The 4-Step Success Formula

Here’s a post to feed your success-hungry mind. All success formulas that really work boil down to four steps. I call this the 4-Step Success Formula:

  1. Determine your Outcome
  2. Take Action
  3. Monitor your results through Feedbacks
  4. Change your behavior-action until you reach your outcome.


Success formula


Let’s look at each of the 4-step Success Formula.


Step 1: Determine Your Outcome

First, you need to know what you want to set your outcome. This is the destination in your journey. You can only get that once you’ve made up your mind where you want to go, and set your direction.

This is also where you set your goals by using the SMART GOAL formula. SMART is the acronym for SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ACHIEVABLE,  REALISTIC and TIMED. You must know what you want, really really know it. You can see it, hear it, touch it, feel it, smell and experience it in your mind.


Step 2: Take Action

This is where you set your game plan or strategy, and then take action (massive actions) to move you towards your outcome. The SMARTer your goal settings are, the more effective your strategy is going to be. It all boils down again to really knowing what you want.

You don’t have to know everything to get started. Don’t wait for everything to fall into place. Nothing is perfect. Nothing move until you do. It may sounds cliché  but the journey of a thousand miles really starts once you’ve taken the first few step. To reach the mountain top, you need to take those thousands steps, not just think or talk about it. Oh yes, you do sweat in the success journey!


Step 3: Monitor Your Results Through Feedback

Monitoring your results through feedback means you periodically evaluate your steps to see whether they are taking you toward where you want to go. You have to know what’s working and what’s not. If your SMART goal is measurable, what are the criteria is it based on? Is it going according to the time frame you set in Step 1? How will you know?

When you take massive and consistent actions, there will be two possible things that can happen. First is you experience success and you move towards your outcome. Second is you don’t. We know that it’s uncommon to reach success during the first few attempts (if it’s a big and worthy goal that stretches you). This is normally called failure. In NLP, we say there is no such thing as failure, only feedbacks. We view an unwanted outcome as a learning experience that provides information (feedback) to indicate that we need to change something.

If you view failure as failure, you will feel like quitting or giving excuses and play the blame game. Instead, if you view failure as feedback, you’re taking charge of your response to the situation because you can choose to do something about it. The Failure mindset weakens you, relegating you to be a powerless victim. The Feedback mindset empowers you, putting you firmly in the driving seat to take charge of your journey. So remember, when things don’t go according to what you want, you always have two choices.

Take your first walk as a little child, for an example. Did you walk during your first attempt? Did you get up each time you fall? Did you try over and over again until you walk or did you think “maybe walking isn’t for me” and quit? Did you make up excuses why you fell, or did you blame your dad and mom? How did you finally walk?


Step 4: Change Your Behavior-Action Until You reach Your Outcome

When you find out what’s working according to your plan, do more of it. Then find out what’s not working and ask what’s different about that? Ask yourself how can you do it differently to get the results that you want. Remember Einstein’s quote, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

Find out what needs to be changed in order to get your desired outcome. Try again, try something different. Don’t repeat the same processes. Systematically test your results: re-adjust and take new actions until you reach your desired outcome. Sometimes it may mean repeating Step 1-3 until you get success. Every time you don’t reach your outcome, you get a new feedback to take a new set of actions.

It has been said that Thomas Edison took 10,000 attempts before successfully invented the light bulb. When asked how he did it, he said that he had to first find 9,999 feedbacks of how not to invent the light bulb. He then change his strategy until he finally found one that worked.

Edison’s story is the classic example of the 4-Step Success Formula. Now, can you think of success examples throughout your life that go through the  4-step Success Formula? Think of as many as you can. You’ll see that you already possess the inner resources to be successful, and this will give you the confidence to embark on new things. Take new journeys, go where you’ve not been before.




  1. mrbiofile says:

    Greetings, I’ve been reading the website for a few weeks and wanted to say your writing style is excellent. Take care.

  2. Tyron Helsing says:

    I have been watching the weblog for a month or so and also have acquired a lot of beneficial data. I’m undertaking to run my blog however It looks like its too general and I would like to concentrate more about smaller subjects.

  3. Lanny Do. says:

    I wouldn’t be commenting if I didn’t like this blog.. you’re a great writer & I’m quite impressed to say the least. keep up the nice work

  4. Gerald Erw says:

    Good blog, lots of beneficial ideas for me to chew upon.

  5. Definitely helpful articles. I enjoyed reading through it.

  6. Eugene Sz says:

    Can’t say enough good things about this post and I just hope more people read it.

Speak Your Mind