Many years ago, my love of music compelled me to take a song-writing course. I learned many things from that experience, the lessons of which have applied beyond the subject of music. One such transferable nugget of insight relates to formulas and structures for songsmithing. Just like with poetry, songs can follow patterns of meter and rhyme that cultivate an emotional connection in the listener that can stir the very soul. In music, the lyrical meter combines with note and chord progressions that build into a satisfying listening experience. There are many variables to musical equations, yet it is possible to track which equations are popular at any given time, and from these, one can map a ‘formula for success’.

The universe is made up of a spectacular array of formulas and equations for success, for failure and for everything in between. Of course, the ones we seek to decipher are those that result in the ‘big win’. What I mean by ‘big win’ is, we seek those equations that result in personal success amplified by the quantum benefits to the collective good. In an ever-expanding universe, such equations are not only possible but necessary for the expansion. So let’s put scarcity thinking aside as such comprises the math of visionless bean-counters. Majestic living is preceded by grand big picture thinking combined with the application of universally successful formulas, whether one is aware of them or not.

For the maverick or the self-made entrepreneur, the thought may have occurred that they have created their own, new equation for success. In fact, we do not ‘create’ equations. The formulaic equations upon which our cosmos is structured are already patterned into the macrocosm and the microcosm. We either discover these formulae, fall into them by accident, or are completely oblivious to them… but they are always in effect - whether we consciously capitalize on them or not.

One quantifiable measure I have learned to apply in my method for systematically achieving success is that which I would call ‘the continuum of effectiveness’. This can be used to estimate the probability for achieving a desired outcome based on the combination of methodology and commitment of the primary driving forces propelling the given agenda. If the rule offers a separate scale for the effectiveness of the applied methodology and a second scale for measuring the commitment of the driving forces toward a certain outcome, one can more accurately calculate the probability for success in any endeavor(s).

Effectiveness of Applied Methodology
-5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 +4 +5
= improbability I_____I_____I_____I_____I______I______I______I_____I_____I_____I = probability
for success I I I I I I I I I I I for success

Commitment of Participants
-5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 +4 +5
= improbability I_____I_____I_____I_____I______I______I______I_____I_____I_____I = probability
for success I I I I I I I I I I I for success

One may have plotted out the soundest equation or formula to all but guarantee a goal is attained, yet if we – or our collaborators – are weak on the commitment quotient, our odds for success will be reduced substantially. One universal aspect of human behavior is this: Insufficient commitment to an endeavor is the surest guarantee for failure. For example, we can calculate the exact number of stomach crunches and type of diet required on a daily basis to achieve ‘washboard’ abs by the summer… but if we don’t have the fortitude, commitment and discipline to actually do the exercises and sustain the diet, the equation will obviously not deliver the allegedly desired results.

Deciphering a formula for success is only half of the equation for championing the cause. There is a parable that points to this in which five frogs are sitting on a log. Three decided to jump off. How many are left on the log? The answer, of course, is five. Deciding to jump and actually doing so, are not the same thing. All effective equations for success must calculate in the commitment factor. When I perform probability for success assessments, if I don’t detect at least a +4 level on the commitment scale, I won’t recommend pursuit of an endeavor or strategy because the collapse of commitment in any of the stages of executing an equation can produce painful ripples affecting those invested as well as by-standers. Even the soundest of strategies and tactics deployed by the most capable people cannot succeed in the presence of insufficient commitment!

