visual tools, and resources valued at over $500. 

If, on the other hand, you want access to an ever-growing library of 100s of visual tools and resources, then check out our Premium Membership Packages. These packages provide you with the ultimate visual reference library for all your personal development needs.

Gain More Knowledge…

Here are some additional links and resources that will help you learn more about this topic:

Scroll to Top