Redefining Success: Seven New Super-Sized Success Secrets
Bill Cottringer

“Success is simple. Do what's right, the right way, at the right time.” ~Arnold H. Glasow.

There are literally thousands of good books and articles already available regarding what to do and how to do it, in order to be successful. This good advice covers the full-spectrum of personal and professional learning, growing and improving efforts in life, work and relationships. Unfortunately, because of the vastly changing landscape of today’s global knowledge economy, speed of change and utter diversity of ideas and values, these current success prescriptions are already obsolete as soon as they are put into print.

Make no mistake about it, we are at a critical juncture in time where we are being forced to redefine what success is and what is needed to achieve it, given the new world landscape that is emerging, with the new requirements it is bringing. We are entering a new territory without a map.

The real art and science of being successful in today’s changing world will involve letting go of most of what we think we know about the success prescriptions that got us here, but won’t likely get us there or help us go from surviving to thriving. Our present challenge is to invent our own personal prescription by learning the valid truths that have survived and learning how to apply the new ones that are just evolving, to achieve the results we want. This in turn will challenge us to figure out how to sustain that success over the long haul for lasting long-term gains. Someone once compared this challenge to herding cats and chickens onto a flatbed truck not knowing where it is going.

Here are seven newer super-sized success secrets that are worth considering in developing your own success prescription. Then you can figure out how to: (a) put these into action to get the results you want, and (b) sustain your lasting success. The first line of business is to consider how to change the proverbial question of, “How can I be more successful?” to “What do I need to unlearn and change in my thinking and behavior to move from surviving failures to thriving in success?”


Everything starts with you, or better yet, with your best ego parts—being likeable, flexible, adaptable and resilient in applying all these other success secrets to get the momentum going. Likeability involves being positive, honest, agreeable, accepting, real, and understanding with others. The frequency of change today requires maximum flexibility in thinking and an abundance of adaptability in acting. Surviving involves some resilience in bouncing back when you are on the ground, whereas thriving to where you really want to be requires much more of all of these qualities. You are on a journey to be the best you that you can be by learning how to apply all these success secrets.


Success involves your using the right approach to what you are trying to do, which involves being thoughtful, systematic, flexible and creative. Probably the most important aspect of your approach has to so with the perspective you are using, or your viewpoint of looking at something. Something to realize as soon as possible is that what you see to be true, is most often tied to where you doing the looking from are in time and place. And so, if you aren’t being successful in reacting to what you presently see, one easy solution is to change locations or timing in seeking a new vantage point to see things differently (and maybe more accurately and completely).


History teaches us that “in anything, timing is everything.” This is certainly true with success, which requires us to become more sensitive to good timing. One example is to refine your sensitivity in knowing the point of no return of something, before it comes and goes. Good opportunities seem to come around twice, so it is a good idea to know when the first opportunity has already come and gone. Another sensitivity skill is to fine-tune the distinction between moments of potential opportunity (the green lights) from those of imminent danger (the red lights). Even right ethics—doing the right thing in the right way for the right reasons—requires the right timing to get the right results.


The main quality of attitude that is most related to success is a perspective that leans towards being positive, optimistic and hopeful in getting the desired outcome. After all, you usually get what you expect as a self-fulfilling prophesy, so it just makes good sense to be more optimi8stic than realistic or pessimistic. Of course, the real challenge is to be this way despite past experiences, which are difficult to put aside ore overcome. Fortunately though, this is always an available choice for each new occasion every moment ahead, even changing the current perception of past events.


Ironically, most of the highly successful people have graduated from being failure experts. They learn that important clues about being successful are well-hidden in the negative emotions of failure experiences. In this sense, it is a good idea to study past failures to see what contributed most to those failures, especially which of these success secrets didn’t you apply? When you see how you could have altered your approach or changed perspective, solved a conflict with compromise, used better timing, or done anything differently, this is an excellent way to forge a new success pathway in the brain for future use. Past failure experiences have to be re-programmed to be turned into current and future successes.


Most success comes after successful resolutions of critical conflicts, solving complex problems and enduring extreme adversity intact. And, this usually comes after miserable failures in these situations. This type of success comes about from the successful applications of all the other success secrets, in getting past a series of failures in our perpetual learning, growing and improving into our best selves. Effective problem-solving often involves the battle between settling for some short term gains with short-term fixes vs. going for the more lasting gains in long-term cures. This essential success skill also involves getting past noisy symptoms to uncover more important core causes, and creatively uncovering workable compromises that change win-lose outcomes to win-win ones for all parties. Warning: This requires a major paradigm change that may be painful.


If there is such a thing as a universal purpose for people, it would seem to fall within personal efforts to learn, grow and improve into our best selves in helping others to do that too. Actually, this is the main process of success and usually provides us with two very important realities: (a) What got you here probably won’t get you there, and (b) All that you think you know may not necessarily be so. These important realizations help you avoid wasting valuable time trying to re-apply obsolete strategies that previously worked in the now situations where they won’t work. This is another application of the problem-solving, perspective and timing secrets and another painful paradigm change.

All these seven secrets work together collectively to increase your success momentum in whatever you are trying to do. The good news is that if you start to apply one, the others will follow naturally. Your only challenge then, will be which one to start with? Maybe You!

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ~Winston Churchill.

Author's Bio: 

William Cottringer, Ph.D. is Executive Vice-President of Employee Relations for Puget Sound Security patrol, Inc. in Bellevue, WA., along with being a Sport Psychologist, Business Success Coach, Photographer and Writer living in the mountains of North Bend. He is author of several business and self-development books, including, You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too (Executive Excellence), The Bow-Wow Secrets (Wisdom Tree), and Do What Matters Most and “P” Point Management (Atlantic Book Publishers) Reality Repair Rx (PublishAmerica), and Reality Repair (Global Vision Press) Bill can be reached for comments or questions at (425) 652-8067, 425-454-5011 or or