Following through on a strategy requires that we live through the equation. A formula for success, when enacted, creates an experience with predictable challenge quotients and reward quotients. Just like the mono-myth of the hero’s journey, there are patterns we can trace in the human adventure that follow a recognizable tangent line with rather predictable results.
The mono-myth as a pattern of the hero’s journey was described by philosopher Joseph Campbell as being constituted of several stages resulting in the fulfillment of the soul’s calling. There is ‘the call to adventure’, followed by the crossing of ‘the point of no return’ (the act that signals the full commitment of the hero), the road of trials culminating in a death of the old and the birth of the new, and finally, a crossing of the threshold of return having earned the rights and freedoms of the fully actualized hero. This pattern can be observed repeatedly in the depicted lives of Jesus, Moses, Gandhi, Buddha (Siddhartha) etc… The formula of ‘the hero’s journey’ may be used to predict and prepare for anticipated challenges to test us and forge us as we answer the call of our own “majestification”.

The value of adversity must never be underestimated. It is a diagnostic tool of the universe to test our mettle. If we are not strong enough to forge through the adversity with which life provokes us, then we are not ready to be initiated into the full prowess of majesty. In fact, it may be theorized that the greater the challenges we are met with, the greater is the exponent value our equation is building toward. By recognizing challenges in this way, we can better meet them with courage and dedication – trusting that the formula will deliver on its performance and results if we bring to the endeavor sufficient commitment at every stage of the journey.

The formula for the hero’s journey can be mapped as a cycle. The journey begins with the call to adventure, then follows a descent into the unknown territory of challenges and growth and finally it returns the hero more fully forged. This cycle can, and does, repeat itself through the many stages of our lives. The question is, do we continue to answer the call to adventure, or do we eventually retire from its cathartic successions?

Setting goals that invite challenge is built into the human psyche. Another archetype for meeting challenge is that of climbing the mountain. There are those who embark on the climb, discover it is steeper than it appeared upon distant view and decide to turn back before they stray too far from the cozy chalet in the valley. Some carry their determination through the length of the hot day, but when darkness begins to encroach they settle in to make camp on the lovely plateau with a nearby stream. In the morning, feeling weary, they decide the plateau with the stream was reward enough and they head back down to the valley below. Some make it all the way to the summit, gaining the endorphin euphoria of climax. They take in the view, so few have earned the satisfaction of seeing, and they make their descent to the valley below where they can live their life out wearing the laurels of one who has conquered the mountain.

But there are those who, having reached the summit, take in the majestic view and are inspired beyond all others that came before them. For when this rarest of mountaineers looks out across the vast terrain, they see the stunning majesty of other mountains – some far more daunting than the one under foot, and they are inspired to answer even greater callings than they have just fulfilled.
The formula for success is just algebra on the chalkboard if we do not have sufficient commitment, courage and discipline to follow through. And while deciphering the formula for our desired outcome may constitute a strategy and or tactics, it takes the vision of one inspired and committed enough to fulfill the call of true majesty.

Countless wise people, philosophers and especially the doers of great deeds are consistent in this observation: Sufficient commitment is the key ingredient in achieving success. Sufficient commitment stirs at the core of the soul, opening a path for divine inspiration that guides us through adversities, changing strategy, tactics, tools, personnel and naysayers. Sufficient commitment transcends obstacles real or imagined. It is the lifeblood that propels us through to the end and even beyond what we previously believed to be the final objective.

Believing this to be true, it would be unwise for me to participate in any endeavor where commitment is insufficient. Choosing to live in alignment with my highest awareness of integrity, it would be dishonest for me to accept cash, stock or any other compensation in exchange for my participation. Whether one is investing thought, time, reputation or money to an endeavor, it is wise to do so only when we are certain that sufficient commitment exists.

Author's Bio: 

Bruce R. Wright is the inventor of Macro Strategic Planning® also known as the Universal Success Formula. He is an internationally respected mentor, entrepreneur, author and teacher. Through his book, The Wright Exit Strategy; Wealth: How to Create it, Keep it and Use it, his speeches and private mentoring, Bruce has empowered thousands of people to take control of and optimize their lives and businesses.

Bruce is best known for “getting in the trenches” with his clients, implementing key strategies and action steps that produce tangible results. Helping people achieve greater success, fulfillment and peace of mind are some of Bruce’s greatest passions.