Want to be successful? Here’s a true story about success. A true story which demonstrates 5 simple steps to success. Want to be successful? Read the story. Learn the 5 steps. And don’t let the subject matter fool you.

On a Friday morning in July I decided it was time to buy new underwear. After numerous washings and numerous years underwear briefs tend to stretch and lose elasticity and a man tends to peek out on the sides. So, new underwear. I know exactly what I want. Hanes brand. Briefs. In colors. Simple item. Mass market. Easy, right? I can just go to Target where I have bought this brand and style for the past 20 years. I know how this underwear fits and they are my chosen brand of underwear. Available everywhere. I am going to buy some new underwear. A simple, easy, quick shopping trip, right? Wrong! Unknowingly, I was about to walk right into a shopping nightmare. Here’s how the nightmare unfolded …

I drove to my local Target's. I entered the store and stopped dead. They had moved everything around in the store and I am immediately annoyed because now I can't find the Men's department. It had been moved. Everything had been moved. After shopping at Target’s for 20 years suddenly I didn’t know where anything was in the store. I finally found the Men's area, walked around, and can't find the underwear section. Everything has been in the same place for years and now, suddenly, everything is somewhere else, everything has been moved around. Finally, I find the underwear section. They have like hundreds of sets of different kinds and I am looking only for Hanes, briefs, in colors. They come 3 or 5 pairs in a pack. I am looking for Hanes, a major brand, in a major style, in major colors. Simple. Easy. Quick. NOT! They have tons of boxers shorts, tons of boxer briefs, tons of "invisible waistband" underwear but do not have what I want; Hanes, regular briefs, in colors. After spending 20 minutes looking through ALL the underwear selections and not finding mine I corralled a salesperson and she led me back to the section and pointed to the row of Hanes boxer briefs. I did not want boxer briefs. In case you don’t know what boxer briefs are they have extended legs reaching to mid-thigh. Good for cold winter climates maybe but I live in Los Angeles. I want briefs. In colors. Hanes brand. I became disgruntled and agitated. "How could Target not have Hanes briefs in colors? They ALWAYS have them!" Not today. I left the store sans new underwear. But then I had a brilliant idea! I will go to another Target's store a few miles away. Surely, THEY must have Hanes briefs in colors, one of the most popular brands and styles on the planet.

I drove to the other Target’s, parked, and went into the store. Inside it’s the same store as always. Thank goodness, they haven't moved everything around and I know where the Men's Department is, way at the rear of the store. I hike to the back of the store and look around for the underwear section. I find it and start looking for what I am sure is there; Hanes, briefs, in colors. I search every package of underwear only to discover that this Target also does not have them. There's every other imaginable kind of underwear but not Hanes, briefs, in colors. They have Hanes, briefs, but not in colors. All they have is white. I don’t wear white underwear. I haven’t worn white underwear since I was a kid, and, at my age, many decades later, I’m not going to start wearing white jockey shorts! Disgusted and agitated all over again I leave Target's and walk next door to Marshalls, a discount department store. Maybe THEY carry the underwear I wear. Hanes, briefs, colors. I search the store, high and low. They have Ralph Lauren men's underwear but I am unfamiliar with the fit and sizing and do not want to have to return it if it doesn't fit. I want Hanes, briefs, colors. They don't have it. OK, one more try; I will go to TJ Maxx a few stores down. By now I am getting hungry, it's getting close to noon and I've been on the hunt for underwear for 2 solid hours. On to TJ Maxx. Turns out that TJ Maxx carries the exact same underwear as Marshall's. No Hanes, briefs, colors. By now, I am more than ready to give up, and go without underwear for the rest of my life. I have turned into Mr Crankypants. Aha, my cranky brain signals me, what about, of all places, K Mart? It's not far, a couple miles from where I am.

OK, one more try it is. Maybe a wasted trip, as were the 4 stores I had already visited, but I really wanted underwear. It was now an obsession. I drove to K Mart, thinking do I, a fairly fashionable guy, really want to wear underwear from K Mart? Well, I really wanted underwear and, if K Mart carried Hanes, briefs, in colors, it would be fine. And fashionable. So I decided to check it out. I drove over and wandered around K Mart and found the Men's underwear section. Lots of underwear. Lots of Hanes brand but all boxer briefs with the extended leg. Damn! Why are there no simple Hanes briefs, in colors? White? Yes. Colors? No. I looked around some more. Over at the end of the Men's section there was a display of underwear. Hanes underwear. I patiently pawed through the display ... and found treasure! One 5-pack of Hanes. Briefs. In colors. In my size. Eureka! Success! I checked to see if the package was marked irregular or damaged, or something else I didn't want to see. Nope. Even the package was properly sealed. It was all good. I clutched my prize to my chest and headed to the check out. A pack of 5 pairs of underwear for $10. Hanes. Briefs. In colors. I checked out without incident, walked to the car, tossed the package on the car seat and headed home for lunch, exhausted but elated by my finally successful shopping sortie.

Good story? Besides being a good story to read it’s a story that has a deeper meaning, a deeper message.

Why was I successful?

I was successful because I had a specific goal, I had a plan, I followed the plan, I had a backup plan, and I didn’t give up. I was successful because I followed 5 simple steps for success. The 5 simple steps for success are:

1. have a specific goal
2. have a plan
3. follow the plan
4. have a backup plan
5. don’t give up

These are 5 simple steps for success. They can be applied to almost all areas of your life; your professional life and your personal life. These are 5 simple steps for success that, if you use them, can help you achieve your goal. Any goal. If, that is, you want to be successful.

Author's Bio: 

Andrew Lawrence is the author of numerous articles and 8 books which make you smarter, richer and happier. His blog is http://Andrew-Lawrence.blogspot.com