The skill of finding something clearly motivates human evolution. If we can’t find it, we won’t have it. Duh. Getting better at finding makes life better, no doubt.

Let’s use that, in fact, as our definition of success for the purposes of this article. Success is making life better.

Factor 1: the “you” factor is everything, or everything is in “you,” or something along those lines, right? I mean, “making life better” is clearly too general for your or my definition of success.

So, I’m sticking with “make life better.” You open you for what success means to you.

Who am I to tell you what success is? For that matter who is anyone to tell you what success is? And that includes parents, spouses, success coaches and pharmaceutical ads on TV. Who, really, tells us what success means in our hearts and minds?

When we say success, we yell from the rooftops, “You.”

You define it, you feel it and you get it.

Factor 2: The How is a multiverse. The question is choosing the path, among the many, that leads to your success. Is it the Law of Attraction, the Prayer of Jabez, Napoleon Hill, the Seven Laws, 10 Laws, 12 Laws of Abundance, one or another modern success coach, any one of those?

Some of us can answer yes to some or one of those methods of success, and some of us must answer no to a long list of methods that never seem to work.

Why? In one of the many paths to success we have studied and tried there’s one specific piece of instruction, a phrase that has stayed with us. It has given us hope, and nausea, in cycles. Feels good at certain moments, feels like hard-truth-in-the-face at other times.

“What’s on the outside is a reflection of what’s on the inside.”  

When debtors are camped out in front of your house and there are as many trucks as there are demand letters, it hurts deep to say it’s a reflection of what’s inside, worse, to realize it is a reflection of something.

That’s the Painful Face of success.

I hear the question, “Does success have any other face?”

And that question, which I’ve asked too many times, comes from where? From the inside of course, a learned attitude, one could say. But let’s get back to the question.

Yes, success does have another face and it all revolves around a concepts that we’ve all heard since the first days of school. It, like our little reflection phrase, also has good days in our mind and bad days in our attitudes.

Potential, actualization, realization, “use less than 10% of our brain power,” “get it together, if you believe, you will achieve, ask and it shall open,” the magic, the power, the unfathomable potential. Heard any of those?

If you read each one of those above, and you have some knowledge of them or other ways to describe what we could do, you had to have felt some pros and cons along the way.

Feelings, remember, are key in this quest, key. We’ll talk more about that in the next part of Finding Success.

Factor 3: our personal opinions aside, human potential has proven over and over again to have no limits. If we can focus on the utter reality of that, then success can have a Happy Face.

A generic, and somewhat silly definition of success, a little more defined than make things better: Success is making the Painful Face into the Happy Face. Simply, how do you feel better about you?

We’re going to focus part two of this article on the relationship between the Painful Face – loss, agony, failure – and the Happy Face – we are truly incredible beings. How do the faces dance, fight, why, how do they come to peace with each other and realize they’re on the same side? Your side.


Published by Mike Callas

Michael Parra Callas authors and presents both non-fiction, aimed at better living in hard times, and fantasy, focused on magic and the imagination. El autor escribe y presenta ambos, no-ficción, para vivir mejor en tiempos difíciles, y fantasía para inspirar la imaginación.

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