The Secret to Success, is No Secret

“The Secret to Success…is No Secret”

Ask the average person what they desire most from life, and you will receive a variety of answers. These desires range from the obvious; a new car, a bigger house, more money, and better relationships, to the more elusive notions of fame, security, and comfort. Yet surprisingly, when most people receive what they have been asking for, they will soon thereafter find themselves searching once again for something else to make them feel “happy”.   

It is not unusual to want new things. It is not wrong to desire more, or something different than what you already have.  I believe that we live in an abundant universe, and people should have all that they want, of whatever it is they want.

Out of all of the things that someone may describe that they want, “success” is often the word that is used to define their desire for a better life. We tend to put all of our desires in a box labeled “success,” and when we accomplish or receive the desires in the box, we say, “Now I’m successful!”

But, what exactly is this thing we call success?

Historically, success has been defined as a measure of accomplishment, or reaching a desired outcome, usually related to the attainment of wealth, or prominence. The word success is also used as a noun, to describe someone that has earned a certain level of respect, fame, or notoriety, such as “he is successful”.

The world seems to have a certain love/hate relationship with success. We all want to be successful, we want others to view us as successful, but how will we know that we have achieved success? Why do others seem to become more successful, and in a shorter time period than it takes for us to become successful? Why is it that once we achieve a certain level of success, we want to become more and more successful? Why is it that the more successful I become, the less successful I feel?

The problem, as I see it, is that we have been erroneously trained since our early childhood that “success is the key to life.” Our parents and teachers said things like: “Go to school so you can be successful,” “Study hard and you’ll be a success,”  and “Work long hours to have success.”  

I went to school, I studied hard, I worked long hours, and I practiced daily, yet throughout my childhood, I felt like the biggest failure in the world. Nothing I did seemed to be good enough. I remember asking…when am I going to become successful, how much longer will it take, and how will I know? I shouted…“What is the secret to success?”

After many years of studying the lives of others; reading hundreds of books, listening to hundreds of audio recordings, and attending hundreds of programs by the most successful authors and speakers in the area of business, personal, and spiritual development, I have concluded that the so-called secret to success is nothing more than a carrot at the end of a stick, tied to the top of our heads. No matter how much we try, no matter how hard an effort we make, and no matter how far we travel, we will always be two steps behind. We can never get the carrot!

The truth is, there is no secret to success. There is no special key to success, and no one has a special formula for success. The truth is that success is not a thing we become, it is what we already are. It is not something that we get, it is what we already have. Success is not outside of us, it is already within each of us.

Consider this—if your intent is to wake up each morning refreshed, alert, and inspired to seize the day and you do it, are you not successful? If your intent is to stay in bed till noon and lounge the day away in your pajamas while watching back-to-back seasons of your favorite TV show, and you do it, are you not successful? Of course, you are! Success is nothing more than setting an intention to do something, and then doing it. The doing of what you set out to do is a success, even if your intent is to do nothing.

I can hear some of you asking right now—“so Steve, are you saying that we should not strive to become better people, live better lives, and do more for ourselves and for others?” Absolutely we should! But now we can do it with the understanding that it is not about “chasing success” or spending energy trying to figure out how to become successful. When you no longer have to focus on becoming successful, you will experience the freedom of “being,” and you can freely pursue whatever it is you desire to do. When you reach this state, you will experience what I believe is the most important element of life…fulfillment.

When I speak of fulfillment, I am referring to self-fulfillment. More than success, more than joy, and more than happiness, all of which are fleeting, self-fulfillment is the satisfaction you feel at the end of the day when you know you have done the best that you can do, with the talents and resources that you presently have. Self-fulfillment is the result of daily exercise of our personal capacity.

You may notice that I did not suggest that we develop and exercise our “potential”. The reason is that potential signifies something that is in the future. It is what can be, rather than what is. If our daily focus is on developing, and living up to our potential, by definition, we will never be satisfied at the end of the day. To develop our “potential,” as explained by Marianne Williamson, in her book “A Return to Love,” is to attain perfection.  And, because we will likely never attain worldly perfection, much less accept that we have attained it, we should instead focus on exercising our capacity…our current capacity.

In other words, let’s begin by doing what we can, with the skill and talents that we currently have right now. What can we do today to improve our own lives, whether it has to do with our physical, or mental health, career, or profession? What can we do today to increase our knowledge and education on health and fitness, or in the area of business, finances, or spirituality? What talent do we have that we can share with our parents, our siblings, our children, and our neighbors? What are we currently capable of offering our friends, our families, and our communities that will improve the overall quality of life?

Exercising your capacity does not require complex production. It does not require any expense and does not have to be time-consuming. In fact, exercising your capacity can be as simple as merely thinking good thoughts about yourself, and about those whom you encounter throughout your day. You never have to breathe a word to anyone, a simple thought will do. Exercising your capacity may be as simple or as involved as you alone determine that you want it to be.

Exercise your capacity daily and in a very short time, you will feel an overwhelming sense of personal satisfaction, which no one can take away, and nothing can destroy.    


Stevie G.

Steve Gallegos is a transformational coach, speaker, and author dedicated to helping individuals unleash their full potential and achieve extraordinary success. With a background as a U.S. Marine, law enforcement officer, board-certified civil trial lawyer, singer-songwriter, and entrepreneur, Steve brings a unique blend of experiences to his work. Through his dynamic coaching and captivating speaking engagements, he empowers individuals to overcome challenges, develop exceptional communication skills, and create lasting impact in their personal and professional lives. With Steve’s guidance, you’ll discover the power within you to achieve greatness and leave a legacy that inspires others.


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