marlene-chism.jpgI have seen how the striving for success can create much unnecessary drama. The image that comes to mind for me is rowing with all your might to get to an island that never appears. When do I get there? How do I get there faster? What if someone else gets there first?

My experience as a speaker and consultant has taught me that whenever there is drama in the boat, even the arrival at your destination isn’t going to bring relief.

With that in mind, here are five skills that will make your success journey one worth savoring…

  1. Define success
  2. Seek and experience joy
  3. Take care of yourself
  4. Master your beliefs
  5. Own your choices

Define success

One of my favorite authors, Eckhart Tolle has some great insights about success. He says, “Don’t let a mad world tell you success is anything other than a successful present moment.”  One of his most profound teachings is the concept that you cannot become successful, you can only “be” successful. What if you take the success question off the table and you declare that you are already successful? When you are free to “be” you start living in the flow and you can really experience success versus strive for it.

Seek and experience joy in life
No matter what your accomplishments or achievements, you can’t experience success if you are unhappy. For two years I have researched happiness and success and I ask the question “what is heaven on earth?”     It is surprising that the number one answer (over 70% of all people surveyed) say time with family and friends is heaven on earth. Vacations is a close second and third on the list with over 50 percent say reading a good book or eating a good meal. The fact is, you can create a little heaven on earth every single day.

Take care of yourself
If you aren’t healthy and happy you can’t contribute at work or at home.
When you travel by air, the airline attendants always tell you “In case of emergency put your own oxygen mask on first before helping anyone else.” It seems counterproductive in our fast paced world, but taking regular breaks including taking a lunch away from your desk promotes productivity. According to Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz in their business book, “The Power of Full Engagement” the body requires rest and recovery every 90 minutes. If you are skipping regular breaks you are not doing anyone any favors. In addition workaholism is an addictive habit that gets you hooked on adrenaline overload which contributes to a reduced immune system and illness.

Master Your Beliefs
The reason you may be working without breaks is because you are listening to the lies you tell yourself.  You have habitually allowed thoughts like, “I don’t have time to take a break, “or “If I don’t do it, it won’t get done”  While there might be a kernel of truth (as there is in every victim story) the reality is, if you died tomorrow the world would go on.
The reality is you need to learn how to say “no” and you might need to delegate. One thing is for certain, if you master your beliefs you can catch yourself when you get sucked into the tribal mentality of “there’s no time” or “ no one will help me.”

Own Your Choices
The best way to “be” successful is to become completely responsible for your choices. This means no complaining, no blaming, no manipulation and no explaining. This means you must be willing to give up a few things. You must be willing to give up the need for others to always agree or understand. You must be willing to quit explaining why you didn’t step up or why something isn’t working. You must also be willing to stop saying and doing things just to get approval. sccess-given.jpg

When you become the master at these five skills you will have plugged the leak, stopped the drama and you will be in the flow and loving your successful life.

Marlene Chism is the author of Success is a Given: Reading the Signs While Re-inventing Your Life. For a limited time you can get your own autographed copy with two bonuses go to


  1. Hello!
    No I have not posted the survey results however I often share the results in my workshops.
    I am constantly adding to this survey about what is going on in the lives of working people and it’s surprising to see how consistent the answers are.

    Over 60% of us admit to being hard on ourselves. It’s the little voice (head drama) telling us what we aren’t, what we could be doing and how we compare to everyone else.

    I’m learning it’s all about the inner game of success, then everything else is icing on the cake. 🙂

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