The ABC’s of Success in Anything & Everything
Bill Cottringer

“How much or how little you have of something, depends mostly on how you define that something.” ~The Author.

If you want to be abundantly successful by any definition, all you need to do is practice the ABCs summarized below. This sure-fire success prescription is based on neuroscience research that tells us that the brain has one primary function and that is to seek out rewards for right actions and avoid threats from wrong ones. Brain neurotransmitters of the so-called happy drugs—oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins—let you know you are headed in the right direction with the accompanying positive emotions of joy, happiness, serenity, gratitude, hope and interest.

On the other hand, you get all the negative emotions, such as fear, disgust, shame, jealousy, anger, and confusion, not as punishment for being “bad,” but rather just as a gentle reminder than you may need to rethink your approach to what you are trying to do and make a needed course correction to get back headed in the right direction. Now all this is made simple and easy by the common drive we all have in life which is to connect and cooperate with others for the sole purpose of helping each other learn, grow, and improve into our best selves. This Is the modern version of Darwin’s survival of the fittest theory. So, to have more success than you will know what to do with, all you need to do is practice these ABC’s:

A. Activate Emotional Intelligence

For too long, IQ was the only means of being successful in life. If you had a bunch of IQ points you were good to go but if not, you would surely fail. Fortunately, something else came along to level the playing field of this unfair distribution of IQ’s, called emotional intelligence or EI for short. Daniel Goleman formalized and popularized this concept with five main components including: (1) self-awareness (2) self-regulation (3) intrinsic motivation (4) empathy, and (5) interpersonal social skills.

Using these first four skills of being aware of your own feelings and behavior and how these are perceived by others, controlling negative feelings from the rational part of a situation, knowing what most motivates you internally and consistently keeping that prized value in mind, and increasing your empathy, collectively guarantees a better connection with others and greatly improves your interpersonal interactions and the accompanying positive emotions.

B. Be Mindful.

Mindfulness has been around since the caveman days, when and where such awareness was absolutely necessary to avoid danger and just survive another day outside the cave. Today, the popular mindfulness concept is used to improve performance in schools, prisons, mental health centers, relationships, businesses, government, creative arts, and sports. Ellen Langer spread the word on mindfulness as a way of reducing the 47% of our wasted time thinking about things other than what we were presently doing, all in the interest in managing our time smartly to get better results.
Practicing mindfulness can train your brain to become more aware of what is going on in the present moment and avoid all the distractions of mind-wandering back to past memories or off to future expectations. Mindfulness will also help you to notice important things you may have been failing to notice all along, including not developing emotional intelligence or communicating effectively, resulting in disconnecting with others with the main takeaway of negative emotions and confusion as to why you have failed or what you have done wrong.

C. Communicate Your Likeability

Back in the sixties, Jack Gibb introduced a powerful notion of communication climate with the two opposing tones of being supportive, to open-up commendation vs. defensive, which shuts down communication. Communication is easier and more productive when you convey the supportive qualities of equality, acceptance, freedom, sensitivity, tentativeness, and spontaneity, rather than the opposite defensive qualities of superiority, judgment, control, insensitivity, certainty, and strategy.

Neuroscience tells us that our brains perceive another person to be trustworthy and likeable or not, before we can consciously explain why this is so. Research on this phenomenon has offered the following conscious explanations about what most influences perceptions in determining trust and likeability. This happens when the other person is being positive, a good listener, honest, real, humorous, agreeable, polite and empathetic. Communicating your likeability in a supportive tone will hit a bullseye every time, with a money-back guarantee.

Combining these three ABC’s in practicing emotional intelligence, mindfulness and likeable communication, guarantees success in anything and everything.

“Success is what you do to achieve it.” ~The Author.

Author's Bio: 

William Cottringer, Ph.D. is retired Executive Vice President of Puget Sound Security in Bellevue, WA, along with being a Sport Psychologist, Business Success Coach, Photographer and Writer living on the scenic Snoqualmie River and mountains of North Bend. He is author of several business and self-development books, including, Re-Braining for 2000 (MJR Publishing); The Prosperity Zone (Authorlink Press); You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too (Executive Excellence); The Bow-Wow Secrets (Wisdom Tree); Do What Matters Most and “P” Point Management (Atlantic Book Publishers); Reality Repair, (Global Vision Press), Reality Repair Rx (Publish America); Thoughts on Happiness; Pearls of Wisdom: A Dog’s Tale (Covenant Books, Inc.) Coming soon: A Cliché a day will keep the Vet Away (Another Dog’s Tale). Bill can be reached for comments or questions at (206) 914-1863 or